Turkish Journal of Zoology




To elucidate the genetic divergences of several Asian frog taxa, the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene (16S) sequences of 81 populations across 6 Asian countries were analyzed. In total, 109 haplotypes were found, and the concept of a 3% difference in 16S sequence corresponding to species threshold was applied to define candidate amphibian species, for which corroborating evidence, such as morphology, ecological characteristics, and/or nuclear gene data, is required. Polypedates leucomystax, Hylarana chalconota, and Hylarana sp. from Chantaburi, Maelippet Siberut, and Langkawi Island, respectively, correspond to 3 candidate species and H. erythraea from Malaysia/Thailand represents a possible candidate species. Hylarana cf. nicobariensis from Muara Siberut, Amolops larutensis from Gombak, and Microhyla okinavensis from Ishigaki Island showed divergences from the topotypic specimen, all suggesting a relevant candidate species. Microhyla heymonsi from Malaysia and M. ornata from 2 regions (Mudigere and Talapu) in India did not fit any congeneric species based on available 16S data, suggesting 3 possible candidate species in total. Two lineages of Duttaphrynus melanostictus from Malaysia denote 2 possible candidate species. Consequently, this study indicates the occurrence of 6 candidate and 6 possible candidate species, and argues that the generic allocation of the Fejervarya-Minervarya-Zakerana complex needs to be studied in detail.

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