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Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Rebecca A. Pyles, Timothy D. McDowell

Committee Members

Lee M. Pike


The phylogenetic relationships of Pseudophryne and the closely related monotypic Metacrinia are resolved with the use of morphological characters and comparison with representatives species of Crinia, Uperoleia, and Taudactylus as defined out-groups. Characters describing musculature are not sufficient to resolve the relationships, but do provide support when used in combination with osteological and external characteristics. When all data are considered, parsimony and maximum likelihood analyses yield the same hypothesis of relationships within Pseudophryne + Metacrinia. Thus, a monophyletic lineage of Pseudophryne + Metacrinia is supported by four synapomorphies: (1) the absence of toe fringes, (2) wide frontoparietal fontanelle, (3) m. abductor indicis longus arising from the humerus and radioulna, and (4) neopalatine in contact with the maxilla. The columella is shown as a relatively plastic characteristic, present ancestrally but lost in the common ancestor to Pseudophrye+Metacrinia and then reappearing within that taxon as well as one outgroup species (Crinia riparia). Analyses of size data reveal shape trends among the outgroup taxa that differ from the in-group of Pseudophryne and Metacrinia. Interpretations of shape differences are congruent with the placement of Uperoleia as more closely related to Pseudophrye. This study suggests support for re-synonymy of Metacrinia nichollsi with Pseudophryne, but formal change of status depends on access to more complete data.

Document Type

Thesis - restricted


Copyright by the authors.