Our results show a strong climatic niche overlap between D. pictus and targeted species in the Iberian Peninsula, including endemic Discoglossus species. Future projections of climatic change suggest that climatic suitability will increase for all species, both inside and outside the Natura 2000 network, with the only exception being a moderate and widespread decrease for Pelodytes punctatus. However, these positive trends are reversed within Natura 2000 sites where most species are explicitly targeted, jeopardizing the effectiveness of protected areas in a long-distance dispersal scenario. Leer más.
The new Namibian material is recovered as a sister species to A. donveae, from which it differs mostly by the colour of the iris (copper versus black) and dorsal colouration. Material from the first elevational gradient of the escarpment in Benguela Province, Angola was found to be more closely related to A. bogerti than A. wulfhaackei. The differences between these two species are more subtle, although the new species exhibits higher mid-body scale rows (79.5 versus 74.8), different dorsal colouration and supranasal scales always in contact (versus 57% in contact). Leer más.
Caballero-Díaz, C., Sánchez-Montes, G., Gómez, I., Díaz-Zúñiga, A., & Martínez-Solano, Í. (2022). Artificialwater bodies as amphibian breeding sites: the case of the common midwife toad (Alytes obstetricans) in central Spain, Amphibia-Reptilia (published online ahead of print 2022). doi: https://doi.org/10.1163/15685381-bja10115
Natural breeding sites for amphibians are decreasing in quantity and quality in temperate regions, resulting in local extinctions and increasing population fragmentation. Artificial water bodies (e.g., water tanks or cattle troughs) can represent suitable reproductive habitats for some amphibians, but demographic data are required to assess this assumption. We evaluated the role of artificial water bodies in the persistence of a species of population concern, the common midwife toad, Alytes obstetricans (Laurenti, 1768), at local and regional scales. We surveyed 275 water bodies to characterize the distribution of the species and detected 63 breeding populations of A. obstetricans where we estimated larval abundance. In addition, we monitored two populations for three consecutive breeding seasons using capture-mark-recapture methods based on photo-identification, assessing abundance, breeding success and the use of space of adult individuals captured on multiple occasions. Our results show that artificial sites are preferentially used as breeding sites in the region compared to natural aquatic habitats, providing key habitat for the species and hosting much larger numbers and densities of larvae than natural sites. At local scale, populations of A. obstetricans in artificial sites were abundant and characterized by high male breeding success. However, adults are spatially aggregated around breeding sites, with small home ranges, implying high vulnerability to population fragmentation. Our results suggest artificial breeding sites can sustain viable populations of A. obstetricans, provided measures promoting connectivity among breeding nuclei are considered.
We compare large-scale macroevolutionary patterns in these transitions across the three major amphibian clades: frogs, salamanders, and caecilians. We analyse matching reproductive and phylogenetic data for 4025 species. We find that having aquatic larvae is ancestral for all three groups and is retained by many extant species (33–44%). Leer más.
We present a comprehensive catalogue of the reptiles of Equatorial Guinea, consisting of 118 species belonging to 67 genera and 22 families. There are two species of Crocodylia, ten of Testudines and 106 of Squamata; this last taxon is represented by 62 species of snakes, two amphisbaenians and 42 lizards. Leer más.