Raffael Ernst

Raffael Ernst
Senckenberg Research Institute · Research Museum of Zoology

About

106
Publications
50,198
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
2,249
Citations
Additional affiliations
April 2007 - April 2010
Technische Universität Berlin
Position
  • Scientific Assistant
April 2005 - April 2007
State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart
Position
  • Scientific intern
January 2002 - December 2006
University of Wuerzburg
Position
  • PhD

Publications

Publications (106)
Article
Full-text available
Many anuran species remain to be formally named and described in Amazonia, notably in the Guiana Shield, and particularly in megadiverse groups such as Pristimantis. Several species in the Guiana Shield region have been confused with Pristi- mantis marmoratus and P. ockendeni. Hylodes grandoculis, a taxon previously placed in the synonymy of P. mar...
Article
The genus Pipa is a species-poor clade of Neotropical frogs and one of the most bizarre-looking due to many highly derived anatomical traits related to their fully aquatic lifestyle. With their African relatives, they form the Pipidae family, which has attracted much attention, especially regarding its anatomy, reproductive biology, paleontology an...
Article
Full-text available
The taxonomy of Angolan Hemidactylus has recently been revised. However, the lack of fresh material for some groups and regions, has led to the misidentification of some taxa and an underestimation of actual diversity in others. To shed light on the evolutionary history and systematics of Angolan Hemidactylus, we generated a new phylogenetic hypoth...
Article
Secondary sympatry among sister lineages is strongly associated with genetic and ecological divergence. This pattern suggests that for closely related species to coexist in secondary sympatry, they must accumulate differences in traits that mediate ecological and/or reproductive isolation. Here, we characterized inter‐ and intra‐specific divergence...
Article
Full-text available
The taxonomy of Angolan Hemidactylus has recently been revised. However, the lack of fresh material for some groups and regions, has led to the misidentification of some taxa and an underestimation of actual diversity in others. To shed light on the evolutionary history and systematics of Angolan Hemidactylus , we generated a new phylogenetic hypot...
Poster
Full-text available
Grayia is a genus of relatively large (1.5 – 2.5 m) aquatic Afrotropical snakes that is currently comprised of four species. Recent molecular phylogenies recovered Grayia in its own distinct subfamily (Grayiinae), which was strongly supported as the sister group to Colubrinae. Because tropical African snakes are generally understudied, the relation...
Article
Assessing resilience of ecological communities, the ability of species assemblages to return to a previous state following disturbance, is an essential task when designing biodiversity friendly concepts for silvicultural management regimes. However, ecological communities may demonstrate resilience only after long time periods, and long-term data,...
Article
The African reedfrog taxon Alexteroon consists of only three described species with rather restricted geographical ranges. Although the assignment to a distinct genus is supported by multiple evidence, its position within the larger African hyperoliid radiation has been disputed. Available molecular data are scarce and the geographic records are fe...
Article
The genus Synapturanus includes three nominal species of fossorial Amazonian frogs. A previous study combining molecular, morphological and acoustic data suggested that there may be six times more species than currently recognized. Herein we describe and name three of these new species and compare their osteology. Synapturanus zombie sp. nov. occur...
Article
Ecological thresholds are an indicator of rapid and non-linear changes along both natural habitat and land-use gradients. Thus, they can be used to quantify biodiversity responses to human-induced environmental change. We investigated multiple thresholds by analyzing eight environmental predictors of both taxonomic and functional composition of amp...
Article
The outstanding biodiversity of the Guiana Shield has raised many questions about its origins and evolution. Frogs of the genera Adelastes, Otophryne and Synapturanus form an ancient lineage distributed mostly across this region. These genera display strikingly disparate morphologies and life-history traits. Notably, Synapturanus is conspicuously a...
Article
Full-text available
Zoologists have widely acknowledged the utility of classification systems for characterising variation in anuran egg and clutch types, tadpole morphotypes, embryonic and tadpole development, amplexus types and reproductive modes. These classification systems have facilitated unambiguous communication between researchers, often working in completely...
Article
Aim We investigate the spatiotemporal context of the diversification of Allobates, a widespread genus of Amazonian frogs with high species diversity particularly in western Amazonia. We tested if that diversity originated in situ or through repeated dispersals from other Amazonian areas and if this diversification took place during or after the Peb...
