DNA barcoding reveals unprecedented diversity in Dancing Frogs of India (Micrixalidae, Micrixalus ): a taxonomic revision with description of 14 new species

S. D. Biju, Sonali Garg, Gururaja K V, Yogesh Shouche, Sandeep A. Walujkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, we investigate species level diversity in the monotypic frog family Micrixalidae, which is endemic to the We stern Ghats of Peninsular India. Attempting the first near complete taxon sampling of Indian dancing frogs from the entire Western Ghats, we use 138 tissue samples collected from 70 localities
over the last 12 years for DNA barcoding. Our results of multip le mitochondrial gene (16S and COI) barcoding reveal unexpectedly high species level diversity in the genus Micrixalus . Based on molecular and morphological evidence, we herein describe 14 new species, leading to a more than two fold increase in the number of known species in this ancient lineage. Additionally, certain taxonomic uncertainties about the status of previously known taxa in this genus are resolved. Micrixalus narainensis and M. swamianus are considered as junior subjective synonyms of M. kottig eharensis, whereas M. herrei is resurrected from synonymy of M. fuscus and confirmed as a valid species. Taxonomic accounts of three species M. elegans , M. silvaticus and M. thampii are provided for the first time after their original descriptions. For nom enclatural stability, M. fuscus, M. saxicola and M. silvaticus are lectotypified, and M. elegans and M.
kottigeharensis are neotypified. Detailed descriptions, morphological and genetic comparisons, illustrations, data on distribution, and natural history are provided for all species. We also provide the first osteological description of M. fuscus, the type species of the genus Micrixalus , and we report foot flagging
behaviour in a total eight species, including two for which it has been studied previously. Overall, our results highlight the underestimation of true diversity in several amphibian groups of the Western Ghats, suggesting that spatial patterns of amphibian richness and endemism in this region need to be further re
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-123
Number of pages87
JournalCeylon Journal of Science (Biological Sciences)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 08-05-2014


Dive into the research topics of 'DNA barcoding reveals unprecedented diversity in Dancing Frogs of India (Micrixalidae, Micrixalus ): a taxonomic revision with description of 14 new species'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this