Title: Genetic detection of multiple exotic water frog species in Belgium illustrates the need for monitoring and immediate action
Authors: Holsbeek, Griet ×
Mergeay, Joachim
Volckaert, Filip
De Meester, Luc #
Issue Date: Jun-2010
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Pub.
Series Title: Biological Invasions vol:12 issue:6 pages:1459-1463
Abstract: The recent genetic screening of water frogs (genus Pelophylax) in Belgium has shown that the invasion of two water frog species from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean region, P. ridibundus and P. cf. bedriagae is widespread. Possibly other exotic water frogs are invading and establishing themselves through commercial trade. We used a genetic identification approach to rapidly detect and identify morphologically cryptic exotic water frog species in a large number of populations throughout the northern part of Belgium. Among a total of 944 individuals, we found 506 non-indigenous specimens, seven of which belonged to species not recorded before with certainty in Belgium or neighbouring regions in the wild. One of them was identified genetically as the Iberian green frog (P. perezi), but was most likely a P. perezi x P. esculentus hybrid. Six individuals of the Levantine frog (P. bedriagae) were found in a pond in the vicinity of a pet shop where the species is sold. All other exotic frogs belonged to four different haplotypes of P. ridibundus, established in Belgium since c. 1970, and two haplotypes of P. cf. bedriagae, a poorly-known eastern Mediterranean sister species of the latter. Overall, our study underscores the extent of exotic water frog invasions associated with the pet trade. Although two of the exotic species were recorded in small numbers, their early detection is essential with regards to adequate control and eradication of invasive species.
ISSN: 1387-3547
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity Conservation Section
Department of Human Genetics - miscellaneous
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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