Josiah Townsend

Josiah Townsend
Indiana University of Pennsylvania | IUP · Department of Biology

PhD

About

118
Publications
103,615
Reads
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1,100
Citations
Citations since 2017
36 Research Items
579 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120
Introduction
Josiah Townsend is a Professor in the Department of Biology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a Research Associate of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Centro Zamorano de Biodiversidad. Josiah does research in Evolutionary Biology, Taxonomy and Systematics, and Conservation, with an emphasis on Mesoamerican amphibians and reptiles.
Additional affiliations
July 2017 - present
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (118)
Article
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Background: Recent studies have begun to reveal the complex evolutionary and biogeographic histories of mainland anoles in Central America, but the origins and relationships of many taxa remain poorly understood. One such group is the Anolis (Norops) crassulus species subgroup, which contains ten morphologically similar highland taxa, the majority...
Article
Mitonuclear discordance is a frequently encountered pattern in phylogeographic studies and occurs when mitochondrial and nuclear DNA display conflicting signals. Discordance among these genetic markers can be caused by several factors including confounded taxonomies, gene flow, and incomplete lineage sorting. In this study, we present a strong case...
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Hyalinobatrachium fleischmanni is one of the widest ranging glassfrog species, occurring in the lowlands from Mexico through Central America to Ecuador. Despite its conservative morphology, previous studies suggested that the species is comprised of multiple lineages. Here we test the hypothesis of cryptic species within H. fleischmanni by means of...
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The Chortís Highlands of Mesoamerica exhibit a high degree of in situ evolutionary diversification, exemplified by numerous endemic radiations of stream-dwelling treefrogs (Anura: Hylidae: Atlantihyla, Duellmanohyla, and Ptychohyla), which have been a source of ongoing taxonomic uncertainty. Recent evidence suggests that one species, Atlantihyla sp...
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Due to their conserved morphology, cryptic species have long been problematic for taxonomists. When attempting to assess diversity and delimit species within these taxa, it has been recognized that an integrative approach can be very useful, whereby independent, yet complementary lines of evidence are utilized. New World microhylids (Anura: Microhy...
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The delimitation of species is an essential pursuit of biology, and proper taxonomies are crucial for the assessment and conservation management of organismal diversity. However, delimiting species can be hindered by a number of factors including highly conserved morphologies (e.g., cryptic species), differences in criteria of species concepts, lin...
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Populations of Norops sagrei, an anole lizard native to Cuba, the Bahamas, and the Cayman Islands, are established in northern Honduras. Here, we report seven new records in six departments for this species in northern, western, central, and southern Honduras, summarize the invasión progress of N. sagrei in the country, and comment on the importanc...
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The skeletal features of six species of salamanders in the genus Bolitoglossa (subgenus: Magnadigita) were described and compared. Many osteological features of the Magnadigita subgenus were found to be highly conserved, such as the presence of bifurcated first caudal vertebrae and distal expansions on the terminal phalanges. Key traits were identi...
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Reports predation by Mastigodryas dorsalis on the coral snake Micrurus nigrocinctus
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A new species of Tantilla is described from the Refugio de Vida Silvestre Barras de Cuero y Salado (RVSBCS), on the Caribbean coast of Honduras. Assigned to the Tantilla taeniata group, this species differs from others in this group in color pattern, numbers of scales, measurements, and habitat. An incomplete pale nuchal collar and a pale mediodors...
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Reports Metlapilcoatlus indomitus from Reserva Biologica Uyuca
Article
The diversity of the tropical climbing salamander genus Bolitoglossa (Magnadigita) in Honduras has been underestimated historically, with 11 new species having been described in the past quarter-century. Bolitoglossa celaque is known to occur in three disjunct mountain ranges across the Lenca Highlands region of southwestern Honduras, and previous...
