Western Toads (Anaxyrus boreas) are widely considered to be of conservation concern, and have high genetic variability both continentally and locally. Previous research has identified 3 major genetic clades of Western Toads in North America. We collected tissue samples from 47 larval toads representing 16 different collection sites in northern Idaho and northeastern Washington. For each sample we sequenced a 269 base-pair section of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidose I (COI) gene. We also downloaded COI sequences from GenBank, which had been used in a previous study to identify geographic clades. We used PAUP to build phylogenies in which our samples did not align geographically with each other or form distinct clades within the continental phylogeny. Our samples did, however, group in the expected Northwestern clade which was identified in a previous study. The toads examined in our study area show no evidence of cryptic diversity within the section of COI we examined and our data support the current taxonomic assignment to Anaxyrus boreas.
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Vol. 102 • No. 1