Simon Loader

Simon Loader
University of Roehampton | RU · Department of Life Sciences

About

207
Publications
73,886
Reads
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4,057
Citations
Citations since 2017
34 Research Items
1735 Citations
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250300
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250300
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250300
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250300
Additional affiliations
September 2015 - March 2016
University of Roehampton
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
February 2007 - July 2015
University of Basel
Position
  • Lecturer

Publications

Publications (207)
Article
Full-text available
The spiny-throated reed frog species group is a small radiation of Hyperolius frogs from East Africa. Unlike many members of the genus which have relatively wide distributions, these species tend to be small-range endemics found in montane and submontane forests. Recent discovery of a golden-hued frog with the clade-specific traits of spines on the...
Article
Full-text available
Previous molecular phylogenetic studies of pygmy chameleons have identified several cases of undescribed cryptic diversity of species, some of which have remained undescribed due to a lack of morphological information. Here, we combine descriptive morphology with principal component analysis, to quantify the overall morphological variation, and phy...
Article
Records of biodiversity over time are important resources for assessing conservation priorities. However, such baseline data are missing for regions of key biodiversity importance. The Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania are known for their species richness and endemism, but not all mountain blocks have received the same attention. The Ukaguru Mounta...
Article
The frog Arthroleptides dutoiti Loveridge, 1935, endemic to Mount Elgon, East Africa was last collected in 1962 and has not been observed since. The species is regarded as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List and is a priority species on the Zoological Society of London’s EDGE (Evolutionarily Distinct, Globally Endangered) project, given its...
Book
Full-text available
This book pictures almost all the species of amphibians that an attentive visitor might encounter in the forests of Tanzania, which are are among some of the oldest, climatically stable and rich in biodiversity of the African continent. In some cases it is thought the forest has persisted for over 30 million years though fluctuating in extent durin...
Article
Full-text available
African amphibian diversity remains underestimated with many cryptic lineages awaiting formal description. An important hotspot of amphibian diversification is the Guineo-Congolian rainforest in Central Africa, its richness attributable to present day and ancestral range fragmentation through geological barriers, habitat expansion and contraction,...
Article
Full-text available
The genus Matoatoa includes two Malagasy endemic species, M. brevipes and M. spannringi. Due to their cryptic behaviour, the two species are known only from a handful of specimens and have been included in few molecular studies. Here we carried out a molecular barcoding analysis using a fragment of the mitochondrial NADH dehy-drogenase subunit 2 (N...
Article
Although Conraua goliath is well known as the largest living frog species, the diversity and evolution of the genus Conraua across sub-Saharan Africa remain poorly understood. We present multilocus phylogenetic analyses of the six currently recognized species that provide insights into divergence times, biogeography, body size evolution and undescr...
Article
The taxonomic validity of the East African reed frogs Hyperolius mitchelli Loveridge, 1953 and Hyperolius rubrovermiculatus Schiøtz, 1975 has been questioned in the literature, with the latter having been recognised as a distinct lineage, but also synonymised as a colour variant of H. mitchelli. The recent description of a new closely related conge...
Article
Using integrative approaches, a new large-bodied species of Phrynobatrachus is described from a series of 48 specimens from the montane forests of the West Usambara and North Pare Mountains of Tanzania. The most distinguishing morphological feature separating Phrynobatrachus ambanguluensis sp. nov from similar species is the markedly overhanging an...
Article
Narrow-mouthed frogs (Anura: Microhylidae) are globally distributed and molecular data suggest the rapid evolution of multiple subfamilies shortly after their origin. Despite recent progress, several subfamilial relationships remain unexplored using phylogenomic data. We analysed 1,796 nuclear ultraconserved elements, a total matrix of 400,664 nucl...
Article
A new species of tree snake Dipsadoboa montisilva Branch, Conradie & Tolley sp. nov. (Serpentes: Colubridae) is described from the ‘sky islands’ of Mount Mabu and Mount Ribáuè in northern Mozambique. Features of scalation, colour, body form and habitat distinguish the new species from other Dipsadoboa. This is supported by a phylogenetic analysis u...
Article
Full-text available
