SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Antisera to serum albumins from five West Indian species of the frog genus Eleutheroductylus were prepared, and the reciprocal immunological distances (IDs) obtained were used to provide a time frame for the evolution of this group in the West Indies. One-way IDS were obtained to 25 additional species within the genus, with emphasis on those from the West Indies. These immunological data support both a recent classification of Eleutheroductylus based on an analysis of slow-evolving allozyme loci, and the monophyly of the 17 native Jamaican species as indicated by a more comprehensive electrophoretic study. This is in contrast to the results of morphological studies supporting multiple invasions of Jamaica by Eleutherodactylus. Within the subgenus Euhyas, IDS ranged from6–27 between Jamaican species, whereas between species on different islands the range was29–67. The subgenus Syrrhophus in southern North America was found to be the sister group to the subgenus Euhyus, a western Caribbean clade. Pelorius, a subgenus restricted to Hispaniola, was found to be the sister group of the subgenus Eleutheroductylus in the West Indies. The largest IDs obtained for West Indian species were those between the two major groups, the subgenera Eleutheroductylus and Euhyas.

The albumin immunological clock for Eleutheroductylus was calibrated with three events in the geologic history of the Caribbean: the breakup of the proto-Antilles (65-75 million years before present [mybp]), the emergence of Jamaica (20-30 mybp), and the uplift of the Blue Mountains in Jamaica (5-10 mybp). Immunological distances corresponding to those events yield a calibration of 1 ID=0.60 million years (my), the same as that previously obtained for other groups of amphibians and thus supports the use of albumin immunological distance as a molecular chronometer in the genus Eleutherodactylus