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Species of the Week
Odorrana margaretae | Margareta's Frog

Amphibian News Archive
Ring species, complexes of populations that differentiate genetically around a natural barrier, should be relatively common based on the large array of natural conditions suitable for their formation. So their rarity may be due to scientists discovering only isolated parts of rings and not recognizing the piecemeal parts for the whole. The Sichuan Basin in China is a predicted site for ring species formation, and a new paper by Qiao et al. (2018) argues that the frog complex Odorrana margaretae is a ring species. The species has a ring-shaped distribution and the chain of populations maintains a mostly gradual and continuous genetic connection, except where differentiated populations meet secondarily in the northwestern part of the ring. Two refugial components are thought to have separated, differentiated and later reconnected. In the southeast, a genetic "melting pot" occurs in the secondary contact region, but in the northwest there is partial reproductive isolation, supporting the ring-species hypothesis.

Current number of amphibian species: 7,950 (Nov 15, 2018) Newly added species