New analysis sinks eight shrub frogs but finds 14 putative new species


Authors: Gajaba Ellepola, Jayampathi Herath, Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi, Nayana Wijayathilaka, Gayani Senavirathne, Rohan Pethiyagoda and Madhava Meegaskumbura.

Journal: Plosone

Sri Lanka is an amphibian hotspot of global significance. Its anuran fauna is dominated by the shrub frogs of the genus Pseudophilautus. Except for one small clade of four species in Peninsular India, these cool-wet adapted frogs, numbering some 59 extant species, are distributed mainly across the montane and lowland rain forests of the island. With species described primarily by morphological means, the diversification has never yet been subjected to a molecular species delimitation analysis, a procedure now routinely applied in taxonomy. Here we test the species boundaries of Pseudophilautus in the context of the phylogenetic species concept (PSC). We use all the putative species for which credible molecular data are available (nDNA–Rag-1; mt-DNA– 12S rRNA, 16S rRNA) to build a well resolved phylogeny, which is subjected to species delimitation analyses. The ABGD, bPTP, mPTP and bGMYC species delimitation methods applied to the 16S rRNA frog barcoding gene (for all species), 12S rRNA and Rag-1 nDNA grouped P. procax and P. abundus; P. hallidayi and P. fergusonianus; P. reticulatus and P. pappilosus; P. pleurotaenia and P. hoipolloi; P. hoffmani and P. asankai; P. silvaticus and P. limbus; P. dilmah and P. hankeni; P. fulvus and P. silus.. Surprisingly, all analyses recovered 14 unidentified potential new species as well. The geophylogeny affirms a distribution across the island’s aseasonal ‘wet zone’ and its three principal hill ranges, suggestive of allopatric speciation playing a dominant role, especially between mountain masses. Among the species that are merged by the delimitation analyses, a pattern leading towards a model of parapatric speciation emerges ongoing speciation in the presence of gene flow. This delimitation analysis reinforces thespecies hypotheses, paving the way to a reasonable understanding of Sri Lankan Pseudophilautus, enabling both deeper analyses and conservation efforts of this remarkable diversification.

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‘Alongshore’ webinar series- “Science and Governance for realistic management of mangroves”.

The schedule for the fifth webinar of  ‘Alongshore’ webinar series organized by the Aquatic Students’ Association of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura is given below.

Date    :  22.10.2021
Time   :  5.00 pm – 6.00 pm
Title    :   Science and Governance for Realistic Management of Mangroves
Resource Person  :   Prof. Sevvandi Jayakody, Senior lecturer in Department of Aquaculture & Fisheries, Wayamba University of Sri Lanka.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 646 0048 3443
Passcode: g@VNJ28f

It is with great pleasure, we are inviting you to join us.

Thank you very much.

Aquatic Students’ Association,
Department of Zoology,
University of Sri Jayewardenepura.


Modified, optimized method of determination of Tributyltin (TBT) contamination in coastal water, sediment and biota in Sri Lanka


Authors: K.R.V. Bandara, S.D.M. Chinthaka, S.G. Yasawardene and Pathmalal M. Manage

Journal: Marine Pollution Bulletin

Tributyltin (TBT) is a toxic organotin compound that belongs to the group of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and it is documented to cause severe sexual disorders development in aquatic fauna. According to the present study, The TBT concentration in coastal water ranged from 303 ± 7.4 ngL− 1 to 25 ± 4.2 ngL− 1 wherein sediment was from 107 ± 4.1 ngKg− 1 to 17 ± 1.4 ngKg− 1 . TBT in Perna viridis was found to range from 4 ± 1.2 ngKg− 1 to 42 ± 2.2 ngKg− 1 wet weight and in ascending order of the body weight. The highest TBT level in water and sediment was found in the Colombo port where the highest level of TBT in P. viridis (42 ± 2.2 ngKg− 1 ) was recorded from the Dikkowita fishery harbor. A positive correlation between the number of male P. viridis and TBT level (p < 0.05) suggests possible reproductive impairment in aquatic animals exposed continuously to a high concentration of TBT.

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Emerging studies on Molecular Entomology in Sri Lanka

The Molecular Genetics Laboratory of the Department of Zoology, USJP functioning under the guidance of Snr. Prof. Nissanka De Silva is celebrating its 10 year anniversary on 13th of October, 2021. To mark this milestone of the lab, we have decided to conduct a webinar series throughout the 2021-2022 year.
You are warmly invited to the first one of the webinar series which will be conducted by Snr. prof. Nissanka De Silva.

Date    :  14.10.2021 (Thursday)
Time   :  7.00 pm – 8.00 pm
Title    :  Emerging studies on Molecular Entomology in Sri Lanka

Resource Person  :  Snr. Prof. Nissanka De Silva
Join Zoom Meeting ID: 654 4345 6077
Passcode: m+w@Q1p5It is with great pleasure, we are inviting you to join us.
Thank you very much

Dr. Sachini Fernando