n African Zoology - Molecular and bioacoustic divergence in and n.sp. (Anura : Mantellidae) : bearings for the biogeography of northern Madagascar

Volume 38, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X
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We analysed the genetic and bioacoustic variability in <I>Mantidactylus granulatus</I>, a semi-arboreal frog species endemic to the northern portion of Madagascar. Advertisement calls had a longer note duration in northeastern as compared to northwestern populations. Specimens from mid-altitudes in the Tsaratanana Massif (Northern Central Region) showed distinct call differences. They also had a high sequence differentiation in a fragment of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene (pairwise divergence 8.6 %), while all other populations were genetically rather uniform. This Tsaratanana population is described as the new species <I>Mantidactylus zavona&lt;/I&gt;; it is also morphologically distinct from the sympatric <I>M. granulatus&lt;/I&gt; in that it has a smaller body and a shorter, wider head. The relatively small differences between <I>M. granulatus&lt;/I&gt; from different sites in northern Madagascar (pairwise 16S divergences up to 1.4 %), including the isolated Montagne d'Ambre, supports a biogeographic scenario in which the lowland rainforests in this area were connected in Pliocene-Pleistocene times. By contrast, the presence of endemic species at higher altitudes of the Tsaratanana Massif may be seen as evidence for a longer isolation of the habitats at these elevational levels.

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