We present the first phylogenetic study on the widespread Middle American microhylid frog genus Hypopachus. Partial sequences of mitochondrial (12S and 16S ribosomal RNA) and nuclear (rhodopsin) genes (1275 bp total) were analyzed from 43 samples of Hypopachus, three currently recognized species of Gastrophryne, and seven arthroleptid, brevicipitid and microhylid outgroup taxa. Maximum parsimony (PAUP), maximum likelihood (RAxML) and Bayesian inference (MrBayes) optimality criteria were used for phylogenetic analyses, and BEAST was used to estimate divergence dates of major clades. Population-level analyses were conducted with the programs NETWORK and Arlequin. Results confirm the placement of Hypopachus and Gastrophryne as sister taxa, but the latter genus was strongly supported as paraphyletic. The African phrynomerine genus Phrynomantis was recovered as the sister taxon to a monophyletic Chiasmocleis, rendering our well-supported clade of gastrophrynines paraphyletic. Hypopachus barberi was supported as a disjunctly distributed highland species, and we recovered a basal split in lowland populations of Hypopachus variolosus from the Pacific versant of Mexico and elsewhere in the Mesoamerican lowlands. Dating analyses from BEAST estimate speciation within the genus Hypopachusoccurred in the late Miocene/early Pliocene for most clades. Previous studies have not found bioacoustic or morphological differences among these lowland clades, and our molecular data support the continued recognition of two species in the genus Hypopachus.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2011, ScienceDirect.