The Kingdom of the Frogs: Anuran Radiations in Madagascar

  • Philip-Sebastian Gehring
  • Jörn Köhler
  • Axel Strauß
  • Roger D. Randrianiaina
  • Julian Glos
  • Frank Glaw
  • Miguel Vences
Chapter

Abstract

The island of Madagascar harbors one of the world’s most diverse amphibian faunas with an outstanding degree of 100% endemism at species level among the over 270 native species of frogs. The high research activity of recent years, together with the use of integrative taxonomic approaches, combining molecular genetics, comparative morphology, and bioacoustics, has led to the identification of many morphologically cryptic but evolutionarily highly divergent species of Malagasy frogs, leading to estimates of over 200 yet undescribed species. Ongoing phylogenetic and phylogeographic studies aim to understand the processes that might have generated this unique species diversity and microendemism. By now the larval stages of many Malagasy frogs are tremendously underexplored, although their relevance for the evolution, ecology, and conservation of animals with a biphasic lifestyle is apparent. Habitat destruction and fragmentation are the most important factors threatening amphibian diversity in Madagascar.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip-Sebastian Gehring
    • 1
  • Jörn Köhler
    • 2
  • Axel Strauß
    • 1
  • Roger D. Randrianiaina
    • 1
    • 3
  • Julian Glos
    • 4
  • Frank Glaw
    • 5
  • Miguel Vences
    • 1
  1. 1.Technical University of Braunschweig, Zoological InstituteBraunschweigGermany
  2. 2.Hessisches Landesmuseum DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany
  3. 3.Département de Biologie AnimaleUniversité d’AntananarivoAntananarivoMadagascar
  4. 4.Department of Animal Ecology and ConservationUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany
  5. 5.Zoologische Staatssammlung MünchenMünchenGermany

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