*Department of Zoology, Westfield College, University of London, Hampstead, London.
The morphology and distribution of Xenopus vestitus (Anura: Pipidae) in Central Africa
Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
Journal of Zoology
Volume 175, Issue 4, pages 473–492, April 1975
How to Cite
Tinsley, R. C. (1975), The morphology and distribution of Xenopus vestitus (Anura: Pipidae) in Central Africa. Journal of Zoology, 175: 473–492. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1975.tb01412.x
- Issue published online: 20 AUG 2009
- Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
- Accepted 9 July 1974
Studies on the collections of the Musée Royal de l'Afrique Centrale and the Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique have shown that Xenopus kigesiensis Tinsley, 1973 is synonymous with X. vestitus Laurent, 1972. Previously unrecognized representatives of the species have been found in the museum collections and these considerably enlarge the known geographical distribution of X. vestitus. Samples have been recorded principally from highland areas adjacent to the western Rift in Zaire, Uganda and Ruanda; comprehensive morphological analysis demonstrates relatively limited intraspecific variation throughout the known range.
The distribution of X. vestitus overlaps with that of three other Xenopus taxa: X. laevis victorianus, X. bunyoniensis and a new Xenopus species. There is evidence from a large number of collections from widely separated localities that X. vestitus is commonly sympatric with X. l. victorianus. On the other hand, it is postulated that X. vestitus has recently invaded Lake Mutanda, Uganda, and has replaced the original X. bunyoniensis population during the past 30 years. The museum record provides a potential origin of this invasion: X. vestitus populations are well documented at Rutshuru, only 25 km downstream from Lake Mutanda.
A comparison of the morphological characters of X. vestitus, X. l. victorianus and X. bunyoniensis is presented to provide information on the systematic relationships and possible ecological adaptations of the overlapping species.