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Evolution of Pipoid Frogs: Morphology and Phylogenetic Relationships of Pseudhymenochirus

David C. Cannatella and Linda Trueb
Journal of Herpetology
Vol. 22, No. 4 (Dec., 1988), pp. 439-456
DOI: 10.2307/1564339
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1564339
Page Count: 18
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Evolution of Pipoid Frogs: Morphology and Phylogenetic Relationships of Pseudhymenochirus
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Abstract

The phylogenetic relationships of the poorly known African pipid frog Pseudhymenochirus merlini were studied using phylogenetic analysis of comparative morphology. Forty-nine characters from fourteen species were surveyed from integumentary structures, osteology (especially of the cranium and pectoral girdle), and larvae. The resultant cladogram is well corroborated; only six of the characters exhibited homoplasy. Pseudhymenochirus is not merely a primitive Hymenochirus, nor is it an intermediate between Xenopus and Hymenochirus. It is the sister-group to Hymenochirus (boettgeri and curtipes) and possesses several derived features not found in other pipids. Pseudhymenochirus and Hymenochirus together (the hymenochirines) are the sister-group to Pipa; the three genera are included in the subfamily Pipinae. Several of the unique features in hymenochirines may be related to the small size of these animals.

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