Genetic variation and tadpoles of the westernmost Himalayan lazy toad Scutiger occidentalis
While the diversity of Scutiger is high in the central and eastern parts of the Himalaya-Tibet orogen, only a single species, Scutiger occidentalis Dubois, 1978, can be found in the westernmost regions, in Northwest India and Pakistan. Little is known about its genetic variation, ecology, and distribution and far less about its larval morphology. Here, we provide new records, detailed morphological data of tadpoles, and genetic data (mtDNA and nDNA) of the species from two, so far unknown localities in northern Pakistan. Molecular analysis confirmed the taxonomic identity of the tadpoles and indicated shallow intraspecific genetic differentiation. Tadpole characterizations were illustrated by detailed imagery of live and preserved specimens. Measurements and qualitative traits on oral apparatus provide relevant taxonomic characteristics to distinguish the tadpoles of this species from other lazy toads.