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Sample records for amphisbaenidae squamata amphisbaenia

  1. Ontogenetic allometry constrains cranial shape of the head-first burrowing worm lizard Cynisca leucura (Squamata: Amphisbaenidae).

    PubMed

    Hipsley, Christy A; Rentinck, Marc-Nicolas; Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Müller, Johannes

    2016-09-01

    Amphisbaenians are fossorial, predominantly limbless squamate reptiles with distinct cranial shapes corresponding to specific burrowing behaviors. Due to their cryptic lifestyles and the scarcity of museum specimens, little is known of their intraspecific variation, particularly regarding cranial osteology. This represents a critical lack of information, because the majority of morphological investigations of squamate relationships are based on cranial characters. We investigated cranial variation in the West African Coast Worm Lizard Cynisca leucura, a round-headed member of the Amphisbaenidae. Using geometric morphometric analyses of three-dimensional computed tomographic scans, we found that cranial osteology of C. leucura is highly conserved, with the majority of shape changes occurring during growth as the cranium becomes more slender and elongate, accompanied by increasing interdigitation among the dermal roofing bones. Elements of the ventral portion of the cranium remain loosely connected in adults, possibly as a protective mechanism against repeated compression and torsion during burrow excavation. Intraspecific variation was strongly correlated with size change from juveniles to adults, indicating a dominant role of ontogenetic allometry in determining cranial shape. We found no evidence of sexual dimorphism, either during growth or among adults. Given the fossorial habits of C. leucura, we hypothesize that cranial allometry is under strong stabilizing selection to maintain adequate proportions for head-first digging, thereby constraining the ability of individuals to respond to differing selection pressures, including sexual selection and variation in diet or microhabitat. For species in which digging imposes less mechanical stress (e.g., in softer sand), allometric associations during growth may be weakened, allowing changes to the ontogenetic trajectory and subsequent morphological traits. Such developmental dissociation between size and shape, known

  2. A new Amphisbaena (Squamata: Amphisbaenidae) from southern Espinhaço Range, southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Costa, Henrique C; Resende, Flávia C; Teixeira, Mauro; Dal Vechio, Francisco; Clemente, Cinara A

    2015-01-01

    A new species of Amphisbaena is described from a semi-deciduous forest in Conceição do Mato Dentro, southern Espinhaço Range, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The following combined characters can diagnose the new species from all congeners: head round-shaped; two or three precloacal pores sequentially arranged; 190-199 body annuli; 2-3 lateral annuli; 23-25 caudal annuli; autotomy sites on caudal annuli 7-9; 12-14 dorsal segments on midbody annulus; 14-16 ventral segments on midbody annulus; three supralabials; three infralabials; postmalar row present or absent; dorsum light brown, with cream intersegmental sutures; venter cream. To date, the new species is known only from the Espinhaço Range, highlighting the importance of conservation actions for these mountains. PMID:26131637

  3. Karyological study of Amphisbaena ridleyi (Squamata, Amphisbaenidae), an endemic species of the Archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    The karyotype of Amphisbaena ridleyi, an endemic species of the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, in State of Pernambuco, Brazil, is described after conventional staining, Ag-NOR impregnation and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with a telomeric probe. The diploid number is 46, with nine pairs of macrochromosomes (three metacentrics, four subtelocentrics and two acrocentrics) and 14 pairs of microchromosomes. The Ag-NOR is located in the telomeric region of the long arm of metacentric chromosome 2 and FISH revealed signals only in the telomeric region of all chromosomes. Further cytogenetic data on other amphisbaenians as well as a robust phylogenetic hypothesis of this clade is needed in order to understand the evolutionary changes on amphisbaenian karyotypes. PMID:21637605

  4. Biogeography of worm lizards (Amphisbaenia) driven by end-Cretaceous mass extinction.

    PubMed

    Longrich, Nicholas R; Vinther, Jakob; Pyron, R Alexander; Pisani, Davide; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2015-05-01

    Worm lizards (Amphisbaenia) are burrowing squamates that live as subterranean predators. Their underground existence should limit dispersal, yet they are widespread throughout the Americas, Europe and Africa. This pattern was traditionally explained by continental drift, but molecular clocks suggest a Cenozoic diversification, long after the break-up of Pangaea, implying dispersal. Here, we describe primitive amphisbaenians from the North American Palaeocene, including the oldest known amphisbaenian, and provide new and older molecular divergence estimates for the clade, showing that worm lizards originated in North America, then radiated and dispersed in the Palaeogene following the Cretaceous-Palaeogene (K-Pg) extinction. This scenario implies at least three trans-oceanic dispersals: from North America to Europe, from North America to Africa and from Africa to South America. Amphisbaenians provide a striking case study in biogeography, suggesting that the role of continental drift in biogeography may be overstated. Instead, these patterns support Darwin and Wallace's hypothesis that the geographical ranges of modern clades result from dispersal, including oceanic rafting. Mass extinctions may facilitate dispersal events by eliminating competitors and predators that would otherwise hinder establishment of dispersing populations, removing biotic barriers to dispersal. PMID:25833855

  5. Relict endemism of extant Rhineuridae (Amphisbaenia): testing for phylogenetic niche conservatism in the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Hipsley, Christy A; Müller, Johannes

    2014-03-01

    Rhineurid amphisbaenians are represented by a rich Cenozoic fossil record in North America, but today conisist of a single living species restricted to the Florida Peninsula. Such relict endemism may be the result of phylogenetic niche conservatism (PNC), the retention of ancestral traits preventing expansion into new environments. Most tests of PNC derive ancestral niche preferences from species' extant ecologies, while ignoring valuable paleontological information. To test if PNC contributes to the restricted distribution of modern Rhineura floridana, we compare the species' current environmental preferences (temperature, precipitation and soil) to paleoenvironmental data from the rhineurid fossil record. We find no evidence of PNC in modern R. floridana, as it also occurred in Florida during drier glacial periods. Ancient rhineurids also exhibit tolerance to changing climates, having undergone a shift from subtropical-humid to semi-arid savanna conditions during the Eocene-Oligocene transition. However, rhineurids nearly disappear from North America after the middle Miocene, potentially due to the onset of prolonged freezing temperatures following the mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum. This physiological limit of environmental tolerances could be interpreted as PNC for the entire family, but also characterizes much of Amphisbaenia, emphasizing the relevance of the temporal as well as phylogenetic scale at which PNC is investigated. PMID:24482295

  6. Biogeography of worm lizards (Amphisbaenia) driven by end-Cretaceous mass extinction

    PubMed Central

    Longrich, Nicholas R.; Vinther, Jakob; Pyron, R. Alexander; Pisani, Davide; Gauthier, Jacques A.

    2015-01-01

    Worm lizards (Amphisbaenia) are burrowing squamates that live as subterranean predators. Their underground existence should limit dispersal, yet they are widespread throughout the Americas, Europe and Africa. This pattern was traditionally explained by continental drift, but molecular clocks suggest a Cenozoic diversification, long after the break-up of Pangaea, implying dispersal. Here, we describe primitive amphisbaenians from the North American Palaeocene, including the oldest known amphisbaenian, and provide new and older molecular divergence estimates for the clade, showing that worm lizards originated in North America, then radiated and dispersed in the Palaeogene following the Cretaceous-Palaeogene (K-Pg) extinction. This scenario implies at least three trans-oceanic dispersals: from North America to Europe, from North America to Africa and from Africa to South America. Amphisbaenians provide a striking case study in biogeography, suggesting that the role of continental drift in biogeography may be overstated. Instead, these patterns support Darwin and Wallace's hypothesis that the geographical ranges of modern clades result from dispersal, including oceanic rafting. Mass extinctions may facilitate dispersal events by eliminating competitors and predators that would otherwise hinder establishment of dispersing populations, removing biotic barriers to dispersal. PMID:25833855

  7. A new two-pored species of Amphisbaena (Squamata, Amphisbaenidae) from the Brazilian Cerrado, with a key to the two-pored species of Amphisbaena.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Síria; Gomes, Jerriane O; Silva, Helder Lúcio Rodrigues Da; Cintra, Carlos Eduardo D; Silva, Nelson Jorge Da Jr

    2016-01-01

    A new species of Amphisbaena is described from municipalities of Babaçulândia, State of Tocantins, and Estreito, State of Maranhão, northern Brazilian Cerrado. The new species differs from other two-pored species of the genus, by presenting mainly slender body shape; snout rounded in profile and dorsal view; high number of body annuli (328-342); 12-14 dorsal segments and 14-16 ventral in midbody half-annulus; autotomic site between 9-10th caudal annuli; absence of chevron-shaped anterior dorsal half-annuli; 20-23 caudal annuli; postmalar row absent; and precloacals pores arranged in a continuous series of the precloacal half-annuli. Additionally, we present a key for two-pored species of Amphisbaena. PMID:27515611

  8. The complete mitochondrial genome of Eremias przewalskii (Squamata: Lacertidae).

    PubMed

    Du, Yu; Qiu, Qing-Bo; Tong, Qing-Lin; Lin, Long-Hui

    2016-05-01

    In this paper, the complete mitochondrial genome of Eremias przewalskii (Squamata: Lacertidae) is reported, which is a circular molecule of 18,225 bp in size. The base composition of mtDNA is as follows: 30.3% A, 27.9% T, 27.9% C and 13.9% G. The genome consists of 13 protein coding genes, 22 transfer RNAs, 2 ribosomal RNA genes and one putative control region. PMID:25319296

  9. Development and characterization of 47 novel microsatellite markers for Vellozia squamata (Velloziaceae)1

    PubMed Central

    Duarte-Barbosa, Marcia; Bajay, Miklos M.; Zucchi, Maria I.; Pivello, Vânia R.

    2015-01-01

    • Premise of the study: We developed and validated microsatellite primers for Vellozia squamata (Velloziaceae), an endemic species of the cerrado (Brazilian savannas), to investigate the influence of different fire regimes on its genetic diversity and population structure. • Methods and Results: Using a selective hybridization method, we tested 51 SSR loci using a natural population of V. squamata and obtained 47 amplifiable loci. Among these, 26 loci were polymorphic and the average values of genetic diversity were: average number of alleles per locus (A¯) = 6.54, average number of alleles per polymorphic locus (A¯p) = 7.13, average observed heterozygosity (H¯o) = 0.22, average expected heterozygosity (H¯e) = 0.49, and average fixation index (F¯) = 0.55. • Conclusions: These 26 loci allowed us to assess the effects of distinct fire regimes on the genetic structure of V. squamata populations with the aim of establishing strategies for the conservation of this endemic species. The markers can also be useful for future pharmaceutical studies, as the species has great potential for medicinal and cosmetic applications. PMID:25699216

  10. Carbamate derivatives and sesquiterpenoids from the South China Sea gorgonian Melitodes squamata.

    PubMed

    Huang, Li-Si; He, Fei; Huang, Hui; Zhang, Xiao-Yong; Qi, Shu-Hua

    2012-01-01

    Five carbamate derivatives, obtucarbamates C and D (1, 2), dimethyl ((carbonylbis(azanediyl))bis(2-methyl-5,1-phenylene))dicarbamate (3), obtucarbamates A and B (4, 5), and four aromadendrane-type sesquiterpenoids, (+)-4β-N-methenetauryl-10β-methoxy-1β,5α,6β,7β-aromadendrane (6), (-)-4β-N-methenetauryl-10β-methoxy-1β,5β,6α,7α-aromadendrane (7), (-)-4α,10β-aromadendranediol (8), (+)-4β,10β-aromadendranediol (9) were obtained from the South China Sea gorgonian coral Melitodes squamata Nutting. Compounds 1, 2, 6, and 7 were new, and their structures were established by spectroscopic analyses. Compounds 6 and 7 contained a taurine group that was rarely found in marine natural compounds, and 7 showed moderate antibacterial activity. The possible biosynthesis routes of 1-5 were conjectured. PMID:22423284

  11. Sequencing and analysis of the complete mitochondrial genome of Elaphe anomala (Squamata Colubridae).

    PubMed

    Liu, Peng; Zhao, Wen-Ge

    2016-07-01

    In this study, the complete mitogenome sequence of Elaphe anomala (Squamata: Colubridae) is first determined using long PCR. It is a circular molecule of 17,164 bp in length and contains 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 transfer RNA (tRNA) genes, 2 ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes and 2 control regions (CRI and CRII). The gene order and nucleotide composition of E. anomala are very similar with E. schrenckii. Mitochondrial genomes analyses based on the NJ method yield phylogenetic tree of 17 species snakes of Colubridae. Species E. anomala, E. schrenckii, E. bimaculata and E. davidi seemed to have formed a monophyletic group with the high bootstrap value (100%) except E. poryphyracea. Oligodon ningshaanensis and Thermophis zhaoermii are special species. The molecular data presented here provide a useful tool for setting the stage for further studies. PMID:26057014

  12. The complete mitochondrial genome of the Amur rat-snake Elaphe schrenckii (Squamata: Colubridae).

    PubMed

    Liu, Peng; Zhao, Wen-Ge

    2016-07-01

    In this study, the whole mitochondrial genome of Elaphe schrenckii (Squamata: Colubridae) is first sequenced. It is a circular molecule of 17,165 bp in size and consists of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA (tRNA) genes, 2 ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes and 2 control regions (CRI and CRII). Except for eight tRNAs and ND6 gene, all other mitochondrial genes were encoded on the heavy strand (H strand). The gene order and orientation of E. schrenckii mitogenome are basically identical to that of other alethinophidian snakes. Mitochondrial genome analyses based on MP, ML and NJ yielded identical phylogenetic trees, indicating a close phylogenetic affinity of 12 species of Colubridae snakes. This study will facilitate the further research of the population genetics of this species and systematic analyses of the genus Elaphe. PMID:26017041

  13. The complete mitochondrial genome of the toad-headed lizard, Phrynocephalus forsythii (Reptilia, Squamata, Agamidae).

    PubMed

    Shao, Min; Ma, Li; Wang, Zheng

    2016-09-01

    In this study, we report the complete mitochondrial genome of Phrynocephalus forsythii (Reptilia, Squamata, Agamidae), which is a circular molecule of 16,143 bp in size and consists of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNAs, 2 ribosomal RNAs and 2 non-coding sequence (D-loop). The mitogenome of P. forsythii was similar to the typical mtDNA of vertebrates in gene arrangement and composition. The control region composed of two parts: one (348 bp) between tRNA(Phe) and the other (636 bp) between tRNA(Pro) and 12S rRNA. The A + T content of overall base of the composition of H-strand is 62.0% (T: 25.6%, C: 25.7%, A: 36.3% and G: 12.3%). The whole mitogenomic sequence of P. forsythii provides powerful data to study of its phylogenetic position within toad-headed lizards. PMID:25690055

  14. Female heterogamety in Madagascar chameleons (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae: Furcifer): differentiation of sex and neo-sex chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Rovatsos, Michail; Johnson Pokorná, Martina; Altmanová, Marie; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2015-01-01

    Amniotes possess variability in sex determining mechanisms, however, this diversity is still only partially known throughout the clade and sex determining systems still remain unknown even in such a popular and distinctive lineage as chameleons (Squamata: Acrodonta: Chamaeleonidae). Here, we present evidence for female heterogamety in this group. The Malagasy giant chameleon (Furcifer oustaleti) (chromosome number 2n = 22) possesses heteromorphic Z and W sex chromosomes with heterochromatic W. The panther chameleon (Furcifer pardalis) (2n = 22 in males, 21 in females), the second most popular chameleon species in the world pet trade, exhibits a rather rare Z1Z1Z2Z2/Z1Z2W system of multiple sex chromosomes, which most likely evolved from W-autosome fusion. Notably, its neo-W chromosome is partially heterochromatic and its female-specific genetic content has expanded into the previously autosomal region. Showing clear evidence for genotypic sex determination in the panther chameleon, we resolve the long-standing question of whether or not environmental sex determination exists in this species. Together with recent findings in other reptile lineages, our work demonstrates that female heterogamety is widespread among amniotes, adding another important piece to the mosaic of knowledge on sex determination in amniotes needed to understand the evolution of this important trait. PMID:26286647

  15. Female heterogamety in Madagascar chameleons (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae: Furcifer): differentiation of sex and neo-sex chromosomes

    PubMed Central

    Rovatsos, Michail; Pokorná, Martina Johnson; Altmanová, Marie; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2015-01-01

    Amniotes possess variability in sex determining mechanisms, however, this diversity is still only partially known throughout the clade and sex determining systems still remain unknown even in such a popular and distinctive lineage as chameleons (Squamata: Acrodonta: Chamaeleonidae). Here, we present evidence for female heterogamety in this group. The Malagasy giant chameleon (Furcifer oustaleti) (chromosome number 2n = 22) possesses heteromorphic Z and W sex chromosomes with heterochromatic W. The panther chameleon (Furcifer pardalis) (2n = 22 in males, 21 in females), the second most popular chameleon species in the world pet trade, exhibits a rather rare Z1Z1Z2Z2/Z1Z2W system of multiple sex chromosomes, which most likely evolved from W-autosome fusion. Notably, its neo-W chromosome is partially heterochromatic and its female-specific genetic content has expanded into the previously autosomal region. Showing clear evidence for genotypic sex determination in the panther chameleon, we resolve the long-standing question of whether or not environmental sex determination exists in this species. Together with recent findings in other reptile lineages, our work demonstrates that female heterogamety is widespread among amniotes, adding another important piece to the mosaic of knowledge on sex determination in amniotes needed to understand the evolution of this important trait. PMID:26286647

  16. Molecular phylogenetic and dating analyses using mitochondrial DNA sequences of eyelid geckos (Squamata: Eublepharidae).

    PubMed

    Jonniaux, Pierre; Kumazawa, Yoshinori

    2008-01-15

    Mitochondrial DNA sequences of approximately 2.3 kbp including the complete NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 gene and its flanking genes, as well as parts of 12S and 16S rRNA genes were determined from major species of the eyelid gecko family Eublepharidae sensu [Kluge, A.G. 1987. Cladistic relationships in the Gekkonoidea (Squamata, Sauria). Misc. Publ. Mus. Zool. Univ. Michigan 173, 1-54.]. In contrast to previous morphological studies, phylogenetic analyses based on these sequences supported that Eublepharidae and Gekkonidae form a sister group with Pygopodidae, raising the possibility of homoplasious character change in some key features of geckos, such as reduction of movable eyelids and innovation of climbing toe pads. The phylogenetic analyses also provided a well-resolved tree for relationships between the eublepharid species. The Bayesian estimation of divergence times without assuming the molecular clock suggested the Jurassic divergence of Eublepharidae from Gekkonidae and radiations of most eublepharid genera around the Cretaceous. These dating results appeared to be robust against some conditional changes for time estimation, such as gene regions used, taxon representation, and data partitioning. Taken together with geological evidence, these results support the vicariant divergence of Eublepharidae and Gekkonidae by the breakup of Pangea into Laurasia and Gondwanaland, and recent dispersal of two African eublepharid genera from Eurasia to Africa after these landmasses were connected in the Early Miocene. PMID:18029117

  17. Type specimens of Crotalus scutulatus (Chordata: Reptilia: Squamata: Viperidae) re-examined, with new evidence after more than a century of confusion

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cardwell, Michael D.; Gotte, Steve W.; McDiarmid, Roy W.; Gilmore, Ned; Poindexter, James A.

    2013-01-01

    The original description of Crotalus scutulatus (Chordata: Reptilia: Squamata: Viperidae) was published in 1861 by Robert Kennicott, who did not identify a type specimen or a type locality. We review the history of specimens purported to be the type(s) and various designations of type locality. We provide evidence that ANSP 7069 (formerly one of two specimens of USNM 5027) is the holotype and that the appropriate type locality is Fort Buchanan, near present-day Sonoita, in Santa Cruz County, Arizona.

  18. A phylogeny and revised classification of Squamata, including 4161 species of lizards and snakes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The extant squamates (>9400 known species of lizards and snakes) are one of the most diverse and conspicuous radiations of terrestrial vertebrates, but no studies have attempted to reconstruct a phylogeny for the group with large-scale taxon sampling. Such an estimate is invaluable for comparative evolutionary studies, and to address their classification. Here, we present the first large-scale phylogenetic estimate for Squamata. Results The estimated phylogeny contains 4161 species, representing all currently recognized families and subfamilies. The analysis is based on up to 12896 base pairs of sequence data per species (average = 2497 bp) from 12 genes, including seven nuclear loci (BDNF, c-mos, NT3, PDC, R35, RAG-1, and RAG-2), and five mitochondrial genes (12S, 16S, cytochrome b, ND2, and ND4). The tree provides important confirmation for recent estimates of higher-level squamate phylogeny based on molecular data (but with more limited taxon sampling), estimates that are very different from previous morphology-based hypotheses. The tree also includes many relationships that differ from previous molecular estimates and many that differ from traditional taxonomy. Conclusions We present a new large-scale phylogeny of squamate reptiles that should be a valuable resource for future comparative studies. We also present a revised classification of squamates at the family and subfamily level to bring the taxonomy more in line with the new phylogenetic hypothesis. This classification includes new, resurrected, and modified subfamilies within gymnophthalmid and scincid lizards, and boid, colubrid, and lamprophiid snakes. PMID:23627680

  19. Atypical reproductive cycles in a population of Sceloporus grammicus (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae) from the Mexican Plateau

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez-Bautista, Aurelio; Stephenson, Barry P; Lozano, Abraham; Uribe-Rodríguez, Héctor; Leyte Manrique, Adrian

    2012-01-01

    The spiny lizard Sceloporus grammicus (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae) is a small reptile from central México and the southern United States, occurring in a wide geographic area characterized by extensive variation in topographic and climatic regimes. Genetic variation among lineages from central México is substantial, though the extent to which this variation corresponds with life-history traits remains obscure. To address part of this puzzle, we studied a population of S. grammicus from Tepeapulco, Hidalgo, México. Male-biased sexual dimorphism was extensive in this population; males were larger than females overall, and expressed proportionately larger heads and longer limbs. Minimum size at sexual maturity was similar in the sexes (males: 43 mm; females: 42 mm). In contrast to other populations from the Central Plateau, reproductive activity of males and females was synchronous. Testicular recrudescence of adult males was initiated in October–November, and maximum testis size maintained from December to July. Female reproductive activity showed no clear seasonal pattern: females had vitellogenic follicles from October to July, and pregnant females were found throughout the year. Female body size was not related to litter size. Neither male nor female gonadal mass was correlated with any abiotic environmental variable examined. Differences in reproductive characteristics among populations of S. grammicus might be indicative of plasticity in response to local environmental conditions, local adaptation, or complex gene × environment interactions. We consider these results in the context of previously studied populations of S. grammicus from the Central Plateau and elsewhere, and propose directions for future research. PMID:22957191

  20. A new genus and species of pterygosomatid mite (Acari: Pterygosomatidae) parasitizing Callopistes maculatus (Squamata: Teiidae) from Chile.

    PubMed

    Fuente, María Carolina Silva-de La; Paredes-León, Ricardo; Casanueva, María Eugenia; Escobar-Huerta, Gustavo; Salas, Lucila Moreno

    2015-01-01

    A new genus and species Callopistiella atacamensis gen. nov. and sp. nov. (Acariformes: Pterygosomatidae) are described from Callopistes maculatus (Squamata: Teiidae) in Chile. In this species, both sexes are characterized by the hypostome without a velum, the chelicerae proximally globose and very thin distally, ending in a movable digit curved outward, the fixed cheliceral digit reduced to a membranous and sparsely serrate structure, presence of seta 2c, tarsus I with seta ft nude and 2 times longer than solenidion ω2; larvae have solenidion ω1 on tarsus I and tibia I without solenidion φ and moderate hypertrichy present around the genital area. Some biological aspects of this new species are discussed. PMID:26249482

  1. Record length, mass, and clutch size in the nonindigenous Burmese Python, Python bivittatus Kuhl 1820 (Squamata: Pythonidae), in Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krysko, Kenneth L.; Hart, Kristen M.; Smith, Brian J.; Selby, Thomas H.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Coutu, Nicholas T.; Reichart, Rebecca M.; Nuñez, Leroy P.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Snow, Ray W.

    2012-01-01

    The Burmese Python, Python bivittatus Kuhl 1820 (Squamata: Pythonidae), is indigenous to northern India,east to southern China, and south to Vietnam and a few islands in Indonesia (Barker and Barker 2008, Reed and Rodda 2009). This species has been introduced since at least 1979 in southern Florida, USA, where it likely began reproducing and became established during the 1980s (Meshaka et al. 2000, Snowet al. 2007b,Kraus 2009, Krysko et al. 2011, Willson et al. 2011). Python bivittatus has been documented in Florida consuming a variety of mammals and birds, and the American Alligator(Alligator mississippiensis) (Snowet al. 2007a, 2007b; Harvey et al. 2008; Rochford et al. 2010b; Holbrook and Chesnes 2011), many of which are protected species. Herein, we provide details on two of the largest known wild P. bivittatus in Florida to date, including current records on length,mass,clutch size, and diet.

  2. Liolaemus lizards (Squamata: Liolaemidae) as hosts for the nymph of Amblyomma parvitarsum (Acari: Ixodidae), with notes on Rickettsia infection.

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Leal, Sebastián; Tarragona, Evelina L; Martins, Thiago F; Martín, Claudia M; Burgos-Gallardo, Freddy; Nava, Santiago; Labruna, Marcelo B; González-Acuña, Daniel

    2016-10-01

    Adults of Amblyomma parvitarsum are common ectoparasites of South American camelids of the genera Lama and Vicugna, occuring in highlands of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru and also in Argentinean Patagonia. Whereas larval stages of this tick are known to feed on small lizards, host records for the nymphal instar have remained unreported. Supported by morphological and molecular analyses, herein we report A. parvitarsum nymphs parasitizing two Liolaemus species (Reptilia: Squamata) in the Andean Plateau of Argentina and Chile. Additionally, by a PCR screening targetting gltA and ompA genes, DNA of Rickettsia was detected in one of the collected nymphs. Obtained sequences of this agent were identical to a recent Rickettsia sp. described infecting adults of this tick species in Chile and Argentina. PMID:27406395

  3. The effect of copper and temperature on juveniles of the eurybathic brittle star Amphipholis squamata--exploring responses related to motility and the water vascular system.