Article
Genome sizes (expressed as C-values, or haploid genome sizes) of six species of Honduran plethodontid salamanders (one species of Nototriton and five of Bolitoglossa) vary greatly. Nototriton has a moderate-sized genome (29.2 pg) relative to other species of salamanders. Genome sizes in the species of Bolitoglossa span a range of 24 pg (∼23.4 gigab...
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Single-locus molecular barcoding is a useful method for identifying overlooked and undescribed biodiversity, providing the groundwork for further systematic study and taxonomic investigation. A variety of methods for delimiting species from barcoding libraries have been developed and applied, allowing for rapid estimates of species diversity in a b...
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We describe a cryptic new species of Norops Wagler, 1830, Norops caceresae, from mixed transitional and broadleaf cloud forest formations in the Lenca Highlands of southwestern Honduras. This population was previously considered conspecific with Norops crassulus (Cope, 1864) of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Mexico, despite it being entirely disjunct...
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Integrative taxonomy seeks to approach the complex topic of species diagnosis using independent, complementary lines of evidence. Despite their ubiquity throughout North and Central America, taxonomy of the American leopard frogs (Anura: Ranidae: Rana: subgenus Pantherana) remains largely unresolved, and this is arguably nowhere truer than in the C...
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The Short-headed Gartersnake (Thamnophis brachystoma) has one of the most restricted ranges of any snake species in the United States, with approximately 90% of the total distribution within northwestern Pennsylvania, USA. Although recent surveys indicate that the species can be locally abundant, evidence suggests an overall decrease in population...
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Tantilla hendersoni Stafford, 2004 was described based on a single female specimen from Cayo District, Belize, and is the only snake species considered to be endemic to the country. We report the discovery of a second specimen, the first male, of Tantilla hendersoni from a new locality in Stann Creek District, and provide a detailed morphological d...
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The Cordillera Nombre de Dios is a chain of mountains along the northern coast of Honduras that harbors a high degree of herpetofaunal endemism. We present a preliminary barcode reference library of amphibians from the Cordillera Nombre de Dios, based on sampling at 10 sites from 2008 to 2013. We sequenced 187 samples of 21 nominal taxa for the bar...
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Moss salamanders (genus Nototriton) are represented in northern Central America by nine putative species: N. barbouri, N. brodiei, N. lignicola, N. limnospectator, N. mime, N. picucha, N. saslaya, N. stuarti, and N. tomamorum. I estimate the phylogenetic relationships for these species based on data from three mitochondrial gene fragments (16S, cyt...
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The question whether taxonomic descriptions naming new animal species without type specimen(s) deposited in collections should be accepted for publication by scientific journals and allowed by the Code has already been discussed in Zootaxa (Dubois & Nemésio 2007; Donegan 2008, 2009; Nemésio 2009a–b; Dubois 2009; Gentile & Snell 2009; Minelli 2009;...
Data
This plot is not part of the published stance but derives from it. The plot shows the number of authors by geographic region (courtesy of Dr. Diego Astua).
Article
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The taxonomy of the diminutive bolitoglossine salamanders of the subgenus Nanotriton has previously been a source of confusion among specialists. At various times, at least three different species of Nanotriton have been reported to occur in Honduras: Bolitoglossa nympha, B. occidentalis and B. rufescens. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S and cyt b from...
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Se realizó un muestreo para elaborar un primer inventario de la herpetofauna de la Reserva Silvestre Privada El Jaguar en el Departamento de Jinotega, Nicaragua. Se detectaron veintidós especies: ocho anuros, ocho lagartijas, y seis serpientes durante nueve días de muestreo en enero 2016. We undertook the first sampling inventory of herpetofauna a...
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We review the taxonomy and distribution of Oedipina stuarti in Honduras. Based on uncertainty related to the type locality, we restrict the taxon to the holotype, which we posit originated from a mine in the northern portion of the Department of Valle, Honduras. We subsequently describe a new species of Oedipina from Distrito Central, Departamento...
