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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2004 Feb;30(2):409-20.

Phylogenetic relationships of the North American chorus frogs (Pseudacris: Hylidae).

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  • 1Section of Integrative Biology and Texas Memorial Museum, University of Texas, 24th and Speedway, Austin, TX 78712, USA.


We examined phylogenetic relationships of the North American chorus frogs (Pseudacris: Hylidae) from 38 populations using 2.4 kb of 12S and 16S mtDNA to elucidate species relationships and examine congruence of previous phylogenetic hypotheses. Parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian phylogenies are consistent and reveal four strongly supported clades within Pseudacris: (1). A West Coast Clade containing regilla and cadaverina, (2). a Fat Frog Clade including ornata, streckeri, and illinoensis, (3). a Crucifer Clade consisting of crucifer and ocularis, and (4). a Trilling Frog Clade containing all other Pseudacris. Explicit hypothesis testing using parametric bootstrapping indicates that previous phylogenetic hypotheses are rejected by our sequence dataset. Within the Trilling Frog Clade, brimleyi and brachyphona form the sister group to the Nigrita Clade: nigrita, feriarum, triseriata, kalmi, clarkii, and maculata. The Nigrita Clade shows geographic division into three clades: (1). populations of maculata and triseriata west of the Mississippi River and Canadian populations, (2). southeastern US populations of feriarum and nigrita, and (3). northeastern US populations of feriarum, kalmi, and triseriata. We find that subspecific epithets for crucifer (crucifer and bartramiana) and nigrita (nigrita and verrucosa) are uninformative, therefore we discourage recognition of these subspecies. Pseudacris regilla, cadaverina, ocularis, and crucifer are maintained in Pseudacris.

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