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100 years after discovery, new pickeral frog Lithobates kauffeldi named from NYC

FrogEyes

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It was recently discovered that New York City was home to an undescribed leopard frog species [actually, a pickerel frog], which had actually been noticed first about a century ago. It has now been described as Rana kauffeldi [although it is a Lithobates] in an open-access paper:

Jeremy A. Feinberg, Catherine E. Newman, Gregory J. Watkins-Colwell, Matthew D. Schlesinger, Brian Zarate, Brian R. Curry, H. Bradley Shaffer, Joanna Burger, 2014. Cryptic Diversity in Metropolis: Confirmation of a New Leopard Frog Species (Anura: Ranidae) from New York City and Surrounding Atlantic Coast Regions. [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]PLoS ONE 9(10): e108213. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108213[/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Abstract[/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]We describe a new cryptic species of leopard frog from the New York City metropolitan area and surrounding coastal regions. This species is morphologically similar to two largely parapatric eastern congeners, [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Rana sphenocephala[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif] and [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]R. pipiens[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]. We primarily use bioacoustic and molecular data to characterize the new species, but also examine other lines of evidence. This discovery is unexpected in one of the largest and most densely populated urban parts of the world. It also demonstrates that new vertebrate species can still be found periodically even in well-studied locales rarely associated with undocumented biodiversity. The new species typically occurs in expansive open-canopied wetlands interspersed with upland patches, but centuries of loss and impact to these habitats give some cause for conservation concern. Other concerns include regional extirpations, fragmented extant populations, and a restricted overall geographic distribution. We assign a type locality within New York City and report a narrow and largely coastal lowland distribution from central Connecticut to northern New Jersey (based on genetic data) and south to North Carolina (based on call data).[/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchObject.action?uri=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0108213&representation=PDF[/FONT]
 

herpguy

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I saw this a while ago. It's very interesting. I'm just waiting for a paper coming out in a few years rejecting the hypothesis that these are actually a new species. lol
 
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