Arley Camargo

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Rafael O. de Sa

Second Advisor

Dr. W. Ronald Heyer

Third Advisor

Dr. W. John Hayden


Leptodactylus fuscus is a broadly distributed frog species in the Neotropical region. Previous allozymic evidence supported the hypothesis of L. fuscus as a composite of several species. However, morphological and advertisement call data supported the hypothesis of a single-species taxon. These competing hypotheses were evaluated using cladistic analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequences. Fragments of 12S rRNA, 16S rRNA, and ND1 protein-coding genes from 17 populations were sequenced. Phylogenetic analyses were performed using: maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analysis. Data sets were analyzed separately and combined. Analyses of the combined data set show four exclusive clades of L. fuscus: 1) J. V. Gonzalez, 2) Panama, 3) Bolivia and Embarcacion, and 4) the rest of the populations. These data support the hypothesis of multiple species within L. fuscus.

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