    PubMed

    Black, James Geoffrey; Reichelt-Brushett, Amanda Jean; Clark, Malcolm W

    2015-04-01

    The limited availability of test organisms that represent tropical and deeper water environments is a significant concern when assessing the risk of contaminants in these environments. Amphipholis squamata (Delle Chiaje 1828) is a widely distributed brittle star with many phylogenetic clades reported from different latitudes, and it also occurs from the intertidal zone to a depth of ∼1300 m. In the present study, the effect of copper on four behavioural responses and mortality of A. squamata were quantified at four different temperatures including 25, 20, 15 and 10°C. At 25°C the four behavioural responses and mortality were relatively sensitive to copper, with 96 h EC50 values of 25 (confidence interval 18-44), 24 (7-26), 32 (24-41), 29 (9-41) μg L(-1) for the measured ability to turn from the oral surface up to oral surface down, curling behaviour, tube foot movement, and tube foot retraction respectively. The average 96-h LC50 value for copper at 25°C was 46 μg L(-1). Some endpoints investigated showed significant effects of reduced temperature compared to the optimal temperature. These effects were enhanced with increasing copper concentrations and significant differences in copper toxicity between temperature treatments were most notable when measuring the ability to turn from the oral surface up to oral surface down where the EC50 changed from 25 (18 to 44) to 6 (-18 to 14) μg L(-1) with a reduction of temperature from 25 to 15°C. The results showed that A. squamata is relatively sensitive to copper and that further investigation into the effects of other stressors on these endpoints is warranted. PMID:25465949

  4. Nomenclature of Vertebral Laminae in Lizards, with Comments on Ontogenetic and Serial Variation in Lacertini (Squamata, Lacertidae).

    PubMed

    Tschopp, Emanuel

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral laminae are bony ridges or sheets that connect important morphological landmarks on the vertebrae, like diapophyses or zygapophyses. They usually exhibit some serial variation throughout the column. A consistent terminology facilitates the morphological description of this variation, and the recognition of patterns that could be taxonomically significant and could serve as phylogenetic characters. Such a terminology was designed for saurischian dinosaurs, and has also been applied to other members of Archosauriformes. Herein, this terminology is applied for the first time to lizards (Squamata). Probably due to their generally smaller size compared to saurischian dinosaurs, lizards have less developed vertebral laminae. Some laminae could not be recognized in this group and others require new names to account for differences in basic vertebral morphology. For instance, the fusion of diapophysis and parapophysis in lacertids into a structure called synapophysis necessitates the creation of the new term synapophyseal laminae for both diapophyseal and parapophyseal laminae. An assessment of occurrence and serial variation in a number of lacertid species shows that some laminae develop throughout ontogeny or only occur in large-sized species, whereas the distribution of other laminae might prove to be taxonomically significant in future. PMID:26907769

  5. Autocrine and paracrine Shh signaling are necessary for tooth morphogenesis, but not tooth replacement in snakes and lizards (Squamata).

    PubMed

    Handrigan, Gregory R; Richman, Joy M

    2010-01-01

    Here we study the role of Shh signaling in tooth morphogenesis and successional tooth initiation in snakes and lizards (Squamata). By characterizing the expression of Shh pathway receptor Ptc1 in the developing dentitions of three species (Eublepharis macularius, Python regius, and Pogona vitticeps) and by performing gain- and loss-of-function experiments, we demonstrate that Shh signaling is active in the squamate tooth bud and is required for its normal morphogenesis. Shh apparently mediates tooth morphogenesis by separate paracrine- and autocrine-mediated functions. According to this model, paracrine Shh signaling induces cell proliferation in the cervical loop, outer enamel epithelium, and dental papilla. Autocrine signaling within the stellate reticulum instead appears to regulate cell survival. By treating squamate dental explants with Hh antagonist cyclopamine, we induced tooth phenotypes that closely resemble the morphological and differentiation defects of vestigial, first-generation teeth in the bearded dragon P. vitticeps. Our finding that these vestigial teeth are deficient in epithelial Shh signaling further corroborates that Shh is needed for the normal development of teeth in snakes and lizards. Finally, in this study, we definitively refute a role for Shh signaling in successional dental lamina formation and conclude that other pathways regulate tooth replacement in squamates. PMID:19850027

  6. Pterygosomatid mites of a new species group ligare (Acariformes: Pterygosomatidae: Pterygosoma) parasitizing tree iguanas (Squamata: Liolaemidae: Liolaemus).

    PubMed

    Fajfer, Monika; González Acuña, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    A new species group, ligare, is established within the subgenus Pterygosoma (Acariformes: Pterygosomatidae: Pterygosoma) based on an analysis of female morphology. This group includes 6 newly described species--all from Liolaemus spp. (Squamata: Liolaemidae) from Chile: P. ligare sp. nov., P. formosus sp. nov., P. ovata sp. nov., and P. levissima sp. nov. from Liolaemuspictus; P chilensis sp. nov. from L. chilensis, and P. cyanogasteri sp. nov. from L. cyanogaster. The ligare species group differs from other mites of the subgenus Pterygosoma by the presence of the movable cheliceral digit without a basal spur, solenidion Ω of the palp tarsus, anterior mid-dorsal setae, large number of setae (about 200-300 pairs) on the lateral and the posterior parts of the idiosomal dorsum and the lateral parts of the idiosomal venter, by the idiosomal hypertrichy of ventro-median setae vm, setae 3a located outside of coxal fields II, the absence of setae 4b, the presence of paired setae tc and vs on tarsi III-IV, 5 setae on tibiae II-IV, 4 or 5 setae on genua I, II, 3 setae on genua III-IV, 5 setae on femur I, 5 or 4 setae on femur II and 3 setae on femur III. A key to females of the new species group is provided. Pterygosoma patagonica Dittmar de la Cruz, Morando and Avila, 2004 insufficiently described but showing most characterisitcs of ligare group is considered as nomen dubium. PMID:26185849

  7. Nomenclature of Vertebral Laminae in Lizards, with Comments on Ontogenetic and Serial Variation in Lacertini (Squamata, Lacertidae)

    PubMed Central

    Tschopp, Emanuel

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral laminae are bony ridges or sheets that connect important morphological landmarks on the vertebrae, like diapophyses or zygapophyses. They usually exhibit some serial variation throughout the column. A consistent terminology facilitates the morphological description of this variation, and the recognition of patterns that could be taxonomically significant and could serve as phylogenetic characters. Such a terminology was designed for saurischian dinosaurs, and has also been applied to other members of Archosauriformes. Herein, this terminology is applied for the first time to lizards (Squamata). Probably due to their generally smaller size compared to saurischian dinosaurs, lizards have less developed vertebral laminae. Some laminae could not be recognized in this group and others require new names to account for differences in basic vertebral morphology. For instance, the fusion of diapophysis and parapophysis in lacertids into a structure called synapophysis necessitates the creation of the new term synapophyseal laminae for both diapophyseal and parapophyseal laminae. An assessment of occurrence and serial variation in a number of lacertid species shows that some laminae develop throughout ontogeny or only occur in large-sized species, whereas the distribution of other laminae might prove to be taxonomically significant in future. PMID:26907769

  8. Systematics and biogeography of Hemidactylus homoeolepis Blanford, 1881 (Squamata: Gekkonidae), with the description of a new species from Arabia.

    PubMed

    Vasconcelos, Raquel; Carranza, Salvador

    2014-01-01

    A new species of gecko of the genus Hemidactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) is described from Oman and extreme eastern Yemen. Hemidactylus minutus sp. nov. is characterized morphologically by its very small size, being the smallest Hemidactylus in mainland Arabia, absence of enlarged tubercles anywhere on the body, expanded subcaudal scales beginning some way from tail base, number of preanal pores, number of lamellae under the first and fourth toes, and weakly contrasted black and white banded pattern on the ventral part of tail. It is also genetically distinct from H. homoeolepis to which it has previously been referred, and from all other closely related Hemidactylus from the arid clade in DNA sequence data for mitochondrial (12S, cyt b, ND4) and three nuclear (RAG1, MC1R, c‑mos) markers. An adult female from southern Yemen and a badly preserved juvenile from southwestern Saudi Arabia previously assigned to H. homoeolepis are morphologically differentiated from this species and from H. minutus sp. nov. and temporarily referred to as Hemidactylus sp. 12 and Hemidactylus sp. 13, respectively until more specimens are collected and analyzed.        Up to now, H. homoeolepis was the only non-endemic native species of the Socotra Archipelago. With the description of H. minutus sp. nov., all native reptile species of Socotra are now endemic, such that this archipelago has one with the highest number of endemic reptiles in relation to its small size. In addition, as a result of our taxonomic change, the area of occupancy and extent of occurrence of H. homoeolepis have changed dramatically and thus its conservation status should be updated. Although H. minutus sp. nov. seems widely distributed and relatively abundant, its conservation status should also be re-evaluated.  PMID:25081467

  9. The ultrastructure of the spermatozoon of the lizard Iguana iguana (Reptilia, Squamata, Iguanidae) and the variability of sperm morphology among iguanian lizards

    PubMed Central

    Vieira, Gustavo H C; Colli, Guarino R; Báo, Sônia N

    2004-01-01

    The spermatozoon of Iguana iguana is filiform and resembles that of other iguanian lizards, being most similar to Tropidurus. All sperm synapomorphies of Tetrapoda, Amniota and Squamata are present in the sperm of Iguana iguana. By reconstructing the evolution of 30 sperm characters we identified a novel synapomorphy of Iguania: the presence of a well-developed acrosomal ridge at the level of the epinuclear lucent zone. Because of the poor topological resolution among iguanian clades we could not discount the possibility of convergence or neutral selection as determinant of the variability in characteristics of the sperm cell. In agreement with previous studies, we identified heterogeneous rates of evolution among the three main regions of the sperm cell, namely the head, midpiece and tail. PMID:15198687

  10. A survey of neonicotinoid use and potential exposure to northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and scaled quail (Callipepla squamata) in the Rolling Plains of Texas and Oklahoma.

    PubMed

    Turaga, Uday; Peper, Steven T; Dunham, Nicholas R; Kumar, Naveen; Kistler, Whitney; Almas, Sadia; Presley, Steven M; Kendall, Ronald J

    2016-06-01

    Northern bobwhite (quail) (Colinus virginianus) and scaled quail (Callipepla squamata) populations have declined dramatically in the Rolling Plains ecoregion of Texas and Oklahoma (USA). There is rising concern about potential toxicity of neonicotinoids to birds. To investigate this concern, the authors examined crops of 81 northern bobwhite and 17 scaled quail to determine the presence or absence of seeds treated with 3 neonicotinoids (clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam). No treated seeds were found in the 98 crops examined. Liver samples from all 98 quail were collected and analyzed for neonicotinoid residues. Analysis revealed very low concentrations of neonicotinoids within the quail liver samples. The results suggest there is little to no risk of direct toxicity to quail from neonicotinoids. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:1511-1515. © 2015 SETAC. PMID:26565740

  11. Understanding the life of a sandy beach polychaete of functional importance - Scolelepis squamata (Polychaeta: Spionidae) on Belgian sandy beaches (northeastern Atlantic, North Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Speybroeck, Jeroen; Alsteens, Lotte; Vincx, Magda; Degraer, Steven

    2007-08-01

    The cosmopolitan sandy beach polychaete Scolelepis squamata constitutes an important food resource for juvenile flatfish and wading birds in the northeastern Atlantic, thus playing an important role in sandy beach ecosystem functioning. However, its population dynamics and life history in this part of the world have gone widely uninvestigated. Eight beach transects on Belgian sandy beaches were sampled monthly from October 2003 until October 2004, in order to investigate seasonal trends in the species' abundance, biomass, secondary production, and patterns in reproduction and zonation. Average density, modal density and modal biomass (ash-free dry weight) (mean average density = 169 ± 9 SE ind/m 2; mean modal density = 505 ± 38 SE ind/m 2; mean modal biomass = 0.25 ± 0.02 SE g/m 2) did not exhibit major seasonal changes, whereas average biomass (0.081 ± 0.005 SE g/m 2) and individuals and biomass per strip transect (IST = 16286 ± 1330 SE ind/m; BMST = 7.8 + 0.7 SE g/m) did, peaking in May 2004. Production was calculated at 1.9 g/(m 2*year) (size-frequency method, SFM) and 0.88 g/(m 2*year) (mass specific growth rate method, MSGR) and mean annual biomass was 0.797 g/m 2; resulting in a P/B ratio of 2.40/year (SFM) and 1.11/year (MSGR), which is intermediate to moderately low compared to other polychaete species. Gravid individuals were found from February until August and a single recruitment period was observed from July until September. An average sex ratio of 1.41 ± 0.08 SE was calculated, with a female predominance. Highest densities (>200 ind/m 2) were mostly found above 3 m above MLLWS and at a median grain size from 190 to 320 μm. Average modal or peak density along each transect was situated from 3.95 m up to 4.40 m above MLLWS, in contrast to some other studies where the species was restricted to mid-tidal levels. Significant differences in elevation of peak density were found between non-gravid (411 ± 4 SE cm) and gravid (402 ± 5 SE cm) animals

  12. Phylogenetic relationships among amphisbaenian reptiles based on complete mitochondrial genomic sequences

    SciTech Connect

    Macey, J. Robert; Papenfuss, Theodore J.; Kuehl, Jennifer V.; Fourcade, H. Matthew; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2004-05-19

    Complete mitochondrial genomic sequences are reported from 12 members in the four families of the reptile group Amphisbaenia. Analysis of 11,946 aligned nucleotide positions (5,797 informative) produces a robust phylogenetic hypothesis. The family Rhineuridae is basal and Bipedidae is the sister taxon to the Amphisbaenidae plus Trogonophidae. Amphisbaenian reptiles are surprisingly old, predating the breakup of Pangaea 200 million years before present, because successive basal taxa (Rhineuridae and Bipedidae) are situated in tectonic regions of Laurasia and nested taxa (Amphisbaenidae and Trogonophidae) are found in Gondwanan regions. Thorough sampling within the Bipedidae shows that it is not tectonic movement of Baja California away from the Mexican mainland that is primary in isolating Bipes species, but rather that primary vicariance occurred between northern and southern groups. Amphisbaenian families show parallel reduction in number of limbs and Bipes species exhibit parallel reduction in number of digits. A measure is developed for comparing the phylogenetic information content of various genes. A synapomorphic trait defining the Bipedidae is a shift from the typical vertebrate mitochondrial gene arrangement to the derived state of trnE and nad6. In addition, a tandem duplication of trnT and trnP is observed in B. biporus with a pattern of pseudogene formation that varies among populations. The first case of convergent rearrangement of the mitochondrial genome among animals demonstrated by complete genomic sequences is reported. Relative to most vertebrates, the Rhineuridae has the block nad6, trnE switched in order with cob, trnT, trnP, as they are in birds.

  13. On the taxonomic status of the European Scolelepis (Scolelepis) squamata

    (Polychaeta: Spionidae), with description of a new species from southern Europe

    .

    PubMed

    Surugiu, Victor

    2016-01-01

    In order to clarify taxonomic problems relating to the identity of Scolelepis (Scolelepis) specimens from the Black Sea, the identified material was compared with specimens of Scolelepis cirratulus (Delle Chiaje, 1829) from the Mediterranean, of S. squamata (Abildgaard, in O.F. Müller, 1806) from the North Sea and the Atlantic coast of Spain, and with the syntypes of S. mesnili (Bellan & Lagardère, 1971) from the Atlantic coast of France. The examination of a large number of specimens (both juveniles and adults) reveals that the currently accepted morphological differences distinguishing all species show size-related patterns, suggesting that they all belong to one species. Therefore, this study supports the view that Scolelepis cirratulus and Scolelepis mesnili are junior synonyms of Scolelepis (Scolelepis) squamata. As a result of the re-assessment of the species limits of Scolelepis (Scolelepis) squamata, a new species, Scolelepis (Scolelepis) neglecta sp. nov., is distinguished and described from the Cantabrian coast of Spain. It inhabits shallow sublittoral fine sands and was earlier misidentified and reported from the Atlantic coast of Europe and the Mediterranean Sea as Scolelepis squamata, Scolelepis mesnili, Scolelepis cantabra (Rioja, 1918), or Dispio uncinata Hartman, 1951. The new species is characterized by having a trilobate prostomium with an acuminate medial portion, a short peristomium with well-developed dorso-lateral wings, short palps with two longitudinal bands of elevated lobes, neuropodial postchaetal lamellae notched from chaetigers 14-41, and strongly curved bidentate neuropodial hooded hooks with a slight constriction on the shaft starting from chaetigers 19-49. The morphology, diagnostic characters and ecology of both Scolelepis (Scolelepis) squamata and Scolelepis (Scolelepis) neglecta sp. nov. are discussed. PMID:27615921

  14. Phylogeny of Neotropical Cercosaura (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) lizards.

    PubMed

    Torres-Carvajal, Omar; Lobos, Simón E; Venegas, Pablo J

    2015-12-01

    Among Neotropical lizards, the geographically widespread gymnophthalmid Cercosaura as currently defined includes lowland and highland taxa from Panama to Argentina, with some species occurring in the northern Andes. In this study we analyze three mitochondrial (12S, 16S, ND4) and one nuclear (c-mos) gene using Bayesian methods to clarify the phylogenetic relationships among most species of Cercosaura based on a well-supported phylogenetic hypothesis that also includes a large sample of other taxa within Cercosaurini. The phylogenetic tree obtained in this paper shows that Cercosaura as currently defined is not monophyletic. Two species from the northern Andes (C. dicra and C. vertebralis) are nested within Pholidobolus, which has been formerly recognized as a major radiation along the Andes of Ecuador and Colombia. Therefore, Cercosaura has probably not diversified in the northern Andes, although the phylogenetic position of C. hypnoides from the Andes of Colombia remains unknown. Tree topology and genetic distances support both recognition of C. ocellata bassleri as a distinct species, C. bassleri, and recognition of C. argula and C. oshaughnessyi as two different species. In the interest of promoting clarity and precision regarding the names of clades of gymnophthalmid lizards, we propose a phylogenetic definition of Cercosaura. PMID:26256641

  15. Random Sampling of Squamate Reptiles in Spanish Natural Reserves Reveals the Presence of Novel Adenoviruses in Lacertids (Family Lacertidae) and Worm Lizards (Amphisbaenia)

    PubMed Central

    Szirovicza, Leonóra; López, Pilar; Kopena, Renáta; Benkő, Mária; Martín, José; Pénzes, Judit J.

    2016-01-01

    Here, we report the results of a large-scale PCR survey on the prevalence and diversity of adenoviruses (AdVs) in samples collected randomly from free-living reptiles. On the territories of the Guadarrama Mountains National Park in Central Spain and of the Chafarinas Islands in North Africa, cloacal swabs were taken from 318 specimens of eight native species representing five squamate reptilian families. The healthy-looking animals had been captured temporarily for physiological and ethological examinations, after which they were released. We found 22 AdV-positive samples in representatives of three species, all from Central Spain. Sequence analysis of the PCR products revealed the existence of three hitherto unknown AdVs in 11 Carpetane rock lizards (Iberolacerta cyreni), nine Iberian worm lizards (Blanus cinereus), and two Iberian green lizards (Lacerta schreiberi), respectively. Phylogeny inference showed every novel putative virus to be a member of the genus Atadenovirus. This is the very first description of the occurrence of AdVs in amphisbaenian and lacertid hosts. Unlike all squamate atadenoviruses examined previously, two of the novel putative AdVs had A+T rich DNA, a feature generally deemed to mirror previous host switch events. Our results shed new light on the diversity and evolution of atadenoviruses. PMID:27399970

  16. Random Sampling of Squamate Reptiles in Spanish Natural Reserves Reveals the Presence of Novel Adenoviruses in Lacertids (Family Lacertidae) and Worm Lizards (Amphisbaenia).

    PubMed

    Szirovicza, Leonóra; López, Pilar; Kopena, Renáta; Benkő, Mária; Martín, José; Pénzes, Judit J

    2016-01-01

    Here, we report the results of a large-scale PCR survey on the prevalence and diversity of adenoviruses (AdVs) in samples collected randomly from free-living reptiles. On the territories of the Guadarrama Mountains National Park in Central Spain and of the Chafarinas Islands in North Africa, cloacal swabs were taken from 318 specimens of eight native species representing five squamate reptilian families. The healthy-looking animals had been captured temporarily for physiological and ethological examinations, after which they were released. We found 22 AdV-positive samples in representatives of three species, all from Central Spain. Sequence analysis of the PCR products revealed the existence of three hitherto unknown AdVs in 11 Carpetane rock lizards (Iberolacerta cyreni), nine Iberian worm lizards (Blanus cinereus), and two Iberian green lizards (Lacerta schreiberi), respectively. Phylogeny inference showed every novel putative virus to be a member of the genus Atadenovirus. This is the very first description of the occurrence of AdVs in amphisbaenian and lacertid hosts. Unlike all squamate atadenoviruses examined previously, two of the novel putative AdVs had A+T rich DNA, a feature generally deemed to mirror previous host switch events. Our results shed new light on the diversity and evolution of atadenoviruses. PMID:27399970

  17. The complete mitochondrial genome of a gecko and the phylogeneticposition of the Middle Eastern teratoscincus keyserlingii

    SciTech Connect

    Macey, J. Robert; Fong, Jonathan J.; Kuehl, Jennifer V.; Shafiei,Soheila; Ananjeva, Natalia B.; Papenfuss, Theodore J.; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-04-22

    Sqamate reptiles are traditionally divided into six groups: Iguania, Anguimorpha, Scincomorpha, Gekkota (these four are lizards), Serpentes (snakes), and Amphisbaenia (the so-called worm lizards). Currently there are complete mitochondrial genomes from two representatives of the Iguania (Janke et al., 2001; Kumazawa, 2004), three from the Anguimorpha (Kumazawa, 2004; Kumazawa and Endo, 2004), two from the Scincomorpha (Kumazawa and Nishida, 1999; Kumazawa, 2004), two from Serpentes (Kumazawa et al., 1998; Kumazawa, 2004) and 12 from Amphisbaenia (Macey et al., 2004). The only traditional group of Squamata from which a complete mitochondrial genome has not been sequenced is the Gekkota. Here we report the complete mitochondrial genome of Teratoscincus keyserlingii, a Middle Eastern representative of the Gekkota. The gekkonid lizard genus Teratoscincus is distributed throughout the deserts of central and southwest Asia as shown in figure 1, with five species currently recognized (Macey et al. 1997a, 1999b). Included in this figure are the positions of mountain ranges discussed in the text; see also figure 1 in Macey et al. (1999b). Two species, T. bedriagai and T. microlepis, are restricted to Southwest Asia south of the Kopet Dagh and Hindu Kush in Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (Anderson, 1999). Two species are found in the deserts of western China and Mongolia, with T. przewalskii occurring in the Taklimakan and lowland Gobi deserts, and T. roborowskii restricted to the Turpan Depression. The fifth species, T. scincus, is sometimes considered to be restricted to the Caspian Basin in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzistan, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Alternatively, Teratoscincus populations in Southwest Asia, primarily on the Iranian Plateau, situated directly north of the Arabian Plate, are sometimes considered to be a subspecies of T. scincus or, otherwise, to constitute a sixth species, T. keyserlingii. Macey et al. (1999b) assessed the phylogenetic

  18. The phylogeny of squamate reptiles (lizards, snakes, and amphisbaenians) inferred from nine nuclear protein-coding genes.

    PubMed

    Vidal, Nicolas; Hedges, S Blair

    2005-01-01

    Squamate reptiles number approximately 8000 living species and are a major component of the world's terrestrial vertebrate diversity. However, the established relationships of the higher-level groups have been questioned in recent molecular analyses. Here we expand the molecular data to include DNA sequences, totaling 6192 base pairs (bp), from nine nuclear protein-coding genes (C-mos, RAG1, RAG2, R35, HOXA13, JUN, alpha-enolase, amelogenin and MAFB) for 19 taxa representing all major lineages. Our phylogenetic analyses yield a largely resolved phylogeny that challenges previous morphological analyses and requires a new classification. The limbless dibamids are the most basal squamates. Of the remaining taxa (Bifurcata), the gekkonids form a basal lineage. The Unidentata, squamates that are neither dibamids nor gekkonids, are divided into the Scinciformata (scincids, xantusiids, and cordylids) and the Episquamata (remaining taxa). Episquamata includes Laterata (Teiformata, Lacertiformata, and Amphisbaenia, with the latter two joined in Lacertibaenia) and Toxicofera (iguanians, anguimorphs and snakes). Our results reject several previous hypotheses that identified either the varanids, or a burrowing lineage such as amphisbaenians or dibamids, as the closest relative of snakes. Our study also rejects the monophyly of both Scleroglossa and Autarchoglossa, because Iguania, a species-rich lineage (ca. 1440 sp.), is in a highly nested position rather than being basal among Squamata. Thus iguanians should not be viewed as representing a primitive state of squamate evolution but rather a specialized and successful clade combining lingual prehension, dependence on visual cues, and ambush foraging mode, and which feeds mainly on prey avoided by other squamates. Molecular time estimates show that the Triassic and Jurassic (from 250 to 150 Myr) were important times for squamate evolution and diversification. PMID:16286089

  19. Polydactyly in the central pacific gecko, Lepidodactylus sp. (Squamata: Gekkonidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bauer, A.M.; Hathaway, S.A.; Fisher, R.N.

    2009-01-01

    We report the first known case of naturally occurring polydactyly in a gekkotan lizard. A single individual from Palmyra Atoll exhibited a triplication of digit III of the m hand. No obvious teratogenic sources are present on the atoll and the causal factors of polydactyly in Lepidodactylus sp. remain unknown.

