Pseudorana Fei, Ye, and Huang, 1990

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Ranidae > Genus: Pseudorana
2 species

Pseudorana Fei, Ye, and Huang, 1990, Key to Chinese Amph.: 136. Type species: Rana weiningensis Liu, Hu, and Yang, 1962, by original designation.

English Names

None noted.


Western Guizhou, southern Sichuan, northwestern Hunan, and northern Yunnan, China.


Considered a subgenus of Rana by Dubois, 1992, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 61: 332. Distinction from subgenus Rana disputed by Tanaka-Ueno, Matsui, Sato, Takenaka, and Takenaka, 1998, Japan. J. Herpetol., 17: 91-97, and Matsui, Tanaka-Ueno, and Gao, 2001, Curr. Herpetol., Kyoto, 20: 77-84. See Jiang, Fei, Ye, Zeng, Zhen, Xie, and Chen, 1997, Cultum Herpetol. Sinica, 6–7: 74; Fei and Ye, 2001, Color Handbook Amph. Sichuan, for discussion. Removed from the synonymy of Rana by Che, Pang, Zhao, Wu, Zhao, and Zhang, 2007, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 43: 1-13, where it had been placed by Frost, Grant, Faivovich, Bain, Haas, Haddad, de Sá, Channing, Wilkinson, Donnellan, Raxworthy, Campbell, Blotto, Moler, Drewes, Nussbaum, Lynch, Green, and Wheeler, 2006, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 297: 141. Frost et al. (2006) found their exemplar, Pseudorana johnsi to be imbedded within Rana, and Che, Pang, Zhao, Wu, Zhao, and Zhang, 2007, Biochem. Syst. Ecol., 35: 29-39, found Pseudorana weiningensis (the type species of Pseudorana) to be ambiguously placed. But, in a more heavily-sampled study Che, Pang, Zhao, Wu, Zhao, and Zhang, 2007, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 43: 1-13. found Pseudorana weiningensis (the type species of Pseudorana) to sit phylogenetically outside of a group composed of Rana + Lithobates. They also found Pseudorana sauteri to sit within Rana. For this reason I (DRF) have recognized Pseudorana for Pseudorana weiningensis and its close relative Pseudorana sangzhiensis, but have retained Rana sauteri and its close relative Rana johnsi in Rana. Stuart, 2008, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 46: 49-60, suggested on the basis of molecular evidence that Pseudorana is the sister taxon of Lithobates. (Frost, McDiarmid, and Mendelson, 2009, Herpetologica, 65: 136-153, in error suggested that Che et al., 2007, had come to this same conclusion.) Wiens, Sukumaran, Pyron, and Brown, 2009, Evolution, 63: 1217-1231, placed nominal Pseudorana weiningensis in two places in their tree, one imbedded within Amolops, phylogenetically far from Lithobates, and the other placed with nominal Amolops loloensis (which means that Amolops loloensis is a Pseudorana or that several taxa in this tree are based on tissues from misidentified vouchers) as the sister taxon of Rana + Lithobates. Pauly, Hillis, and Cannatella, 2009, Herpetologica, 65: 115-128, implied that Pseudorana should be considered a synonym of Rana; this was discussed and rejected by Frost, McDiarmid, and Mendelson, 2009, Herpetologica, 65: 136-153, who delimited formally the limits of Rana. Pyron and Wiens, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 61: 543-583, in their study of Genbank sequences confirmed the placement of this taxon as the sister of Lithobates + Rana, but this is difficult to appreciate due to their adoption of an antiquated and nonmonophyletic taxonomy. Yuan, Zhou, Chen, Poyarkov, Chen, Jang-Liaw, Chou, Matzke, Iizuka, Min, Kuzmin, Zhang, Cannatella, Hillis, and Che, 2016, Syst. Biol., 65: 824–842, recognized Pseudorana in the sense of this catalog as a subgenus of Rana, the sister taxon of Lithobates + Rana of this catalog; see comments under those taxa for further comment. 

Contained taxa (2 sp.):

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