Alsodes australis Formas, Úbeda, Cuevas, and Nuñez, 1997

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Alsodidae > Genus: Alsodes > Species: Alsodes australis

Alsodes australis Formas, Úbeda, Cuevas, and Nuñez, 1997, Stud. Neotrop. Fauna Environ., 32: 201. Holotype: IZUA 1626, by original designation; destroyed by fire on 3 December 2007. Type locality: "Puente Traihuanca (approximately 46° 25′ S, 72° 04′ W, 250 m altitude), 190 km S Coihaique (by road), Provincia General Carrera, Aisen Region (XI Region), eastern slopes [of] the Andes", Chile.

English Names

None noted.

Distribution

Known only with confidence from the type locality (Puente Traihuanca, Provincia General Carrera, Aisen Region, Chile). See comment. 

Comment

 Blotto, Nuñez, Úbeda, Wheeler, and Faivovich, 2013, Cladistics, 29: Appendix S3, pp. 2-3, noted that their Chilean samples of nominal Alsodes australis were recovered in their analysis in a polytomy with their two samples of Alsodes coppingeri from the type locality (Puerto Rio Frio, Chile), with a mutual uncorrected distance in the COI gene being 0%. Previously, Formas, Nuñez, and Cuevas, 2008, Rev. Chilena Hist. Nat., 81: XXX, with smaller taxonomic coverage and less evidence recovered the same group (Alsodes australis + Alsodes coppingeri). The differences stated by Formas et al. (2008) between Alsodes australis and Alsodes coppingeri were stated to be: (1) a different chromosome morphology, and (2) different adult snout-vent length (SVL; 42 – 44 mm in Alsodes coppingeri and 52.2 – 56.8 mm in Alsodes australis). With respect to the first point, the karyotype of Alsodes australis evaluated by Formas et al. (2008) was the same published in the description of the species by Formas, Úbeda, Cuevas, and Nuñez, 1997, Stud. Neotrop. Fauna Environ., 32 XXX, and according to  Blotto, Nuñez, Úbeda, Wheeler, and Faivovich, 2013, Cladistics, 29: Appendix S3, pp. 2-3, corresponds to an Argentinean population, Arroyo Zanjón Hondo (400 km N from type locality), considered by be referrable to be Alsodes gargola, not Alsodes australis. With respect to the second point, Blotto et al. (2013) suggested that the difference could be due to small sample size, intraspecific variation, or simply the difference between Alsodes gargosa and the Chilean species. In addition, Blotto et al. (2013), suggested that previous records of nominal Alsodes australis from Argentina are referrable to Alsodes gargola as is thepecimen from Futaleufú, Chile. In sum, Blotto et al. (2013) suggested that Alsodes australis will likely prove to be a synonym of Alsodes coppingeri or of Alsodes gargola (as all their specimens identified as Alsodes australis turned out to be). Regardless, the validity of Alsodes australis will remain an open question until tissues from the type locality become available and the taxon is here retained until pending that evaluation.

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