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The first part of this synthesis summarizes the morphology of the jelly layers surrounding an amphibian ovum. We propose a standard terminology and discuss the evolution of jelly layers. The second part reviews the morphological diversity and arrangement of deposited eggs—the ovipositional mode; we recognize 5 morphological classes including 14 modes. We discuss some of the oviductal, ovipositional, and postovipositional events that contribute to these morphologies. We have incorporated data from taxa from throughout the world but recognize that other types will be discovered that may modify understanding of these modes. Finally, we discuss the evolutionary context of the diversity of clutch structure and present a first estimate of its evolution.
We provide a taxonomic diagnosis and discussion of the frogs of the Rana papua group within Milne Bay Province, the southeasternmost extent of New Guinea and associated offshore islands. Six members of the R. papua species group occur in the province. We rediagnose R. grisea, known with certainty only from the type locality in Papua Province, Indonesia, and note that most, if not all, specimens referred to this species in New Guinea are mis-assigned. We rediagnose R. supragrisea and note that the type series contains members of at least two or three different morphospecies. The true geographical limits of this species outside of southeastern New Guinea and associated islands remain to be determined. We resurrect R. milneana from the synonymy of R. daemeli and note its close relationships to two species recently described from far western New Guinea. We describe one new species closely related to R. daemeli and occurring on the mainland portion of the province and in the D'Entrecasteaux Islands. We describe the tadpoles of two of these species for the first time. As previously noted, members of the R. papua species complex are difficult to distinguish using traditional morphological measurements but call and (sometimes) habitat are important for this purpose. Contrary to previous researchers, we have found color pattern to be valuable for distinguishing among Rana species within the limited confines of Milne Bay Province and anticipate that it will prove equally useful in diagnosing other geographically constrained Rana faunas throughout New Guinea.
South American Stenocercus lizards occur mostly in the Andes and adjacent lowland areas from northern Colombia and Venezuela to central Argentina at elevations of 0–4000 m. In this paper, 61 species of Stenocercus are recognized, including one resurrected as S. angulifer. Morphologically, S. angulifer more closely resembles S. aculeatus. For each species, a diagnosis, description, and summary of distribution are provided based on examination of 2001 specimens and data from the literature. Notes on color in life and natural history are included for most species. Additionally, a dichotomous key to assist in the identification of specimens is provided.
The Draco lineatus group is a monophyletic assemblage confined to islands within Wallacea. Nine species are recognized, including two described as new. For each species, a synonymy, diagnosis, description of squamation and color pattern, and summaries of distribution and natural history are provided. We resolve several long-standing taxonomic misconceptions including (1) proper allocation of the name Draco lineatus, (2) exclusion of D. bimaculatus and D. modigliani from the D. lineatus group, and (3) proper allocation of the names D. beccarii and D. walkeri. Unlike all previous studies, we recognize three morphologically distinct taxa (here recognized as species) on the island of Sulawesi.
Members of the Eleutherodactylus fraudator species group occur in Bolivia and Peru. This group has not been reviewed since its proposal and description. Its putative monophyly has not been tested and its phylogenetic relationships are still unresolved. It was included in the Central American genus Craugastor based on a putative morphological synapomorphy, but this hypothesis of relationship is doubtful. Its alpha-diversity is unknown and some putative members have still not been studied in detail. To assess the taxonomic status and phylogenetic relationships of this species group, we applied a taxonomic integrative approach based on comparisons of morphological characters (external and internal), bioacoustics (based on advertisement calls) and phylogenetic analyses of partial 16S mitochondrial gene (560 bp). We redescribe Eleutherodactylus bisignatus (Werner, 1899) and include it together with E. mercedesae in the group. Molecular, bioacoustical and morphological characters support the taxonomic status of all the species. Maximum parsimony, Bayesian and neighbor-joining phylogenetic analyses of the partial mitochondrial gene as well as the presence of a new condition of the mandibular ramus of the trigeminal nerve and two bioacoustical characters, support the monophyly of this group. Moreover, our data suggest the nonmonophyly of the subgenus Eleutherodactylus and the monophyly of the genus Craugastor when the C. bufoniformis species group is excluded. We redescribe the crown clade formed by members of the E. fraudator group and name it as the subgenus Yunganastes, which contains Eleutherodactylus ashkaparaKöhler, 2000, E. bisignatus (Werner, 1899), E. fraudatorLynch and McDiarmid, 1987, E. mercedesaeLynch and McDiarmid, 1987 and E. pluvicanorusDe la Riva and Lynch, 1997. We describe the advertisement call of E. bisignatus for the first time and compare it with available calls of E. ashkapara and E. pluvicanorus. We suggest the common structure of the advertisement calls and the aggressive calls of the species belonging to Yunganastes (single melodic whistles with frequency modulation and no pulses) as synapomorphic for the new subgenus. We exclude members of Yunganastes from the Middle American genus Craugastor, to which it was previously tied by the presence of the putative synapomorphic “E” condition of the trigeminal nerve of the mandibular ramus of the abductor muscle. We describe a new condition of the trigeminal nerve and consider it synapomorphic for Yunganastes. Members of this subgenus are endemic to the cloud forests and humid montane forests of the Cordillera Oriental of the Andes in Bolivia and southern Peru.
This paper contains a synopsis of the genus Phrynopus in Bolivia, including the description of twelve new species. With seventeen species currently known, the genus has a much higher diversity in Bolivia than previously expected. Whereas intraspecific variation is evident only in color pattern, interspecific variation is noticeable in size, robustness, shape of head, relative lengths of extremities and digits, and skin texture. However, some species are quite similar in appearance and would be difficult to identify in the field were it not for their extremely restricted distributions. The genus Phrynopus has an amazing radiation and its species diversity has been severely underestimated.