Using mitochondrial 12S rRNA, 16S rRNA, and ND2 sequences, we investigated phylogenetic relationships among populations of two frog species endemic to China, both referred to the genus Feirana. A sister-group relationship between the two species was supported moderately in a maximum likelihood analysis and significantly in a Bayesian analysis, but not in a maximum parsimony analysis, of combined data for the three genes. Pending resolution of this incongruence, we provisionally maintain these species in the genus Feirana. Two major clades with a deep divergence are concordant with the species F. quadranus and “F.” taihangnica. In the present work, some populations from the Qinling Mountains and all those from the Funiu and the Zhongtiao-southern Taihang Mountains are referred to “F.” taihangnica rather than F. quadranus, whereas others are referred to F. quadranus. Consequently, the main body of the Qinling Mountains was identified as a large contact zone between these two species. On the basis of phylogenetic relationships and the distribution pattern of populations, we propose a hypothesis for the divergence of “F.” taihangnica: the ancestral species might have inhabited the westernmost Qinling Mountains and dispersed to the main Qinling Mountains, and then to the Zhongtiao-southern Taihang and Funiu Mountains. In contrast, two alternative hypotheses are suggested for F. quadranus: if the two species are confirmed as sister groups, F. quadranus might have dispersed from the westernmost Qinling to the Longmen, Qinling, Daba, and northern Wuling Mountains; alternatively, F. quadranus might have come from the northern Wuling Mountains and then dispersed to the Daba, Qinling, and Longmen mountains.
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