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Geographical Variation in Morphological and Bioacoustic Traits of Pseudopaludicola mystacalis (Cope, 1887) and a Reassessment of the Taxonomic Status of Pseudopaludicola serrana Toledo, 2010 (Anura: Leptodactylidae: Leiuperinae)

DOI: 10.1155/2014/563165

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Abstract:

Comparisons of advertisement calls of anurans can be used to determine intra- and interspecific differences or affinities. Described from midwestern Brazil, Pseudopaludicola mystacalis is widely distributed and abundant in major open Brazilian ecosystems. However, researchers frequently fail to determine the true taxonomic status of some of these populations and attribute them to unidentified or misidentified species. Herein, we employ morphological and bioacoustic data to reassess the distribution range and to evaluate intraspecific variation in P. mystacalis based on specimens from fifteen localities and seven Brazilian states. We also reassess the distribution and taxonomic status of Pseudopaludicola serrana, herein considered as a junior synonym of P. murundu based on morphology, bioacoustics, and molecular data. 1. Introduction Advertisement calls are important for mate recognition in anurans and hence contribute to premating isolation among sympatric species [1]. Comparison of advertisement calls can be used to determine differences and affinities among different anuran species and so to determine taxonomic identity and phylogenetic relationships [2, 3]. Such comparisons may be especially useful for situations in which the taxonomic identity of a species is uncertain or contested involving synonymies, redescriptions, and species resurrections. Indeed, in the absence of consistent morphological characters for interspecific distinctiveness, advertisement calls have proven to be of great help in revealing and supporting hypotheses of putative new species of Pseudopaludicola [4–9]. Described from midwestern Brazil (Chapada dos Guimar?es, Mato Grosso), Pseudopaludicola mystacalis is widely distributed and abundant in open environments along South American “diagonal of open formations” [8]. However, some populations along the species’ range are not recognized as belonging to this taxon, being rather attributed to other taxonomic entities, such as Pseudopaludicola aff. falcipes, Pseudopaludicola aff. mystacalis, and Pseudopaludicola sp. [10–14]. Therefore, an integrative taxonomic revision is needed to clarify the distribution range and variation in this species [9]. In spite of great morphological similarity among most of the 18 species of Pseudopaludicola currently recognized, three of them are readily distinguished from the others by having longer hindlimbs [4–6, 8, 9]: Pseudopaludicola saltica (Cope, 1887), Pseudopaludicola murundu Toledo, Siqueira, Duarte, Veiga-Menoncello, Recco-Pimentel, and Haddad, 2010, and Pseudopaludicola serrana Toledo, 2010.

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