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Cryptic Species of Spotted Frogs, Rana pretiosa Complex, in Western North America
David M. Green, Hinrich Kaiser, Timothy F. Sharbel, Jennifer Kearsley and Kelly R. McAllister
Vol. 1997, No. 1 (Feb. 18, 1997), pp. 1-8
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1447833
Page Count: 8
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Two species of spotted frogs (Rana pretiosa complex) are discernable on the basis of allozymes Adh, Fba, Iddh, Ldh-1, Mdh-1, and Mdhp. Frogs from the vicinity of the type locality of R. pretiosa were found to be conspecific with the species residing in south-central Washington State and the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. Morphometric study of 20 characters using multiple discriminant function analysis (MDA) showed that frogs from extreme southwestern British Columbia are also of this species. These populations comprise R. pretiosa Baird and Girard, 1853 sensu stricto ("Oregon spotted frog"). Spotted frog populations in the rest of British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon, as well as the Yukon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, and Utah comprise R. luteiventris Thompson, 1913 n. comb. ("Columbia spotted frog"). Four measurements of the head contribute the greatest weight to distinguishing the species by MDA, but qualitative morphological distinctions usable as field characters have not been identified.