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Sant'Ambrogio di Torino, Italy

Andreone F.,Museo Regionale di Science Naturali | Rosa G.M.,University of Lisbon | Noel J.,Madagascar Fauna Group | Vences M.,TU Braunschweig | And 2 more authors.
Naturwissenschaften | Year: 2010

We describe a new mantelline frog of the genus Blommersia found in rainforest in North East Madagascar, from the protected areas of Ambatovaky, Betampona, Masoala, and Zahamena. Blommersia angolafa n.sp. is a small frog, with a body size of 17-21 mm, expanded finger and toe tips, and colouration ranging from yellow to dark brown, with pale-bluish spots on the flanks and light tips of fingers and toes. A peculiar aspect characterising this new species is its novel life history and reproductive mode. Both sexes live and breed in a phytotelmic habitat of water accumulated within fallen prophylls and fallen leaf sheaths of at least three species of Dypsis palms. Within these phytotelmata, egg laying and complete larval development occur. Thus, B. angolafa n.sp. represents a new evolutionary lineage of Malagasy frogs in which phytotelmy is known. Up to now, reproduction in phytotelmata in Malagasy frogs has been reported for many cophyline microhylids, most species of Guibemantis, Mantella laevigata, and possibly in a still-undescribed species belonging to the genus Spinomantis. We consider the reproductive mode of B. angolafa as a derived character, having evolved from the more typical reproduction in lentic water bodies. The general scarcity of lentic habitats in Malagasy rainforests may have provided the conditions that favoured the evolution of this phytotelmic breeding strategy. The new species, being specialised to a habitat represented by a few selected Dypsis species, potentially suffers the selective exploitation of these palms. © Springer-Verlag 2010. Source

Tessa G.,University of Turin | Guarino F.M.,University of Naples Federico II | Randrianirina J.E.,Parc Botanique et Zoologique de Tsimbazaza | Andreone F.,Museo Regionale di Science Naturali
African Journal of Herpetology | Year: 2011

The false tomato frog, Dyscophus guineti, is an endemic species of eastern Madagascar, typically found in open and swampy areas of mid-elevation forests. We measured 62 females and 70 males from a population from Marovato, next to Brickaville. Snout-vent length of the individuals ranged from 37.7-112.4 mm in females and 37.7-90.7 mm in males, while the mass varied within the range 25.0-80.2 g in males and 25.8-145.6 g in females. Skeletochronological analysis was conducted on clipped phalanges of 20 males and 20 females. The results of these analyses indicated that the age range was 3-7 years in females and 3-6 years in males, and that sexual maturity was attained between 2 and 4 years, comparatively earlier in males than in females. There was a significant correlation between age and size in females. This species appears larger in size but less longlived than the sister-species D. antongilii. © 2011 Herpetological Association of Africa. Source

Crottini A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Barbuto M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Casiraghi M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Andreone F.,Museo Regionale di Science Naturali
North-Western Journal of Zoology | Year: 2011

We conducted a rapid amphibian survey of the Atsirakambiaty relict altitude rainforest on Itremo-Ambatofinandrahana Massif, central Madagascar at an altitude of around 1550 m a.s.l. We detected a total of 12 amphibian species, whose taxonomic attributions were confirmed by both morphological and molecular data. Tissue samples were also screened for presence of a lethal chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which turned out to be negative. We encourage the herpetological community working in Madagascar to screen regularly amphibian tissue samples for Bd as a tool within the early detection plan recently launched for Madagascar. © NwjZ, Oradea, Romania, 2011. Source

Vences M.,TU Braunschweig | Andreone F.,Museo Regionale di Science Naturali | Glos J.,University of Hamburg | Glaw F.,Zoologische Staatssammlung Munich
Zootaxa | Year: 2010

We describe a new species of the Boophis albilabris group (Anura: Mantellidae) from north-western Madagascar. Boophis tsilomaro sp. nov. is most similar to B. occidentalis from the Isalo Massif, but differs by substantial genetic differentiation, larger size, absence of a turquoise iris colour, presence of a more distinct white stripe along upper lip in life, and longer note duration and lower pulse repetition rate in advertisement calls. Due to its small known range and continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat we propose to classify this new species as "Critically Endangered" according to the IUCN criteria. We also describe the advertisement calls of B. occidentalis for the first time. Copyright © 2010 • Magnolia Press. Source

Orozco-Terwengel P.,University of Cardiff | Andreone F.,Museo Regionale di Science Naturali | Louis Jr. E.,Omahas Henry Doorly Zoo | Vences M.,TU Braunschweig
Molecular Ecology | Year: 2013

Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot with a unique fauna and flora largely endemic at the species level and highly threatened by habitat destruction. The processes underlying population-level differentiation in Madagascar's biota are poorly understood and have been proposed to be related to Pleistocene climatic cycles, yet the levels of genetic divergence observed are often suggestive of ancient events. We combined molecular markers of different variability to assess the phylogeography of Madagascar's emblematic tomato frogs (Dyscophus guineti and D. antongilii) and interpret the observed pattern as resulting from ancient and recent processes. Our results suggest that the initial divergence between these taxa is probably old as reflected by protein-coding nuclear genes and by a strong mitochondrial differentiation of the southernmost population. Dramatic changes in their demography appear to have been triggered by the end of the last glacial period and possibly by the short return of glacial conditions known as the 8K event. This dramatic change resulted in an approximately 50-fold reduction of the effective population size in various populations of both species. We hypothesize these species' current mitochondrial DNA diversity distribution reflects a swamping of the mitochondrial genetic diversity of D. guineti by that of D. antongilii previous to the populations' bottlenecks during the Holocene, and probably as a consequence of D. antongilii demographic expansion approximately 1 million years ago. Our data support the continued recognition of D. antongilii and D. guineti as separate species and flag D. guineti as the more vulnerable species to past and probably also future environmental changes. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

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