In an effort to study the systematic affinities and specieslevel phylogenetic relationships of the enigmatic anurans variably assigned to the genera Ingerana or Limnonectes (family Dicroglossidae), we collected new molecular sequence data for five species including four Himalayan taxa, Limnonectes xizangensis, Lim. medogensis, Lim. alpine, Ingerana borealis and one southeast Asian species, I. tasanae, and analyzed these together with data from previous studies involving other ostensibly related taxa. Our surprising results demonstrate unequivocally that Lim. xizangensis, Lim. medogensis and Lim. alpine form a strongly supported clade, the sister-group of the family Australasian forest frog family Ceratobatrachidae. This discovery requires an expansion of the definition of Ceratobatrachidae and represents the first record of this family in China. These three species are distinguished from the species of Ingerana and Limnonectes by the: (1) absence of interdigital webbing of the foot, (2) absence of terminal discs on fingers and toes, (3) absence of circumarginal grooves on the fingers and toes, and (4) absence of tarsal folds. Given their phylogenetic and morphological distinctiveness, we assign them to the oldest available generic name for this clade, Liurana Dubois 1987, and transfer Liurana from Dicroglossidae to the family Ceratobatrachidae. In contrast, Ingerana tasanae was found to be clustered with strong support with the recently described genus Alcalus (Ceratobatrachidae), a small clade of otherwise Sundaic species; this constitutes a new record of the family Ceratobatrachidae for Myanmar and Thailand. Finally, Ingerana borealis clustered with the "true" Ingerana (family Dicroglossidae), for which the type species is I. tenasserimensis.
A new genus and species of threefrog is described from Medog, southeastern Tibet, China based on morphological and phylogenetic data. The new genus can be distinguished from other treefrog genera by the following combination of characters: (1) body size moderate, 45.0 mm in male; (2) snout rounded; (3) canthus rostralis obtuse and raised prominently, forming a ridge from nostril to anterior corner of eyes; (4) web rudimentary on fingers; (5) web moderately developed on toes; (6) phalange "Y" shaped, visible from dorsal side of fingers and toes; (7) skin of dorsal surfaces relatively smooth, scatted with small tubercles; (8) iris with a pale yellow, "X" shaped pattern of pigmentation.
A new species of Scutiger Theobald, 1868 is described from Medog, southeastern Tibet, China, based on morphological and molecular data. The new species was previously identified as Scutiger nyingchiensis, but it can be differentiated from the latter and all other congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) medium adult body size, SVL 50.5-55.6 mm in males and 53.8-57.2 mm in females; (2) maxillary teeth absent; (3) web rudimentary between toes; (4) prominent, conical-shaped tubercles on dorsal and lateral surfaces of body and limbs; (5) tubercles covered by black spines in both sexes in breeding condition; (6) a pair of pectoral glands and a pair of axillary glands present and covered by black spines in males in breeding condition, width of axillary gland less than 50% of pectoral gland; (7) nuptial spines present on dorsal surface of first and second fingers, and inner side of third finger in males in breeding condition; (8) spines absent on the abdominal region; (9) vocal sac absent. In addition, the distribution and conservation status of the new species are also discussed.
A new species of the genus Amolops Cope, 1865 is described from Nyingchi, southeastern Tibet, China, based on morphological and molecular data. The new species, Amolops nyingchiensis sp. nov. is assigned to the Amolops monticola group based on its skin smooth, dorsolateral fold distinct, lateral side of head black, upper lip stripe white extending to the shoulder. Amolops nyingchiensis sp. nov. is distinguished from all other species of Amolops by the following combination of characters: (1) medium body size, SVL 48.5-58.3 mm in males, and 57.6-70.7 mm in females; (2) tympanum distinct, slightly larger than one third of the eye diameter; (3) a small tooth-like projection on anteromedial edge of mandible; (4) the absence of white spine on dorsal surface of body; (5) the presence of circummarginal groove on all fingers; (6) the presence of vomerine teeth; (7) background coloration of dorsal surface brown, lateral body gray with yellow; (8) the presence of transverse bands on the dorsal limbs; (9) the presence of nuptial pad on the first finger in males; (10) the absence of vocal sac in males. Taxonomic status of the populations that were previously identified to A. monticola from Tibet is also discussed.
Until recently, the agamid species, Japalura flaviceps, was recognized to have the widest geographic distribution among members of the genus occurring in China, from eastern Tibet to Shaanxi Province. However, recent studies restricted the distribution of J. flaviceps to the Dadu River valley only in northwestern Sichuan Province, suggesting that records of J. flaviceps outside the Dadu River valley likely represent undescribed diversity. During two herpetofaunal surveys in 2013 and 2015, eight and 12 specimens of lizards of the genus Japalura were collected from the upper Nujiang (=Salween) Valley in eastern Tibet, China, and upper Lancang (=Mekong) Valley in northwestern Yunnan, China, respectively. These specimens display a unique suite of diagnostic morphological characters. Our robust comparisons of phenotype reveal that these populations can be distinguished readily from J. flaviceps and all other recognized congeners. Herein, we describe the two Japalura lineages as new species, Japalura laeviventris sp. nov. and Japalura iadina sp. nov.. In addition, we provide updated conservation assessments for the new species as well as imperiled congeners according to the IUCN criteria for classification, discuss the importance of color patterns in the diagnosis and description of species in the genus Japalura, and discuss directions for future taxonomic studies of the group.
AmphibiaChina, an open-access, web-based database, is designed to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information on Chinese amphibians. It offers an integrated module with six major sections. Compared to other known databases including AmphibiaWeb and Amphibian Species of the World, AmphibiaChina has the following new functions: (1) online species identification based on DNA barcode sequences; (2) comparisons and discussions of different major taxonomic systems; and (3) phylogenetic progress on Chinese amphibians. This database offers a window for the world to access available information of Chinese amphibians. AmphibiaChina with its Chinese version can be accessed at http://www.amphibiachina.org.
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