Phylogenetic relationships among foam-nesting clades of Old World tree frogs are analyzed using both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA data, with particular focus on Sri Lankan members of the genus Polypedates. A distinctive, highly supported endemic Sri Lankan clade is identified, and recognized as a new genus, Taruga. This clade, which had previously been assigned to the genus Polypedates, includes P. eques, P. fastigo and P. longinasus. A combination of characters distinguishes adult Taruga from Polypedates: Taruga possess a dorsolateral glandular fold that extends from the posterior margin of the upper eyelid to the mid-flank (vs. a supratympanic fold that curves over the dorsal margin of the tympanic membrane in Polypedates); a prominent calcar at the distal end of the tibia (absent in most Polypedates); a more acutely pointed snout; and 6–10 prominent conical tubercles surrounding the cloaca (absent in Polypedates). Tadpoles of Taruga eques and Polypedates cruciger are distinguished by several characters, including features of the buccal cavity and the form of the vent tube. Taruga is the sister group of the remaining Polypedates sensu stricto.
Key words: Polypedates; Rhacophorinae; systematics; tadpole morphology; molecular phylogenetics
Cey. J. Sci. (Bio. Sci.) 39 (2): 75-94, 2010