Article
Full-text available
An integrative taxonomic review of the genus Boaedon in Angola is provided. A molecular phylogeny, based on 99 genetic samples for which the mitochondrial markers 16S rRNA have been sequenced, reveals 23 monophyletic species-level groups in Africa and indicates the presence of nine species in Angola. Based on both phylogenetic and morphological dat...
Article
Full-text available
We systematically assess the herpetofaunal diversity of the Serra do Pingano Forest Ecosystem (SPFE) and additional localities throughout the northern Angolan province of Uíge during four independent Rapid Assessment (RA) field campaigns held between 2013 and 2019. These assessments represent the first systematic surveys of amphibians and reptiles...
Article
Aim: Mapping Amazonian biodiversity accurately is a major challenge for integrated conservation strategies and to study its origins. However, species boundaries and their respective distribution are notoriously inaccurate in this region. Here, we generated a georeferenced database of short mtDNA sequences from Amazonian frogs, revised the species r...
Chapter
Full-text available
Parts of the collection of the famous German zoologist Rudolf Leuckart were recently rediscovered and digitized at the Museum für Tierkunde, Senckenberg Naturhistorische Sammlungen Dresden. The material includes 85 specimens, many of which are of high scientific value, e.g., the types (particular specimens to which the scientific name of an organis...
Article
Theory predicts that sexually dimorphic traits under strong sexual selection, particularly those involved with intersexual signaling, can accelerate speciation and produce bursts of diversification. Sexual dichromatism (sexual dimorphism in color) is widely used as a proxy for sexual selection and is associated with rapid diversification in several...
Article
Full-text available
Despite increased attention to the problem of alien amphibian invasions, systematic assessments of the actual invasion status and potential, required to estimate possible environmental and economic impacts of introduced species, are often missing. A prime example is Johnstone's Whistling Frog (Eleutherodac-tylus johnstonei), a Caribbean native that...
Data
Explanation note: Presence-absence data for Eleutherodactylus johnstonei in Colombia.
Article
Amphibian species are known to carry endoparasitic mites. The infestation probability, prevalence, and intensity of mites vary among species and habitats. Mites of the genus Endotrombicula are known to infest African and Malagasy frogs. However, the factors leading to an increase in the probability of mite infestation are unknown. To test for inter...
Article
Full-text available
Wie kann es gelingen, den weltweit wachsenden Bedarf an landwirtschaftlichen Flächen zu befriedigen, ohne dabei gleichzeitig dem Verlust biologischer Vielfalt Vorschub zu leisten? Gehören bisher gültige Schutz- und Nutzungskonzepte auf den Prüfstand? Wissenschaftler des Senckenberg-Instituts Dresden untersuchen mit ihren kolumbianischen Kollegen, w...
Article
Frogs of the family Dendrobatidae are known to contain toxic alkaloids in their skin secretion, but Allobates species of the closely related Aromobatidae family are considered to lack toxic secretions. However, contradictory results have been reported. Analyses of alcohol extracts from three different Allobates species from South-America (Guiana Sh...
Preprint
Full-text available
Theory predicts that sexually dimorphic traits under strong sexual selection, particularly those involved with intersexual signaling, can accelerate speciation and produce bursts of diversification. Sexual dichromatism (sexual dimorphism in color) is widely used as a proxy for sexual selection and is associated with rapid diversification in several...
Article
Habitat fragmentation, the transformation of interconnected large habitats into several small patches, is generally considered to have a negative influence on biodiversity. Management policies should therefore favour strategies that minimize fragmentation. We studied amphibian diversity and compositional patterns in a complex montane agroforestry m...
Article
For the first time, alcohol extracts of Atelopus hoogmoedi from the Guiana Shield in Suriname and Guyana were analyzed for the presence of tetrodotoxin (TTX) and of its analogues by high resolution hydrophobic interaction liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. One specimen from Suriname was found to contain TTX and 4-epiTTX. Using a monoclonal an...
Article
Frogs in the genus Amnirana (family Ranidae) are widely distributed across sub-Saharan Africa and present a model system for exploring the relationship between diversification and geography across the continent. Using multiple loci from the mitochondrial (16S) and nuclear genomes (DISP2, FICD, KIAA2013, REV3L), we generated a strongly supported spe...
Article
Full-text available
We here report the rediscovery of a type specimen of the Australian skink Anomalopus leuckartii (W einland , 1862) in the Museum of Zoology (Museum für Tierkunde), Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden (accession number MTKD 10205), heretofore pre- sumed lost during World War II. Eidonomic data for the specimen conform to the original s...
