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Scientific classification PelophylaxPelophylax_header_cell_0_1_0
Kingdom:Pelophylax_cell_0_2_0 AnimaliaPelophylax_cell_0_2_1
Phylum:Pelophylax_cell_0_3_0 ChordataPelophylax_cell_0_3_1
Class:Pelophylax_cell_0_4_0 AmphibiaPelophylax_cell_0_4_1
Order:Pelophylax_cell_0_5_0 AnuraPelophylax_cell_0_5_1
Family:Pelophylax_cell_0_6_0 RanidaePelophylax_cell_0_6_1
Genus:Pelophylax_cell_0_7_0 Pelophylax

Fitzinger, 1843Pelophylax_cell_0_7_1

Type speciesPelophylax_header_cell_0_8_0

Pelophylax is a genus of true frogs widespread in Eurasia, with a few species ranging into northern Africa. Pelophylax_sentence_0

This genus was erected by Leopold Fitzinger in 1843 to accommodate the green frogs of the Old World, which he considered distinct from the brown pond frogs of Carl Linnaeus' genus Rana. Pelophylax_sentence_1

They are also known as water frogs, as they spend much of the summer living in aquatic habitat; the pond frogs can be found more often, by comparison, on dry land, as long as there is sufficient humidity. Pelophylax_sentence_2

Yet there are species of Eurasian green frogs – the Central Asian P. Pelophylax_sentence_3 terentievi, or the Sahara frog (P. saharicus) – which inhabit waterholes in the desert. Pelophylax_sentence_4

Systematics and taxonomy Pelophylax_section_0

Most authors throughout the 19th and 20th century disagreed with Fitzinger's assessment. Pelophylax_sentence_5

The green frogs were included again with the brown frogs, in line with the tendency to place any frog similar in habitus to the common frog (R. temporaria) in Rana. Pelophylax_sentence_6

That genus, in the loose circumscription, eventually became a sort of "wastebin taxon". Pelophylax_sentence_7

Around 2000, with molecular phylogenetic studies becoming commonplace, it was discovered that Fitzinger's assessment was correct after all – not only is Pelophylax an independent genus, but it does in fact belong to a lineage of Raninae not particularly close to Rana. Pelophylax_sentence_8

But it also turned out that these Eurasian green frogs might not form a monophyletic lineage. Pelophylax_sentence_9

The sheer number of species involved in the group of Pelophylax and its closest relatives means that it will probably be some time until the definite circumscription of this genus is resolved. Pelophylax_sentence_10

The Pelophylax frogs belong to a group of moderately advanced Raninae – possibly a clade – that also includes such genera as Babina, Glandirana, Hylarana, Pulchrana, Sanguirana, Sylvirana, as well as Hydrophylax which like Pelophylax is suspected of being not monophyletic. Pelophylax_sentence_11

These genera were formerly also included in Rana by most authors, and several of them have only been established in the 1990s. Pelophylax_sentence_12

And as regards the possible paraphyly of Pelophylax, it seems that some species assigned there are very close to Hylarana, and thus it might simply be a matter of moving them to that genus. Pelophylax_sentence_13

But hybridogenic speciation is running rampant in the Old World green frogs, and this obfuscates the data gained from DNA sequence analyses. Pelophylax_sentence_14

Species Pelophylax_section_1

Including named klepta (hybridogenic species), Pelophylax sensu lato contains 25 species: Pelophylax_sentence_15


Named klepta (hybridogenic species) of Pelophylax are: Pelophylax_sentence_16


In addition, one species has been described that is sometimes assigned to Pelophylax, but must be considered a nomen oblitum: Pelophylax_sentence_17


See also Pelophylax_section_2


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