Australian Journal of Zoology Australian Journal of Zoology Society
Evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology

Allozyme, chromosomal and morphological variability in the Litoria lesueuri species group (Anura : Hylidae), including a description of a new species

S. C. Donnellan and M. J. Mahony

Australian Journal of Zoology 52(1) 1 - 28
Published: 15 March 2004


Allozyme variation at 36 loci was screened in 179 individuals of the Litoria lesueuri species group from 33 locations from across the species' range in eastern Australia. We identified three genetic groups, with discrete and disjunct distributions, that we consider to be separate species. The northernmost group, Ljungguy, sp. nov., had a distinctive standard and C-band karyotype, while the karyotypes of the two southern groups, L. lesueuri (Duméril & Bibron, 1841) and L. wilcoxii Gunther, 1864, differed only in minor details of their C-band patterns. Stepwise discriminant function analysis of morphometric variation among 13 meristic variables was able to discriminate L. lesueuri and L. wilcoxii in 100% of cases but discrimination between L. wilcoxii and L. jungguy was less successful, with 75% and 56% of each group respectively being correctly classified. Locations with inter-group hybrids were identified in the Australian Capital Territory, mid-east Queensland and two localities in far north Queensland. However, each of the groups has a large geographic range within which there was relative allozyme and karyotype uniformity. On the basis of the genetic data, each group is herein elevated to species status. Existing types were assigned to their respective genetic groups on the basis of a discriminant function analysis. Formal taxonomic accounts are provided. The closely related L. booroolongensis (Moore, 1961), sole member of the Lbooroolongensis species group, differed allozymically from all three species of the L. lesueuri species group but only from the northern species in its karyotype. Small genetic distances between Lbooroolongensis and members of the L. lesueuri species group indicate a close relationship for the two species groups.

© CSIRO 2004

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