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Keywords:

  • Amazon;
  • Andes;
  • phylogenetics;
  • South America;
  • taxonomy

We present morphological and molecular (mitochondrial DNA, mtDNA) evidence supporting the validity and monophyly of the genus Oreobates. This genus also includes members of the former Eleutherodactylus discoidalis species group plus Eleutherodactylus heterodactylus. The presence of prominent conical subarticular tubercles and prominent supernumerary tubercles associated with the axis of fingers and toes, the presence of glandular axillary pads, and the absence of vocal sacs are proposed as morphological synapomorphies. Species of this taxon form a well-supported crown clade in a phylogeny including members of the genera Craugastor and Eleutherodactylus s.l. The sister taxon to Oreobates is the Eleutherodactylus martinicensis series; Oreobates does not appear to be closely related to the Eleutherodactylus binotatus series or to members of the Eleutherodactylus dolops and Eleutherodactylus nigrovittatus species groups. The taxonomic status of all species of Oreobates is reassessed. Hylodes philippi and Hylodes verrucosus are removed from the synonymy of Oreobates quixensis. We redescribe Oreobates cruralis on the basis of the holotype and new material from Bolivia and Peru, and restrict its distribution to the humid forests of the lowlands and adjacent foothills of the Andes, from southern Peru to central Bolivia. Oreobates granulosus is rediscovered, redescribed, and resurrected, on the basis of the examination of the holotype and additional material from Peru. Phylogenetic analyses of partial 16S mtDNA are used to test the independence of lineages (species). The 14 species of Oreobates are distributed from southern Ecuador to northern Argentina. © 2008 The Linnean Society of London, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2008, 152, 737–773.