Fauna of the Central Ryukyus includes a high percentage of endemic species, and Hallowell's tree frog Hyla hallowellii Thompson, 1912 is one of such elements, occurring in a total of eight islands in the Amami and Okinawa Island groups. Using samples representing all of these eight island populations, we studied variations in morphology, karyotype, allozyme, and mtDNA, to clarify the pattern of geographic differentiation of H. hallowellii and consider factors for its formation. We could not clearly discriminate one population from another in morphology, nor could we find any interpopulation difference in karyotype. From genetic analyses, using allozymes and cyt b, we found low overall differentiations among populations. However, the southern populations from Okinawajima and Yoronjima were genetically nearly identical with the northern Amamioshima population. From that group the geographically intermediate Tokunoshima and Kakeromajima populations showed prominent differentiations. These patterns of geographical differentiation greatly differ from those known in other amphibian species of the Central Ryukyus, and suggest that H. hallowellii has evolutionary history unique to the species.
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Vol. 38 • No. 2