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Species of the Week:
Hyperolius riggenbachi hieroglyphicus | Riggenbach's Reed Frog

Amphibian News
The reproductive modes of anurans are the most diverse of terrestrial vertebrates, and a major challenge is identifying selective factors that promote the evolution or retention of reproductive modes across clades. Portik and Blackburn (2016) examined these topics in a comparative phylogenetic framework using Afrobatrachian frogs, an ecologically and reproductively diverse clade, and more than half of the total frog diversity found in Africa (~400 species). In this group, they inferred direct development has evolved twice independently from terrestrialized reproductive modes involving subterranean or terrestrial oviposition, supporting evolution through intermediate stages. They also detected associations between specific ecomorphologies and oviposition sites, and demonstrated arboreal species exhibit an overall shift towards using lentic water systems for breeding. These results indicate that changes in microhabitat use associated with ecomorphology, which allow access to novel sites for reproductive behavior, oviposition, or larval development, also promote reproductive mode diversity in anurans.

Current number of amphibian species: 7,546 (Jul 23, 2016) Newly added species