Thursday, March 28, 2013

Whistling frogs synonymized

Leptodactylus validus and tadpoles on Tobago. JCM
The very abundant whistling frog, Leptodactylus validus, has been long considered a Caribbean species, with populations in the Lesser Antilles, Trinidad and Tobago. In 2006, Yanke et al. used molecular data to demonstrate that the South American whistling frog, L. pallidorostris was conspecific with the Caribbean whistling frog. Leptodactylus pallidorostris inhabits Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana.

In a more recent paper, Heyer and Heyer (2012) compare calls, larval morphology and adult morphology that agree with the molecular results, Leptodactylus validus occurs in in the Lesser Antilles (as far north as Bequia), Trinidad and Tobago, as well as northern South America.

As more molecular and morphological  information on the Trinidad and Tobago herpetofauna becomes available a more detailed and refined biogeographical portrait of the islands will emerge.

Literature Cited
Heyer W.R. and M/ M. Heyer (2012) Systematics, distribution, and bibliography of the frog Leptodactylus validus Garman, 1888 (Amphibia: Leptodactylidae). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 125:276-294.

Yanek, K., W. R. Heyer, and R. O. de Sa´. 2006. Genetic resolution of the enigmatic Lesser Antillean distribution of the frog Leptodactylus validus (Anura, Leptodactylidae). South American Journal of Herpetology 1:192–201.

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