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Molecular Phylogenetic Status of Rhacophorus laoshan and Zhangixalus yinggelingensis (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from China

Molecular Phylogenetic Status of Rhacophorus laoshan and Zhangixalus yinggelingensis (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from China

Limei Yuan1, Kong Yang1* and Dechun Jiang2*

1Institute of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Southwest Minzu University, Chengdu, Sichuan, P.R. China.
2Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu, Sichuan, P.R. China.
 
* Corresponding author: lx-yk@163.com, jiangdc@cib.ac.cn

ABSTRACT

Recently, Rhacophorus sensu lato was divided into three genera. In addition, Rhacophorus laoshan and Zhangixalus yinggelingensis were placed in the genus Rhacophorus sensu stricto and Zhangixalus, respectively, only based on morphological characters. The research on the genus Rhacophorus sensu lato faces major challenges due to their complex interspecies relationships, and the phylogenetic status of many species are still unclear, which hampered the taxonomy and protection of these species. In this study, we investigated the molecular phylogenetic status of R. laoshan and Z. yinggelingensis using mitochondrial DNA (12S rRNA, tRNAVal, 16S rRNA and Cyt b) fragments and nuclear DNA (RAG-1, RHOD, TYR) fragments. Our results revealed that Rhacophorus laoshan is closely related to R. verrucopus, R. orlovi and R. calcaneus, and Zhangixalus yinggelingensis should indeed be placed under Zhangixalus. This research clarified the phylogenetic positions of two species within the genus Rhacophorus sensu lato, and it also has an impact on the protection and biogeographic analysis of these species.

 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

October

Vol. 54, Iss. 5, Pages 2003-2500

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