Article
Full-text available
A molecular phylogeny of the Afrotropical anuran genus Amietia based on 323 16S sequences indicates that there are 19 species, including four not yet described. No genetic material was available for the nominal A. inyangae. We consider them to represent full species, and define them based on 16S genetic distances, as well as differences in morpholo...
Article
Biodiversity in pristine forest biomes is increasingly disturbed by human activity. Drivers such as logging and climate extremes are thought to collectively erode diversity, but their interactions are not well understood. However, ignoring such complexities may result in poor conservation management decisions. Here, we present the first study deali...
Article
Full-text available
Many Amazonian frog species that are considered widely distributed may actually represent polyspecific complexes.. A minute tree frog from the Guiana Shield originally assigned to the allegedly widely distributed Dendropsophus brevifrons proved to be a yet undescribed species within the D. parviceps group. We herein describe this new species and pr...
Article
Full-text available
The Xenopus fraseri subgroup contains several morphologically very similar, small- to medium-sized species that mainly occur in Central Africa. Only two species, X. pygmaeus and X. fraseri, have previously been reported from south of the Congo Basin. The latter has frequently been confused with X. andrei, a closely related species reported to be re...
Article
Full-text available
Species distributed across vast continental areas and across major biomes provide unique model systems for studies of biotic diversification, yet also constitute daunting financial, logistic and political challenges for data collection across such regions. The tree frog Dendropsophus minutus (Anura: Hylidae) is a nominal species, continentally dist...
Article
As the Earth's biota enters the sixth great mass extinction event recorded in the history of the planet, it is predicted that the erosion of biodiversity will result in the reduction of the goods and services that ecosystems provide. To mediate the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem function associated with wood production in temperate forests in E...
Article
Full-text available
The monotypic genus Trichobatrachus, with its sole representative, the hairy frog, Trichobatrachus robustus Boulenger, 1900, could be considered one of the most well-known frogs of Africa. Despite its broad recognition and the fact that it is considered wide-spread and locally common (Amiet & Burger 2004), surprisingly little is known about the act...
Article
Full-text available
The aromobatid frog Allobates amissibilis sp. nov. is described from a very limited area in the Iwokrama Mountains at elevations between 160 and 950 m, in central Guyana, South America. The new taxon is diagnosed from other Allobates species by morphology, bioacoustics, and genetics, and can be distinguished readily from known congeners by cryptic...
Article
Full-text available
Spiny-backed tree frogs of the genus Osteocephalus are conspicuous components of the tropical wet forests of the Amazon and the Guiana Shield. Here, we revise the phylogenetic relationships of Osteocephalus and its sister group Tepuihyla, using up to 6134bp of DNA sequences of nine mitochondrial and one nuclear gene for 338 specimens from eight cou...
Article
Full-text available
Amphibian faunas of the Lesser Antilles are depauperate, with only a few species being endemic and generally threatened. Allobates chalcopis from the island of Martinique is a particularly enigmatic case being the only known dendrobatid endemic to an oceanic island. This species has previously been suggested as being introduced to Martinique. The q...
Article
Full-text available
Astylosternus laticephalus sp. nov. Rödel, Hillers, Leaché, Kouamé, Ofori-Boateng, Diaz & Sandberger is described from eastern Ivory Coast and western and central Ghana, and compared to Astylosternus occidentalis Parker, 1931 from the western part of the Upper Guinea forest zone (western Ivory Coast, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone). Based on a co...
Article
Full-text available
Alpine landscapes are heavily influenced by ski run management, which can have severe impacts on alpine biodiversity. To assess these impacts on alpine Orthoptera, we compared species richness and species abundance in 41 plot pairs on ski runs and adjacent off-slope control plots in three ski resorts in Austria and Germany. A mixed modelling approa...
Article
Full-text available
Basic information about the taxonomy, biology and distribution of Hyalinobatrachium glassfrogs of the Guiana Shield (GS) is scarce, ambiguous, and in many cases even contradictory. In this review we aim to clarify the current taxonomic status of this group by means of phenotypic (morphology, morphometrics and bioacoustics) and molecular (mitochondr...
Article
Habitat templet theory predicts that habitat provides the templet on which evolution shapes species' multiple traits and thus their characteristic life-history strategies. By analysing entire trait communities (multiple species and traits) in this framework we can enhance our understanding of how species composition changes as environmental constra...