  20. A new rock dwelling Hemidactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Chhattisgarh, India.

    PubMed

    Murthy, B H C K; Bauer, Aaron; Lajmi, Aparna; Agarwal, Ishan; Giri, Varad B

    2015-01-01

    A distinct new species of gecko of the genus Hemidactylus is described from the Kanker district of Chhattisgarh State, east-central India. This large-sized (SVL average 81.33±13.40 to at least 98.0 mm) Hemidactylus is characterized by a dorsum with small granules, intermixed with 10-12 rows of irregularly arranged, slightly larger, rounded, weakly-keeled tubercles at midbody; 10-12 and 13-15 subdigital lamellae on the first and fourth digits, respectively, of both manus and pes; a single enlarged postcloacal tubercle on either side of the tail; 10-12 femoral pores on each thigh separated by 5-8 poreless scales; 12-14 supralabials and 10-12 infralabials. PMID:26624132

  1. New provincial records of skinks (Squamata: Scincidae) from northwestern Vietnam

    PubMed Central

    Pham, Anh Van; Le, Dzung Trung; Nguyen, Son Lan Hung; Ziegler, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Abstract We report six new records of skinks from northwestern Vietnam: Eutropis macularius, Scincella devorator, S. monticola, S. ochracea, Sphenomorphus cryptotis and S. indicus. Our new findings increase the species number of skinks (Scincidae) to nine in Dien Bien Province and to 14 in Son La Province. We also provide additional natural history data of aforementioned species. PMID:25698899

  2. Complete mitochondrial genome of Sinovipera sichuanensis (Reptilia: Squamata: Viperidae).

    PubMed

    Zhu, Fei; Liu, Qin; Zhong, Guanghui; Xiao, Rong; Fang, Min; Guo, Peng

    2016-09-01

    Sinovipera sichuanensis is one of the Asian green pit vipers with less concern. It is endemic to China and only known in Hejiang, Sichuan Province and Jiangkou, Guizhou Province. In this study, we report the complete mitochondrial genome and characterize each partition. The complete mitochondrial genome is 17 225 bp in length containing 2 rRNAs, 13 protein-coding genes, 2 control regions and 22 tRNAs. We use Bayesian Inference (BI) and Maximum Likelihood (ML) methods to infer the phylogenetic relationship of S. sichuanensis. Both BI and ML analyses strongly support that S. sichuanensis is independent from the other two Asian green pit vipers. PMID:26406352

  3. Acanthocephala Larvae parasitizing Ameiva ameiva ameiva (Linnaeus, 1758) (Squamata: Teiidae).

    PubMed

    Macedo, Lilian Cristina; Melo, Francisco Tiago de Vasconcelos; Ávila-Pires, Teresa Cristina Sauer; Giese, Elane Guerreiro; dos Santos, Jeannie Nascimento

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge concerning the taxonomy and biology of species of Acanthocephala, helminth parasites of the helminth species of the phylum Acanthocephala, parasites of lizards in Brazilian Amazonia, is still insufficient, but reports of Acanthocephala in reptiles are becoming increasingly common in the literature. Cystacanth-stage Acanthocephalan larvae have been found in the visceral peritoneum during necropsy of Ameiva ameiva ameivalizards from the "Osvaldo Rodrigues da Cunha" Herpetology Collection of the Emílio Goeldi Museum, Belém, Pará, Brazil. The aim of this study was to present the morphological study of the Acanthocephala larvae found in A. ameiva ameiva lizard. PMID:27027551

  4. Nomenclature of African species of the genus Stenodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae).

    PubMed

    Metallinou, Margarita; Crochet, Pierre-André

    2013-01-01

    The statuses of proposed nomina of the North African species of the genus Stenodactylus have been revised based on the study of their original descriptions and the examination of their name-bearing types. Important nomenclatural actions proposed include the designation of a lectotype for the nomen Stenodactylus guttatus ensuring continuity of the prevailing usage of S. petrii, and the proposal of maintaining prevailing usage of Stenodactylus sthenodactylus by applying to the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature to set aside the existing name-bearing type and replace it with a neotype corresponding with that usage. PMID:26167591

  5. The complete mitochondrial genome of Phrynocephalus helioscopus (Reptilia, Squamata, Agamidae).

    PubMed

    Li, Donghai; Guo, Jing; Zhou, Xiumei; Chang, Cheng; Zhang, Shengxiang

    2016-05-01

    The toad-headed lizards of genus Phrynocephalus are one of the most prevalent animals in the central Asian desert. A few studies have investigated molecular phylogenesis of Phrynocephalus, yet yield inconsistent results. Moreover, these studies were only based on a few specific DNA fragments of mitochondrial genome. To facilitate the clarification of molecular phylogenesis of Phrynocephalus, we conducted this study to sequence the entire mitochondrial genome of the Phrynocephalus helioscopus collected from Northwest China. The length of complete mitochondrial DNA is 16,249 nucleotides, consisting of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, and 2 control regions (CR). The gene arrangement and composition of P. helioscopus resemble those of other Phrynocephalus sand lizard, except for P. przewalskii and P. versicolor. The overall A, T, C, G base composition of the heavy-strand was 35.9%, 26.4%, 25.2%, 12.5%, respectively, which is biased toward AT (about 62.3%). The AT-biased base composition was similar to what observed in most vertebrates. The complete mitochondrial genome of P. helioscopus may help to clarify the phylogenetic relationships related to Phrynocephalus oviparity. PMID:25319288

  6. Gekko aaronbaueri, a new gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from central Laos.

    PubMed

    Tri, Ngo Van; Thai, Pham Hong; Phimvohan, Anorath; David, Patrick; Teynié, Alexandre

    2015-01-01

    A new species of the genus Gekko Laurenti is described from central Laos. The species is distinguished from its congeners by its moderate size, i.e. maximum SVL 80.0 mm, dorsal pattern of five to six dirty white vertebral spots alternating with yellowish-edged, W-shaped blotches between nape and sacrum and six to seven pairs of dirty white spots interspersed with yellowish-edged dark blotches on the flanks between limb insertions, 0-1 internasal, 39-43 ventral scale rows between the weakly developed ventrolateral folds, 3-4 precloacal pores in males, sometimes separated by one poreless scale, 98-104 smooth dorsal scale rows around the body, 16 broad lamellae beneath digit I of pes, 15-16 broad lamellae beneath digit IV of pes, and enlarged subcaudal scales.  PMID:25661936

  7. Mature Erythrocytes of Iguana iguana (Squamata, Iguanidae) Possess Functional Mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Di Giacomo, Giuseppina; Campello, Silvia; Corrado, Mauro; Di Giambattista, Livia; Cirotti, Claudia; Filomeni, Giuseppe; Gentile, Gabriele

    2015-01-01

    Electron microscopy analyses of Iguana iguana blood preparations revealed the presence of mitochondria within erythrocytes with well-structured cristae. Fluorescence microscopy analyses upon incubation with phalloidin-FITC, Hoechst 33342 and mitochondrial transmembrane potential (Δψm)-sensitive probe MitoTracker Red indicated that mitochondria i) widely occur in erythrocytes, ii) are polarized, and iii) seem to be preferentially confined at a "perinuclear" region, as confirmed by electron microscopy. The analysis of NADH-dependent oxygen consumption showed that red blood cells retain the capability to consume oxygen, thereby providing compelling evidence that mitochondria of Iguana erythrocytes are functional and capable to perform oxidative phosphorylation. PMID:26367118

  8. Pythons in Burma: Short-tailed python (Reptilia: Squamata)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zug, George R.; Gotte, Steve W.; Jacobs, Jeremy F.

    2011-01-01

    Short-tailed pythons, Python curtus species group, occur predominantly in the Malayan Peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo. The discovery of an adult female in Mon State, Myanmar, led to a review of the distribution of all group members (spot-mapping of all localities of confirmed occurrence) and an examination of morphological variation in P. brongersmai. The resulting maps demonstrate a limited occurrence of these pythons within peninsular Malaya, Sumatra, and Borneo with broad absences in these regions. Our small samples limit the recognition of regional differentiation in the morphology of P. brongersmai populations; however, the presence of unique traits in the Myanmar python and its strong allopatry indicate that it is a unique genetic lineage, and it is described as Python kyaiktiyo new species.

  9. Mature Erythrocytes of Iguana iguana (Squamata, Iguanidae) Possess Functional Mitochondria

    PubMed Central

    Di Giacomo, Giuseppina; Campello, Silvia; Corrado, Mauro; Di Giambattista, Livia; Cirotti, Claudia; Filomeni, Giuseppe; Gentile, Gabriele

    2015-01-01

    Electron microscopy analyses of Iguana iguana blood preparations revealed the presence of mitochondria within erythrocytes with well-structured cristae. Fluorescence microscopy analyses upon incubation with phalloidin-FITC, Hoechst 33342 and mitochondrial transmembrane potential (Δψm)-sensitive probe MitoTracker Red indicated that mitochondria i) widely occur in erythrocytes, ii) are polarized, and iii) seem to be preferentially confined at a "perinuclear" region, as confirmed by electron microscopy. The analysis of NADH-dependent oxygen consumption showed that red blood cells retain the capability to consume oxygen, thereby providing compelling evidence that mitochondria of Iguana erythrocytes are functional and capable to perform oxidative phosphorylation. PMID:26367118

  10. Earliest Example of a Giant Monitor Lizard (Varanus, Varanidae, Squamata)

    PubMed Central

    Conrad, Jack L.; Balcarcel, Ana M.; Mehling, Carl M.

    2012-01-01

    Background Varanidae is a clade of tiny (<20 mm pre-caudal length [PCL]) to giant (>600 mm PCL) lizards first appearing in the Cretaceous. True monitor lizards (Varanus) are known from diagnostic remains beginning in the early Miocene (Varanus rusingensis), although extremely fragmentary remains have been suggested as indicating earlier Varanus. The paleobiogeographic history of Varanus and timing for origin of its gigantism remain uncertain. Methodology/Principal Findings A new Varanus from the Mytilini Formation (Turolian, Miocene) of Samos, Greece is described. The holotype consists of a partial skull roof, right side of a braincase, partial posterior mandible, fragment of clavicle, and parts of six vertebrae. A cladistic analysis including 83 taxa coded for 5733 molecular and 489 morphological characters (71 previously unincluded) demonstrates that the new fossil is a nested member of an otherwise exclusively East Asian Varanus clade. The new species is the earliest-known giant (>600 mm PCL) terrestrial lizard. Importantly, this species co-existed with a diverse continental mammalian fauna. Conclusions/Significance The new monitor is larger (longer) than 99% of known fossil and living lizards. Varanus includes, by far, the largest limbed squamates today. The only extant non-snake squamates that approach monitors in maximum size are the glass-snake Pseudopus and the worm-lizard Amphisbaena. Mosasauroids were larger, but exclusively marine, and occurred only during the Late Cretaceous. Large, extant, non-Varanus, lizards are limbless and/or largely isolated from mammalian competitors. By contrast, our new Varanus achieved gigantism in a continental environment populated by diverse eutherian mammal competitors. PMID:22900001

  11. A new species of gecko (Squamata: Diplodactylidae: Strophurus) from north Queensland, Australia.

    PubMed

    Vanderduys, Eric

    2016-01-01

    A new species of diplodactylid gecko in the genus Strophurus Fitzinger, from north Queensland, Australia, is described herein as Strophurus congoo sp. nov. It is a small, pale grey to tan, unpatterned or faintly striped gecko, resembling the phasmid geckos in appearance, habitat and behaviour. However, within Strophurus it is not closely related to the phasmid geckos. It is distinguished from all other Strophurus by a combination of even scalation, dull colouration, small size and short tail length. It is only known to occur in a restricted area of the northern Great Dividing Range, within the Einasleigh Uplands bioregion, in a relatively infertile area of rolling, largely granitic hills, and is only known from spinifex (Triodia) hummock grasslands in open woodland. PMID:27395178

  12. Complete mitochondrial genome of Schlegel's Japanese gecko Gekko japonicus (Squamata: Gekkonidae).

    PubMed

    Kim, Il-Hun; Park, Jaejin; Cheon, Kyeong-Sik; Lee, Heon-Joo; Kim, Ja-Kyeong; Park, Daesik

    2016-09-01

    We have determined the complete mitochondrial genome of Gekko japonicus, whose status as an endemic or invasive species is currently under debate in Korea. The total genome size is 16 544 bp and consists of 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA (12S and 16S RNA) genes, 22 tRNAs and 2 non-coding regions. The A + T content of the genome is 55.8% (A, 31.2%; C, 29.4%; T, 24.6%; G, 14.9%). Phylogenetic analysis shows that G. japonicus has a close phylogenetic relationship with both G. swinhonis and G. chinensis. Our result will facilitate further genetic studies of this species to ascertain its species status. PMID:26366825

  13. A new Bent-toed Gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Cyrtodactylus) from Phetchaburi Province, Thailand.

    PubMed

    Pauwels, Olivier S G; Sumontha, Montri; Bauer, Aaron M

    2016-01-01

    A new Bent-toed Gecko, Cyrtodactylus phetchaburiensis sp. nov. is described from the Tha Yang District of Phetchaburi Province, western Thailand. It is a medium-sized Cyrtodactylus (SVL to at least 63.2 mm), with small, mostly keeled tubercles in 20 regular longitudinal rows on dorsum; 33 scales across mid-venter between lowest rows of flank tubercles; enlarged row of femoral scales present; five precloacal pores in male, femoral pores and precloacal groove absent; 5-6 broad basal lamellae and 11 narrow distal lamellae beneath digit IV of pes; and a single median row of transversely enlarged subcaudal scales present. It has a dorsal colour pattern of large, dark, diffusely-edged markings on a fawn background and a pair of dark scapular patches. The species is a member of the Central Indochinese (Thai-Myanmar) clade of Cyrtodactylus and is most closely related to C. oldhami (Theobald), from which it differs in colour pattern. PMID:27394348

  14. A new species of dwarf gecko in the genus Lygodactylus (squamata: Gekkonidae) from central Kenya.

    PubMed

    Malonza, Patrick K; Granthon, Carolina; Williams, Dean A

    2016-01-01

    A new species of Lygodactylus gecko (L. wojnowskii sp. nov.) is described from the vicinity of Chogoria Town on the eastern lower slopes of Mt. Kenya in central Kenya. A phylogeny based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA shows that the proposed new taxon is distinct within the Lygodactylus picturatus group and is the sister lineage to L. mombasicus and L. kimhowelli. It is morphologically very similar to both L. mombasicus and L. keniensis but its dorsal coloration and pattern is different. Its dorsum is grey with dark stripes while its head has black and white stripes that form a Y-shaped mark. While the male throat pattern is similar to that of L. mombasicus, that of the female is like that of females and some males of Lygodactylus keniensis. Lygodactylus wojnowskii sp. nov. has a higher number of post-postmental scales (6) than do its close relatives (5). The new species is distributed on the lower slopes of mid-altitude areas on eastern Mt. Kenya, but it may occur in other areas at similar elevations in central Kenya. It is associated with short, scattered trees within agricultural areas. It has not yet been recorded within the protected Chogoria forest block of Mt. Kenya forest. It is likely present in Mwea National Reserve as it occurs in nearby areas. PMID:27395510

  15. The Development of the Skull of the Egyptian Cobra Naja h. haje (Squamata: Serpentes: Elapidae)

    PubMed Central

    Khannoon, Eraqi R.; Evans, Susan E.

    2015-01-01

    Background The study of craniofacial development is important in understanding the ontogenetic processes behind morphological diversity. A complete morphological description of the embryonic skull development of the Egyptian cobra, Naja h. haje, is lacking and there has been little comparative discussion of skull development either among elapid snakes or between them and other snakes. Methodology/Principal Findings We present a description of skull development through a full sequence of developmental stages of the Egyptian cobra, and compare it to other snakes. Associated soft tissues of the head are noted where relevant. The first visible ossification centres are in the supratemporal, prearticular and surangular, with slight ossification visible in parts of the maxilla, prefrontal, and dentary. Epiotic centres of ossification are present in the supraoccipital, and the body of the supraoccipital forms from the tectum posterior not the tectum synoticum. The venom glands are visible as distinct bodies as early at stage 5 and enlarge later to extend from the otic capsule to the maxilla level with the anterior margin of the eye. The gland becomes more prominent shortly before hatching, concomitant with the development of the fangs. The tongue shows incipient forking at stage 5, and becomes fully bifid at stage 6. Conclusions/Significance We present the first detailed staging series of cranial development for the Egyptian cobra, Naja h. haje. This is one of the first studies since the classical works of G. de Beer and W. Parker that provides a detailed description of cranial development in an advanced snake species. It allows us to correct errors and misinterpretations in previous accounts which were based on a small sample of specimens of uncertain age. Our results highlight potentially significant variation in supraoccipital formation among squamates and the need for further research in this area. PMID:25860015

  16. A new species of Cyrtodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the limestone forest of Khammouane Province, central Laos.

    PubMed

    Luu, Vinh Quang; Calame, Thomas; Nguyen, Truong Quang; Bonkowski, Michael; Ziegler, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    We describe a new species of the genus Cyrtodactylus on the basis of three specimens from Khammouane Province, Laos. Cyrtodactylus soudthichaki sp. nov. is distinguished from the remaining congeners by the combination of the following characters: adult SVL 69.2-70.0 mm; dorsal head and neck with dark blotches; nuchal loop present; dorsum with five brown bands between limb insertions; 19 or 20 irregular rows of dorsal tubercles; 32 or 33 ventral scale rows; ventrolateral folds present, with distinct tubercles; dorsal surface of hind limbs with tubercles; 29 precloacal and femoral pores in a continuous row in males, precloacal pores absent in the female; enlarged femoral and precloacal scales present; 4 or 5 postcloacal tubercles; and subcaudals transversely enlarged. The new species most closely resembles Cyrtodactylus jaegeri and Cyrtodactylus roesleri in overall coloration and pattern. However, they can be clearly distinguished from each other in the number of dorsal tubercle rows, ventral scales, and femoral and precloacal pores. Cyrtodactylus soudthichaki is the 16th species of Cyrtodactylus known from Laos. PMID:26701534

  17. A new species of Cyrtodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Khammouane Province, Laos.

    PubMed

    Luu, Vinh Quang; Calame, Thomas; Bonkowski, Michael; Nguyen, Truong Quang; Ziegler, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    We describe a new species of the genus Cyrtodactylus based on two adult specimens from Khammouane Province, Laos. Cyrtodactylus jaegeri sp. nov. is distinguished from the remaining Indochinese bent-toed geckos by a combination of the following characters: a moderately sized Cyrtodactylus with a maximum SVL reaching 68.5 mm; dorsal pattern consisting of a dark nuchal loop and four narrow brown body bands between limb insertions; dorsal tubercles in 15-17 irregular rows; ventrals in 31-32 longitudinal rows at midbody; lateral skin folds present with interspersed tubercles; precloacal-femoral pores 44 in the male, in a continuous series; enlarged femoral scales and precloacal scales present; postcloacal tubercles 3-6; subcaudals transversely enlarged. Cyrtodactylus jaegeri sp. nov. is the ninth species of Cyrtodactylus known from Laos. PMID:24870071

  18. A new Bent-toed gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Mekongga Mountains, South East Sulawesi, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Riyanto, Awal; Kurniati, Hellen; Engilis, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    We describe Cyrtodactylus hitchi sp. nov., a new species of Bent-toed Gecko from montane forests in the Mekongga Mountains, South East Sulawesi, Indonesia. Although we cannot speculate about relationships, morphologically it shares several traits with C. batik, a large species known only from Mount Tompotika near the tip of Sulawesi's Eastern Peninsula. The following unique combination of characters distinguishes it from all other congeners: absence of precloacal groove, absence of precloacal and femoral pores, absence of enlarged femoral scales, no abrupt contact between large and small postfemoral scales, 18-20 lamellae under the fourth toes, and transversely enlarged, median subcaudal scales arranged in a single row. PMID:27394851

  19. The fourth Bent-toed Gecko of the genus Cyrtodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Java, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Riyanto, Awal; Grismer, L Lee; Wood, Perry L

    2015-01-01

    Cyrtodactylus petani sp. nov. is a new species of Bent-toed Gecko from Java, Indonesia that had been masquerading under the name C. fumosus (Müller, 1895). The new species is differentiated from C. fumosus and all its Sundaland congeners by having the following combination of morphological characters: a maximum SVL of 57.2 mm; nine or ten supralabials; seven or eight infralabials; strongly tuberculate body and limbs; 20-25 paravertebral tubercles; 30-35 ventral scales; enlarged precloacal scales; enlarged femoral scales; 17-18 subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe; 31-35 continuous precloacal and femoral pores in males, pores absent in females; no precloacal groove; no enlarged median subcaudals; tubercles on anterior portion of tail; no reticulated pattern on top of head; a blotched dorsal pattern; and no paired, dark, semi-lunar shaped blotches on the nape. PMID:26701567

  20. Omnivory of an Insular Lizard: Sources of Variation in the Diet of Podarcis lilfordi (Squamata, Lacertidae)

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Cembranos, Ana; León, Alicia; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-01-01

    Through 17 years and from a sample of 7,790 faecal pellets and 26,346 prey items, we studied the diet of the Balearic lizard Podarcis lilfordi in Aire Island (Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain). We analysed the diet in terms of prey frequencies, as well as by their volume and biomass contributions. The diet of the Balearic lizard was extremely variable through the years, months and areas under study. The dominance of small clumped prey, particularly ants, was confirmed. However, the main contribution by volume corresponded to beetles, with a relevant role for Diplopoda and terrestrial Isopoda during some months and at particular areas of the island. Several prey items were probably captured at the base of shrubs, under stones or inside rock crevices. Therefore, our estimations of electivity would only be reliable for epigeal and flying prey. The capacity of the Balearic lizard to include marine subsidies in its diet, such as coastal crustaceans, is noteworthy. Also, its consumption of carrion from carcasses of gulls and rabbits and leftovers from human visitors is remarkable. Juvenile conspecifics can also be a sporadic food resource, especially during the second half of summer, whereas the consumption of vegetal matter is constant for each whole year. The shifts of vegetal exploitation among areas of the island and months take place according to availability of different plant species at each area or during a given period. Thus, lizards are able to conduct a thorough monitoring of plant phenology, exploiting a large variety of plant species. Omnivory does not imply the indiscriminate inclusion of any edible food in its diet. Rather, the inclusion of several food items means the adoption of a wide range of foraging behaviours adapted to the exploitation of each food resource. PMID:26871439

  1. Two new species of Japalura (Squamata: Agamidae) from the Hengduan Mountain Range, China

    PubMed Central

    WANG, Kai; JIANG, Ke; ZOU, Da-Hu; YAN, Fang; ZOU, Da-Hu; Cameron, D.SILER; CHE, Jing

    2016-01-01

    Until recently, the agamid species, Japalura flaviceps, was recognized to have the widest geographic distribution among members of the genus occurring in China, from eastern Tibet to Shaanxi Province. However, recent studies restricted the distribution of J. flaviceps to the Dadu River valley only in northwestern Sichuan Province, suggesting that records of J. flaviceps outside the Dadu River valley likely represent undescribed diversity. During two herpetofaunal surveys in 2013 and 2015, eight and 12 specimens of lizards of the genus Japalura were collected from the upper Nujiang (=Salween) Valley in eastern Tibet, China, and upper Lancang (=Mekong) Valley in northwestern Yunnan, China, respectively. These specimens display a unique suite of diagnostic morphological characters. Our robust comparisons of phenotype reveal that these populations can be distinguished readily from J. flaviceps and all other recognized congeners. Herein, we describe the two Japalura lineages as new species, Japalura laeviventris sp. nov. and Japalura iadina sp. nov.. In addition, we provide updated conservation assessments for the new species as well as imperiled congeners according to the IUCN criteria for classification, discuss the importance of color patterns in the diagnosis and description of species in the genus Japalura, and discuss directions for future taxonomic studies of the group. PMID:26828033

  2. A taxonomic revision of the Phrynosoma douglasii species complex (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae).

    PubMed

    Montanucci, Richard R

    2015-01-01

    Short-horned lizards (Phrynosoma douglasii species complex) occur throughout the inter-montane West and Great Plains of western North America. The comparative morphology and color pattern variation of short-horned lizards was studied in 3,174 specimens. Multivariate analyses of 20 morphological and color-pattern characters were applied to 977 specimens, and univariate statistics were summarized for 52 samples totaling 1,134 specimens. The results of the morphological data analyses support the recognition of P. douglasii (Bell 1828) as a distinct species, and the resurrection of P. brevirostris Girard 1858a and P. ornatissimum Girard 1858a as species distinct from P. hernandesi Girard 1858a. Two new species allied to P. brevirostris are described: P. bauri sp. nov. from the eastern plains of Colorado and northeastern New Mexico, southeastern Wyoming and southwestern Nebraska south of the North Platte River, and P. diminutum sp. nov. endemic to the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. The Mexican taxon brachycercum Smith 1942 is reassigned as a subspecies of P. ornatissimum, based on non-discrete character differences and overall morphometric similarity. The ranges of P. hernandesi and P. ornatissimum broadly overlap in central New Mexico, the former taxon occupying the coniferous forests of disjunct mountain ranges, the latter occuring in the surrounding desert grasslands. Principal components analysis has revealed morphological evidence of hybridization where the two taxa meet, generally within ecotones between montane forest associations and grasslands. Principal components analysis has also revealed a high level of morphological variability in populations occurring in the Colorado Plateau region of northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, extreme southwestern Colorado and adjacent Utah. The evidence suggests that these populations arose through past hybridization between the two species. The taxon ornatum Girard 1858b, although sharing several traits with P. brevirostris, is morphologically close to P. hernandesi. It is regarded as a stabilized population of hybrid origin, but treated taxonomically as a subspecies of P. hernandesi. The taxonomic arrangement in this study, with the exception of P. douglasii, is largely discordant with the proposed taxonomy from a previously published study based on mitochondrial DNA sequence data. PMID:26624023

  3. Low rate of interchromosomal rearrangements during old radiation of gekkotan lizards (Squamata: Gekkota).

    PubMed

    Johnson Pokorná, Martina; Trifonov, Vladimir A; Rens, Willem; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2015-06-01

    Gekkotan lizards are a highly specious (∼1600 described species) clade of squamate lizards with nearly cosmopolitan distribution in warmer areas. The clade is primarily nocturnal and forms an ecologically dominant part of the world nocturnal herpetofauna. However, molecular cytogenetic methods to study the evolution of karyotypes have not been widely applied in geckos. Our aim here was to uncover the extent of chromosomal rearrangements across the whole group Gekkota and to search for putative synapomorphies supporting the newly proposed phylogenetic relationships within this clade. We applied cross-species chromosome painting with the recently derived whole-chromosomal probes from the gekkonid species Gekko japonicus to members of the major gekkotan lineages. We included members of the families Diplodactylidae, Carphodactylidae, Pygopodidae, Eublepharidae, Phyllodactylidae and Gekkonidae. Our study demonstrates relatively high chromosome conservatism across the ancient group of gekkotan lizards. We documented that many changes in chromosomal shape across geckos can be attributed to intrachromosomal rearrangements. The documented rearrangements are not totally in agreement with the recently newly erected family Phyllodactylidae. The results also pointed to homoplasy, particularly in the reuse of chromosome breakpoints, in the evolution of gecko karyotypes. PMID:25665924

  4. New species of Blaesodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Tsingy karstic outcrops in Ankarana National Park, northern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Jono, Teppei; Bauer, Aaron M; Brennan, Ian; Mori, Akira

    2015-01-01

    We describe a new gecko of the genus Blaesodactylus from a karstic outcrop in deciduous dry forest of Ankarana National Park, northern Madagascar. Blaesodactylus microtuberculatus sp. nov., the fifth recognized species of Blaesodactylus, is distinguished from all other congeners, B. ambonihazo, B. antongilensis, B. boivini and B. sakalava by a combination of small, homogeneous gular granules, unspotted venter and lack of tubercles on distal part of original tail. Mitochondrial (ND2 and ND4) and nuclear (RAG-1) DNA identify a consistent divergence between B. microtuberculatus and its allotopic sister species B. boivini. We highlight habitat partitioning in these allotopic congeners where Blaesodactylus microtuberculatus inhabits karstic outcrops in Tsingy massif, and B. boivini dwells on tree trunks in deciduous dry forest. PMID:26249960

  5. A new species of Thecadactylus from Sint Maarten, Lesser Antilles (Reptilia, Squamata, Gekkonidae)

    PubMed Central

    Köhler, Gunther; Vesely, Milan

    2011-01-01

    Abstract We describe a new species of Thecadactylusfrom the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten. The new species differs from all other species in the genus by having a distinct dorsal pattern of numerous irregular but sharply deliminated black spots and blotches on an otherwise almost patternless background. PMID:21998512

  6. Diet and conservation implications of an invasive chameleon, Chamaeleo jacksonii (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae) in Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kraus, Fred; Medeiros, Arthur; Preston, David; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Rodda, Gordon H.

