Two new treefrogs of the Boophis rappiodes group from eastern Madagascar (Amphibia Mantellidae)



Two new sibling species of Boophis Tschudi 1838 are described from Andasibe
in central-eastern Madagascar. Both are small greenish treefrogs with a
translucent ventral skin and without lateral fringes along lower arm and tarsus,
and are thereby assignable to the phenetic B. rappiodes group. Boophis bottae n.
sp. is morphologically similar to B. rappiodes (Ahl 1928) and occurs syntopically
with this species. It strongly differs from its sibling by advertisement calls (long
trill notes instead of two-pulse notes), and by a reddish-brown dorsal pattern
which does not fade soon in ethanol, often covering the entire back (vs a red
pattern that largely fades in ethanol in B. rappiodes). Boophis tasymena n. sp. is
similar to B. erythrodactylus (Guibé 1953) but differs in advertisement calls
(notes composed of two instead of four-seven pulses) and lack of red colour on
tips of fingers and toes. A lectotype is designated for B. erythrodactylus. The discovery
of the two new species in addition to the revised distributional information
for B. rappiodes, B. erythrodactylus and B. viridis Blommers-Schlösser 1979
confirms that mid-elevational central-eastern Madagascar is the centre of diversity
for many Malagasy amphibian groups but has a relatively low degree of
endemism. DNA sequence divergence was high within each pair of sibling
species (6-7% in a fragment of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene), suggesting
that their reproductive isolation was not a recent event and probably predates
the Pleistocene.
KEY WORDS: Amphibia, Anura, Mantellidae, Boophis viridis, Boophis rappiodes,
Boophis erythrodactylus, Boophis bottae n. sp., Boophis tasymena n.
sp., Madagascar, advertisement calls, distribution.

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