We investigated the species diversity and phylogeography of the Northeast Asian brown frogs allied to Rana dybowskii (the R. dybowskii species complex: R. dybowskii, R. pirica, and R. uenoi) using four mitochondrial and three nuclear loci. Phylogenetic analyses confirmed the existence of three distinct species in this complex; using extensive molecular data, we confirm the validity of Rana uenoi recognized as a distinct species, and infer R. dybowskii and R. pirica to be sister species. Also, we included populations from previously unsampled regions in Northeast China, and identified them to be R. dybowskii. While many species in Northeast Asia diverged due to Pleistocene glaciation, divergence-dating analyses inferred older, Miocene speciation in the R. dybowskii species complex. Ancestral area reconstruction identified the orogenic movement of the Changbai Mountain Range and the opening of the Sea of Japan/East Sea being major events influencing allopatric speciation.
YANG, B. T., ZHOU, Y., MIN, M. S., MATSUI, M., DONG, B. J., LI, P. P., & FONG, J. (2017). Diversity and phylogeography of Northeast Asian brown frogs allied to Rana Dybowskii (Anura, Ranidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 112, 148-157. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2017.04.026