Amietia angolensis and A. fuscigula (Anura: Pyxicephalidae) in southern Africa: a cold case reheated

Zootaxa. 2013:3640:501-20. doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.3640.4.1.


A study combining DNA sequences of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene, advertisement calls and morphology of some southern African river frogs confirms Amietia vandijki (Visser & Channing, 1997) as a good species. The form presently referred to as Amietia angolensis in southern Africa is shown to comprise two species: Amietia angolensis (Bocage, 1866) known from Angola, and Amietia quecketti (Boulenger, 1895) known from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Lesotho. Junior synonyms of A. quecketti include Rana theileri Mocquard, 1906 and Afrana dracomontana Channing, 1978. The form presently known as Amietia fuscigula is shown to consist of two distantly related taxa: Amietia fuscigula (Duméril & Bibron, 1841) from the south-western Cape and an undescribed species that we here name Amietia poyntoni sp. nov. Channing & Baptista, known from the rest of South Africa and Namibia. These five species have large differences in 16S sequences, as well as differences in morphology and advertisement call. Call and molecular data are both diagnostic, while morphology shows some overlap between taxa. An extended study of the genus across Africa is in preparation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Africa, Southern
  • Animal Distribution
  • Animal Structures / anatomy & histology
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Larva / anatomy & histology
  • Larva / classification
  • Larva / genetics
  • Larva / growth & development
  • Male
  • Phylogeny
  • Ranidae / anatomy & histology
  • Ranidae / classification*
  • Ranidae / genetics
  • Ranidae / physiology
  • Vocalization, Animal