Resurrection of genus Nidirana (Anura: Ranidae) and synonymizing N. caldwelli with N. adenopleura, with description of a new species from China

in Amphibia-Reptilia
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The taxonomy of Babina sensu lato was controversial in the past decades. In this study, the phylogeny of genus Babina sensu lato was re-constructed based on genetic analysis, morphological comparison and advertisement call analysis. We found that Babina sensu stricto and previous subgenus Nidirana should be two distinct genera in the family Ranidae. N. caldwelli is confirmed to be a synonym of N. adenopleura because of the small genetic divergence and the lack of distinct morphological differences. A new species, Nidirana nankunensis sp. nov. is described based on a series of specimens collected from Mt. Nankun, Guangdong Province, China, which can be distinguished from other known congeners by having a behavior of nest construction, distinctive advertisement calls, significant divergence in the mitochondrial genes, and a combination of morphological characters. Currently, the genus Babina contains two species and the genus Nidirana contains eight species.


Publication of the Societas Europaea Herpetologica



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  • Collecting localities of the samples used in this study. Circles represent type localities. (1) Yanping District, Nanping City, Fujian; (2) Jingning County, Zhejiang; (3) Mt. Wuyi, Fujian; (4) Jiangshi Nature Reserve, Fujian; (5) Mt. Yashu, Fujian; (6) Jinggangshan Nature Reserve, Jiangxi; (7) Mt. Nankun, Guangdong; (8) Mt. Diaoluo, Hainan; (9) Hejiang County, Sichuan; (10) Mt. Emei, Sichuan; (11) Jiangcheng County, Yunnan; (12) Mt. Gaoligong, Yunnan.

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  • Bayesian inference and maximum-likelihood phylogenies. Numbers above branches indicate Bayesian posterior probabilities and numbers below branches are bootstrap support for maximum likelihood (1000 replicates) analysis.

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  • Advertisement call spectrograms. (A) Nidirana nankunensis sp. nov. from Mt. Nankun; (B) N. hainanensis from Mt. Diaoluo; (C) N. daunchina from Hejiang County; (D) N. caldwelli from Yanping District.

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  • Morphological features of the adult male holotype SYS a005719 of Nidirana nankunensis sp. nov. in life. (A) dorsolateral view; (B) ventral view; (C) right hand; (D) nuptial pad; (E) right foot; (F) posterior part of dorsal surface.

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  • Paratypes and tadpoles of Nidirana nankunensis sp. nov. (A) adult female paratype SYS a005717; (B) adult male paratype SYS a004905; (C) dorsolateral view of the 36th stage tadpole; (D) dorsolateral view of the 29th stage tadpole; (E) labial tooth row formula of the 29th stage tadpole.

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  • (A) Habitat of Nidirana nankunensis sp. nov. in the type locality from Mt. Nankun; (B) The nest opening at the bottom of the pond; (C) The nest opening on the bank; (D) The holotype SYS a005719 in the wild.

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