Amietophrynus xeros was sequenced for part of the 16S rRNA mitochondrial region to assess genetic diversity between populations from Niger, Mali, Senegal, Mauritania and Tanzania. Although populations are currently unconnected, diversity within the Sahel region was relatively low, indicating that the species only expanded into this region relatively recently, perhaps after the last glacial maximum. Diversity was higher between samples from Tanzania. Some individuals of two species from previously published studies, A. garmani and A. gutturalis, share haplotypes with A. xeros, but this is likely to be due to error, possibly misidentification. Similar errors appear to exist in published studies of other North African Amietophrynus species such as A. regularis.
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Vol. 44 • No. 2