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Taxonomy, biogeography and evolution of Euproctus (Amphibia: Salamandridae), with the resurrection of the genus Calotriton and the description of a new endemic species from the Iberian Peninsula

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A phylogeny of West Palearctic Salamandridae based on 1208 bp of mtDNA sequences (300 bp of cytb, 346 bp of 12S rRNA and 562 bp of 16S rRNA) indicates the European brook newts (Euproctus) are polyphyletic. To reflect revised relationships, the Tyrrhenian species (E. montanus ( Savi, 1838) and E. platycephalus ( Gravenhorst, 1829)) are retained in Euproctus Genè, 1839, while the genus Calotriton Gray, 1858 is resurrected to include the Pyrenean brook newt (Calotriton asper ( Dugès, 1852) comb. nov.) and a new species from the massif of El Montseny, Catalonia, Spain, described herein as Calotriton arnoldi sp. nov., which is both morphologically and genetically distinct. Although according to the principle of priority Megapterna Savi, 1838 should take precedence over Euproctus Genè, 1839, for the sake of nomenclatural stability and in line with Art. 23.9.1 of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, Megapterna is considered a nomen oblitum and Euproctus a nomen protectum. The polyphyly of Euproctus (s.l.) contradicts previous, well-accepted, biogeographical hypotheses and represents a clear case of convergence, involving several morphological traits and a unique reproductive behaviour that is advantageous in stream situations. Molecular dating suggests the Western brook newt lineage (C. asper+C. arnoldi) originated towards the end of the Miocene (8.3 ± 0.11 Mya) and is part of a well-supported monophyletic assemblage, which also includes Neurergus kaiseri ( Schmidt, 1952) and a clade formed by Triturus karelinii ( Strauch, 1870), T. carnifex ( Laurenti, 1768), T. pygmaeus ( Wolterstoff, 1905) and T. marmoratus ( Latreille, 1800). Speciation separating E. montanus and E. platycephalus might have coincided with the onset of the Messinian salinity crisis. © 2005 The Linnean Society of London, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2005, 145, 555–582.
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Keywords: 12S rRNA; 16S rRNA; Calotriton arnoldi; Montseny; adaptive convergence; cytochrome b; external morphology; mtDNA; osteology; phylogeny

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Departament de Biologia Animal, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 645, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain 2: Museu de Ciencies Naturals de Granollers, Area d’Herpetologia, c/Francesc Macià 51, E-08400 Granollers, Spain

Publication date: 01 December 2005

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