Zoological Studies

Vol. 45 No. 2, 2006

Morphometrics of the Yellow-bellied Toad (Bombina variegata) in the Central Balkans: Implications for Taxonomy and Zoogeography

Tanja D. Vukov1,*, Georg Džukić1, Suvad Lelo2, Leo J. Borkin3, Spartak N. Litvinchuk3,4, and Milo L. Kalezić1,5

1Institute for Biological Research“Sini a Stankovi ”, Bulevar Despota Stefana 142, Belgrade 11060, Serbia and Montenegro
2Faculty of Science, Zmaja od Bosne, Sarajevo 71 000, Bosnia and Herzegovina
3Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Universitetskaya nab. 1, St. Petersburg 199034, Russia
4Institute of Citology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Tikhoretsky pr., 4, St. Petersburg 194064, Russia
5Institute of Zoology, Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade, Studentski trg 16, Belgrade 11000, Serbia and Montenegro

Tanja D. Vukov, Georg Džukić, Suvad Lelo, Leo J. Borkin, Spartak N. Litvinchuk, and Milo L. Kalezić (2006) A comprehensive survey of the Central Balkan yellow-bellied toad (Bombina variegata) populations was undertaken to describe morphometric differentiation between 4 geographic groups previously demarcated by molecular studies. Our analyses confirmed pronounced geographic structuring at the population level, as well as a clear transition over a relatively short distance separating the localized B. v. scabra, endemic to the Balkans, and the widely distributed B. v. variegata. We present the inferred range boundaries of these geographic groups in the Central Balkans, and discuss their historical zoogeography and taxonomy. Our study provides evidence that the Northern Balkans, a secondary transition zone of postglacial origin, constitutes an important European suture area for amphibians.

Key words: Bombina variegata, Bombina variegata scabra, Morphometric differentiation, Taxonomy, Zoogeography.

*Correspondence: Tel: 381-11-2078380. Fax: 381-11-2761433. E-mail: tvukov@ibiss.bg.ac.yu