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New record of California red-legged frogs (Rana draytonii) in Whitewater Canyon, Riverside County, CA, USA

November 30, 2017

In February 2017, a population of California red-legged frog Rana draytonii was discovered in the southern foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains of Riverside County, California, near the edge of the species historic distribution. A few days after the first sightings of R. draytonii at the Whitewater Preserve, we conducted a visual daytime search for frogs, tadpoles and egg masses followed by a nighttime eye shine search for adult frogs. The captured frog weighed, measured (snout-to-urostyle [SU]), sampled for tissue and georeferenced using a GPS unit. Survey work was authorized by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Permit and a California Department of Fish and Wildlife Scientific Collecting Permit.

To better understand the origin of these frogs, we extracted DNA from a small toe clip using a Qiagen DNeasy Kit (Qiagen Inc., Valencia CA) and Sanger-sequenced a region of the cytochrome b mitochondrial gene (986 base-pairs) that has been used to good effect for identifying regionally specific 67 mtDNA clades (Richmond et al. 2014). Sequencing was performed on a 3730xl DNA Analyzer at Genewiz (La Jolla, CA). We used DnaSP 5.10 (Librado & Rozas 2009) to match the haplotype sequence against a large cytochrome B database representing the full range of R. draytonii.

These data are associated with the following publciation: Backlin, A., Richmond, J., Gallegos, E., Christensen, C., and Fisher, R. (2017). An extirpated lineage of a threatened frog species resurfaces in southern California. Oryx, 1-5. doi:10.1017/S0030605317001168

These data are associated with the following GenBank accession number: MG022156

Richmond, J.Q., Backlin, A.R., Tatarian, P.J., Solvesky, B.G., and Fisher, R.N. (2014) Population declines lead to replicate patterns of internal range structure at the tips of the distribution of the California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii). Biological Conservation, 172, 128-137.

Librado, P. & Rozas, J. (2009) DnaSP v5: a software for comprehensive analysis of DNA polymorphism data. Bioinformatics, 25, 1451-1452.

Publication Year 2017
Title New record of California red-legged frogs (Rana draytonii) in Whitewater Canyon, Riverside County, CA, USA
DOI 10.5066/F7C82870
Authors Adam R Backlin, Jonathan Q Richmond, Elizabeth Gallegos, Clinton K. Christensen, Robert N Fisher
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Western Ecological Research Center - Headquarters