Undocumented translocations spawn taxonomic inflation in Sri Lankan fire rasboras (Actinopterygii, Cyprinidae)
Fire Rasboras of Sri Lanka was thought to comprise of four species: R. vaterifloris, R. nigromarginatus, R. pallidus and R. rohani. Here, using an integrative-taxonomic analysis of morphometry, meristics and mitochondrial DNA sequences we show that R. nigromarginatus is a synonym of R. vaterifloris, and that R. rohani is a synonym of R. pallidus. The creation and recognition of unnecessary taxa (‘taxonomic inflation’) was in this case a result of selective sampling confounded by a disregard of allometry. The population referred to R. rohani in the Walawe river basin represents an undocumented trans-basin translocation of R. pallidus, and a translocation into the Mahaweli river of R. vaterifloris, documented to have occurred ca 1980, in fact involves R. pallidus. A shared haplotype suggests the latter introduction was likely made from the Bentara river basin and not from the Kelani, as claimed. To stabilize the taxonomy of these fishes, the two valid species, R. vateriflorisand R. pallidus, are diagnosed and redescribed, and their distributions delineated. We draw attention to the wasteful diversion of conservation resources to populations resulting from undocumented translocations and to taxa resulting from taxonomic inflation. We argue against translocations except where mandated by a conservation emergency, and even then, only when supported by accurate documentation. peerj.com/articles/6084/?td=bl
Systematic revision of Microhyla (Microhylidae) frogsof South Asia: a molecular, morphological, and acoustic assessment
This study presents a systematic revision of South Asian members of the taxonomically challenging genus Microhyla Tschudi, 1838. Species relationships and diagnostic characters are determined by integrating molecular, morphological, and acoustic approaches, through which we also recognize six groups of closely related species. In addition, a new species from the southern Western Ghats of India is formally described as Microhyla darreli sp. nov. Species accounts of all the 16 recognized members from South Asia include current taxonomic status, metric and meristic characters, divergence in mitochondrial DNA, phylogenetic relationships, acoustic characters, re- vised geographical distributions, and natural history notes. Molecular and morphological relationships of three poorly known members — M. chakrapanii, M. karunaratnei, and M. zeylanica M. berdmorei and another potential new species close to M. heymonsi in India corrected. For comparative purposes, molecular, morphological, and acoustic relationships are also discussed for eight closely related East and Southeast Asian species. Consequently, insights from this study will facilitate a much-needed comprehensive revision of the Pan-Asian frog genus Microhyla.