Talk at CES on 8 March 2017 at 4:00 pm titled "The who's who of Asian Horned Frogs (genus Megophrys): resolving the surprising evolutionary history of a poorly known amphibian group." by Dr. Stephen Mahoney from The Natural History Museum, London
The Asian Horned Frogs (Megophryinae: Megophryidae) are a taxonomically and systematically poorly known group of primarily montane specialist species. They are found throughout the southern Himalayas, central and southern China, Indochina, the Greater Sundas and the Philippines. I will present part of my PhD thesis work that aimed for the first time to elucidate the phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary history of Asian horned frogs based on the most taxonomically complete study of this group ever to have been attempted. Beside determining how species (and species groups) are related to each other, I will discuss how we overcame the problems of estimating ancestral divergence ages given the absence of a fossil record for this group, and the surprising results that might lead to a re-evaluation of divergence dates of other frog families. My work required a complete overhaul of horned frogs taxonomy, synonymising genera and identifying many currently unnamed ("new") species that have previously been hidden under "catch all" cryptic species complexes.