    2012-01-01

    We summarize information on current distribution of the invasive lizard Chamaeleo jacksonii and predict its potential distribution in the Hawaiian Islands. Potential distribution maps are based on climate models developed from known localities in its native range and its Hawaiian range. We also present results of analysis of stomach contents of a sample of 34 chameleons collected from native, predominantly dryland, forest on Maui. These data are the first summarizing prey range of this non-native species in an invaded native-forest setting. Potential distribution models predict that the species can occur throughout most of Hawaii from sea level to >2,100 m elevation. Important features of this data set are that approximately one-third of the diet of these lizards is native insects, and the lizards are consuming large numbers of arthropods each day. Prey sizes span virtually the entire gamut of native Hawaiian arthropod diversity, thereby placing a large number of native species at risk of predation. Our dietary results contrast with expectations for most iguanian lizards and support suggestions that chameleons comprise a third distinct foraging-mode category among saurians. The combination of expanding distribution, large potential range size, broad diet, high predation rates, and high densities of these chameleons imply that they may well become a serious threat to some of the Hawaiian fauna.

  7. Two new species of Japalura (Squamata: Agamidae) from the Hengduan Mountain Range, China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kai; Jiang, Ke; Zou, Da-Hu; Yan, Fang; Siler, Cameron D; Che, Jing

    2016-01-18

    Until recently, the agamid species, Japalura flaviceps, was recognized to have the widest geographic distribution among members of the genus occurring in China, from eastern Tibet to Shaanxi Province. However, recent studies restricted the distribution of J. flaviceps to the Dadu River valley only in northwestern Sichuan Province, suggesting that records of J. flaviceps outside the Dadu River valley likely represent undescribed diversity. During two herpetofaunal surveys in 2013 and 2015, eight and 12 specimens of lizards of the genus Japalura were collected from the upper Nujiang (=Salween) Valley in eastern Tibet, China, and upper Lancang (=Mekong) Valley in northwestern Yunnan, China, respectively. These specimens display a unique suite of diagnostic morphological characters. Our robust comparisons of phenotype reveal that these populations can be distinguished readily from J. flaviceps and all other recognized congeners. Herein, we describe the two Japalura lineages as new species, Japalura laeviventris sp. nov. and Japalura iadina sp. nov.. In addition, we provide updated conservation assessments for the new species as well as imperiled congeners according to the IUCN criteria for classification, discuss the importance of color patterns in the diagnosis and description of species in the genus Japalura, and discuss directions for future taxonomic studies of the group. PMID:26828033

  8. Phylogenetic evidence of historic mitochondrial introgression and cryptic diversity in the genus Pseudemoia (Squamata: Scincidae).

    PubMed

    Haines, Margaret L; Moussalli, Adnan; Stuart-Fox, Devi; Clemann, Nick; Melville, Jane

    2014-12-01

    The Australian scincid genus Pseudemoia comprises six morphologically similar species restricted to temperate south-eastern Australia. Due to the high degree of morphological conservatism, phylogenetic relationships and taxonomic status within the Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii complex (comprising the nominal species P. entrecasteauxii, P. cryodroma, and P. pagenstecheri) remains unresolved. To further investigate the phylogenetic relationships and taxonomic status of Pseudemoia spp., and to test the hypothesis that P. cryodroma evolved from hybridization between P. entrecasteauxii and P. pagenstecheri, we sequenced one mitochondrial locus (ND4) and five nuclear loci (β-globin, LGMN, PRLR, Rhodopsin, RPS8). While we find strong support for the monophyly of the P. entrecasteauxii complex, there exists marked incongruence between the mitochondrial and nuclear markers, particularly in regards to the high altitude specialist, P. cryodroma. The most parsimonious explanation of this discordance is historic mitochondrial introgression, although a hybrid origin for P. cryodroma cannot be completely rejected. Within P. pagenstecheri sensu lato, we identified a strongly supported, highly divergent yet morphologically cryptic lineage restricted to northern New South Wales. Although more weakly supported by the nuDNA, we also identified a second geographically distinct lineage of P. pagenstecheri s.l., which may warrant separate conservation management. Our study reveals a more complex evolutionary history of the genus Pseudemoia than previously appreciated and contributes to our understanding of the biogeography and evolution of Australian mesic zone fauna. PMID:25242002

  9. Temporal overlap of humans and giant lizards (Varanidae; Squamata) in Pleistocene Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, Gilbert J.; Louys, Julien; Cramb, Jonathan; Feng, Yue-xing; Zhao, Jian-xin; Hocknull, Scott A.; Webb, Gregory E.; Nguyen, Ai Duc; Joannes-Boyau, Renaud

    2015-10-01

    An obvious but key prerequisite to testing hypotheses concerning the role of humans in the extinction of late Quaternary 'megafauna' is demonstrating that humans and the extinct taxa overlapped, both temporally and spatially. In many regions, a paucity of reliably dated fossil occurrences of megafauna makes it challenging, if not impossible, to test many of the leading extinction hypotheses. The giant monitor lizards of Australia are a case in point. Despite commonly being argued to have suffered extinction at the hands of the first human colonisers (who arrived by 50 ka), it has never been reliably demonstrated that giant monitors and humans temporally overlapped in Australia. Here we present the results of an integrated U-Th and 14C dating study of a late Pleistocene fossil deposit that has yielded the youngest dated remains of giant monitor lizards in Australia. The site, Colosseum Chamber, is a cave deposit in the Mt Etna region, central eastern Australia. Sixteen new dates were generated and demonstrate that the bulk of the material in the deposit accumulated since ca. 50 ka. The new monitor fossil is, minimally, 30 ky younger than the previous youngest reliably dated record for giant lizards in Australia and for the first time, demonstrates that on a continental scale, humans and giant lizards overlapped in time. The new record brings the existing geochronological dataset for Australian giant monitor lizards to seven dated occurrences. With such sparse data, we are hesitant to argue that our new date represents the time of their extinction from the continent. Rather, we suspect that future fossil collecting will yield new samples both older and younger than 50 ka. Nevertheless, we unequivocally demonstrate that humans and giant monitor lizards overlapped temporally in Australia, and thus, humans can only now be considered potential drivers for their extinction.

  10. Redescription Cyrtodactylus lateralis (Werner) (Squamata: Gekkonidae) and Phylogeny of the Prehensile-tailed Cyrtodactylus.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Michael B; O'connell, Kyle A; Wostl, Elijah; Riyanto, Awal; Kurniawan, Nia; Smith, Eric N; Grismer, L Lee

    2016-01-01

    We redescribe Cyrtodactylus lateralis (Werner) on the basis of new specimens. Cyrtodactylus lateralis is a prehensile-tailed species, known from scattered lowland to mid-elevation localities in northern Sumatra. The prehensile-tailed Cyrtodactylus are more speciose and have a wider distribution than previously thought. This group includes a mainland SE Asian clade consisting of C. elok, C. interdigitalis, and C. brevipalmatus and an insular clade containing C. durio, C. lateralis, C. nuaulu, C. serratus, C. spinosus, and C. stresemanni. However, a distinctive color pattern in the Wallacean and Papuan species and uncertainty surrounding the type locality of C. stresemanni raise unresolved questions about the inclusiveness of the insular clade. DNA sequence data supports a close relationship between C. elok and C. interdigitalis, but also reveals that C. lateralis and C. durio are not closely related to these species. PMID:27394838

  11. Insights into Himalayan biogeography from geckos: a molecular phylogeny of Cyrtodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae).

    PubMed

    Agarwal, Ishan; Bauer, Aaron M; Jackman, Todd R; Karanth, K Praveen

    2014-11-01

    The India-Asia collision profoundly influenced the climate, topography and biodiversity of Asia, causing the formation of the biodiverse Himalayas. The species-rich gekkonid genus Cyrtodactylus is an ideal clade for exploring the biological impacts of the India-Asia collision, as previous phylogenetic hypotheses suggest basal divergences occurred within the Himalayas and Indo-Burma during the Eocene. To this end, we sampled for Cyrtodactylus across Indian areas of the Himalayas and Indo-Burma Hotspots and used three genes to reconstruct relationships and estimate divergence times. Basal divergences in Cyrtodactylus, Hemidactylus and the Palaearctic naked-toed geckos were simultaneous with or just preceded the start of the India-Asia collision. Diversification within Cyrtodactylus tracks the India-Asia collision and subsequent geological events. A number of geographically concordant clades are resolved within Indo-Burmese Cyrtodactylus. Our study reveals 17 divergent lineages that may represent undescribed species, underscoring the previously undocumented diversity of the region. The importance of rocky habitats for Cyrtodactylus indicates the Indo-Gangetic flood plains and the Garo-Rajmahal Gap are likely to have been important historical barriers for this group. PMID:25108260

  12. Embryonic development of the skull of the Andean lizard Ptychoglossus bicolor (Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae)

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Jaimes, Carlos; Jerez, Adriana; Ramírez-Pinilla, Martha Patricia

    2012-01-01

    The study of cranial design and development in Gymnophthalmidae is important to understand the ontogenetic processes behind the morphological diversity of the group and to examine the possible effects of microhabitat use and other ecological parameters, as well as phylogenetic constraints, on skull anatomy. Complete morphological descriptions of embryonic skull development within Gymnophthalmidae are non-existent. Likewise, very little is known about the complete chondrocranium of the family. Herein, the development of the skull of the semi-fossorial lizard Ptychoglossus bicolor is described along with an examination of the chondrocranium of other gymnophthalmid taxa and the teiid Cnemidophorus lemniscatus. Cranial chondrification begins with early condensations in the ethmoid, orbitotemporal and occipital regions of the chondrocranium as well as the viscerocranium. Ossification of the skull starts with elements of the dermatocranium (pterygoid, prefrontal, maxilla and jugal). The orbitosphenoid is the last chondral bone to appear. At birth, the skull is almost completely ossified and exhibits a large frontoparietal fontanelle. In general terms, the chondrocranium of the gymnophthalmids studied is characteristic of lacertiform terrestrial lizards, in spite of their life habits, and resembles the chondrocranium of C. lemniscatus in many aspects. However, the gymnophthalmids show great variation in the orbitosphenoid and a complex nasal capsule. The latter exhibits greater development of some nasal cartilages, which make it more complex than in C. lemniscatus. These characteristics might be related to microhabitat use and the well-developed olfactory and vomeronasal systems observed within this clade. PMID:22881276

  13. [Morphologic variation of the parthenogenetic lizard Aspidoscelis rodecki (Squamata: Teiidae): evolutionary and conservation implications].

    PubMed

    Elizalde-Rocha, Sandra P; Méndez-de la Cruz, Fausto R; Méndez-Sánchez, J Fernando; Granados-González, Gisela; Hernândez-Gallegos, Oswaldo

    2008-12-01

    Post-formational divergence has been used for the recognition of new parthenogenetic species. Currently, the parthenogenetic lizard Aspidoscelis rodecki McCoy and Maslin 1962 is recognized as a single taxon that was derived from a single, parthenogenetically capable, hybrid. This lizard had been derived via hybridization between individuals of two gonochoristic species, Aspidoscelis ungusticeps Cope 1878 and Aspidoscelis deppii Wiegmann 1834. The distribution of A. rodecki includes Isla Contoy and Isla Mujeres and the adjacent mainland of Quintana Roo, México. Previous studies have found post-formational divergence in genetic, chromatic and life-history characteristics among a continental population (Puerto Juárez) and an insular population (Isla Contoy). A meristic analysis was carried out to evaluate the morphological divergence among both populations of A. rodecki. We used 38 individuals from Puerto Juárez and 23 individuals from Isla Contoy. Nine meristic characters with discrimination value among species of the genus Aspidoscelis were used in both univariate (t-Student) and multivariate analyses (principal components and canonical variate analysis). According to both analyses, Puerto Juárez is meristically distinguishable from Isla Contoy. Both populations differ in five meristic characters and were a high correct classification in the canonical variate analysis: 97% of Puerto Juárez and 100% of Isla Contoy. A small sample from Isla Mujeres and a single specimen from Punta Sam (mainland) may represent different morphological groups. Due to the patterns of phenotypic variation, A. rodecki is considered as a single variable parthenogenetic species with high priority to conservation. The populations of A. rodecki have been extremely affected by the tourism developers. If the habitat of the parthenogenetic lizard (beach grasses) is allowed to stay, the expansion by the developers will not affect the survivorship of these populations. Nevertheless, the first sign of development is the total destruction of natural grasses that occurs on the beach, leaving only sand. There is a last chance to save the parthenogenetic lizard A. rodecki, but any effort will be useless without the support from the environmental authority of Mexico and cooperation from the developers. We suggest that Puerto Juárez and Isla Contoy receive separate management because they have unique portions of phenotypic variation of A. rodecki. The two lizard populations can be considered separate "Evolutionary Significant Units" (ESU). PMID:19419088

  14. The complete mitochondrial genome of Grumgzimailo's toad-headed agama, Phrynocephalus grumgrizimailoi (Reptilia, Squamata, Agamidae).

    PubMed

    Shuang, Luo; Liu, Li-Jun; Song, Sen

    2016-05-01

    Polymerase chain reaction (PCR), long-and-accurate PCR and directly sequencing by primer walking was used to sequenced he complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Grumgzimailo's toad- headed agama, Phrynocephalus grumgrizimailoi. The Genbank accession was KM093859. There was 16,301 bp in length of the entire mitochondrial genome of P. grumgrizimailoi and the content of A, T, C, and G were 36.4%, 26.5%, 25.0% and 12.1%, respectively, that was similar to most vertebrate. The complete mitochondrial genome of P. grumgrizimailoi contain 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA genes, 22 tRNA genes, plus 2 control regions and was similar to those of other Phrynocephalus sand lizards in gene arrangement and composition, except P. przewalskii and P. versicolor. The complete mitochondrial genome of P. grumgrizimailoi provided fundamental data for resolving phylogenetic relationship problems related to Agaimidae and genus Phrynocephalus. PMID:25208174

  15. On the distribution of the genus Teius Merrem, 1820 (Reptilia: Squamata: Teiidae).

    PubMed

    Cacciali, Pier; Morando, Mariana; Köhler, Gunther; Avila, Luciano

    2016-01-01

    The lizard genus Teius is composed by three species: Teius teyou, T. oculatus, and T. suquiensis and is distributed in South America, east of Andes. Teius teyou and T. oculatus have wide parapatric distributions with contact zones. Teius suquiensis is present in a small range along a sympatric area of the former species. In this work we analyze the distribution of the three species of Teius across its whole geographic range, examining its relationships with climatic parameters. We based our analysis on specimens in collections and literature records. Our analysis shows that the genus Teius is distributed from central Bolivia southwards to north of Río Negro Province in northern Patagonia, Argentina. Teius teyou reaches the northernmost range limit of the genus whereas T. oculatus occupies the southernmost limit. Teius oculatus is related to open and moist environments whereas T. teyou is more adapted to xeric and forested areas. Teius suquiensis is present in xerophytic areas of Dry Chaco and Espinal. Climatic factors in the distribution of the distribution of the two widespread species show marked differences and seasonality. PMID:27395730

  16. Omnivory of an Insular Lizard: Sources of Variation in the Diet of Podarcis lilfordi (Squamata, Lacertidae).

    PubMed

    Pérez-Cembranos, Ana; León, Alicia; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-01-01

    Through 17 years and from a sample of 7,790 faecal pellets and 26,346 prey items, we studied the diet of the Balearic lizard Podarcis lilfordi in Aire Island (Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain). We analysed the diet in terms of prey frequencies, as well as by their volume and biomass contributions. The diet of the Balearic lizard was extremely variable through the years, months and areas under study. The dominance of small clumped prey, particularly ants, was confirmed. However, the main contribution by volume corresponded to beetles, with a relevant role for Diplopoda and terrestrial Isopoda during some months and at particular areas of the island. Several prey items were probably captured at the base of shrubs, under stones or inside rock crevices. Therefore, our estimations of electivity would only be reliable for epigeal and flying prey. The capacity of the Balearic lizard to include marine subsidies in its diet, such as coastal crustaceans, is noteworthy. Also, its consumption of carrion from carcasses of gulls and rabbits and leftovers from human visitors is remarkable. Juvenile conspecifics can also be a sporadic food resource, especially during the second half of summer, whereas the consumption of vegetal matter is constant for each whole year. The shifts of vegetal exploitation among areas of the island and months take place according to availability of different plant species at each area or during a given period. Thus, lizards are able to conduct a thorough monitoring of plant phenology, exploiting a large variety of plant species. Omnivory does not imply the indiscriminate inclusion of any edible food in its diet. Rather, the inclusion of several food items means the adoption of a wide range of foraging behaviours adapted to the exploitation of each food resource. PMID:26871439

  17. The peak of thermoregulation effectiveness: Thermal biology of the Pyrenean rock lizard, Iberolacerta bonnali (Squamata, Lacertidae).

    PubMed

    Ortega, Zaida; Mencía, Abraham; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-02-01

    We studied, at 2200m altitude, the thermal biology of the Pyrenean rock lizard, Iberolacerta bonnali, in the glacial cirque of Cotatuero (National Park of Ordesa, Huesca, Spain). The preferred thermal range (PTR) of I. bonnali indicates that it is a cold-adapted ectotherm with a narrow PTR (29.20-32.77°C). However, its PTR (3.57°C) is twice as wide as other Iberolacerta lizards, which may be explained by its broader historical distribution. The studied area is formed by a mosaic of microhabitats which offer different operative temperatures, so that lizards have, throughout their entire daily period of activity, the opportunity to choose the most thermally suitable substrates. I. bonnali achieves an effectiveness of thermoregulation of 0.95, which makes it the highest value found to date among the Lacertidae, and one of the highest among lizards. Their relatively wide distribution, their wider PTR, and their excellent ability of thermoregulation, would make I. bonnali lizards less vulnerable to climate change than other species of Iberolacerta. Thanks to its difficult access, the studied area is not visited by a large number of tourists, as are other areas of the National Park. Thus, it is a key area for the conservation of the Pyrenean rock lizard. By shuttling between suitable microhabitats, lizards achieve suitable body temperatures during all day. However, such thermally suitable microhabitats should vary in other traits than thermal quality, such as prey availability or predation risk. Hence, it seems that these not-thermal traits are not constraining habitat selection and thermoregulation in this population. Therefore, future research in this population may study the causes that would lead lizards to prioritize thermoregulation to such extent in this population. PMID:26857980

  18. Biogeographical history and coalescent species delimitation of Pacific island skinks (Squamata: Scincidae: Emoia cyanura species group)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Klein, Elaine; Harris, Rebecca; Fisher, Robert N.; Reeder, Tod

    2016-01-01

    In contrast to the expectations of a stepping-stone model, E. cyanura and E. impar each exhibit the genetic signature of a rapid radiation during the mid to late Pleistocene, with evidence for newly identified lineages, mainly on western islands. Of these recovered lineages, we propose three to be elevated to species status. These findings expand our understanding of endemic Pacific biota, which are subject to conservation threats from human impacts and climate change.

  19. A new species of Dixonius (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Phu Quy Island, Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Botov, Andreas; Phung, Trung My; Nguyen, Truong Quang; Bauer, Aaron M; Brennan, Ian G; Ziegler, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    We describe a new species of Dixonius on the basis of five specimens from Phu Quy Island, Binh Thuan Province, in southern Vietnam. The new species can be distinguished from congeners based on molecular and morphological differences. Diagnostic features are: small size (SVL up to 44 mm); 7 or 8 supralabials; 11 or 12 rows of keeled tubercles on dorsum; 21-23 ventral scale rows; 5 or 6 precloacal pores in males; a canthal stripe running from rostrum through the eye and terminating behind the head; second pair of postmentals about one third to one half size of first pair; ground color of dorsum brown, with one or two rows of light yellow or orange spots in one or two rows along flanks, and irregular bands or a reticulated network of dark marks on dorsum. This is the fifth species of Dixonius known to occur in Vietnam. PMID:26624650

  20. A new species of Sphenomorphus Fitzinger, 1843 (Squamata: Sauria: Scincidae) from Vietnam .

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Truong Quang; Nguyen, Khoi Vu; Van Devender, Robert Wayne; Bonkowski, Michael; Ziegler, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    A new forest skink species of the genus Sphenomorphus is described from Kon Tum Plateau, southern Central Vietnam. Sphenomorphus sheai sp. nov. is similar to the other montane skink species from the Indochina region, Lygosoma veunsaiensis, Scincella apraefrontalis, Sphenomorphus tetradactylus, and Sphenomorphus tridigitus, in having a small size and the absence of external ear openings. However, the new species is differentiated from aforementioned species and other members of Sphenomorphus from China and mainland Southeast Asia by a unique suite of morphological characters. The discovery of S. sheai brings the total species number of Sphenomorphus known from Vietnam to twelve. PMID:25277895

  1. Cryptic extinction of a common Pacific lizard Emoia impar (Squamata, Scincidae) from the Hawaiian Islands.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fisher, Robert; Ineich, Ivan

    2012-01-01

    Most documented declines of tropical reptiles are of dramatic or enigmatic species. Declines of widespread species tend to be cryptic. The early (1900s) decline and extinction of the common Pacific skink Emoia impar from the Hawaiian Islands is documented here through an assessment of literature, museum vouchers and recent fieldwork. This decline appears contemporaneous with the documented declines of invertebrates and birds across the Hawaiian Islands. A review of the plausible causal factors indicates that the spread of the introduced big-headed ant Pheidole megacephala is the most likely factor in this lizard decline. The introduction and spread of a similar skink Lampropholis delicata across the islands appears to temporally follow the decline of E. impar, although there is no evidence of competition between these species. It appears that L. delicata is spreading to occupy the niche vacated by the extirpated E. impar. Further confusion exists because the skink E. cyanura, which is very similar in appearance to E. impar, appears to have been introduced to one site within a hotel on Kaua'i and persisted as a population at that site for approximately 2 decades (1970s–1990s) but is now also extirpated. This study highlights the cryptic nature of this early species extinction as evidence that current biogeographical patterns of non-charismatic or enigmatic reptiles across the Pacific may be the historical result of early widespread invasion by ants. Conservation and restoration activities for reptiles in the tropical Pacific should consider this possibility and evaluate all evidence prior to any implementation.

  2. Brumation of introduced Black and White Tegus, Tupinambis merianae (Squamata: Teiidae), in southern Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McEachern, Michelle; Yackel Adams, Amy A.; Klug, Page E.; Fitzgerald, Lee A; Reed, Robert N.

    2015-01-01

    An established population of Tupinambis merianae (Black and White Tegu) in southeastern Florida threatens the Everglades ecosystem. Understanding the behavioral ecology of Black and White Tegus could aid in management and control plans. Black and White Tegus are seasonally active and brumate during the winter in their native range, but brumation behavior is largely unstudied in either the native or the invasive range. We describe the first observations of Black and White Tegu brumation in southeastern Florida after monitoring 5 free-ranging, adult male Black and White Tegus through an inactive season using radiotelemetry and automated cameras. Duration of brumation averaged 137 days, beginning in September and ending by February. One of the 5 Black and White Tegus emerged to bask regularly during brumation, which to our knowledge represents the first documented instance of a free-ranging Black and White Tegu basking during brumation. These preliminary findings provide a basis for future research o f brumation behavior.

