Sonali GARG and S. D. BIJU.DNA Barcoding and Systematic Review of Minervaryan Frogs (Dicroglossidae: Minervarya) of Peninsular India: Resolution of a Taxonomic Conundrum with Description of a New Species[J].Asian Herpetological Research(AHR),2021,12(4):345-370.[doi:10.16373/j.cnki.ahr.210023]
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DNA Barcoding and Systematic Review of Minervaryan Frogs (Dicroglossidae: Minervarya) of Peninsular India: Resolution of a Taxonomic Conundrum with Description of a New Species
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Asian Herpetological Research[ISSN:2095-0357/CN:51-1735/Q]

2021 VoI.12 No.4
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DNA Barcoding and Systematic Review of Minervaryan Frogs (Dicroglossidae: Minervarya) of Peninsular India: Resolution of a Taxonomic Conundrum with Description of a New Species
Sonali GARG* and S. D. BIJU*
Systematics Lab, Department of Environmental Studies, University of Delhi, Delhi 110007, India
amphibia distribution Fejervarya integrative taxonomy Minervarya pentali sp. nov. morphology species groups Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot
The genus Minervarya is among the most widely distributed, commonly occurring, and taxonomically confusing groups of dicroglossid frogs in India. Recent studies have provided evidence that this genus contains complexes of morphologically conserved but genetically divergent taxa—some widely distributed across South and Southeast Asia, and many particularly restricted to the Western Ghats region of the Indian Peninsula—posing several challenges in resolving long-standing taxonomic confusions. Here, we present a systematic review of minervaryan species found in Peninsular India, based on extensive DNA barcoding with nearly 400 samples from the entire range of the genus, including 277 new samples and topotypic material for most available names from the study area, combined with detailed morphological studies. As a result, we recognise 18 species in Peninsular India, including a new species described herein as Minervarya pentali sp. nov. Due to the comprehensive nature of the study, including comparisons with all available types, certain long-standing taxonomic uncertainties on the status of ten previously known taxa are resolved. Rana (Tomopterna) parambikulamana Rao, 1937 (= Minervarya parambikulamana), Rana (Hylorana) sauriceps Rao, 1937 (= Minervarya sauriceps), and Fejervarya kudremukhensis Kuramoto, Joshy, Kurabayashi, and Sumida, 2008 “2007” (= Minervarya kudremukhensis), are considered as junior subjective synonyms of Rana (Rana) limnocharis mysorensis Rao, 1922 (= Minervarya mysorensis); Nyctibatrachus sanctipalustris var. modestus Rao, 1920 (= Minervarya modesta) is proposed to be a synonym of Rana limnocharis syhadrensis Annandale, 1919 (= Minervarya syhadrensis); while Rana murthii Pillai, 1979 (= Minervarya murthii) and Fejervarya mudduraja Kuramoto, Joshy, Kurabayashi, and Sumida, 2008 “2007” (= Minervarya mudduraja) are considered as junior subjective synonyms of Rana nilagirica Jerdon, 1853 (= Minervarya nilagirica). At the same time, Rana brevipalmata Peters, 1871 (= Minervarya brevipalmata), previously known only from its original description and the type specimen, is recognised as a distinct species referable to live populations in the Western Ghats. The study results in taxonomic stability of all the currently recognised members of the genus in Peninsular India. Significant geographical range extensions of species previously known from single localities are also provided based on morphologically and genetically confirmed records. Additionally, we classify all the recognised species into eight species-groups, with the aim of facilitating a better working taxonomy and future systematic studies on minervaryan frogs across their entire known range in Asia.


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Last Update: 2021-12-25