which includes wet and dry seasons in the area. Data on diversity, evenness and dominance was analyzed; seven endemic amphibian species belonging to one order, 5 families and 5 genera were recorded. The current results were compared with the past investigation of amphibians in the Harenna Forest. The results showed a decrease in abundance and diver...
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
Restriction site‐associated DNA sequencing (RADseq) has emerged as a useful tool in systematics and population genomics. A common feature of RADseq data sets is that they contain missing data that arise from multiple sources including genealogical sampling bias, assembly methodology and sequencing error. Many RADseq studies have demonstrated that a...
Article
High‐throughput sequencing data have greatly improved our ability to understand the processes that contribute to current biodiversity patterns. The “vanishing refuge” diversification model is speculated for the coastal forests of eastern Africa, whereby some taxa have persisted and diversified between forest refugia, while others have switched to b...
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
Nothophryne Poynton, 1963 is a monotypic genus of frog, with the nominal species N. broadleyi found only on Mount Mulanje, in southern Malawi. Recent surveys in northern Mozambique, however, have uncovered at least four new species associated with four inselbergs (Mount Inago, Mount Namuli, Mount Ribáuè and Taratibu Hills). Previous phylogenetic an...
Article
We present the first annotated amphibian checklist of Shimba Hills National Reserve (SHNR). The list comprises of 30 currently known amphibians (28 anurans and two caecilians), which includes 11 families and 15 genera. In addition, individual records per species, distribution in the reserve and brief remarks about the species are presented. The che...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity research is becoming increasingly dependent on genomics, which allows the unprecedented digitization and understanding of the planet’s biological heritage. The use of genetic markers i.e. DNA barcoding, has proved to be a powerful tool in species identification. However, full exploitation of this approach is hampered by the high sequen...
Data
Supplemental Figure A, B, C and D. Alignments of Arthroleptis’s 16S sequences: ONT consensus sequence vs its BLASTn best hit (A), Sanger sequence and its BLASTn best hit (B), ONT consensus sequence vs Sanger (C), Sanger vs ONT sequence after applying the ONtoBAR pipeline (D). (PDF)
Data
Scripts repository. The folder contains scripts used for the reconstruction of a consensus sequence from MinION sequencing reads. (GZ)
Data
ONtoBAR. The folder contains program files and instructions of the ONtoBAR software. (GZ)
Article
Full-text available
A new species of herpelid caecilian, Boulengerula spawlsi sp. nov., is described based on nine specimens from Ngaia (= Ngaya or Ngaja) Forest Reserve, Nyambene Hills, Meru County, Kenya collected between 2007 and 2013. The new species differs from all other Boulengerula in having more anteriorly positioned tentacular apertures and tentacular groove...
Article
Ecological niche models (ENMs) have been used in a wide range of ecological and evolutionary studies. In biogeographic studies these models have, among other things, helped in the discovery of new allopatric populations, and even new species. However, small sample sizes and questionable taxonomic delimitation can challenge models, often decreasing...
Article
Full-text available
How evolutionary novelties evolve is a major question in evolutionary biology. It is widely accepted that changes in environmental conditions shift the position of selective optima, and advancements in phylogenetic comparative approaches allow the rigorous testing of such correlated transitions. A longstanding question in vertebrate biology has bee...
Article
Full-text available
Amphibians are in decline globally due to increasing anthropogenic changes, and many species are at risk of extinction even before they are formally recognised. The Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa is a hotspot of amphibian diversity but is threatened by recent land use changes. Based on specimens collected in 2001 we identify a new species from t...
Article
Full-text available
Multiple sources of data in combination are essential for species delimitation and classification of difficult taxonomic groups. Here we investigate a cicada taxon with unusual cryptic diversity and we attempt to resolve seemingly contradictory data sets. Cicada songs act as species-specific premating barriers and have been used extensively to reve...
Data
Maximum likelihood mtDNA phylogeny (COI and COII) with bootstrap values from RAxML analysis for the Cicadetta brevipennis and Cicadetta cerdaniensis groups. (PDF)
Data
Maximum likelihood mtDNA phylogeny (COI and COII) with bootstrap values from RAxML analysis for the Cicadetta brevipennis group. (PDF)
Data
Database of the records of the Cicadetta brevipennis group. (XLSX)
Data
Nomenclature of Cicadetta brevipennis. (PDF)
Data
Power differences between phrases 1 and 2 in a spatial context. (PDF)
Data
Spatial origin of the specimens analysed acoustically, morphologically or molecularly. (PDF)
