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Hidden diversity within the broadly distributed Amazonian Giant Monkey Frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor: Phyllomedusidae)

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posted on 04.03.2020 by Edvaldo Pereira Mota, Igor Luis Kaefer, Mario Nunes, Albertina Pimentel Lima, Izeni Pires Farias
Phyllomedusa bicolor is a large-sized nocturnal tree frog found in tropical rainforests throughout much of the Amazonian region of Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela, and the Guianas. Very little is known about P. bicolor genetic diversity and genealogical history of its natural populations. Here, using a sampling design that included populations covering most of its distributional range, we investigated the spatial distribution of genetic variability of this species. Considering the wide geographical distribution we tested the hypothesis that P. bicolor is composed of deeply structured genetic groups, constituting more than one lineage across the Brazilian Amazonia. The results suggested two main lineages in two geographic mega-regions: Western and Eastern Amazonia, the latter consisting of three population groups distributed in the Guiana and Brazilian Shields. The present findings have implications to taxonomy, to understanding the processes that lead to diversification, and to defining strategies of conservation and medicinal use of the species.

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