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Open Access A new vertebrate species native to the British Isles: Bufo spinosus Daudin, 1803 in Jersey

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Recent molecular and morphological studies have shown that Bufo bufo and B. spinosus are genetically distinct and morphologically diagnosable across a relatively narrow contact zone in northern France and should be regarded as different species. However, the species identity of the neighbouring populations of Bufo on the British Channel Island of Jersey has not been investigated. We here present new molecular (a mtDNA RFLP assay plus sequences of the nuclear RAG1 gene) and morphological evidence that these populations are to be assigned to B. spinosus, and can thus be considered an addition to the native British herpetofauna. Jersey toad populations are declining and have a distinct breeding ecology compared to other populations in mainland Britain. We discuss the results in the light of amphibian conservation efforts in Jersey.

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Keywords: B. SPINOSUS; BUFO BUFO; CHANNEL ISLANDS; JERSEY; MORPHOMETRICS; MTDNA; NDNA; RAG1

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2014

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