Data
List of collecting permits within the Cicadetta brevipennis group distribution. (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
We carried out a survey of reptiles and amphibians within Afromontane forest and woodland slopes of three inselbergs in northern Mozambique (Mount Mabu, Mount Namuli, and Mount Ribáuè). A total of 56 species (22 amphibians and 34 reptiles) were recorded during the current survey. Our findings substantially increase the number of herpetofaunal speci...
Article
Full-text available
Based on partial sequences of three mitochondrial (cox1, cox2, trnL) and two nuclear genes (18S and 28S) we conducted a molecular phylogenetic analysis of Prionoceridae represented by all three valid genera, 34 species and a large number of informal species groups from the Palaearctic, Afrotropical and Oriental regions. Analyses indicate the split...
Article
Full-text available
The niche-filling process predicted by the 'ecological opportunity' (EO) model is an often-invoked mechanism for generating exceptional diversity in island colonizers. Whether the same process governs lineage accumulation and trait disparity during continental colonization events is less clear. Here we test this prediction by investigating the rate...
Article
Full-text available
Molecular analysis indicates that African material previously referred to Amietophrynus maculatus (Hallowell, 1854; now Sclerophrys maculata), is divisible into two distinct clades: a Western Clade from Cameroon westwards and an Eastern Clade from Central African Republic eastwards, and Uganda southwards to South Africa, extending to Angola-Namibia...
Article
The phylogenetic relationships of the African mongrel frog genus Nothophryne are poorly understood. We provide the first molecular assessment of the phylogenetic position of, and diversity within, this monotypic genus from across its range - the Afromontane regions of Malawi and Mozambique. Our analysis using a two-tiered phylogenetic approach allo...
Article
Full-text available
We present an account of the 909 globally threatened taxa (793 species, 74 subspecies, 42 varieties) of animals and plants in the Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forests of Kenya and Tanzania and the sites in which they occur based upon a review of the 2015 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Results for animals are summarised by Class (Amphibia...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract. A new species of chameleon is described from the Livingstone and Udzungwa Mountains of Tanzania. The new species is morphologically most similar to Kinyongia vanheygeni. Furthermore, a single, short rostral appendage shows the species similarity to other Eastern Arc endemic Kinyongia species (e.g. K. uthmoelleri, K. oxyrhina, K. mag-omber...
Article
Full-text available
New distribution record for a range-restricted species of Mertensophryne (Anura: Bufonidae)
Article
Full-text available
Background Peripatric speciation and peripheral isolation have uncertain importance in species accumulation, and are largely overshadowed by assumed dominance of allopatric modes of speciation. Understanding the role of different speciation mechanisms within biodiversity hotspots is central to understanding the generation of biological diversity. H...
Article
Full-text available
Background The East African spiny-throated reed frog complex (Hyperolius spinigularis, H. tanneri, and H. minutissimus) is comprised of morphologically similar species with highly fragmented populations across the Eastern Afromontane Region. Recent genetic evidence has supported the distinctiveness of populations suggesting a number of cryptic spec...
Article
Full-text available
The tadpole of Leptopelis cf. grandiceps is described from the Uluguru Mountains of Tanzania. The tadpole resembles other Leptopelis tadpoles but differs from known East African Leptopelis tadpoles in having a divided first row (P1) of infralabial keratodonts and in having more and longer oral papillae. There are furthermore pronounced differences...
Article
Full-text available
An investigation of name-bearing types and other relevant type specimens of twelve nominal Leptopelis taxa described from or distributed in the Eastern Arc Mountains in East Africa was carried out. Our aim was to clarify their status and where necessary revise respective nomina. We suggest several nomenclatural and taxonomic actions: 1) Leptopelis...
Article
AimThe persistence and stability of habitats through time are considered predictors of high levels of biodiversity in some environments. Long-term habitat persistence and stability may explain the species-rich, endemic forest fauna and flora of the Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Region (EABR). Using complementary phylogenetic and biogeographical...
Article
Full-text available
The phylogenetic relationships of many taxa remain poorly known because of a lack of appropriate data and/or analyses. Despite substantial recent advances, amphibian phylogeny remains poorly resolved in many instances. The phylogenetic relationships of the Ethiopian endemic monotypic genus Ericabatrachus has been addressed thus far only with phenot...