  3. Unique features of myogenesis in Egyptian cobra (Naja haje) (Squamata: Serpentes: Elapidae).

    PubMed

    Khannoon, Eraqi R; Rupik, Weronika; Lewandowski, Damian; Dubińska-Magiera, Magda; Swadźba, Elwira; Daczewska, Małgorzata

    2016-03-01

    During early stages of myotomal myogenesis, the myotome of Egyptian cobra (Naja haje) is composed of homogenous populations of mononucleated primary myotubes. At later developmental phase, primary myotubes are accompanied by closely adhering mononucleated cells. Based on localization and morphology, we assume that mononucleated cells share features with satellite cells involved in muscle growth. An indirect morphological evidence of the fusion of mononucleated cells with myotubes is the presence of numerous vesicles in the subsarcolemmal region of myotubes adjacent to mononucleated cell. As differentiation proceeded, secondary muscle fibres appeared with considerably smaller diameter as compared to primary muscle fibre. Studies on N. haje myotomal myogenesis revealed some unique features of muscle differentiation. TEM analysis showed in the N. haje myotomes two classes of muscle fibres. The first class was characterized by typical for fast muscle fibres regular distribution of myofibrils which fill the whole volume of muscle fibre sarcoplasm. White muscle fibres in studied species were a prominent group of muscles in the myotome. The second class showed tightly paced myofibrils surrounding the centrally located nucleus accompanied by numerous vesicles of different diameter. The sarcoplasm of these cells was characterized by numerous lipid droplets. Based on morphological features, we believe that muscle capable of lipid storage belong to slow muscle fibres and the presence of lipid droplets in the sarcoplasm of these muscles during myogenesis might be a crucial adaptive mechanisms for subsequent hibernation in adults. This phenomenon was, for the first time, described in studies on N. haje myogenesis. PMID:26025263

  4. The systematic status of Gonocephalus robinsonii Boulenger, 1908 (Squamata: Agamidae: Draconinae).

    PubMed

    Denzer, Wolfgang; Manthey, Ulrich; Mahlow, Kristin; Böhme, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    The generic assignment of the draconine lizard Gonocephalus robinsonii from the highlands of West-Malaysia has been uncertain since the original description. Here we present a study based on morphology, previously published karyotype data and molecular phylogenetics using 16S rRNA sequences to evaluate the systematic status of G. robinsonii. As a result we describe Malayodracon gen. nov. to accommodate the species. PMID:26624470

  5. Taxonomic identity of two enigmatic aquatic snake populations (Squamata: Homalopsidae: Cerberus and Homalopsis) from southern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Pauwels, Olivier S G; Sumontha, Montri

    2016-01-01

    In their revision of the homalopsid genus Homalopsis Kuhl & Van Hasselt, Murphy et al. (2012) resurrected H. semizonata Blyth, 1855 and noted that ''Frith (1977) reported on two Homalopsis from Phuket, Thailand with 40 and 42 dorsal scale rows, and 159 and 162 ventrals-scale counts within the range of H. semizonata which is found along the same coast, about 900 km to the north''. Murphy et al. (2012), however, did not list H. semizonata from Thailand, and on their species' distribution map they indicated an interrogation mark along the southern coast of Myanmar and the southwestern coast of peninsular Thailand. It should be noted that Murphy et al. (2012) misread Frith: while one of the two specimens reported by Frith was indeed from Phuket (''from the rocky edge of a stream torrent in good forest east of Thalang, central Phuket Island''), the other was from ''Klong Nakha, 80 kilometeres [sic] south of Ranong in lowland rain forest with some clearings and dwellings'', thus in Ranong Province, closer to the border with Myanmar. Nabhitabhata et al. (2004) recognized a single Homalopsis species in Thailand, H. buccata, which they listed for numerous provinces, including Phuket, based on Frith's (1977) record. Among the two Homalopsis species recognized to occur in Thailand by Nabhitabhata and Chan-ard (2005), H. buccata and H. nigroventralis, none was recorded by them from Phuket Province, but H. buccata was listed from, among others, the neighbouring provinces of Phang-Nga and Ranong. Chuaynkern & Chuaynkern (2012) recognized the same two species, and listed H. buccata from, among others, the provinces of Phang-Nga, Phuket and Ranong. Cox et al. (2012) listed three Homalopsis for Thailand (H. buccata, H. mereljcoxi and H. nigroventralis), and indicated that H. mereljcoxi is the species occurring, a.o., in Phang-Nga, Phuket and Ranong provinces. Wallach et al. (2014) noted that H. semizonata lives in southern Myanmar near sea level, but also that it ''possibly occurs in Phuket''. Chan-ard et al. (2015), in their field guide whose reptile taxonomy is largely outdated (Pauwels & Grismer 2015), recognized only Homalopsis nigroventralis and H. buccata and the map for the latter indicates its presence in Phuket and Phang-Nga provinces. In the most recent synthesis on the family Homalopsidae, Murphy & Voris (2014) made however no mention of the possibility that H. semizonata occurs in Thailand. Because of the lack of voucher material, the identity of the Homalopsis living on the Indian Ocean coastal area of Thailand has thus remained poorly understood so far. PMID:27394821

  6. A new Lepidoblepharis lizard (Squamata: Sphaerodactylidae) from the Colombian Guyana shield.

    PubMed

    Calderón-Espinosa, Martha Lucia; Medina-Rangel, Guido Fabian

    2016-01-01

    Lepidoblepharis lizards are tiny geckos of the forest leaf litter. This genus is distributed from Nicaragua to the Amazonian region of Peru and Brazil, and the genus currently contains 21 species. We found a new small Lepidoblepharis from eastern Colombia that we here describe as a new species. It is characterized by having granular or subconical dorsal scales; 10-13 subdigital lamellae under 4th toe; postmental border slightly or strongly projecting backwards, followed by 2-5 (usually 3) postmentals; and 20-31 scales across snout at lst/2nd supralabial suture. This new taxon is compared to all congeners. PMID:27395872

  7. Acanthosaura phuketensis (Squamata: Agamidae), a new long-horned tree agamid from southwestern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Pauwels, Olivier S G; Sumontha, Montri; Kunya, Kirati; Nitikul, Awat; Samphanthamit, Phamon; Wood, Perry L; Grismer, Lee L

    2015-01-01

    We describe a new lowland forest-dwelling species of the genus Acanthosaura from Phuket Island and the Phuket mountain range in southwestern Thailand. Acanthosaura phuketensis sp. nov., the 11th species in the genus, seems most closely related to A. crucigera from Myanmar and western Thailand and A. cardamomensis from the Cardamom Mountains, but can be differentiated from them by a combination of morphological and coloration characteristics. This new discovery stresses the importance of preserving the last forest patches remaining on Phuket Island, home to three other squamate endemics. PMID:26624111

  8. Basic ecology of the Oaxacan Spiny-tailed Iguana Ctenosaura oaxacana (Squamata: Iguanidae), in Oaxaca, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Rioja, Tamara; Carrillo-Reyes, Arturo; Espinoza-Medinilla, Eduardo; López-Mendoza, Sergio

    2012-12-01

    The Oaxacan Spiny-tailed Iguana Ctenosaura oaxacana is a restricted species to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Southern Oaxaca, Mexico. This reptile is one of the less known iguanid species. We census-tracked a population in the South ofNiltepec, Oaxaca, Mexico from May 2010 to April 2011. Throughout one year, a total of 10 line transects were situated and recorded in the study area to determine relative abundance and density, and habitat type use (dry forest, Nanchal, grassland, riparian vegetation, and mangrove) by the species. This study reports a new C. oaxacana population on the Southeastern limit of species range. Although this species has a very restricted distribution and is in danger of extinction, C. oaxacana has a high population density when compared to other Ctenosaura species. A total of 108 individuals were recorded throughout the study. Dry forest (33.75ind/ha) and Nanchal (18.75ind/ha) were the habitats with higher densities. Comparisons between habitat types showed no significant differences between dry forest and Nanchal (W=15, p=0.0808). Results between seasons were similar. The Oaxacan Spiny tailed Iguana preferred first the dry forest, and then Nanchal, while avoided grassland, riparian vegetation, and mangroves. There was no difference in habitat use between males and females. Mean perch heights were 1.23 +/- 0.32 (n=30) in Nanchal, 2.11 +/- 0.30 (n=9) in grassland, 1.90 +/- 0.56 (n=54) in dry forest, 1.91 +/- 0.28 (n=9) in mangrove and 2.30 +/- 0.37 (n=6) in riparian vegetation. Species observed as refuge and perch were B. crassifolia (Nanchal); C. alata (grassland); Tabebuia sp., Genipa americana, G. sepium, Acacia sp., Ficus sp. and Haematoxylon sp. (dry forest); G. sepium, Acacia sp. and Guazuma ulmifolia (riparian vegetation); and C. erecta (mangrove). Live trees hollows and branches were used by species. Main threats to the species are excessive hunting and habitat loss. Furthermore, grassland fires are still common in the study area during the dry season, which can result in habitat loss and territorial displacement of individuals. PMID:23342515

  9. Molecular phylogeny and historical biogeography of the Anatolian lizard Apathya (Squamata, Lacertidae).

    PubMed

    Kapli, Paschalia; Botoni, Dimitra; Ilgaz, Cetin; Kumlutaş, Yusuf; Avcı, Aziz; Rastegar-Pouyani, Nasrullah; Fathinia, Behzad; Lymberakis, Petros; Ahmadzadeh, Faraham; Poulakakis, Nikos

    2013-03-01

    Apathya is a lacertid genus occurring mainly in south-east Turkey and its adjacent regions (part of Iran and Iraq). So far two morphological species have been attributed to the genus; A. cappadocica (with five subspecies, A. c.cappadocica, A. c.muhtari, A. c.schmidtlerorum, A. c. urmiana and A. c.wolteri) and A.yassujica. The first species occupies most of the genus' distribution range, while A. yassujica is endemic of the Zagros Mountains. Here, we explored Apathya's taxonomy and investigated the evolutionary history of the species by employing phylogenetic and phylogeographic approaches and using both mitochondrial (mtDNA) and nuclear markers. The phylogenetic relationships and the genetic distances retrieved, revealed that Apathya is a highly variable genus, which parallels its high morphological variation. Such levels of morphological and genetic differentiation often exceed those between species of other Lacertini genera that are already treated as full species, suggesting the necessity for a taxonomic revision of Apathya. The phylogeographical scenario emerging from the genetic data suggests that the present distribution of the genus was determined by a combination of dispersal and vicariance events between Anatolia and Southwest Asia dating back to the Miocene and continuing up to the Pleistocene. Key geological events for the understanding of the phylogeography of the genus are the movement of the Arabian plate that led to the configuration of Middle East (orogenesis of the mountain ranges of Turkey and Iran) and the formation of Anatolian Diagonal. PMID:23261710

  10. A new species of Riama Gray, 1858 (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from the Tropical Andes.

    PubMed

    Aguirre-Peñafiel, Vanessa; Torres-Carvajal, Omar; Nunes, Pedro M Sales; Peck, Mika R; Maddock, Simon T

    2014-01-01

    A new species of Riama lizard from the western slopes of the Andes in northern Ecuador is described herein. Morphologically, Riama yumborum sp. nov. can be distinguished from all other congenerics by having an incomplete nasoloreal suture and a cylindrical hemipenial body with diagonally orientated flounces on its lateral aspect. Phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA support the monophyly of the new species and its sister taxon relationship with R. labionis, which occurs allopatrically. PMID:25283657

  11. Philodryas chamissonis (Reptilia: Squamata: Colubridae) preys on the arboreal marsupial Dromiciops gliroides (Mammalia: Microbiotheria: Microbiotheriidae).

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Leal, S; Ardiles, K; Figueroa, R A; González-Acuña, D

    2013-02-01

    Philodryas chamissonis, the Chilean long-tailed snake, is a diurnal predator mainly of Liolaemus lizards, but also of amphibians, birds, rodents and juvenile rabbits. Dromiciops gliroides (Colocolo opossum) is an arboreal marsupial endemic of temperate rainforest of southern South America. Little information is available about this marsupial's biology and ecology. Here we report the predation of one Colocolo opossum by an adult female P. chamissonis in a mixed Nothofagus forest, composed mainly by N. dombeyi, N. glauca and N. alpina trees, in the "Huemules de Niblinto" National Reserve, Nevados de Chillán, Chile. Since these two species have different activity and habitat use patterns, we discuss how this encounter may have occurred. Although it could just have been an opportunistic event, this finding provides insights into the different components of food chains in forest ecosystems of Chile. PMID:23644784

  12. Life expectancy and longevity of varanid lizards (Reptilia:Squamata:Varanidae) in North American zoos.

    PubMed

    Mendyk, Robert W

    2015-01-01

    In zoos, life expectancy-the average lifespan of individuals within a population, and longevity-the maximum lifespan within a population, can be useful parameters for evaluating captive husbandry and animal welfare. Using life history and demographic data derived from regional studbooks, this study examined life expectancy and longevity in a total of 782 wild-caught (WC) and captive-bred (CB) varanid lizards of seven species maintained in North American zoos since 1926. The average lifespans for WC and CB animals were 6.3 ± 0.3 and 9.3 ± 0.4 years, respectively, with CB males living significantly longer than females (P = 0.009). A total of 26.4% of WC and 22.5% of CB animals experienced mortality during their first 2 years in captivity, with mortality during this period greatest among Varanus rudicollis and V. prasinus. A positive correlation was observed between life expectancy and adult body mass in captive-bred individuals (r = 0.981; P = 0.002). Wild-caught females with a history of successful reproduction had a significantly greater average lifespan than non-reproducing females (P < 0.0001). Results from this study suggest that varanids have not been reaching their lifespan capacities in North American zoos. In light of these findings, several husbandry-related factors which may be affecting the welfare and lifespans of varanids in zoos are identified and discussed. This study also highlights the utility of demographic and life history data in captive animal management, and offers a general framework for future herpetological studies of a similar nature. PMID:25503984

  13. Sex chromosomes and karyotype of the (nearly) mythical creature, the Gila monster, Heloderma suspectum (Squamata: Helodermatidae).

    PubMed

    Johnson Pokorná, Martina; Rovatsos, Michail; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2014-01-01

    A wide variety of sex determination systems exist among squamate reptiles. They can therefore serve as an important model for studies of evolutionary transitions among particular sex determination systems. However, we still have only a limited knowledge of sex determination in certain important lineages of squamates. In this respect, one of the most understudied groups is the family Helodermatidae (Anguimorpha) encompassing the only two venomous species of lizards which are potentially lethal to human beings. We uncovered homomorphic ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes in the Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum) with a highly heterochromatic W chromosome. The sex chromosomes are morphologically similar to the ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes of monitor lizards (Varanidae). If the sex chromosomes of helodermatids and varanids are homologous, female heterogamety may be ancestral for the whole Anguimorpha group. Moreover, we found that the karyotype of the Gila monster consists of 2n = 36 chromosomes (14 larger metacentric chromosomes and 22 acrocentric microchromosomes). 2n = 36 is the widely distributed chromosomal number among squamates. In his pioneering works representing the only previous cytogenetic examination of the family Helodermatidae, Matthey reported the karyotype as 2n = 38 and suggested a different chromosomal morphology for this species. We believe that this was probably erroneously. We also discovered a strong accumulation of telomeric sequences on several pairs of microchromosomes in the Gila monster, which is a trait documented relatively rarely in vertebrates. These new data fill an important gap in our understanding of the sex determination and karyotype evolution of squamates. PMID:25119263

  14. Integrative analyses of speciation and divergence in Psammodromus hispanicus (Squamata: Lacertidae)

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Genetic, phenotypic and ecological divergence within a lineage is the result of past and ongoing evolutionary processes, which lead ultimately to diversification and speciation. Integrative analyses allow linking diversification to geological, climatic, and ecological events, and thus disentangling the relative importance of different evolutionary drivers in generating and maintaining current species richness. Results Here, we use phylogenetic, phenotypic, geographic, and environmental data to investigate diversification in the Spanish sand racer (Psammodromus hispanicus). Phylogenetic, molecular clock dating, and phenotypic analyses show that P. hispanicus consists of three lineages. One lineage from Western Spain diverged 8.3 (2.9-14.7) Mya from the ancestor of Psammodromus hispanicus edwardsianus and P. hispanicus hispanicus Central lineage. The latter diverged 4.8 (1.5-8.7) Mya. Molecular clock dating, together with population genetic analyses, indicate that the three lineages experienced northward range expansions from southern Iberian refugia during Pleistocene glacial periods. Ecological niche modelling shows that suitable habitat of the Western lineage and P. h. edwardsianus overlap over vast areas, but that a barrier may hinder dispersal and genetic mixing of populations of both lineages. P. h. hispanicus Central lineage inhabits an ecological niche that overlaps marginally with the other two lineages. Conclusions Our results provide evidence for divergence in allopatry and niche conservatism between the Western lineage and the ancestor of P. h. edwardsianus and P. h. hispanicus Central lineage, whereas they suggest that niche divergence is involved in the origin of the latter two lineages. Both processes were temporally separated and may be responsible for the here documented genetic and phenotypic diversity of P. hispanicus. The temporal pattern is in line with those proposed for other animal lineages. It suggests that geographic isolation and vicariance played an important role in the early diversification of the group, and that lineage diversification was further amplified through ecological divergence. PMID:22129245

  15. Pygidial secretions ofPasimachus subsulcatus (Coleoptera: Carabidae) deter predation byEumeces inexpectatus (Squamata: Scincidae).

    PubMed

    Witz, B W; Mushinsky, H R

    1989-03-01

    The carabid beetlePasimachus subsulcatus is an abundant ground-dwelling insect in west central Florida that exudes a powerful mucous membrane irritant when disturbed. This secretion can be sprayed over 10 cm from the abdominal tip. The southeastern five-lined skink,Eumeces inexpectatus, is an abundant insectivorous lizard sympatric withPasimachus. We assessed the availability ofPasimachus toEumeces and found it to be within the foraging microenvironment of the lizard. Analysis ofEumeces gut contents and field feeding trials indicate thatPasimachus are not ingested by the lizard, yet arthropods of comparable size and exoskeletal thickness are ingested. The movement response ofEumeces to isolatedPasimachus secretion constituents, conducted in a modified Y-maze laboratory experiment, was used to assess the repellent capabilities of the secretion.Eumeces are consistently repelled byPasimachus secretion constituents, indicating that the beetle is protected chemically from the lizard. PMID:24271904

  16. Systematic revision of the Malagasy chameleons Calumma boettgeri and C. linotum (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae).

    PubMed

    Prötzel, David; Ruthensteiner, Bernhard; Scherz, Mark D; Glaw, Frank

    2015-01-01

    We revise the taxonomic status of two species of Madagascan chameleons in light of a recent molecular phylogenetic study on the Calumma nasutum group. The investigation of morphological and osteological characters led to a clear delineation between two species within the C. boettgeri complex, C. boettgeri and C. linotum. Calumma linotum has been considered either a synonym of C. boettgeri or a dubious, poorly defined taxon. So far it has only been known from the male holotype with the imprecise locality 'Madagascar'. Based on pholidosis, morphological measurements and characters of the skull that were analyzed using micro-X-ray computed tomography (micro-CT) scans, we ascribe the population of chameleons from Montagne d'Ambre, formerly assigned to C. boettgeri, to C. linotum. Calumma linotum differs from C. boettgeri in the larger size of tubercle scales on the extremities and rostral appendage, the larger diameter of the extremities relative to the body size, the presence of a parietal crest as well as the form of the nasal bones and the anterior tip of the frontal. The life colouration of the males is also characteristic, with a blue rostral appendage and greenish turquoise extremities. The body and rostral appendage of C. boettgeri in contrast are inconspicuously yellowish brown coloured. All confirmed distribution records of C. boettgeri are confined to the biogeographic Sambirano region whereas C. linotum is only known from Montagne d'Ambre and a locality at the base of the Tsaratanana massif. Additional literature records of C. boettgeri and C. linotum from northeastern Madagascar are in need of confirmation. We also confirm the synonymy of Chamaeleo macrorhinus (described from a female holotype with an unknown locality) with Calumma boettgeri. The use of micro-CT exposed further characteristics for species delimitation in an integrative taxonomic approach. In addition to the skull, we also micro-CT scanned the hemipenes of C. boettgeri and C. linotum, using an iodine-based tissue stain, and provide 3D PDF models of these organs. This method enables detailed illustration and the detection of variation in particular characters, and might be an important tool in further taxonomic studies on the C. nasutum group and other squamate reptiles. PMID:26624746

  17. Molecular cytogenetic map of the central bearded dragon, Pogona vitticeps (Squamata: Agamidae).

    PubMed

    Young, M J; O'Meally, D; Sarre, S D; Georges, A; Ezaz, T

    2013-07-01

    Reptiles, as the sister group to birds and mammals, are particularly valuable for comparative genomic studies among amniotes. The Australian central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps) is being developed as a reptilian model for such comparisons, with whole-genome sequencing near completion. The karyotype consists of 6 pairs of macrochromosomes and 10 pairs microchromosomes (2n = 32), including a female heterogametic ZW sex microchromosome pair. Here, we present a molecular cytogenetic map for P. vitticeps comprising 87 anchor bacterial artificial chromosome clones that together span each macro- and microchromosome. It is the first comprehensive cytogenetic map for any non-avian reptile. We identified an active nucleolus organizer region (NOR) on the sub-telomeric region of 2q by mapping 18S rDNA and Ag-NOR staining. We identified interstitial telomeric sequences in two microchromosome pairs and the W chromosome, indicating that microchromosome fusion has been a mechanism of karyotypic evolution in Australian agamids within the last 21 to 19 million years. Orthology searches against the chicken genome revealed an intrachromosomal rearrangement of P. vitticeps 1q, identified regions orthologous to chicken Z on P. vitticeps 2q, snake Z on P. vitticeps 6q and the autosomal microchromosome pair in P. vitticeps orthologous to turtle Pelodiscus sinensis ZW and lizard Anolis carolinensis XY. This cytogenetic map will be a valuable reference tool for future gene mapping studies and will provide the framework for the work currently underway to physically anchor genome sequences to chromosomes for this model Australian squamate. PMID:23703235

  18. Sex Chromosomes and Karyotype of the (Nearly) Mythical Creature, the Gila Monster, Heloderma suspectum (Squamata: Helodermatidae)

    PubMed Central

    Pokorná, Martina Johnson; Rovatsos, Michail; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2014-01-01

    A wide variety of sex determination systems exist among squamate reptiles. They can therefore serve as an important model for studies of evolutionary transitions among particular sex determination systems. However, we still have only a limited knowledge of sex determination in certain important lineages of squamates. In this respect, one of the most understudied groups is the family Helodermatidae (Anguimorpha) encompassing the only two venomous species of lizards which are potentially lethal to human beings. We uncovered homomorphic ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes in the Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum) with a highly heterochromatic W chromosome. The sex chromosomes are morphologically similar to the ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes of monitor lizards (Varanidae). If the sex chromosomes of helodermatids and varanids are homologous, female heterogamety may be ancestral for the whole Anguimorpha group. Moreover, we found that the karyotype of the Gila monster consists of 2n = 36 chromosomes (14 larger metacentric chromosomes and 22 acrocentric microchromosomes). 2n = 36 is the widely distributed chromosomal number among squamates. In his pioneering works representing the only previous cytogenetic examination of the family Helodermatidae, Matthey reported the karyotype as 2n = 38 and suggested a different chromosomal morphology for this species. We believe that this was probably erroneously. We also discovered a strong accumulation of telomeric sequences on several pairs of microchromosomes in the Gila monster, which is a trait documented relatively rarely in vertebrates. These new data fill an important gap in our understanding of the sex determination and karyotype evolution of squamates. PMID:25119263

  19. A new species of the genus Opisthotropis Günther, 1872 from northern Laos (Squamata: Natricidae).

    PubMed

    Teynié, Alexandre; Lottier, Anne; David, Patrick; Nguyen, Truong Quang; Vogel, Gernot

    2014-01-01

    Two specimens, a male and a female, of the genus Opisthotropis Günther, 1872 were collected in a karst formation of northern Louangphabang (or Luang Prabang) Province, North Laos. These specimens are assigned to the genus Opisthotropis on the basis of their morphology, dentition and cephalic scalation. However, they differ from all other known species of Opisthotropis by a combination of the following characters: (1) 21-19 scale rows on the fore part of the body, (2) 17 scale rows at midbody, (3) 22/23 maxillary teeth, (4) 177-181 ventrals, (5) 1 loreal on each side, in contact with internasal, (6) 7 supralabials, 4th entering orbit, (7) dorsum dark bronze-brown, with upper part of dorsum darker than lateral sides, without bands or crossbars, and (8) chin and throat blackish-brown with a sharp, transversal limit with the ventral colour crossing the posterior part of the throat. As a consequence, these specimens are here referred to a new species, Opisthotropis durandi spec. nov. The new species is compared with other species of the genus, especially the most similar species O. spenceri Smith, 1918 and O. atra Günther, 1872, the type species of the genus. An updated key to the genera Opisthotropis is provided. Opisthotropis durandi spec. nov. represents the first confirmed record of a species of Opisthotropis sensu stricto from Laos and it is the 108th snake species currently recorded from the Lao People's Democratic Republic. PMID:24871413

  20. A new species of lizard genus Potamites from Ecuador (Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae).

    PubMed

    Altamirano-Benavides, Marco; Zaher, Hussam; Lobo, Luciana; Grazziotin, Felipe Gobbi; Nunes, Pedoro Murilo Sales; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut

    2013-01-01

    Potamitesflavogularis sp. nov. is described from the Napo and Tungurahua Provinces around 1800 m elevation in eastern Ecuador. The new species is closely related, sibling, and sympatric to Potamites cochranae to which it has been previously confused. It is characterized by the absence of isolated basal flounces of spines and presence of calcareous spinules on flounces of the hemipenis, a short (1,30-1,41 times SVL) and slightly compressed tail without tubercles, tympanum slightly recessed, subimbricate ventral scales, lateral body scales lacking conspicuous enlarged tubercles, four longitudinal rows of dorsal tubercles, 6 transverse series of ventral scales, absence of intercalated scales along sides of tail, and absence of tubercles on sides of neck and gular regions. Like their congeners, the new species was found close to vegetation surrounding streams in primary and secondary forests. PMID:26176110

  1. Species delimitation using Bayes factors: simulations and application to the Sceloporus scalaris species group (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae).

    PubMed

    Grummer, Jared A; Bryson, Robert W; Reeder, Tod W

    2014-03-01

    Current molecular methods of species delimitation are limited by the types of species delimitation models and scenarios that can be tested. Bayes factors allow for more flexibility in testing non-nested species delimitation models and hypotheses of individual assignment to alternative lineages. Here, we examined the efficacy of Bayes factors in delimiting species through simulations and empirical data from the Sceloporus scalaris species group. Marginal-likelihood scores of competing species delimitation models, from which Bayes factor values were compared, were estimated with four different methods: harmonic mean estimation (HME), smoothed harmonic mean estimation (sHME), path-sampling/thermodynamic integration (PS), and stepping-stone (SS) analysis. We also performed model selection using a posterior simulation-based analog of the Akaike information criterion through Markov chain Monte Carlo analysis (AICM). Bayes factor species delimitation results from the empirical data were then compared with results from the reversible-jump MCMC (rjMCMC) coalescent-based species delimitation method Bayesian Phylogenetics and Phylogeography (BP&P). Simulation results show that HME and sHME perform poorly compared with PS and SS marginal-likelihood estimators when identifying the true species delimitation model. Furthermore, Bayes factor delimitation (BFD) of species showed improved performance when species limits are tested by reassigning individuals between species, as opposed to either lumping or splitting lineages. In the empirical data, BFD through PS and SS analyses, as well as the rjMCMC method, each provide support for the recognition of all scalaris group taxa as independent evolutionary lineages. Bayes factor species delimitation and BP&P also support the recognition of three previously undescribed lineages. In both simulated and empirical data sets, harmonic and smoothed harmonic mean marginal-likelihood estimators provided much higher marginal-likelihood estimates than PS and SS estimators. The AICM displayed poor repeatability in both simulated and empirical data sets, and produced inconsistent model rankings across replicate runs with the empirical data. Our results suggest that species delimitation through the use of Bayes factors with marginal-likelihood estimates via PS or SS analyses provide a useful and complementary alternative to existing species delimitation methods. PMID:24262383

  2. A new species of arboreal iguanid lizard, genus Stenocercus (Squamata: Iguania), from central Peru.

    PubMed

    Venegas, Pablo J; Duran, Vilma; Garcia-Burneo, Karla

    2013-01-01

    We describe a new species of Stenocercus from an interandean valley of the upper Río Huallaga on the Amazonian slope of central Peru (Región Huánuco), at an elevation of 1700-1900 m. The new species differs from other Stenocercus, except S. boettgeri, S. haenschi, S. humeralis, and S. varius, by the combination of the following characters: presence of granular scales on the posterior surface of the thighs, enlarged vertebrals, three caudal whorls per autotomic segment, a medially complete antegular fold, non-spinose caudals, and by males lacking a black transverse band on the ventral surface of the neck. However, the new Stenocercus differs from these, with the exception of S. humeralis, by having more scales around the midbody (104-107, =105.66) than S. boettgeri (79-104, Mean= 88.61), S. haenschi (57-64, Mean=60.50), and S. varius (74-88, Mean=82.35); and from S. humeralis by having the scales in the frontonasal region nearly equal in size to the scales in the occipitoparietal region, while in S. humeralis the scales on the frontonasal region are twice or three times longer than the scales on the occipitoparietal region. PMID:24699591

  3. Nitrogen excretion during embryonic development of the green iguana, Iguana iguana (Reptilia; Squamata).

    PubMed

    Sartori, M R; Taylor, E W; Abe, A S

    2012-10-01

    Development within the cleidoic egg of birds and reptiles presents the embryo with the problem of accumulation of wastes from nitrogen metabolism. Ammonia derived from protein catabolism is converted into the less toxic product urea or relatively insoluble uric acid. The pattern of nitrogen excretion of the green iguana, Iguana iguana, was determined during embryonic development using samples from allantoic fluid and from the whole homogenized egg, and in hatchlings and adults using samples of blood plasma. Urea was the major excretory product over the course of embryonic development. It was found in higher concentrations in the allantoic sac, suggesting that there is a mechanism present on the allantoic membrane enabling the concentration of urea. The newly hatched iguana still produced urea while adults produced uric acid. The time course of this shift in the type of nitrogen waste was not determined but the change is likely to be related to the water relations associated with the terrestrial habit of the adult. The green iguana produces parchment-shelled eggs that double in mass during incubation due to water absorption; the eggs also accumulate 0.02 mM of urea, representing 82% of the total measured nitrogenous residues that accumulate inside the allantois. The increase in egg mass and urea concentration became significant after 55 days of incubation then were unchanged until hatching. PMID:22710252

  4. Morphological and molecular identification of ticks infesting Boa constrictor (Squamata, Boidae) in Manaus (Central Brazilian Amazon).

