Convergent Morphological Evolution Detected by Studying Proteins of Tree Frogs in the Hyla eximia Species Group

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Science  05 Jul 1974:
Vol. 185, Issue 4145, pp. 66-68
DOI: 10.1126/science.185.4145.66


Protein studies have uncovered an apparent case of convergent evolution among North American tree frogs. The species Hyla eximia and Hyla regilla are so similar in external morphology that the "wrightorum" subspecies is assigned by some authorities to H. eximia and by others to H. regilla. Yet microcomplement fixation experiments show that "wrightorum" albumin, though virtually indistinguishable from authentic H. eximia albumin, differs as much from H. regilla albumin as from albumins of species outside the genus Hyla, such as Acris crepitans. The morphological resemblance of "wrightorum" to H. regilla is thus probably due to convergence.