The genus Leptodactylus is included in the Leptodactylidae family (Amphibia, Anura), which also encompasses Hydrolaetare, Paratelmatobius e Scythrophrys. The Leptodactylus species are widespread from the Southeastern North America, throughout South America and West Indies. Based on morphological and ecological traits, four groups are recognized: L. melanonotus, L. ocellatus, L. pentadactylus and L. fuscus. Within these groups, however, cryptic speciation has occurred with no morphological or call differentiation. Although karyotypes of 30 species of Leptodactylus have been described, most of these studies were restricted to the description of diploid number and chromosome morphology, based exclusively on conventional staining. Inter and intra-populational as well as inter and intra specific differences were revealed by the light of banding pattern studies, which have contributed to the taxonomy and systematics of the genus. Molecular phylogeny is still a poorly explored approach on the genus Leptodactylus. In this project, karyotypic and molecular data will be used in order to investigate the limit of species and the evolutionary lineages reconstructing the phylogenetic relationships of Leptodactylus.
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