    PubMed

    Fiorini, Leonardo Costa; Craveiro, Adriana Bentes; Mendes, Márcia Cristina; Chiesorin Neto, Laerzio; Silveira, Ronis Da

    2014-01-01

    The Boa constrictor is one of the world's largest vertebrate carnivores and is often found in urban areas in the city of Manaus, Brazil. The morphological identification of ticks collected from 27 snakes indicated the occurrence of Amblyomma dissimile Koch 1844 on all individuals sampled. In contrast, Amblyomma rotundatum Koch was found on only two snakes. An analysis of the 16S rRNA molecular marker confirmed the morphological identification of these ectoparasites. PMID:25517537

  5. The phylogenetic relationships of Pachyrhachis problematicus, and the evolution of limblessness in snakes (Lepidosauria, Squamata)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaher, Hussam; Rieppel, Olivier

    1999-12-01

    We have revisited the type material of Pachyrhachis problematicus, a fossil snake from the Cenomanian (Cretaceous) of the Middle East, and found a number of characters in need of revision with respect to its recent re-description. A new interpretation is given for several cranial characters. There is no identifiable regionalization of the presacral-vertebral column beyond that found in booid snakes. The identification of a free sacral rib in Pachyrhachis is more parsimoniously interpreted as the first lymphapophysis. It is questionable that the pelvic rudiment would have been suspended from the axial skeleton. We have also extensively reviewed the evidence that is believed to link Pachyrhachis, and with it all other snakes, to a mosasauroid ancestor. We were not able to corroborate this hypothesis, which involves characters related to the dentition, braincase morphology, and the intramandibular joint. Instead, re-analysis of the phylogenetic relationships of Pachyrhachis corroborates the hypothesis that it represents the sister-group of macrostomatan snakes, i.e., advanced snakes. Given that Pachyrhachis is nested within the hierarchy of snakes, it is entirely possible that this snake re-developed almost complete hind limbs. A less parsimonious hypothesis would be to consider the hind limbs to have been lost independently in the major basal clades of extant snakes (Scolecophidia, Anilioidea, and Macrostomata). The latter hypothesis is considered a serious possibility given the recently described findings on the mechanisms of limb development in Python, which could account for the highly variable pattern of hindlimb reduction found among basal snakes.

  6. A new Cyrtodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Khanh Hoa Province, southern Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Nicole; Phung, Trung My; Le, Minh Duc; Nguyen, Truong Quang; Ziegler, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    We describe a new species of the genus Cyrtodactylus from southern Vietnam, based on morphological and molecular datasets. Cyrtodactylus cucdongensis sp. nov. is described on the basis of seven specimens collected from Cuc Dong Cape, Khanh Hoa Province. The new species can be distinguished from the remaining bent-toed geckos by a combination of the following characters: maximum SVL 65.9 mm; 16-19 dorsal tubercle rows; 41-44 ventral scales at midbody; 5 or 6 precloacal pores in males, 4-6 pitted precloacal scales in females; no femoral pores; 6-13 enlarged precloacal scales; 5-9 enlarged femoral scales; no transversally enlarged subcaudals; dorsal pattern consisting of irregular dark bands. This is the 33rd species of Cyrtodactylus known from Vietnam. PMID:24872243

  7. Two new species of Cyrtodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the karst forest of Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Truong Quang; Le, Minh Duc; Pham, Anh Van; Ngo, Hai Ngoc; Hoang, Chung Van; Ziegler, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    We describe two new species of the genus Cyrtodactylus on the basis of a new reptile collection from the limestone karst forest of Hoa Binh Province, northwestern Vietnam. Cyrtodactylus otai sp. nov. from Hang Kia-Pa Co Nature Reserve and Cyrtodactylus bobrovi sp. nov. from Ngoc Son-Ngo Luong Nature Reserve can be distinguished from each other and from their congeners by their genetic distinction and morphological differences in number of precloacal pores, femoral scales, ventral scales, lamellae, subcaudals and dorsal tubercle arrangement, as well as in size and color pattern. In phylogenetic analyses, both new species are nested in a clade containing taxa from northwestern and northcentral Vietnam and northern Laos, i.e., C. bichnganae and C. cf. martini from northwestern Vietnam, C. puhuensis from northcentral Vietnam, and C. spelaeus, C. vilaphongi, and C. wayakonei from northern Laos. PMID:26250040

  8. Ultrastructure and wear patterns of the ventral epidermis of four snake species (Squamata, Serpentes).

    PubMed

    Klein, Marie-Christin G; Gorb, Stanislav N

    2014-10-01

    Snakes are limbless tetrapods highly specialized for sliding locomotion. This locomotion leads to the skin being exposed to friction loads, especially on the ventral body side, which leads to wear. It is presumed that snakes therefore have specific optimizations for minimizing abrasion. Scales from snakes with habitat, locomotor and/or behavior specializations have specific gradients in material properties that may be due to different epidermal architecture. To approach this issue we examined the skin of Lampropeltis getula californiae (terrestrial), Epicrates cenchria cenchria (generalist), Morelia viridis (arboreal), and Gongylophis colubrinus (burrowing) with a focus on (i) the ultrastructure of the ventral epidermis and (ii) the qualitative abrasion pattern of the ventral scales. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy revealed variations in the structure, thickness, layering, and material composition of the epidermis between the species. Furthermore, SEM and white light interferometer images of the scale surface showed that the abrasion patterns differed, even when the snakes were reared on the same substrate. These data support the idea that (i) a specific gradient in material properties may be due to a variation in epidermis architecture (thickness/ultrastructure) and (ii) this variation may be an optimization of material properties for specific ways of life. PMID:25169958

  9. Scratch resistance of the ventral skin surface in four snake species (Squamata, Serpentes).

    PubMed

    Klein, Marie-Christin G; Gorb, Stanislav N

    2016-04-01

    Snakes are limbless tetrapods highly specialized for sliding locomotion on various substrates. Their skin is constantly exposed to high friction forces, which promotes abrasion. Snake skin has material and surface specializations, presumably optimized for friction and abrasion resistance. We found that different snake species living in different habitats have different abrasion patterns and hypothesized that this correlates with specific epidermal architecture and surface topography. To test this hypothesis artificial scratches, under controlled load conditions, were created on the ventral skin material (epidermis) of four snake species adapted to different habitats: Lampropeltis getula californiae (stony and sandy soil substrates), Epicrates cenchria cenchria (trees, soil and water), Morelia viridis (trees), and Gongylophis colubrinus (burrowing in sand). Abrasion appearance on the skin surface was examined using scanning electron microscopy and white light interferometry. The material failure was different between the species, which we attribute to differences in the epidermis' response to the same abrasive challenge. We also discuss abrasion resistance mechanisms and the correlation with the different ultrastructure and surface microstructure. PMID:26874374

  10. Sequencing and analysis of the complete mitochondrial genome of Elaphe davidi (Squamata: Colubridae).

    PubMed

    Xu, Chunzhu; Mu, Yanshuang; Kong, Qingran; Xie, Guilin; Guo, Zirong; Zhao, Shuai

    2016-07-01

    The mitochondrial genome sequence of Elaphe davidi is analyzed and presented for the first time in this work. The genome was 17,117 bp in length and contained 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes and 2 control region. The overall base composition is A (35.4%), C (25.2%), T (27.0%), and G (12.4%). The base compositions present clearly the A-T skew, which was most obviously in the control region and protein-coding genes. Mitochondrial genomes analyses based on MP, ML, NJ and Bayesian analyses yielded identical phylogenetic trees, indicating a close phylogenetic affinity of the 12 Colubridae species. Two major phyletic lineages were present in Colubridae. A clade included the six species (Dinodon semicarinatus, E. poryphyracea, Oocatochus rufodorsatus, Orthriophis taeniurus, E. bimaculata and E. davidi) of subfamily Colubrinae except for Oligodon ningshaanensis. Another clade (Hypsiglena chlorophaea, H. unaocularus, H. torquata and Imantodes cenchoa) included Thermophis zhaoermii and O. ningshaanensis as the sister taxon to Colubrinae. The genus Elaphe, Dinodon, Oocatochus and Orthriophis formed a monophyletic group with the high bootstrap value (100 %) in all examinations. PMID:25806578

  11. The complete mitochondrial genome of Gloydius intermedius (Squamata: Viperidae: Crotalinae) from China.

    PubMed

    Xu, Chunzhu; Zhao, Shuai; Li, Cheng; Dou, Huashan

    2016-07-01

    The mitochondrial genome sequence of Gloydius intermedius is analyzed and presented for the first time. The genome was 17, 226 bp in length and contained 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes and 2 control region. The overall base composition was A (32.4%), C (28.8%), T (25.9%), and G (12.9%). The base compositions clearly presented the A-C skew, which was most obvious in the protein-coding genes. The extended termination-associated sequence domain, the central conserved domain and the conserved sequence block domain are defined in the mitochondrial genome control region of G. intermedius. Mitochondrial genome analyses based on MP, ML, NJ and Bayesian analyses yielded identical phylogenetic trees, indicating a close phylogenetic affinity of the 13 Crotalinae species. It appeared that no less than two major phyletic lineages were present in Crotalinae. The main clades within the Crotalinae supported are: A clade including the Protobothrops. A clade (G. brevicaudus, G. ussuriensis, G. intermedius, G. saxatilis) with the Ovophis appeared as the sister taxon to Protobothrops and was supported by bootstrap values of 88%. The four Gloydius species formed a paraphyletic group with the high bootstrap value (100 %) in all examinations. PMID:26006286

  12. Sequencing and analysis of the complete mitochondrial genome of Gloydius saxatilis (Squamata: Viperidae: Crotalinae).

    PubMed

    Xu, Chunzhu; Xie, Fei; Liu, Yichen; Zhao, Shuai; Wang, Yongsheng; Ma, Teng; Zhao, Tianqing

    2016-07-01

    The mitochondrial genome sequence of Gloydius saxatilis is analyzed and presented for the public for the first time. The genome was 17,218 bp in length and contained 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes and 2 control regions. The overall base composition was A (32.3%), C (28.9%), T (25.8%), and G (13.0%). The base compositions presented clearly the A-C skew, which was most obviously in the protein-coding genes. The extended termination-associated sequence domain, the central conserved domain and the conserved sequence block domain are defined in the mitochondrial genome control region of G. saxatilis. Mitochondrial genomes analyses based on MP, ML, NJ and Bayesian analyses yielded identical phylogenetic trees, indicating a close phylogenetic affinity of the thirteen Crotalinae species. It appeared that no less than two major phyletic lineages were present in Crotalinae. The main clades within the Crotalinae supported are: A clade including the Protobothrops. A clade (G. brevicaudus, G. ussuriensis, G. intermedius, G. saxatilis) with the Ovophis as the sister taxon to Protobothrops and was supported by bootstrap values of 88%. The four Gloydius species formed a paraphyletic group with the high bootstrap value (100%) in all examinations. PMID:25806581

  13. Differentiation of Sex Chromosomes and Karyotype Characterisation in the Dragonsnake Xenodermus javanicus (Squamata: Xenodermatidae).

    PubMed

    Rovatsos, Michail; Johnson Pokorná, Martina; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2015-01-01

    Highly differentiated heteromorphic ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes with a heterochromatic W are a basic principle among advanced snakes of the lineage Colubroidea, while other snake lineages generally lack these characteristics. For the first time, we cytogenetically examined the dragonsnake, Xenodermus javanicus, a member of the family Xenodermatidae, which is phylogenetically nested between snake lineages with and without differentiated sex chromosomes. Although most snakes have a karyotype with a stable chromosomal number of 2n = 36, the dragonsnake has an unusual, derived karyotype with 2n = 32 chromosomes. We found that heteromorphic ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes with a heterochromatic W are present in the dragonsnake, which suggests that the emergence of a highly differentiated W sex chromosome within snakes predates the split of Xenodermatidae and the clade including families Pareatidae, Viperidae, Homalopsidae, Lamprophiidae, Elapidae, and Colubridae. Although accumulations of interstitial telomeric sequences have not been previously reported in snakes, by using FISH with a telomeric probe we discovered them in 6 pairs of autosomes as well as in the W sex chromosome of the dragonsnake. Similarly to advanced snakes, the sex chromosomes of the dragonsnake have a significant accumulation of repeats containing a (GATA)n sequence. The results facilitate the dating of the differentiation of sex chromosomes within snakes back to the split between Xenodermatidae and other advanced snakes, i.e. around 40-75 mya. PMID:26575989

  14. Cryptic lineages and diversification of an endemic anole lizard (Squamata, Dactyloidae) of the Cerrado hotspot.

    PubMed

    Guarnizo, Carlos E; Werneck, Fernanda P; Giugliano, Lilian G; Santos, Marcella G; Fenker, Jéssica; Sousa, Lucas; D'Angiolella, Annelise B; Dos Santos, Adriana R; Strüssmann, Christine; Rodrigues, Miguel T; Dorado-Rodrigues, Tainá F; Gamble, Tony; Colli, Guarino R

    2016-01-01

    The Cerrado is a wide Neotropical savanna with tremendously high endemic diversity. Yet, it is not clear what the prevalent processes leading to such diversification are. We used the Cerrado-endemic lizard Norops meridionalis to investigate the main abiotic factors that promoted genetic divergence, the timings of these divergence events, and how these relate to cryptic diversity in the group. We sequenced mitochondrial and nuclear genes from 21 sites of N. meridionalis to generate species tree, divergence time estimations, and estimate species limits. We also performed population-level analysis and estimated distribution models to test the roles of niche conservatism and divergence in the group diversification. We found that N. meridionalis is composed by at least five cryptic species. Divergence time estimations suggest that the deepest branches split back into the early-mid Miocene, when most of the geophysical activity of the Cerrado took place. The deep divergences found in N. meridionalis suggest that beta anoles invaded South America much earlier than previously thought. Recent published evidence supports this view, indicating that the Panama gap closed as early as 15 mya, allowing for an early invasion of Norops into South America. The spatial pattern of diversification within N. meridionalis follows a northwest-southeast direction, which is consistent across several species of vertebrates endemic to the Cerrado. Also, we found evidence for non-stationary isolation by distance, which occurs when genetic differentiation depends on space. Our preliminary data in two out of five lineages suggest that niche conservatism is an important mechanism that promoted geographic fragmentation in the group. PMID:26385121

  15. A new species of Bachia (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) with pleisomorphic limb morphology

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kizirian, D.A.; McDiarmid, R.W.

    1998-01-01

    We describe a new species of Bachia from the upper Rio Negro drainage of southeastern Colombia and southern Venezuela. The new taxon is diagnosed by a complement of phalanges that is unique among gymnophthalmid lizards and intermediate relative to other Bachia and closely related genera. Variation in limb osteology among the species of Bachia and close relatives is reported. We discuss the distribution of B. panoplia and the taxonomic status of B. flavescens.

  16. Histological and morphological observations on tongue of Scincella tsinlingensis (Reptilia, Squamata, Scincidae).

    PubMed

    Yang, Chun; Wang, Limin

    2016-01-01

    The histology and morphology characteristics of the tongue in Scincella tsinlingensis were studied by light and electronic microscopy. Under light microscopy, the tongue consists of tip, lingual body and radix in sequence. Numerous lingual papillae widely distribute on the surface of the dorsal and ventral flanks in the tongue, in addition to some regions of the tip. The papillae's surface is covered with the epithelial layer. The lamina propria and dense connective tissue are distinct existing under the epithelial layer. There are many lingual glands spread over the lamina propria. Tongue muscle is developed and composed of distinct intrinsic muscle, hyoglossus and genioglossus. By scanning electron microscopy, at higher magnification, the epithelial cells of the dorsal surface in the divaricate tongue tips show numerous microvilli, micro-ridges and micro-pores. The surface of dorsal side of the papillae in lingual body is covered with abundant of micro-ridges and taste bud lacuna. On the surface of the papillae in radix, micro-facets and micro-ridges are compactly distributed, as well as scattered mucilage-pores. The lingual epithelium is divided into four layers observed by the transmission electron microscope. Cells of basal layer are irregularly elliptical in shape, with sparse organelles in the cytoplasm. The deep intermediate layer is not always distinct. Small numbers of organelles are scattered into the cytoplasm. The cells of the superficial intermediate layer gradually flatten, as do their nuclei. The cytoplasm contains many keratohyalin granules. Cell membranes are formed processes around cells and joined by abundant desmosomes to the cell membranes of adjacent cells. The cells located on the extreme free-surface side of the keratinized layer have fallen off. The basal lamina is intercalated between the basal layer and the lamina propria. The lamina propria of lingual body contains lingual gland. A large part of the cytoplasm is occupied by mucus granules which located in the distal part of the cell. The connective tissue contains myelinated nerve fibers, vessel and muscle cells. PMID:26421715

  17. The presence of Abronia oaxacae (Squamata: Anguidae) in tank bromeliads in temperate forests of Oaxaca, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Cruz-Ruiz, G I; Mondragón, D; Santos-Moreno, A

    2012-05-01

    The presence of lizards in bromeliads has been widely documented. Nevertheless, the possibility of some type of preference or specificity among lizards for particular bromeliad species has not yet been investigated. Therefore, this study aims to document the presence of Abronia oaxacae in six species of tank bromeliads found in pine forests, pine-live oak forests, and live oak groves during both the rainy season and the dry season. Three adult individuals of Abronia oaxacae were collected; one in a Tillandsia violácea (pine-live oak forest), one in a T. calothyrsus (live oak grove), and one in a T. prodigiosa (live oak grove). All three specimens were collected in sampling efforts carried out during the dry season. The results of the present study suggest that A. oaxacae shows no preference for a single, specific bromeliad species, although it does have a certain preference for a few select species. The presence of A. oaxacae in bromeliads during the dry season could be related to the cooler, moister microhabitat that these plants represent. PMID:22735142

  18. Molecular phylogenetics, species diversity, and biogeography of the Andean lizards of the genus Proctoporus (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae).

    PubMed

    Goicoechea, Noemí; Padial, José M; Chaparro, Juan C; Castroviejo-Fisher, Santiago; De la Riva, Ignacio

    2012-12-01

    The family Gymnophthalmidae comprises ca. 220 described species of Neotropical lizards distributed from southern Mexico to Argentina. It includes 36 genera, among them Proctoporus, which contains six currently recognized species occurring across the yungas forests and wet montane grasslands of the Amazonian versant of the Andes from central Peru to central Bolivia. Here, we investigate the phylogenetic relationships and species limits of Proctoporus and closely related taxa by analyzing 2121 base pairs of mitochondrial (12S, 16S, and ND4) and nuclear (c-mos) genes. Our taxon sampling of 92 terminals includes all currently recognized species of Proctoporus and 15 additional species representing the most closely related groups to the genus. Maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic analyses recovered a congruent, fully resolved, and strongly supported hypothesis of relationships that challenges previous phylogenetic hypotheses and classifications, and biogeographic scenarios. Our main results are: (i) discovery of a strongly supported clade that includes all species of Proctoporus and within which are nested the monotypic Opipeuter xestus (a genus that we consider a junior synonym of Proctoporus), and two species of Euspondylus, that are therefore transferred to Proctoporus; (ii) the paraphyly of Proctoporus bolivianus with respect to P. subsolanus, which is proposed as a junior synonym of P. bolivianus; (iii) the detection of seven divergent and reciprocally monophyletic lineages (five of them previously assigned to P. bolivianus) that are considered confirmed candidate species, which implies that more candidate species are awaiting formal description and naming than currently recognized species in the genus; (iv) rejection of the hypothesis that Proctoporus diversified following a south to north pattern parallel to the elevation of the Andes; (v) species diversity in Proctoporus is the result of in situ diversification through vicariance in the grasslands of the high Andes, with at least five dispersals contributing to montane forest species. PMID:22982151

  19. Molecular homology assessment and phylogeny in the lizard family opluridae (Squamata: Iguania).

    PubMed

    Titus, T A; Frost, D R

    1996-08-01

    The effect of utilizing secondary structure on multiple alignment and phylogeny reconstruction was examined for the mitochondrial 12S ribosomal RNA and valine transfer RNA genes in the lizard family Opluridae. Computer-generated multiple alignments were performed under parsimony using gap costs of 1-10 both with and without reference to secondary structure. Alignments performed without secondary structure resulted in disruption of positional homology in some stems at all gap costs. Number of misaligned stem positions increased with gap cost. Phylogenetic analyses of multiple alignments without secondary structure recovered a well-supported morphological tree for five gap costs, and this was the single most parsimonious tree only for a gap cost of 1. Computer-generated multiple alignments using secondary structure to maintain positional homologs in stems recovered the morphological tree over all gap costs, and this was the single most parsimonious tree for 8 of 10 gap costs. The combined morphological and molecular data produced a single most parsimonious oplurid tree that was congruent with the morphological tree over all gap costs. Chalaradon madagascariensis is the sister taxon of Oplurus, which itself contains two clades: one with the arboreal Oplurus cuvieri and Oplurus cyclurus and the other with the saxicolous Oplurus grandidieri, Oplurus fierinensis, Oplurus quadrimaculatus, and Oplurus saxicola. PMID:8812305

  20. Phylogeny and biogeography of the most diverse clade of South American gymnophthalmid lizards (Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae, Cercosaurinae).

    PubMed

    Torres-Carvajal, Omar; Lobos, Simón E; Venegas, Pablo J; Chávez, Germán; Aguirre-Peñafiel, Vanessa; Zurita, Daniel; Echevarría, Lourdes Y

    2016-06-01

    Nearly 50% of the diversity of the speciose Neotropical lizard clade Gymnophthalmidae is nested within the subclade Cercosaurinae. The taxonomy of Cercosaurinae lizards has been historically confusing because many diagnostic characters of those clades traditionally ranked as genera do not represent true diagnostic apomorphies. Even though molecular phylogenies of several 'genera' have been presented in the last few years, some of them remain poorly sampled (e.g., Anadia, Echinosaura, Potamites, Riama). In this paper we present a more comprehensive phylogeny of Cercosaurinae lizards with emphasis on Andean taxa from Ecuador and Peru, as well as a time-calibrated phylogeny with reconstruction of ancestral areas. Our analysis includes 52% of all recognized species of Cercosaurinae (67 species) and 1914 characters including three mitochondrial and one nuclear gene. We find that Anadia, Echinosaura, Euspondylus, Potamites, Proctoporus, and Riama are not monophyletic: the Tepuian Anadia mcdiarmidi is not sister to Andean species of Anadia; Echinosaura sulcarostrum is not included in the same clade formed by other species of Echinosaura and their more recent common ancestor; Teuchocercus is nested within Echinosaura; species of Euspondylus included in this study are nested within Proctoporus; Riama laudahnae is included in Proctoporus; and Potamites is paraphyletic and split in two separate clades, one of which we name Gelanesaurus, also a new genus-group name. Within Potamites, P. ecpleopus is paraphyletic, and P. strangulatus strangulatus and P. strangulatus trachodus are recognized as two distinct species. We also identify three unnamed clades (i.e., not nested within any of the recognized 'genera') from Andean populations in Ecuador and Peru. The estimated age of the clade Cercosaurinae (∼60Ma) corresponds to the early stages of the northern Andes. Even though the distribution of the most recent common ancestor of Cercosaurinae remains equivocal, our analysis shows that these lizards colonized and radiated along the northern Andes before reaching the central Andes in Peru. Finally, we present phylogenetic definitions for some of the recovered clades to promote a clear and precise classification of Cercosaurinae lizards. PMID:26975692

  1. The complete mitochondrial genome of secret toad-headed agama, Phrynocephalus mystaceus (Reptilia, Squamata, Agamidae).

    PubMed

    Chen, Dali; Guo, Xianguang; Li, Jun

    2014-02-01

    The complete mitogenome sequence of a mystical lizard species Phrynocephalus mystaceus was determined using polymerase chain reaction and directly sequenced with a primer walking method. The complete mitogenome was 16,660 bp in length, containing 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, two rRNA genes and a control region (D-loop). The gene arrangement and composition of P. mystaceus was similar to most other vertebrates, but the Proline tRNA gene was translocated to be adjacent to tRNA-Phe gene. The D-loop consisted of two parts, with part I existing between the tRNA-Thr gene and tRNA-Pro gene and another part inserting between the tRNA-Phe and 12S rRNA. In part I, one conserved sequence (CSB I) could be identified. In part II, two pair of motifs, "TACAT" and its reverted and complemented sequence "ATGTA", could be found in the domain of an extended termination-associated sequence. The mitogenome sequence of P. mystaceus could contribute to a better solution of its phylogenetic position within toad-headed agamids based on the whole mitogenomic data. PMID:23488917

  2. A new species of Pseudogekko (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Romblon Island Group, Central Philippines.

