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A new ancient lineage of frog (Anura: Nyctibatrachidae: Astrobatrachinae subfam. nov.) endemic to the Western Ghats of Peninsular India

Published on Mar 12, 2019in PeerJ2.35
· DOI :10.7717/peerj.6457
Seenapuram Palaniswamy Vijayakumar (IISc: Indian Institute of Science), Robert Alexander Pyron5
Estimated H-index: 5
(GW: George Washington University)
+ 6 AuthorsKartik Shanker17
Estimated H-index: 17
(IISc: Indian Institute of Science)
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Abstract
The Western Ghats (WG) is an escarpment on the west coast of Peninsular India, housing one of the richest assemblages of frogs in the world, with three endemic families. Here, we report the discovery of a new ancient lineage from a high-elevation massif in the Wayanad Plateau of the southern WG. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that the lineage belongs to Natatanura and clusters with Nyctibatrachidae, a family endemic to the WG/Sri Lanka biodiversity hotspot. Based on geographic distribution, unique morphological traits, deep genetic divergence, and phylogenetic position that distinguishes the lineage from the two nyctibatrachid subfamilies Nyctibatrachinae Blommers-Schlosser, 1993 and Lankanectinae Dubois & Ohler, 2001, we erect a new subfamily Astrobatrachinae subfam. nov. (endemic to the WG, Peninsular India), and describe a new genus Astrobatrachus gen. nov. and species, Astrobatrachus kurichiyana sp. nov. The discovery of this species adds to the list of deeply divergent and monotypic or depauperate lineages with narrow geographic ranges in the southern massifs of the WG. The southern regions of the WG have long been considered geographic and climatic refugia, and this new relict lineage underscores their evolutionary significance. The small range of this species exclusively outside protected areas highlights the significance of reserve forest tracts in the WG in housing evolutionary novelty. This reinforces the need for intensive sampling to uncover new lineages and advance our understanding of the historical biogeography of this ancient landmass.
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References51
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Zhi-Yong Yuan1
Estimated H-index: 1
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Bao-Lin Zhang2
Estimated H-index: 2
(KIZ: Kunming Institute of Zoology)
+ 11 AuthorsSean D. Holland2
Estimated H-index: 2
(FSU: Florida State University)
Published on Aug 23, 2018in Zootaxa0.99
Gayani Senevirathne5
Estimated H-index: 5
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V. A. P. Samarawickrama4
Estimated H-index: 4
+ 4 AuthorsMadhava Meegaskumbura12
Estimated H-index: 12
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The monotypic genus Lankanectes, considered an evolutionary long branch with India’s Nyctibatrachus as its sister lineage, is represented by L. corrugatus , a species widely distributed within the wet zone of Sri Lanka up to 1500 m asl, where it inhabits a variety of lotic and lentic habitats. Here, following an integrative taxonomic approach using DNA-based phylogenies, morphology, morphometry, and ecological niche models, we describe a new species— Lankanectes pera sp. nov. The new species is ...
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Estimated H-index: 60
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R. Alexander Pyron32
Estimated H-index: 32
(GW: George Washington University)
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Yan‐Jie Feng2
Estimated H-index: 2
(SYSU: Sun Yat-sen University),
David C. Blackburn20
Estimated H-index: 20
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Estimated H-index: 20
(SYSU: Sun Yat-sen University)
Abstract Frogs (Anura) are one of the most diverse groups of vertebrates and comprise nearly 90% of living amphibian species. Their worldwide distribution and diverse biology make them well-suited for assessing fundamental questions in evolution, ecology, and conservation. However, despite their scientific importance, the evolutionary history and tempo of frog diversification remain poorly understood. By using a molecular dataset of unprecedented size, including 88-kb characters from 95 nuclear ...
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Estimated H-index: 17
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K. N. Ganeshaiah24
Estimated H-index: 24
(UASD: University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad)
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Estimated H-index: 5
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Robin Suyesh4
Estimated H-index: 4
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Estimated H-index: 29
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Paul B. Frandsen6
Estimated H-index: 6
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Estimated H-index: 11
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Estimated H-index: 10
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Nikhil Modak3
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Estimated H-index: 2
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Estimated H-index: 1
+ 1 AuthorsKartik Shanker17
Estimated H-index: 17
(IISc: Indian Institute of Science)
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Estimated H-index: 2
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S.P. Vijayakumar1
Estimated H-index: 1
(NCBS: National Centre for Biological Sciences)
+ 3 AuthorsKartik Shanker17
Estimated H-index: 17
(IISc: Indian Institute of Science)
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