If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Morphological Variation in Brown Frogs from the Caucasus and the Taxonomy of the Rana macrocnemis Group

David N. Tarkhnishvili, J. W. Arntzen and Roger S. Thorpe
Herpetologica
Vol. 55, No. 3 (Sep., 1999), pp. 406-417
Published by: Allen Press on behalf of the Herpetologists' League
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3893235
Page Count: 12
  • Download PDF
  • Cite this Item

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Morphological Variation in Brown Frogs from the Caucasus and the Taxonomy of the Rana macrocnemis Group
Preview not available

Abstract

Multivariate analysis of body proportions, skin texture, and coloration characteristics of brown frogs (Rana macrocnemis and R. camerani) from 14 Georgian populations confirms the existence of two, geographically distinct groups of populations. Frogs in the first group (R. macronemis) are characterized by a smooth skin, a pale spotted pattern, absence of a mid-dorsal stripe, and a small inner metatarsal tubercle. Frogs in the second group (known as R. camerani) possess a rugose skin, a conspicuous pattern of dorsal spots, a mid-dorsal stripe with contrasting borders, and a large metatarsal tubercle. The first group occurs in the uplands of the Great Caucasus and other forested areas while the second group occurs in the treeless uplands of the Near East. A stepped cline exists between them, with parallel variation in eight morphological characters. Other characters analyzed vary independently of the cline. Fully diagnostic (fixed) morphological characters separating the groups were not observed. Some characters previously used for taxonomic purposes are shown to be associated with local ecological conditions. We conclude that R. macrocnemis is a single, though polytypic, species composed of two interbreeding evolutionary lineages.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
406
    406
  • Thumbnail: Page 
407
    407
  • Thumbnail: Page 
408
    408
  • Thumbnail: Page 
409
    409
  • Thumbnail: Page 
410
    410
  • Thumbnail: Page 
411
    411
  • Thumbnail: Page 
412
    412
  • Thumbnail: Page 
413
    413
  • Thumbnail: Page 
414
    414
  • Thumbnail: Page 
415
    415
  • Thumbnail: Page 
416
    416
  • Thumbnail: Page 
417
    417