    PubMed

    Siler, Cameron D; Davis, Drew R; Diesmos, Arvin C; Guinto, Faith; Whitsett, Collin; Brown, Rafe M

    2016-01-01

    We describe a new species of lizard in the genus Pseudogekko from Sibuyan and Tablas islands in the Romblon Island Group of the central Philippines. The new species is diagnosed from other Philippine Pseudogekko by body size and shape, color pattern, and multiple differences in scale characteristics. Pseudogekko isapa sp. nov. has been collected only twice from leaves of shrubs in forested habitat on Sibuyan and Tablas islands. The distinctive new species of false gecko is undoubtedly endemic to this single, isolated island group. The fact that populations of such a distinctive new species of Pseudogekko has escaped notice of herpetologists on the reasonably well-studied and largely protected Sibuyan Island further emphasizes the secretive and forest-dependent habits of Philippine false geckos. These characteristics of their behavior and natural history render them difficult to study and challenge biologists' efforts to accurately assess their conservation status. PMID:27470802

  3. Distinct Patterns of Desynchronized Limb Regression in Malagasy Scincine Lizards (Squamata, Scincidae)

    PubMed Central

    Miralles, Aurélien; Hipsley, Christy A.; Erens, Jesse; Gehara, Marcelo; Rakotoarison, Andolalao; Glaw, Frank; Müller, Johannes; Vences, Miguel

    2015-01-01

    Scincine lizards in Madagascar form an endemic clade of about 60 species exhibiting a variety of ecomorphological adaptations. Several subclades have adapted to burrowing and convergently regressed their limbs and eyes, resulting in a variety of partial and completely limbless morphologies among extant taxa. However, patterns of limb regression in these taxa have not been studied in detail. Here we fill this gap in knowledge by providing a phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequences of three mitochondrial and four nuclear gene fragments in an extended sampling of Malagasy skinks, and microtomographic analyses of osteology of various burrowing taxa adapted to sand substrate. Based on our data we propose to (i) consider Sirenoscincus Sakata & Hikida, 2003, as junior synonym of Voeltzkowia Boettger, 1893; (ii) resurrect the genus name Grandidierina Mocquard, 1894, for four species previously included in Voeltzkowia; and (iii) consider Androngo Brygoo, 1982, as junior synonym of Pygomeles Grandidier, 1867. By supporting the clade consisting of the limbless Voeltzkowia mira and the forelimb-only taxa V. mobydick and V. yamagishii, our data indicate that full regression of limbs and eyes occurred in parallel twice in the genus Voeltzkowia (as hitherto defined) that we consider as a sand-swimming ecomorph: in the Voeltzkowia clade sensu stricto the regression first affected the hindlimbs and subsequently the forelimbs, whereas the Grandidierina clade first regressed the forelimbs and subsequently the hindlimbs following the pattern prevalent in squamates. Timetree reconstructions for the Malagasy Scincidae contain a substantial amount of uncertainty due to the absence of suitable primary fossil calibrations. However, our preliminary reconstructions suggest rapid limb regression in Malagasy scincids with an estimated maximal duration of 6 MYr for a complete regression in Paracontias, and 4 and 8 MYr respectively for complete regression of forelimbs in Grandidierina and hindlimbs in Voeltzkowia. PMID:26042667

  4. A new species of Cyrtodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Le, Dzung Trung; Nguyen, Truong Quang; Le, Minh Duc; Ziegler, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    We describe a new species of the genus Cyrtodactylus on the basis of six specimens collected from the limestone forest of the Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve, Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam. Cyrtodactylus soni sp. nov. can be distinguished from its congeners by genetic distinction and morphological differences in number of femoral and precloacal pores, femoral scales, ventral scales, lamellae, subcaudals, and dorsal tubercle arrangement, as well as in size and color pattern. In the phylogenetic analyses, the new species is nested in a clade containing taxa from northwestern and northcentral Vietnam and northern Laos. PMID:27615973

  5. Mitochondrial DNA Variability within Uromastyx ornata philbyi (Agamidae: Squamata) from Southwestern Saudi Arabia

    PubMed Central

    Amer, Sayed A. M.; Ahmed, Mohamed M.; Wilms, Thomas M.; Shobrak, Mohammed; Kumazawa, Yoshinori

    2012-01-01

    Approximately 2.4 kbp of mitochondrial DNA was sequenced from 9 individuals of Uromastyx ornata philbyi originating from Taif, Namas, Al-Baha, and Jazan in southwestern Saudi Arabia. The sequenced regions cover eight tRNA genes (tRNAGln, tRNAIle, tRNAMet, tRNATrp, tRNAAla, tRNAAsn, tRNACys, and tRNATyr) and two protein-coding genes (NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 and cytochrome b). U. ornata philbyi had an insertion of 170 bp length between tRNAGln and tRNAIle genes. The first 128 bp of this insertion was similar to the one identified earlier in U. ornata ornata and can be folded into a stem-and-loop structure, which was less stable in U. ornata philbyi than in U. ornata ornata, or the second tRNAGln gene. The next 42 bp of the insertion was unique in U. ornata philbyi and additionally retained a stable stem-and-loop structure. Most base substitutions found in the sequenced genes were synonymous transitions rather than transversions. Tree analyses supported the sister group relationship between the two U. ornata subspecies and divided U. ornata philbyi into two groups: Taif+Namas group in the east of Sarawat and Al-Baha+Jazan group in the west of Sarawat. These molecular data are in agreement with current classification of U. ornata. PMID:22312319

  6. The intestinal helminth community of the spiny-tailed lizard Darevskia rudis (Squamata, Lacertidae) from northern Turkey.

    PubMed

    Roca, V; Jorge, F; Ilgaz, Ç; Kumlutaş, Y; Durmuş, S H; Carretero, M A

    2016-03-01

    Populations of the lizard Darevskia rudis (Bedriaga, 1886) from northern Anatolia were examined for intestinal parasites in adult specimens. One cestode, Nematotaenia tarentolae López-Neyra, 1944 and four nematode species, Spauligodon saxicolae Sharpilo, 1962, Skrjabinelazia hoffmanni Li, 1934, Oswaldocruzia filiformis (Goeze, 1782) and Strongyloides darevskyi Sharpilo, 1976, were found. Three of these nematodes, S. saxicolae, S. hoffmanni and S. darevskyi are suggested to be part of a module in the network of Darevskia spp. and their parasites. Only one, S. darevskyi, was identified as a Darevskia spp. specialist. The very low infection and diversity parameters are indicative of the depauperate helminth communities found in this lacertid lizard, falling among the lowest within the Palaearctic saurians. Nevertheless these values are higher than those found in parthenogenetic Darevskia spp. Interpopulation variation in the intensity of S. saxicolae and N. tarentolae is attributable to local changes in ecological conditions. On the other hand, parasite abundance and richness increased in the warmer localities, while the effect of lizard sex and size on infection was negligible. The structure of these helminth communities in D. rudis are compared with those observed in other European lacertid lizards. PMID:26821706

  7. Molecular phylogenetics and biogeography of the Neotropical skink genus Mabuya Fitzinger (Squamata: Scincidae) with emphasis on Colombian populations.

    PubMed

    Pinto-Sánchez, Nelsy Rocío; Calderón-Espinosa, Martha L; Miralles, Aurélien; Crawford, Andrew J; Ramírez-Pinilla, Martha Patricia

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the phylogenetic and geographical history of Neotropical lineages requires having adequate geographic and taxonomic sampling across the region. However, Colombia has remained a geographical gap in many studies of Neotropical diversity. Here we present a study of Neotropical skinks of the genus Mabuya, reptiles that are difficult to identify or delimit due to their conservative morphology. The goal of the present study is to propose phylogenetic and biogeographic hypotheses of Mabuya including samples from the previously under-studied territory of Colombia, and address relevant biogeographic and taxonomic issues. We combined molecular and morphological data sampled densely by us within Colombia with published data representing broad sampling across the Neotropical realm, including DNA sequence data from two mitochondrial (12S rRNA and cytochrome b) and three nuclear genes (Rag2, NGFB and R35). To evaluate species boundaries we employed a general mixed Yule-coalescent (GMYC) model applied to the mitochondrial data set. Our results suggest that the diversity of Mabuya within Colombia is higher than previously recognized, and includes lineages from Central America and from eastern and southern South America. The genus appears to have originated in eastern South America in the Early Miocene, with subsequent expansions into Central America and the Caribbean in the Late Miocene, including at least six oceanic dispersal events to Caribbean Islands. We identified at least four new candidate species for Colombia and two species that were not previously reported in Colombia. The populations of northeastern Colombia can be assigned to M. zuliae, while specimens from Orinoquia and the eastern foothills of the Cordillera Oriental of Colombia correspond to M. altamazonica. The validity of seven species of Mabuya sensu lato was not supported due to a combination of three factors: (1) non-monophyly, (2) <75% likelihood bootstrap support and <0.95 Bayesian posterior probability, and (3) GMYC analysis collapsing named species. Finally, we suggest that Mabuya sensu stricto may be regarded as a diverse monophyletic genus, widely distributed throughout the Neotropics. PMID:26234274

  8. A new leaf-tailed gecko of the Uroplatus ebenaui group (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Madagascar's central eastern rainforests.

    PubMed

    Ratsoavina, Fanomezana Mihaja; Ranjanaharisoa, Fiadanantsoa Andrianja; Glaw, Frank; Raselimanana, Achille P; Miralles, Aurélien; Vences, Miguel

    2015-01-01

    We describe a new leaf-tailed gecko species of the Uroplatus ebenaui group from the eastern central rainforests of Madagascar, which had previously been considered as a confirmed candidate species. Our description of Uroplatus fiera sp. nov. relies on integrating evidence from molecular and morphological characters and is based on newly collected material from two localities. A phylogenetic analysis based on multiple mitochondrial DNA fragments places the new species as sister to a lineage of uncertain status (Uroplatus ebenaui [Ca8]), and the clade consisting of these two lineages is sister to a further undescribed candidate species (U. ebenaui [Ca1]). This entire clade is sister to U. phantasticus plus another candidate species. The new species differs from these close relatives, and all other congenerics, by strong differences in DNA sequences of mitochondrial genes (>8.5% uncorrected p-distance in 16S rDNA to all nominal species of the genus) and lacks shared alleles with any of the nominal species in the nuclear CMOS gene. From its closest relatives the new species further differs in its much smaller tail size (relative to U. phantasticus), and a narrower tail, fewer supralabials, and more toe lamellae (relative to U. ebenaui [Ca1]). Morphologically the new species is most similar to U. ebenaui but differs in its larger body size and unpigmented oral mucosa. Given its distribution in central eastern Madagascar, with records from near Fierenana and Ambatovy, its range overlaps with that of U. phantasticus. Based on examination of the U. phantasticus holotype, we confirm that this latter has a blackish pigmented oral mucosa as do those specimens typically attributed to this nomen, thereby confirming its distinctness from U. fiera sp. nov., in which the mucosa is unpigmented. PMID:26623762

  9. Redescription of the rare Philippine false gecko Pseudogekko brevipes (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae) and description of a new species.

    PubMed

    Davis, Drew R; Watters, Jessa L; Köhler, Gunther; Whitsett, Collin; Huron, Nicholas A; Brown, Rafe M; Diesmos, Arvin C; Siler, Cameron D

    2015-01-01

    Recent investigations into the species diversity of false geckos (genus Pseudogekko Taylor) have revealed several cryptic species, highlighting the need for a more thorough understanding of diversity within this enigmatic genus of endemic Philippine geckos. Newly available genetic data reveal that two of the four currently recognized species are complexes of multiple deeply divergent evolutionary lineages. In this paper we evaluate species diversity in one of these complexes, P. brevipes Boettger, and describe one additional new species. For nearly a century, P. brevipes has been recognized as a single, "widespread" species with a geographic range spanning two major faunal regions and several island groups. Poor understanding of this species has persisted due to both limited sampling and its apparent rarity. We evaluate both morphological and genetic data to define species limits in P. brevipes, and find character-based evidence to justify the recognition of two unique evolutionary lineages, one of which we describe as a new species (P. atiorum sp. nov.). The species included in this study have allopatric distributions and differ from congeners by numerous diagnostic characters of external morphology, and therefore should be recognized as full species in accordance with lineage-based species concepts. This newly described species increases the total number of species of Pseudogekko to seven. PMID:26624104

  10. Gastrointestinal nematodes of the lizard Tropidurus hispidus (Squamata: Tropiduridae) from a semi-arid region of north-eastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Anjos, L A; Avila, R W; Ribeiro, S C; Almeida, W O; da Silva, R J

    2013-12-01

    The tropidurid lizard Tropidurus hispidus has a wide distribution in South America. However, knowledge about its helminth fauna is patchy and has been reported for only a few localities along its range of distribution. This study presents data on helminth fauna composition and parameters of infection for a population of T. hispidus from an area within the Brazilian Caatinga biome (semi-arid physiognomy). We found five nematode species within the gastrointestinal tract of lizards: Parapharyngodon sceleratus (Pharyngodonidae); Physaloptera lutzi, Physaloptera retusa and Physalopteroides venancioi (Physalopteridae); and Strongyluris oscari (Heterakidae). The overall prevalence was 84.2% and the mean intensity of infection was 8.5 ± 1.1. The body size of adult male lizards influenced positively the intensity of infection. The infracommunities of nematodes presented an intermediate aggregated distribution (discrepancy index; D= 0.519) and a depauperate nematode fauna. The presence of generalist parasite species has contributed to an increase in the overall richness of the component community. This sampled host population presented the highest prevalence of parasites compared with other studies on T. hispidus, but their relatively low richness can be related to the disturbed environment of the study area. PMID:23069649

  11. Hemipenes in females of the Mexican viviparous lizard Barisia imbricata (Squamata: Anguidae): an example of heterochrony in sexual development.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Torres, Martín; Rubio-Morales, Beatriz; Piña-Amado, José Juan; Luis, Juana

    2015-01-01

    The sexual development of saurians follows a similar pattern to that described for other amniotes. Changes in the timing or sequence of development events are known as heterochrony. We describe the pattern of sexual development in the viviparous Mexican lizard Barisia imbricata and report heterochrony in the regression of hemipenes in this lizard. We collected gestating females; some lizards were subjected to partial hysterectomy and the embryos were processed using routine histological technique to assess gonadal development; the remaining embryos were used to assess the development of hemipenes. Other pregnant females were kept in captivity in individual terraria until the time of delivery. All neonates were sexed by eversion of hemipenes and some of their body characteristics were recorded. Several neonates were sacrificed and processed to establish gonadal histology and the young of the remaining litters were maintained in captivity to observe the fate of the hemipenes in both sexes. Gonadal development began at embryonic stage 33 and the hemipenes were visible at the same stage. In the neonates, the ovary contained oogonias and ovarian follicles, whereas the testicles showed testicular cords. All neonates had hemipenes and sex could only be established through direct observation of the reproductive ducts and gonadal histology. The hemipenes regression in the females begins after approximately 7 months of postnatal development and concludes at about 15 months of age. We think that the delayed regression of the hemipenes reflects evolutionary differences among reptiles and may be an indication of a stage in the evolutionary process of this species. PMID:26372061

  12. Dragons in the mist: three new species of Pseudocalotes Fitzinger (Squamata: Agamidae) from the sky island archipelago of Peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Grismer, L Lee; Quah, Evan S H; Wood, Perry L Jr; Anuar, Shahrul; Muin, Abdul; Davis, Hayden R; Murdoch, Matthew L; Grismer, Jesse L; Cota, Michael; Cobos, Anthony J

    2016-01-01

    An integrative taxonomic analysis is used to delimit and describe three new species of Pseudocalotoes from the sky island archipelago of the Banjaran (=mountain range) Titiwangsa of Peninsular Malaysia. Pseudocalotes drogon sp. nov., from Fraser's Hill, Pahang is basal to the sister species P. larutensis from Bukit Larut, Perak in the Banjaran Bintang and the new species P. rhaegal sp. nov. from Cameron Highlands, Pahang. Pseudocalotes drogon sp. nov. is differentiated from all other species of Psuedocalotes by having the combination of a flat rostrum; seven postrostrals; an interparietal; 11 circumorbitals; five canthals; 7-10 superciliaries; one scale between the rostral and nasal; nine supralabials; eight infralabials; 10 postnasal-suborbital scales; four postmentals; five or six sublabials; five or six chinshields; 47 smooth, wide, gular scales; weak transverse gular and antehumeral folds; two enlarged scales between the ear and eye; enlarged upper and lower posttemporals; a single enlarged supratympanic; no enlarged postrictals; three large scales bordering the dorsal margin of the ear opening; large pretympanic scales; eight scales in the nuchal crest not separated by a gap; enlarged vertebral scales extending to the tip of the tail; keeled and non-plate-like scales on flanks; 51 midbody scales; midventrals smaller than dorsals; 19 subdigital lamellae on the fourth finger; 23 subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe; preaxial scales on third toe enlarged and spinose; subdigital lamellae not unicarinate; HW/HL 0.52; HL/SVL 0.31; no elbow or knee patches; and a male dewlap color of lime-green bearing a central yellow spot. Pseudocalotes rhaegal sp. nov. is differentiated from all other Psuedocalotes by having the combination of a convex rostrum; 6-8 postrostrals; an interparietal; nine or 10 circumorbitals; five canthals; 7-10 superciliaries; one or two scales between the rostral and nasal scales; eight or nine supralabials; seven or eight infralabials; 11 or 12 postnasal-suborbital scales; four postmentals; four or five chinshields; 40-45 smooth, wide, gular scales; no transverse gular fold; a weak antehumeral fold; three or four enlarged scales between the ear and eye; an enlarged upper and lower posttemporal; an enlarged supratympanic; no enlarged postrictals; no large scales bordering the upper margin of the ear opening or in the pretympanic region; 6-8 enlarged nuchal crest scales not separated by a gap; enlarged vertebral scales extending to the base of the tail; weakly keeled, non-plate-like scales on the flanks; 52-58 midbody scales; midventrals smaller than dorsals; 19-21 subdigital lamellae on the fourth finger; 22-26 subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe; preaxial scales on the third enlarged and rounded; subdigital lamellae not unicarinate; HW/HL 0.50-0.54; HL/SVL 0.28-0.30; no elbow or knee patches; and female dewlap color yellow bearing a purple base. The analyses also indicated that the new species, P. viserion sp. nov. from Genting Highlands, Pahang in the southern section of the Banjaran Titiwangsa is the sister species of P. flavigula from Cameron Highlands 121 km to the north and can be separated from all other species of Psuedocalotes by having the combination of three postrostrals; 10 circumorbitals; four or five canthals; 5-7 superciliaries; rostral and nasals in contact; supralabials contacting the nasal; six or seven supralabials; six or seven infralabials; two or three postmentals; 47 or 48 smooth, flat, gular scales; three chinshields; weak transverse gular and antehumeral folds; two enlarged scales between the ear and eye; an enlarged upper and lower posttemporal; an enlarged supratympanic; no enlarged postrictals; 7-9 nuchal crest scales lacking gaps and not extending beyond midbody; weakly keeled and plate-like scales on the flanks; 35-38 midbody scales; ventrals smaller than dorsals; 22 or 23 subdigital lamellae on the fourth finger; 26 or 27 subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe; preaxial scales on the third toe not modified; subdigital scales not unicarinate; HW/HL 0.62; no white marking

  13. Phylogenetic relationships of Semaphore geckos (Squamata: Sphaerodactylidae: Pristurus) with an assessment of the taxonomy of Pristurus rupestris.

    PubMed

    Badiane, Arnaud; Garcia-Porta, Joan; Červenka, Jan; Kratochvíl, Lukáš; Sindaco, Roberto; Robinson, Michael D; Morales, Hernan; Mazuch, Tomáš; Price, Thomas; Amat, Fèlix; Shobrak, Mohammed Y; Wilms, Thomas; Simó-Riudalbas, Marc; Ahmadzadeh, Faraham; Papenfuss, Theodore J; Cluchier, Alexandre; Viglione, Julien; Carranza, Salvador

    2014-01-01

    A molecular phylogeny of the sphaerodactylid geckos of the genus Pristurus is inferred based on an alignment of 1845 base pairs (bp) of concatenated mitochondrial (12S) and nuclear (acm4, cmos, rag1 and rag2) genes for 80 individuals, representing 18 of the 23-26 species, and the three subspecies of P. rupestris. The results indicate that P. rupestris is polyphyletic and includes two highly divergent clades: the eastern clade, found in coastal Iran and throughout the Hajar Mountain range in northern Oman and eastern UAE; and the western clade, distributed from central coastal Oman, through Yemen, Saudi Arabia and north to southern Jordan. Inferred haplotype networks for the four nuclear genes show that the eastern and western clades of "P. rupestris" are highly differentiated and do not share any alleles. Moreover, although the two clades are differentiated by a morphological multivariate analysis, no one character or set of characters was found to be diagnostic. Based on the molecular analysis of specimens from the type locality of P. rupestris rupestris, the name P. rupestris is applied to the eastern clade. The name that should apply to the western clade cannot be clarified until morphological and genetic data for "P. rupestris" is available from the vicinity of Bosaso, Somalia, and therefore we refer to it as Pristurus sp. 1. The phylogenetic tree of Pristurus supports the hypothesis that P. celerrimus is sister to all the other species in the analyses and that the Socotra Archipelago was independently colonized a minimum of two times. PMID:25081434

  14. Diet of the lizard Liolaemus occipitalis in the coastal sand dunes of southern Brazil (Squamata-Liolaemidae).

    PubMed

    Verrastro, L; Ely, I

    2015-05-01

    Knowledge of a species' diet provides important information on adaptation and the relationship between the organism and its environment. The genus Liolaemus occurs in the southern region of South America and is an excellent model to investigate the adaptive processes of vertebrate ecology in ecosystems of this region of the world. Liolaemus occipitalis is an endangered species that inhabits the coastal sand dunes of southern Brazil. This species is the most abundant vertebrate in this environment, and it presents unique adaptation characteristics to the restinga environment. The present study analyzed this lizard's diet to verify similarities or differences between this species and other species of the same genus. Specimens were collected monthly from January 1996 to December 1997. The number of items, frequency of occurrence and volume of each prey taxon were determined. Arthropods were identified to the order level, and plant material was identified as flower, fruit, seed and leaves. Variations in the diet of males and females, adults and juveniles and seasons were also analyzed. The data indicate that Liolaemus occipitalis is a generalist, "sit-and-wait" or ambush predator as well as omnivorous, feeding on both arthropods and plant material. Significant ontogenetic differences were verified. Juveniles are more carnivorous, and the intake of plant material increases with size and age. Seasonal differences in diet composition were also observed. In the spring, arthropod and plant materials were more diversified and, therefore, consumed more often. PMID:26132010

  15. Cyrtodactylus rufford, a new cave-dwelling bent-toed gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Khammouane Province, central Laos.

    PubMed

    Luu, Vinh Quang; Calame, Thomas; Nguyen, Truong Quang; Le, Minh Duc; Bonkowski, Michael; Ziegler, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    We describe a new species of the gekkonid genus Cyrtodactylus from Khammouane Province, central Laos based on morphological and molecular data. Morphologically, Cyrtodactylus rufford sp. nov. differs from its congeners by a unique combination of the following characters: medium size, SVL reaching 72.5 mm; dorsal pattern with three or four light transverse bands between limb insertions; one intersupranasal; 14-16 irregular dorsal tubercle rows at midbody, weakly developed in the paravertebral region; 27-29 ventral scale rows between ventrolateral folds; 42-43 precloacal and femoral pores in a continuous row in males, enlarged femoral and precloacal scales present; 4 or 5 postcloacal tubercles on each side; dorsal tubercles present at base of tail; medial subcaudal scales enlarged. Molecular analyses show that the new species is closely related to C. khammouanensis, which was originally described from Khammouane Province. PMID:27395870

  16. A new species of bunchgrass lizard (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae) from the southern sky islands of the Sierra Madre Occidental, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Grummer, Jared A; Bryson, Robert W

    2014-01-01

    A new species of bunchgrass lizard in the Sceloporus scalaris group is described from the southern portion of the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico. The new species, Sceloporus aurantius sp. nov., was previously confused with S. brownorum but differs from this and all but one species within the S. scalaris group by a lack of blue belly patches in males. It shares with S. chaneyi an absence of blue belly patches, but differs from this species in size, number of dorsal scales, number of scales around midbody, and presence of an un-patterned morph. The new species further differs from S. chaneyi, and all other species in the S. scalaris species group, by unique phylogenetic position revealed through species delimitation based on multi-locus nuclear DNA. Principal component analyses of 24 traditional morphological characters used to describe previous S. scalaris group taxa indicate that these characters may be of limited use to delineate species in this species group. However, male lateral and ventral coloration may still be an important character for diagnosing species. PMID:24869877

  17. Cyrtodactylus samroiyot, a new limestone-dwelling Bent-toed Gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, peninsular Thailand.

    PubMed

    Pauwels, Olivier S G; Sumontha, Montri

    2014-01-01

    We describe Cyrtodactylus samroiyot sp. nov. from a limestone relief in Sam Roi Yot District, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, peninsular Thailand. It is characterized by a maximal known SVL of 66.9 mm; 17-18 longitudinal rows of dorsal tubercles; 33-34 longitudinal rows of ventrals across the abdomen between the ventrolateral skin folds; a continuous series of seven precloacal pores in males (six shallow precloacal pits in females); a series of slightly enlarged, poreless and pitless femoral scales; no precloacal groove nor depression; median row of transversely enlarged subcaudal scales; a complete nuchal loop; and a dorsal pattern consisting of three long dark brown bands, one above shoulders and two above abdomen.  PMID:24869842

  18. Hidden relationships and genetic diversity: Molecular phylogeny and phylogeography of the Levantine lizards of the genus Phoenicolacerta (Squamata: Lacertidae).

    PubMed

    Tamar, Karin; Carranza, Salvador; In den Bosch, Herman; Sindaco, Roberto; Moravec, Jiří; Meiri, Shai

    2015-10-01

    The Levant region witnessed dramatic tectonic events and climatic fluctuations that changed the historical landscape of the area and consequently influenced the cladogenesis and distribution of the local biota. In this study we use information from two mitochondrial and two nuclear genes and species delimitation methods in order to obtain the first robust time-calibrated molecular phylogeny of the Levantine rock lizards of the genus Phoenicolacerta. We sampled from across its distributional range with the aim to clarify its systematics, biogeography and evolution. Our results suggest that the genus includes two well-supported clades, one comprising solely the montane species Phoenicolacerta kulzeri, and the other including the three remaining species, the relatively widespread, P. laevis, the Syrian-Turkish P. cyanisparsa and the Cypriot endemic P. troodica. We found that both P. laevis and P. cyanisparsa are not monophyletic, as the Turkish populations of P. laevis branch within P. cyanisparsa. We found high levels of undescribed diversity within P. laevis which necessitate a thorough revision. We suggest that Phoenicolacerta started radiating during the mid-late Miocene, and that both vicariance and dispersal events shaped the diversification and distribution of the genus concomitantly with the formation of major geological structures and climatic fluctuations in the Levant. These results highlight the region as an important center of speciation, contributing to the species diversity of the eastern Mediterranean. PMID:25987529

  19. Resolving the higher-order phylogenetic relationships of the circumtropical Mabuya group (Squamata: Scincidae): An out-of-Asia diversification.

    PubMed

    Karin, Benjamin R; Metallinou, Margarita; Weinell, Jeffrey L; Jackman, Todd R; Bauer, Aaron M

    2016-09-01

    Despite an abundance of phylogenetic studies focused on intrageneric relationships of members of the Mabuya group, the intergeneric relationships have remained difficult to resolve. The most-persistent unresolved regions of the phylogeny of the group include: (1) the placement of the Middle-Eastern Trachylepis with respect to the Afro-Malagasy Trachylepis and its taxonomic status; (2) the phylogenetic position of the Cape Verdean Chioninia within the larger Mabuya group; (3) support for the placement of Dasia with respect to the entire group; and (4) the phylogenetic placement of Eutropis novemcarinata with respect to other Eutropis and Dasia. In this study, we include representatives of all these taxa as well as African Eumecia and Neotropical Mabuya. We seek to address these phylogenetic and systematic issues by generating a well-resolved and supported phylogeny for the Mabuya group as a whole that can be used to develop a stable taxonomy and reconstruct the geographic patterns of diversification within the group. To meet these goals, we built a large multi-locus dataset of 11 markers (nine nuclear and two mitochondrial), and performed concatenated and species tree analyses to generate a well-supported phylogeny for the group. Statistical topology tests reject the monophyly of Middle-Eastern Trachylepis with Afro-Malagasy Trachylepis, and to reflect monophyly we place the Middle-Eastern species into a previously described genus, Heremites. Cape-Verdean Chioninia are resolved as the strongly supported sister-group to Afro-Malagasy Trachylepis. Monophyly of the Southeast-Asian genera, Eutropis and Dasia, is not supported, with a clade composed of Dasia+Eutropis novemcarinata more closely related to the rest of the Mabuya group than to the remaining Eutropis. The phylogenetic position of E. novemcarinata renders Eutropis polyphyletic, and we therefore describe and place E. novemcarinata into a new monotypic genus, Toenayar, to preserve monophyly among the genera. In light of these novel findings, we review and discuss the historical biogeography of the entire Mabuya group. PMID:27246101

  20. Garnia karyolytica n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Haemosporina: Garniidae), a blood parasite of the Brazilian lizard Thecodactylus rapicaudus (Squamata: Gekkonidae).

