Systematic position of the Clicking Frog (Kassinula Laurent, 1940), the problem of chimeric sequences and the revised classification of the family Hyperoliidae.

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Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Document Type: Report
Length: 526 words

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Keywords Afrotropics; Amphibians; Congo Basin; Suprageneric classification; Systematics Highlights * Phylogeny and systematics of the African frog family Hyperoliidae. * Kassinula included for the first time in a multilocus phylogenetic reconstruction. * Kassinula merits the genus-level status. * Chimeric sequences are phylogenetically placed at misleading positions. * Revised suprageneric taxonomy of the Hyperoliidae. Abstract The systematics of the African frog family Hyperoliidae has undergone turbulent changes in last decades. Representatives of several genera have not been genetically investigated or with only limited data, and their phylogenetic positions are thus still not reliably known. This is the case of the De Witte's Clicking Frog (Kassinula wittei) which belongs to a monotypic genus. This miniature frog occurs in a poorly studied region, southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, northern Zambia, Angola. So far it is not settled whether this genus belongs to the subfamily Kassininae as a relative of the genus Kassina, or to the subfamily Hyperoliinae as a relative of the genus Afrixalus. Here we present for the first time a multilocus phylogenetic reconstruction (using five nuclear and one mitochondrial marker) of the family Hyperoliidae, including Kassinula. We demonstrate with high confidence that Kassinula is a member of Hyperoliinae belonging to a clade also containing Afrixalus (sub-Saharan Africa), Heterixalus (Madagascar) and Tachycnemis (Seychelles). We find that Kassinula represents a divergent lineage (17--25 Mya), which supports its separate genus-level status, but its exact systematic position remains uncertain. We propose to name the clade to which the above four genera belong as the tribe Tachycnemini Channing, 1989. A new taxonomy of the family Hyperoliidae was recently proposed by Dubois et al. (2021: Megataxa 5, 1--738). We demonstrate here that the new taxonomy was based on a partially erroneous phylogenetic reconstruction resulting from a supermatrix analysis of chimeric DNA sequences combining data from two families, Hyperoliidae and Arthroleptidae (the case of Cryptothylax). We therefore correct the erroneous part and propose a new, revised suprageneric taxonomy of the family Hyperoliidae. We also emphasize the importance of inspecting individual genetic markers before their concatenation or coalescent-based tree reconstructions to avoid analyses of chimeric DNA sequences producing incorrect phylogenetic reconstructions. Especially when phylogenetic reconstructions are used to propose taxonomies and systematic classifications. Author Affiliation: (a) Institute of Vertebrate Biology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic (b) Department of Botany and Zoology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic (c) Section for Freshwater Biology, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark (d) Section for Marine Living Resources, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, Vejlsøvej 39, 8600 Silkeborg, Denmark (e) Independent Researcher, Berlin, Germany (f) Laboratory of Herpetology, Department of Biology, Natural Science Research Centre, Lwiro, Democratic Republic of the Congo (g) National Pedagogical University, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (h) National Museum, Department of Zoology, Prague, Czech Republic * Corresponding authors at: Institute of Vertebrate Biology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Research Facility Studenec, Studenec 122, 675 02, Czech Republic. Article History: Received 17 September 2021; Revised 26 April 2022; Accepted 7 May 2022 Byline: Tadeás Necas [] (a,b,*), Jos Kielgast (c,d), Zoltán T. Nagy (e), Zacharie Kusamba Chifundera (f,g), Václav Gvozdík [] (a,h,*)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A708782303