Pelophylax shqipericus (Hotz, Uzzell, Günther, Tunner, and Heppich, 1987)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Ranidae > Genus: Pelophylax > Species: Pelophylax shqipericus

Rana shqiperica Hotz, Uzzell, Günther, Tunner, and Heppich, 1987, Not. Nat., Philadelphia, 468: 2. Holotype: ANSP 30211, by original designation. Type locality: "Virpazar, Skadarsko Jezero, Crna Gora, Yugoslavia [now Montenegro] (42°14′N, 19°05′E)".

Rana (Pelophylax) shqipericaDubois, 1992, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 61: 332.

Hylarana shqipericaChen, Murphy, Lathrop, Ngo, Orlov, Ho, and Somorjai, 2005, Herpetol. J., 15: 237, by implication.

Pelophylax shqipericusFrost, Grant, Faivovich, Bain, Haas, Haddad, de Sá, Channing, Wilkinson, Donnellan, Raxworthy, Campbell, Blotto, Moler, Drewes, Nussbaum, Lynch, Green, and Wheeler, 2006, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 297: 369; Che, Pang, Zhao, Wu, Zhao, and Zhang, 2007, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 43: 1–13; by implication.

English Names

Virpazar Frog (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 109).

Balkan Frog (Stumpel-Rienks, 1992, Ergänzungsband Handbuch Rept. Amph. Eur., Trivialnamen der Herpetofauna Eur.: 59; Günther, 1997, in Gasc et al. (eds.), Atlas Amph. Rept. Eur.: 156.

Albanian Pool Frog (Arnold, 2002, Rept. Amph. Eur., Ed. 2: 95).

Albanian Water Frog (Dufresnes, 2019, Amph. Eur., N. Afr., & Middle East: 102). 


Region of the type locality in southern Montenegro south along the Adriatic coastal region to southwestern Albania, below 500 m elevation; introduced into Umbria, Italy. 

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: Albania, Montenegro

Introduced: Italy


Formerly often confused with "Pelophylax esculentus". See Pelophylax bergeri. Considered distinct (as Rana) from Pelophylax lessonae on the basis of morphometry, immunology, and allozymes, but considered conspecific by Schneider and Haxhiu, 1994, Zool. Jahrb., Jena, Abt. Syst., 121: 248–262, and Sinsch and Schneider, 1996, J. Zool. Syst. Evol. Res., 34: 63–73, because of the lack of significant differences between mating calls. This synonymy rejected by Beerli, unpublished dissertation, and Dubois and Ohler, 1996 "1994", Zool. Polon., 39: 178, and Plötner, 1998, J. Zool. Syst. Evol. Res., 36: 191–201, and Plötner and Ohst, 2001, Mitt. Mus. Naturkd. Berlin, Zool., 77: 5–21 (who suggested that this species was most closely related to Pelophylax lessonae and Pelophylax bergeri). Günther, 1997, in Gasc et al. (eds.), Atlas Amph. Rept. Eur.: 156–157, discussed relevant literature, distribution, and taxonomic controversy. Nöllert and Nöllert, 1992, Die Amph. Eur.: 361–363, provided an account and polygon map. Arnold, 2002, Rept. Amph. Eur., Ed. 2: 95, provided a brief account, figure, and map. Casola, Marracci, Bucci, Ragghianti, Mancino, Hotz, Uzzell, and Guex, 2004, J. Zool. Syst. Evol. Res., 42: 234–244, provided a molecular tree of western Palearctic water frogs (as Rana) in the topology Pelophylax saharicus (Pelophylax cretensis (Pelophylax perezi (Pelophylax shqipericus (Pelophylax epeiroticus (Pelophylax lessonae + Pelophylax ridibundus))))). See photograph, map, description of geographic range and habitat, and conservation status (as Rana shqiperica) in Stuart, Hoffmann, Chanson, Cox, Berridge, Ramani, and Young, 2008, Threatened Amph. World: 511. Domeneghetti, Bruni, Fasola, and Bellati, 2013, Acta Herpetol., Firenze, 8: 171–176, reported this species as an introduction in Umbria, Italy. Speybroeck, Beukema, Bok, and Van Der Voort, 2016, Field Guide Amph. Rept. Brit. Eur.: 188–189, provided a brief account and range map. Szabolcs, Mizsei, Jablonski, Vági, Mester, Végvári, and Lengyel, 2017, Amphibia-Reptilia, 38: 435–448, provided a dot map and discussion of range in Albania.  Vucić, Jelić, Klobučar, Prkljačić, and Jelić, 2018, Salamandra, 54: 147–157, reported on hybridization levels with Pelophylax kurtmuelleri in Lake Skadar, Montenego. See Dufresnes, 2019, Amph. Eur., N. Afr., & Middle East: 102, for brief summary of identifying morphology and biology, a range map, as well as a photograph. Papežík, Kubala, Jablonski, Doležálková-Kaštánková, Choleva, Benovics, and Mikulíček, 2021, Salamandra, 57: 105–123, discussed the difficulty of identifying this species in the Balkans from Pelophylax kurtmuelleri, Pelophylax epeiroticus, and Pelophylax ridibundus, and within a context of molecular markers provided the best characters for separating the species. 


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