The frog Leptodactylus validus occurs in northern South America, Trinidad and Tobago, and the southern Lesser Antilles (Grenada and St. Vincent). Mitochondrial DNA sequences were used to perform a nested clade phylogeographic analysis (NCPA), to date colonization events, and to analyze colonization patterns using on a relaxed molecular clock and coalescent simulations. L. validus originated on the mainland and first colonized Trinidad with subsequent independent colonizations of Tobago and the Lesser Antilles from Trinidad. The NCPA suggests a historical vicariant event between populations in Trinidad and Tobago from those in the Lesser Antilles. The colonization of Trinidad occurred 1 million years ago (mya) and the colonization of the Lesser Antillean islands occurred 0.4 mya. The coalescent approach supported the scenario where L. validus dispersed from Trinidad to St. Vincent and from there to Grenada, a dispersal event that could have been mediated by human introduction as recent as 1600 years ago.

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