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We describe two new species of anoles from Honduras, which previously have been referred to as Norops tropidonotus by different authors: Norops mccraniei sp. nov. from the Chortís Highlands of Honduras, El Salvador, northern Nicaragua, and eastern Guatemala; and Norops wilsoni sp. nov. from the Atlantic slopes of the Cordillera Nombre de Dios (Depa...
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We report the first record of the streamside frog Craugastor rupinius from the Central American Republic of Honduras. This species was previously known from adjacent areas of El Salvador and Guatemala. Due to the highly conserved morphology of anurans in this group, we used sequence data from the mtDNA gene 16S to confirm that the Honduran sample i...
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The geological history of Central America is remarkably complex, as the region has served as the biological dispersal route between North and South America, and also has been the site of extensive in situ evolution. Nuclear Central America is recognized as a region of high biodiversity, and the eastern portion of Nuclear Central America (the Chortí...
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Abstract: We provide an updated list of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras, and include notes on nomenclatural changes. We recognize a total of 396 species (135 amphibians, 261 reptiles), of which 107 are endemic and seven are exotic.
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The highlands of northeastern Honduras remain under-characterized in terms of biological diversity, as exemplified by the regularity of new amphibian and reptile taxa discoveries. Following the recent description of a new species of Nototriton from the Sierra de Agalta in northeastern Honduras, we report the discovery of a second new species of Not...
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A new species of palm-pitviper of the genus Bothriechis is described from Refugio de Vida Silvestre Texíguat in northern Honduras. The new species differs from congeners by having 19 dorsal scale rows at midbody, a bright green dorsal coloration in adults, the prelacunal scale fused to the second supralabial, and in representing a northern lineage...
Article
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A new species of Tantilla is described from Refugio de Vida Silvestre Texíguat in northern Honduras. The new species is allocated to the Tantilla taeniata group, which currently contains 20 of the 63 species in the genus, but it differs from all congeners on the basis of its dorsal body pattern and scutellation. The new species has a pale mid-dorsa...
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Jadin, R.C., Townsend, J.H., Castoe, T.A. & Campbell, J.A. (2012). Cryptic diversity in disjunct populations of Middle American Montane Pitvipers: a systematic reassessment of Cerrophidion godmani. —Zoologica Scripta, 41, 455–470. The discovery and taxonomic recognition of cryptic species has become increasingly frequent with the application of mol...
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Herpetofaunal inventory work totalling 2,320 person-hours of sampling on the windward side of Refugio de Vida Silvestre (RVS) Texíguat documented the presence of 47 herpetofaunal species, including 3 salamanders, 11 anurans, 12 lizards, and 21 snakes. Among these are 14 species endemic to Honduras, including three undescribed species (two bolitoglo...
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Resumen La herpetofauna de Honduras es una muestra de la totalidad de diversidad y endemismo encontrado en el hotspot de biodiversidad Mesoamericano. Al igual que otros grupos de organismos, especialmente otros vertebrados, los anfibios y reptiles de Honduras incluyen numerosas especies al borde de extinción. Se identificó un grupo compuesto por 47...
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We describe a new species of Oedipina (subgenus Oedipina) from premontane elevations of three isolated mountains in northern Nicaragua. The new cryptic species differs in molecular characters from its closest relatives: Oedipina cyclocauda (an Atlantic lowland species with a distributional range from central Panama to extreme southeastern Nicaragua...
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We describe a new species of Oedipina (subgenus Oedopinola) from Parque Nacional Pico Bonito in the central portion of the Cordillera Nombre de Dios in north-central Honduras. The new species was previously assigned to O. gephyra, but a combination of molecular analyses and its differences in foot morphology diagnose it from O. gephyra.
Article
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The systematic study of Central American moss salamanders has been a challenge to researchers due to their cryptic nature and subsequent difficulty in sampling. In an effort to elucidate relationships among moss salamanders from the Chortís Highlands, we quantified intra-and interspecific variation using data from the mitochondrial genes 16S (the a...