Reconciling molecular phylogeny, morphological divergence and classification of Madagascan narrow-mouthed frogs (Amphibia: Microhylidae)

Mark D Scherz, Miguel Vences, Andolalao Rakotoarison, Franco Andreone, Jörn Köhler, Frank Glaw, Angelica Crottini
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 2016, 100: 372-381
A recent study clarified several aspects of microhylid phylogeny by combining DNA sequences from Sanger sequencing and anchored phylogenomics, although numerous aspects of tree topology proved highly susceptible to data partition and chosen model. Although the phylogenetic results of the study were in conflict with previous publications, the authors made several changes to the taxonomy of Madagascar's cophyline microhylids. We re-analyzed part of their data together with our own molecular and morphological data. Based on a supermatrix of 11 loci, we propose a new phylogeny of the Cophylinae, and discuss it in the context of a newly generated osteological dataset. We found several sample misidentifications, partially explaining their deviant results, and propose to resurrect the genera Platypelis and Stumpffia from the synonymy of Cophyla and Rhombophryne, respectively. We provide support for the previous genus-level taxonomy of this subfamily, and erect a new genus, Anilany gen. nov., in order to eliminate paraphyly of Stumpffia and to account for the osteological differences observed among these groups. Deep nodes in our phylogeny remain poorly supported, and future works will certainly refine our classification, but we are confident that these will not produce large-scale rearrangements.

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