Amphibian Species of the World Update

I just finished updating iNaturalist Amphibian Taxonomy to Amphibian Species of the World aside from the following 11 'explicit deviations' that we're currently making:
1. Eurycea quadridigitata (sensu lato) rather than Eurycea quadridigitata (sensu stricto), Eurycea hillisi, Eurycea paludicola, Eurycea sphagnicola
2. Aneides flavipunctatus (sensu lato) rather than Aneides iecanus, Aneides niger, & Aneides flavipunctatus (sensu stricto)
3. Desmognathus marmoratus (sensu lato) rather than Desmognathus aureatus, Desmognathus melanius, & Desmognathus marmoratus (sensu stricto)
4. Desmognathus auriculatus (sensu lato) rather than Desmognathus auriculatus (sensu stricto) & Desmognathus valentinei
5. Pseudotriton montanus (sensu lato) rather than Pseudotriton diastictus & Pseudotriton montanus (sensu stricto)
6. Trachycephalus typhonius (sensu lato) rather than Trachycephalus typhonius (sensu stricto), Trachycephalus macrotis, Trachycephalus quadrangulum, & Trachycephalus vermiculatus
7. Hyla (sensu lato) rather than Hyla (sensu stricto) and Dryophytes (e.g. H. andersonii, H. arboricola, H. arenicolor, H. avivoca, H. bocourti, H. chrysoscelis, H. cinerea, H. euphorbiacea, H. eximia, H. femoralis, H. gratiosa, H. immaculata H. japonica, H. plicata, H. squirella, H. versicolor, H. walkeri, & H. wrightorum rather than D. andersonii etc...)
8. Pseudacris (sensu lato) rather than Pseudacris (sensu stricto) and Hyliola (e.g. P. cadaverina, P. hypochondriaca, P. regilla, & P. sierra rather than H. cadaverina etc...)
9.Eurycea spelaea (sensu lato) rather than Eurycea spelaea (sensu stricto), Eurycea nerea, & Eurycea braggi
10. Lissotriton vulgaris (sensu lato) rather than Lissotriton graecus & Lissotriton vulgaris (sensu stricto)
11. Smilisca baudinii (sensu lato) rather than Smilisca manisorum & Smilisca baudinii (sensu stricto)

As before, please flag any taxon that you find problematic (either because we're not making an exception and you think we should be, or because we are making an exception and you think we shouldn't be). Currently, the only unresolved amphibian flag relates to (1) our Eurycea quadridigitata exception. I've written a blog post going into that exception in more detail here. I also plan to do blog posts about each of the other 10 exceptions we're making.

Also, thanks for bearing with me on process for discussing/updating amphibian taxonomy. We were previously using this thread on my personal journal. But now that we have Collection Projects, it seems like it might be more appropriate to continue that thread in a project. I've created a Amphibian Taxonomic Working Group project where we can make posts to discuss and relay updates related to Amphibian taxonomy. Please follow the project if you want to receive these posts.


Posted by loarie loarie, June 20, 2018 07:39



Thank you for the update! Can I ask why is there a deviation for Hyla/Dryophytes? Dryophytes crossed the Bering pass a few million years later and it makes a difference in the regions where Hyla and Dryophytes are sympatric.

Posted by amarzee 11 months ago (Flag)

@loarie many thanks for all this work! :-)

Posted by finrod 11 months ago (Flag)

@amarzee the Hyla split will be very disruptive since it touches alot of North America taxa. Also it hasn't been accepted by the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (nor does amphibiaweb. But we certainly could make the change if thats what the community wants.

Not that my opinion matters, but I'm personally not a fan of the change because it doesn't resolve any non-monophyletic groupings That is, its not the case that some other genus was nested within Hyla sensu lato and thus splitting it into two groups or lumping that other genus into it would be necessary to maintain a monophyletic tree. Rather the argument is, as you say, that the Hyla sensu lato node is 'old' but no one is claiming that ranks like genera need to have some sort of consistent molecular age associated with them so in my opinion seems like alot of disruption for no concrete gains. My preference would have been to create subgenera or something.

Interestingly this 'old' argument that was used to split Anolis into many separate genera ('the monophyletic node Anolis is a big and old so should be split') which was disruptive, but the herp community reversed course and ended up lumping everything back together which was even more disruptive. I guess my point is that there's no scientific basis for splits that don't resolve non-monophyletic situations, its just political and so *perhaps* less stable than splits that do??

Posted by loarie 11 months ago (Flag)

I'm also a big "fan" of subgenera :-)

Posted by finrod 11 months ago (Flag)

@loarie Thank you very much for the reply and the explanations, I had indeed missed some of the information on the impact it has on the species of the American continent, and I understand now why it is difficult to accept it there. There is one point I am not sure to understand, the Dryophytes clade is monophyletic with a common ancestor 15.4 mya and the Hyla one with a common ancestor 17.5 mya, the two clades are still monophyletic (p. 45 of the Duellman 2012 paper).

Posted by amarzee 9 months ago (Flag)

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