Two New Species of Liuixalus (Rhacophoridae, Anura): Evidence from Morphological and Molecular Analyses

PLoS One. 2015 Aug 25;10(8):e0136134. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0136134. eCollection 2015.


Due to small body sizes, superficial similarities in morphologies, and obscure activity behaviors, the phylogeny and taxonomy of species in the genus Liuixalus were very troublesome. Some species might comprise a complex of cryptic species. To investigate the species of group, we constructed the matrilineal genealogy of the genus using 16s rRNA mitochondrial DNA sequences. Analyses recovered six well supported matrilines that involved L. romeri, L. ocellatus, L. hainanus, L. calcarius, Liuixalus shiwandashan sp. nov. and Liuixalus jinxiuensis sp. nov., though the historical relationships among them remained unresolved. Currently, Liuixalus included 4 species, distributed eastwards from northern Vietnam to Hong Kong, China. Based on genealogical and morphological distinctiveness, we described Liuixalus jinxiuensis sp. nov. from the type locality Mt. Dayao, Jinxiu, China and Liuixalus shiwandashan sp. nov. from the type locality Mt. Shiwanda, China. A combination of morphological measurements, genetic, bioacoustic and osteological analysis was served to diagnose the new taxa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anura / anatomy & histology*
  • Anura / classification
  • Anura / genetics*
  • China
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • Genetic Variation
  • Phenotype
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S

Grants and funding

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31372173, 31411130190, 31101618, 31471964, 31372174), Youth Innovation Promotion Association CAS, and grants from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (MOST Grant 2011FY120200, Grant 2005DKA21402).