    PubMed

    Lainson, R; Naiff, R D

    1999-09-01

    Development of meronts and gametocytes of Garnia karyolytica nov. sp., is described in erythrocytes of the neotropical forest gecko Thecodactylus rapicaudus from Pará State, north Brazil. Meronts are round to subspherical and predominantly polar in position: forms reaching 12.0 x 10.0 microns contain from 20-28 nuclei. Macrogametocytes and microgametocytes are predominantly elongate, lateral in the erythrocyte and average 16.6 x 6.3 microns and 15.25 x 6.24 microns respectively. Occasional spherical forms of both sexes occur in a polar or lateropolar position. All stages of development are devoid of malarial pigment. They have a progressively lytic effect on the host-cell nucleus, particularly the mature gametocytes, which enlarge and deform the erythrocyte. Possible vector(s) of garniid parasites are considered, and phlebotomine sandflies are high on the list of suspects. PMID:10511968

  1. Molecular phylogenetic relationships of the Liolaemus rothi complex and a new species of lizard from Auca Mahuida Volcano (Squamata: Liolaemini).

    PubMed

    Avila, Luciano Javier; Olave, Melisa; Perez, Cristian Hernan Fulvio; Perez, Daniel Roberto; Morando, Mariana

    2013-01-01

    A new species of lizard of the genus Liolaemus from Neuquén Province, western Argentina, is described. The new species is a member of the Liolaemus rothi species complex, and mitochondrial and nuclear molecular data show it as sister taxon of the clade composed of (L. hermannunezi (L. tromen + L. loboi)), differing in size, squamation, coloration, and sexual dimorphism from the other species of this group. Liolaemus sitesi sp. nov. has a dark body coloration with series of notched blotches on the dorsum, with bright spots, and a very iridescent yellow-green coloration in natural light. Liolaemus sitesi sp. nov. is found only in the Auca Mahuida volcano and is terrestrial, dwelling on the stony slopes with sandy soil between 1300 m and the volcano summit. PMID:24614465

  2. Biogeography of the Lizard Genus Tropidurus Wied-Neuwied, 1825 (Squamata: Tropiduridae): Distribution, Endemism, and Area Relationships in South America

    PubMed Central

    de Carvalho, André Luiz Gomes; de Britto, Marcelo Ribeiro; Fernandes, Daniel Silva

    2013-01-01

    Based on comprehensive distributional records of the 23 species currently assigned to the lizard genus Tropidurus, we investigated patterns of endemism and area relationships in South America. Two biogeographic methods were applied, Parsimony Analysis of Endemicity (PAE) and Brooks Parsimony Analysis (BPA). Two areas of endemism were detected by PAE: the first within the domains of the semiarid Brazilian Caatinga, which includes seven endemic species, and the second in the region of the Serranía de Huanchaca, eastern Bolivia, in which three endemic species are present. The area cladograms recovered a close relationship between the Atlantic Forest and areas of the South American open corridor. The results revealed a close relationship among the provinces Caatinga (Cerrado, Parana Forest (Pantanal+Chaco)). The uplift of the Brazilian Central Plateau in the Late Pliocene-Early Pleistocene (4-2 Myr BP) has been interpreted as a major event responsible for isolation and differentiation of biotas along these areas. However, we emphasize that without the establishment of a temporal framework concerning the diversification history of Tropidurus it is premature to correlate cladogenetic events with specific time periods or putative vicariant scenarios. The limiting factors hampering the understanding of the biogeographic history of this genus include (1) the absence of temporal references in relation to the diversification of distinct clades within Tropidurus; (2) the lack of an appropriate taxonomic resolution of the species complexes currently represented by widely distributed forms; and (3) the need for a comprehensive phylogenetic hypothesis. We suggest that these three important aspects should be prioritized in future investigations. PMID:23527261

  3. Karyological characterization of the endemic Iberian rock lizard, Iberolacerta monticola (Squamata, Lacertidae): insights into sex chromosome evolution.

    PubMed

    Rojo, V; Giovannotti, M; Naveira, H; Nisi Cerioni, P; González-Tizón, A M; Caputo Barucchi, V; Galán, P; Olmo, E; Martínez-Lage, A

    2014-01-01

    Rock lizards of the genus Iberolacerta constitute a promising model to examine the process of sex chromosome evolution, as these closely related taxa exhibit remarkable diversity in the degree of sex chromosome differentiation with no clear phylogenetic segregation, ranging from cryptic to highly heteromorphic ZW chromosomes and even multiple chromosome systems (Z1Z1Z2Z2/Z1Z2W). To gain a deeper insight into the patterns of karyotype and sex chromosome evolution, we performed a cytogenetic analysis based on conventional staining, banding techniques and fluorescence in situ hybridization in the species I. monticola, for which previous cytogenetic investigations did not detect differentiated sex chromosomes. The karyotype is composed of 2n = 36 acrocentric chromosomes. NORs and the major ribosomal genes were located in the subtelomeric region of chromosome pair 6. Hybridization signals of the telomeric sequences (TTAGGG)n were visualized at the telomeres of all chromosomes and interstitially in 5 chromosome pairs. C-banding showed constitutive heterochromatin at the centromeres of all chromosomes, as well as clear pericentromeric and light telomeric C-bands in several chromosome pairs. These results highlight some chromosomal markers which can be useful to identify species-specific diagnostic characters, although they may not accurately reflect the phylogenetic relationships among the taxa. In addition, C-banding revealed the presence of a heteromorphic ZW sex chromosome pair, where W is smaller than Z and almost completely heterochromatic. This finding sheds light on sex chromosome evolution in the genus Iberolacerta and suggests that further comparative cytogenetic analyses are needed to understand the processes underlying the origin, differentiation and plasticity of sex chromosome systems in lacertid lizards. PMID:24296524

  4. A new species of Plestiodon (Squamata: Scincidae) from Kuchinoshima Island in the Tokara Group of the Northern Ryukyus, Japan.

    PubMed

    Kurita, Kazuki; Hikida, Tsutomu

    2014-07-01

    A scincid lizard of the genus Plestiodon from Kuchinoshima Island in the Tokara Group of the Northern Ryukyus, Japan, has proved to be genetically and morphologically differentiated from any previously recognized species in the genus. We thus describe this island population as a new species, Plestiodon kuchinoshimensis. The new species shows characteristics of the P. latiscutatus species group, but differs from other species of this group by the combination of the following character states: postnasal absent; hatchling with five longitudinal light lines on dorsum; lateral light line on each side passing over ear opening and the sixth to eighth scale rows at midbody; dorsolateral light line beginning from behind supraoculars; patch of enlarged irregular scales on posterior femur absent; scale rows around midbody 27-32; and brownish background on the dorsal surface of the juvenile. PMID:25001918

  5. Edema induced by Bothrops asper (Squamata: Viperidae) snake venom and its inhibition by Costa Rican plant extracts.

    PubMed

    Badilla, Beatriz; Chaves, Fernando; Mora, Gerardo; Poveda, Luis J

    2006-06-01

    We tested the capacity of leaf (Urera baccifera, Loasa speciosa, Urtica leptuphylla, Chaptalia nutans, and Satureja viminea) and root (Uncaria tomentosa) extracts to inhibit edema induced by Bothrops asper snake venom. Edema-forming activity was studied plethysmographically in the rat hind paw model. Groups of rats were injected intraperitoneally with various doses of each extract and, one hour later, venom was injected subcutaneously in the right hind paw. Edema was assessed at various time intervals. The edematogenic activity was inhibited in those animals that received an injection U. tomentosa, C. nutans or L. speciosa extract. The extract of U. baccifera showed a slight inhibition of the venom effect. Extract from S. viminea and, to a lesser extent that of U. leptuphylla, induced a pro-inflammatory effect, increasing the edema at doses of 250 mg/kg at one and two hours. PMID:18494294

  6. Photographic evidence of interspecies mating in geckos of the Lepidodactylus lugubris unisexual-bisexual complex (Squamata: Gekkonidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Buden, Donald W.; Cianchini, Carlos; Taborosi, Danko; Fisher, Robert N.; Bauer, Aaron; Ineich, Ivan

    2014-01-01

    An interspecies mating between unisexual Lepidodactylus lugubris and a male of the bisexual Lepidodactylus moestus was photographed by Carlos Cianchini on Kosrae [Island], FSM, at 18:15 h on 22 August 2013 (Figure 1). The mating pair was on a window frame inside a house at Pukusruk Wan village (05°21'01" N, 163°00'41" E, elev. 28 m a.s.l.) on the northeastern side of the island. This is the first direct evidence of mating between these two species.

  7. Reproductive cycles and reproductive strategies among populations of the Rose-bellied Lizard Sceloporus variabilis (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae) from central Mexico.

    PubMed

    Cruz-Elizalde, Raciel; Ramírez-Bautista, Aurelio

    2016-03-01

    Species with wide distribution, generally show variations in life history characteristics, which can be attributed to environmental causes. In this study, we analyzed the reproductive cycle and reproductive characteristics from three populations (Atlapexco, San Pablo Tetlapayac, and Santa Catarina) of the lizard Sceloporus variabilis from central Mexico. The specific goal of this study was to evaluate life history characteristics such as reproductive period extent, SVL (snout-vent length) at sexual maturity, clutch size, egg mass and volume, and RCM (relative clutch mass). The San Pablo Tetlapayac population showed a larger clutch size, RCM, egg mass, and a smaller SVL, body mass and reproductive period (January-September), as well as egg volume than the Atlapexco and Santa Catarina populations. Reproductive cycle and reproductive characteristics were more similar between the Atlapexco and Santa Catarina populations. Differences found in the population of San Pablo Tetlapayac with respect to the Atlapexco and Santa Catarina populations could be attributed to environmental variations where lizard populations occur. Differences in the reproductive period and reproductive characteristics in each population could be the result of both historical (phylogenetic; e.g., reproductive mode) and nonhistorical (environmental; e.g., temperature, food availability) causes. This study showed that populations of the same species are under different selection pressures, and these affect the reproductive characteristics of populations. Our results also indicate that long-term and targeted studies on predation, use and selection of food, are needed to determine the causes of these variations in populations of S. variabilis. PMID:26929815

  8. Two newly recognized species of Hemidactylus (Squamata, Gekkonidae) from the Arabian Peninsula and Sinai, Egypt

    PubMed Central

    Šmíd, Jiří; Moravec, Jiří; Kratochvíl, Lukáš; Gvoždík, Václav; Nasher, Abdul Karim; Busais, Salem M.; Wilms, Thomas; Shobrak, Mohammed Y.; Carranza, Salvador

    2013-01-01

    Abstract A recent molecular phylogeny of the Arid clade of the genus Hemidactylus revealed that the recently described H. saba and two unnamed Hemidactylus species from Sinai, Saudi Arabia and Yemen form a well-supported monophyletic group within the Arabian radiation of the genus. The name ‘Hemidactylus saba species group’ is suggested for this clade. According to the results of morphological comparisons and the molecular analyses using two mitochondrial (12S and cytb) and four nuclear (cmos, mc1r, rag1, rag2) genes, the name Hemidactylus granosus Heyden, 1827 is resurrected from the synonymy of H. turcicus for the Sinai and Saudi Arabian species. The third species of this group from Yemen is described formally as a new species H. ulii sp. n. The phylogenetic relationships of the members of ‘Hemidactylus saba species group’ are evaluated and the distribution and ecology of individual species are discussed. PMID:24363570

  9. A fossil Diploglossus (Squamata, Anguidae) lizard from Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre Islands (Guadeloupe, French West Indies).

    PubMed

    Bochaton, Corentin; Boistel, Renaud; Casagrande, Fabrice; Grouard, Sandrine; Bailon, Salvador

    2016-01-01

    Today, Diploglossine lizards (Anguidae) are common on the Greater Antillean Islands (West Indies), where they are represented by many endemic species. However these lizards are very rare on the Lesser Antillean Islands, where they are only represented by a single species, the Montserrat galliwasp (Diploglossus montisserrati). Here, we show that diploglossine lizards were present in the past on other Lesser Antillean islands, by reporting the discovery of Anguidae fossil remains in two Amerindian archaeological deposits and in a modern deposit. These remains are compared to skeletons of extant diploglossine lizards, including D. montisserrati, using X-ray microtomography of the type specimen of this critically endangered lizard. We also conducted a histological study of the osteoderms in order to estimate the putative age of the specimen. Our results show that the fossil specimens correspond to a member of the Diploglossus genus presenting strong similarities, but also minor morphological differences with D. montisserrati, although we postulate that these differences are not sufficient to warrant the description of a new species. These specimens, identified as Diploglossus sp., provide a new comparison point for the study of fossil diploglossine lizards and reflect the historical 17(th) century mentions of anguid lizards, which had not been observed since. PMID:27354326

  10. A new forest-dwelling Bent-toed Gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Cyrtodactylus) from Doi Inthanon, Chiang Mai Province, northern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Kunya, Kirati; Sumontha, Montri; Panitvong, Nonn; Dongkumfu, Wuttipong; Sirisamphan, Thana; Pauwels, Olivier S G

    2015-01-01

    We describe a new forest-dwelling Cyrtodactylus from Doi Inthanon, Chiang Mai Province, northern Thailand. Cyrtodactylus inthanon sp. nov. is characterized by a maximum known SVL of 87.3 mm; 18 to 20 longitudinal rows of dorsal tubercles; a continuous series of 34 to 37 enlarged femoro-precloacal scales, including four to six pitted (female) or pore-bearing (male) scales on each femur separated by a diastema from five pitted (females) or pore-bearing (male) precloacal scales; no precloacal groove or depression; transversely enlarged subcaudal scales; and three to five irregular beige dorsal bands between limb insertions. The discovery of a new reptile endemic to Doi Inthanon reinforces the high importance of this mountain in terms of biodiversity conservation. PMID:25661232

  11. A new green anole lizard of the "Dactyloa" clade (Squamata: Dactyloidae) from the Magdalena river valley of Colombia .

    PubMed

    Velasco, Julián A; Hurtado-Gómez, Juan Pablo

    2014-01-01

    We describe a new species of Anolis from the Magdalena river valley in Colombia. The new species is morphologically similar to Anolis ibanezi and A. chocorum, but differs in body and dewlap color, and head scalation. We performed an exploratory multivariate analysis based on 15 morphological characteristics of the new species and A chocorum and found that differences between both species are mainly associated with head dimensions. A phylogenetic analysis based on morphological characters suggests that the new species is nested within the "Dactyloa" clade of Anolis. Finally, we discuss phylogenetic relationships and biogeographical affinities based in its distribution.  PMID:24872178

  12. A new species of Alopoglossus lizard (Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae) from the tropical Andes, with a molecular phylogeny of the genus

    PubMed Central

    Torres-Carvajal, Omar; Lobos, Simón E.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract We describe a new species of Alopoglossus from the Pacific slopes of the Andes in northern Ecuador based on morphological and molecular evidence. The new species differs most significantly from all other congeners in having a double longitudinal row of widened gular scales, lanceolate dorsal scales in transverse rows, 29–32 dorsal scales in a transverse row at midbody, and 4 longitudinal rows of ventrals at midbody. It is most similar in morphology to A. festae, the only species of Alopoglossus currently recognized in western Ecuador. We analyze the phylogenetic relationships among species of Alopoglossus based on the mitochondrial gene ND4. Cis-Andean [east of the Andes] and Trans-Andean [west of the Andes] species are nested in two separate clades, suggesting that the uplift of these mountains had an important effect in the diversification of Alopoglossus. In addition, we present an updated key to the species of Alopoglossus. PMID:24899852

  13. A new species of karst-dwelling bent-toed gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Khammouane Province, central Laos.

    PubMed

    Luu, Vinh Quang; Nguyen, Truong Quang; Le, Minh Duc; Bonkowski, Michael; Ziegler, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    We describe a new species of the genus Cyrtodactylus from Khammouane Province, central Laos based on morphological features and molecular data. Morphologically, Cyrtodactylus bansocensis sp. nov. is differentiated from other congeners by a unique combination of the following characters: medium size, SVL reaching 74.0 mm; dorsal pattern consisting of four light transverse bands between limb insertions; supranasals in contact with each other; dorsal tubercles at midbody in 14-15 irregular rows; lateral folds present without interspersed tubercles; ventral scales between ventrolateral folds 34-35; precloacal and femoral pores in males 34, separated by four poreless scales in the male holotype and in a continuous row in the male paratype; enlarged femoral and precloacal scales present; postcloacal tubercles 5-7 on each side; dorsal tubercles present at tail base; and subcaudal scales transversely enlarged. Molecular analyses revealed the new species to be closely related to Cyrtodactylus rufford, which is also found in Khammouane Province. PMID:27395993

  14. A fossil Diploglossus (Squamata, Anguidae) lizard from Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre Islands (Guadeloupe, French West Indies)

    PubMed Central

    Bochaton, Corentin; Boistel, Renaud; Casagrande, Fabrice; Grouard, Sandrine; Bailon, Salvador

    2016-01-01

    Today, Diploglossine lizards (Anguidae) are common on the Greater Antillean Islands (West Indies), where they are represented by many endemic species. However these lizards are very rare on the Lesser Antillean Islands, where they are only represented by a single species, the Montserrat galliwasp (Diploglossus montisserrati). Here, we show that diploglossine lizards were present in the past on other Lesser Antillean islands, by reporting the discovery of Anguidae fossil remains in two Amerindian archaeological deposits and in a modern deposit. These remains are compared to skeletons of extant diploglossine lizards, including D. montisserrati, using X-ray microtomography of the type specimen of this critically endangered lizard. We also conducted a histological study of the osteoderms in order to estimate the putative age of the specimen. Our results show that the fossil specimens correspond to a member of the Diploglossus genus presenting strong similarities, but also minor morphological differences with D. montisserrati, although we postulate that these differences are not sufficient to warrant the description of a new species. These specimens, identified as Diploglossus sp., provide a new comparison point for the study of fossil diploglossine lizards and reflect the historical 17th century mentions of anguid lizards, which had not been observed since. PMID:27354326

  15. Two new species of Andean gymnophthalmid lizards of the genus Euspondylus (Reptilia, Squamata) from central and southern Peru

    PubMed Central

    Chávez, Germán; Siu-Ting, Karen; Duran, Vilma; Venegas, Pablo J

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Two new species of lizards assigned to the genus Euspondylus from the montane forests of the Peruvian Andes in the Pasco Department (central Peru) and Ayacucho Department (southern Peru) both at elevations of 2550 and 3450 m, respectively, are described. The new species are distinguishable from all other Peruvian and Ecuadorian species of Euspondylus by a unique combination of morphometric, scalation and color pattern characteristics. Natural history data for the new species and for Euspondylus spinalis are also provided. PMID:21852931

  16. A new species of Gekko (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Tà Kóu Nature Reserve, Binh Thuan Province, Southern Vietnam

    PubMed Central

    Gamble, Tony

    2010-01-01

    A new species of Gekko Laurenti is described from Ta Kou Mountain, an isolated granitic peak in Ta Kou Nature Reserve, Ham Thuan Nam district, Binh Thuan province, southern Vietnam. The species is distinguished from its congeners by its moderate size, with snout to vent length (SVL) reaching a maximum 107.0 mm; dorsal pattern of 5–8 white vertebral blotches between the nape and sacrum and 6–8 pairs of short white bars on the flanks; 11–14 precloacal pores in males; 14–17 longitudinal rows of smooth dorsal tubercles; and 18–20 broad lamellae beneath the fourth toe. Gekko takouensis sp. nov. is the second endemic gekkonid discovered in the Ta Kou Nature Reserve, Cyrtodactylus takouensis Ngo & Bauer being the first. PMID:21547000

  17. Taxonomic revision of the semi-aquatic skink Parvoscincus leucospilos (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae), with description of three new species.

    PubMed

    Siler, Cameron D; Linkem, Charles W; Cobb, Kerry; Watters, Jessa L; Cummings, Sean T; Diesmos, Arvin C; Brown, Rafe M

    2014-01-01

    We review the recent discovery of multiple populations of the enigmatic, semi-aquatic Sphenomorphus Group skink, Parvoscincus leucospilos Peters, and investigate the morphological and genetic diversity of isolated, allopatric populations of this unique skink. Our investigations support the recognition of four unique evolutionary lineages distributed across Luzon Island in the Philippines, three of which are herein described as new species (P. tikbalangi sp. nov., P. manananggalae sp. nov., and P. duwendorum sp. nov.). All four recognized species are genetically divergent in both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences, and morphologically distinct. The description of three new Luzon Island endemic species adds to the growing body of literature suggesting that mechanisms driving the accumulation of vertebrate diversity in the Philippines may vary regionally across the archipelago.  PMID:25112346

  18. Pentastomid infection in Philodryas nattereri Steindachner, 1870 and Oxybelis aeneus (Wagler, 1824) (Squamata: Colubridae) in a caatinga of northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Almeida, W O; Guedes, T B; Freire, E M X; Vasconcellos, A

    2008-02-01

    The relationship between pentastomids and two Colubridae species, Phillodryas nattereri Steindachner, 1870 and Oxybelis aeneus (Wagler, 1824), were investigated in the federal government's reserve Estação Ecológica do Seridó (ESEC, Seridó) situated at lat 6 degrees 35'-40' S and long 37 degrees 15'-20 W in the municipality of Serra Negra do Norte, state of Rio Grande do Norte, Northeast Brazil and run by IBAMA (the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Natural Resources). Throughout 2005, 26 specimens of snakes, 13 of P. nattereri and 13 of O. aeneus were collected. After anatomical dissection and laboratorial examination of the snakes respiratory tracts, P. nattereri was found to be parasitized by two species of pentastomids: Cephalobaena tetrapoda Heymons, 1922 with a prevalence of 30.8% and a mean intensity of infection of 51.5 +/- 32.7 (range 3-147), and Raillietiella furcocerca (Diesing, 1863) which had a prevalence of 7.7% and a mean intensity of infection of 1.0. Only one female of O. aeneus was found to be infected by C. tetrapoda, with a prevalence of 7.7% and mean intensity of infection of 2.0. There was no significant relationship between size of snout-vent length (SVL) and intensity of infection in the specimens investigated here. The two individuals of P. nattereri infected by more than 40 specimens of pentastomids had their lungs completely infected including the pulmonary peritoneum and trachea. It is noteworthy that the hosts had their lung tissues partially destroyed with apparent haemorrhage, and the trabecular structure of their lungs was also destroyed. The contrasting rates of infection estimated here may be related to differences in foraging strategies, in diet, and habitat selection carried out by individuals of P. nattereri and O. aeneus. PMID:18470397

  19. A new species of Spauligodon (Nematoda; Oxyuroidea; Pharyngodonide) and other Helminths in Ptychozoon Kuhli (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from East Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Bursey, Charles R; Goldberg, Stephen R; Lee Grismer, L

    2016-06-01

    Spauligodon geckonis sp. nov. from the intestines of Ptychozoon kuhli (Gekkonidae) from East Malaysia is described and illustrated. Spauligodon geckonis sp. nov. represents the 52nd species assigned to the genus and the third species from the Oriental Region. The new species is separated from congeners by the unique combination of aspinose filamentous tail and spicule in the male and spinose filamentous tail and fusiform, two knobbed eggs in the female. Gravid individuals 3 species of Nematoda, Meteterakis singaporensis, Physalopteroides grismeri, and Skrjabinelazia machidai, as well as larvae assignable to the Ascaridae were also found. PMID:27078659

  20. Variation in energy metabolism and water flux of free-ranging male lace monitors, Varanus varius (Squamata: Varanidae).

    PubMed

    Guarino, Fiorenzo; Georges, Arthur; Green, Brian

    2002-01-01

    The energy and water used by Varanus varius correlated with changes in weather, activity, and possibly the availability of prey. In summer, CO(2) production and water influx rates were high (0.147 mL CO(2) g(-1) h(-1) and 23.6 mL H(2)O kg(-1) d(-1)) but substantially lower during autumn (0.053 mL CO(2) g(-1) h(-1) and 9.1 mL H(2)O kg(-1) d( -1)) and winter (0.016 mL CO(2) g(-1) h(-1) and 2.4 mL H(2)O kg(-1) d(-1)), increasing again in spring (0.052 mL CO(2) g(-1) h(-1) and 7.9 mL H(2)O kg(-1) d(-1)). The summer-winter difference represented more than a ninefold reduction in energy expenditure and water flux. However, individual V. varius could manipulate their energy and water requirements by up to sixfold during the summer period by regulating activity. Although we found no adaptive benefits of increased or decreased level of activity, we did find that larger animals moved more frequently and over greater distances than smaller animals. We hypothesise that V. varius regulates its activity on the basis of the trade-off between energy expenditure through activity and energy acquisition through foraging. PMID:12177832

  1. Treerunners, cryptic lizards of the Plica plica group (Squamata, Sauria, Tropiduridae) of northern South America

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, John C.; Jowers, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The arboreal, Neotropical lizard Plica plica (Linnaeus, 1758) has been long considered a widespread species with a distribution east of the Andes. A preliminary examination of 101 specimens from about 28 locations mostly north of the Amazon suggests that Plica plica is a cryptic species complex with taxa that can be distinguished on the basis of the number of scale rows at mid-body; the arrangement, shape and ornamentation of scales on the snout; the number of lamellae on the fourth toe; the number of subocular plates; as well as other commonly used external morphological traits. The allopatric species discussed here are concordant with northern South American geography. Plica plica (Linnaeus, 1758) is associated with the Guiana Shield (Suriname, Guyana and Venezuela). A second species, P. caribeana sp. n. is associated with the Caribbean Coastal Range of Venezuela including Trinidad and Tobago. A third, distinctive species, P. rayi sp. n. is associated with the middle Orinoco at the eastern edge of the Guiana Shield. Two other species, P. kathleenae sp. n. and P. medemi sp. n., each based upon a single specimen, one from the Sierra Acarai Mountains of Guyana, and the other from southern Meta, Colombia are described. In addition to morphological analyses, we sequenced 12S and 16S rDNA gene fragments from one Plica plica from Trinidad to assess its relationship and taxonomy to other mainland Plica cf. plica. The results suggest Plica caribeana sp. n. likely diverged prior to the separation of Trinidad from northern Venezuela. Isolation in the Caribbean Coastal Range during its rapid uplift in the late Miocene, combined with a marine incursion into northern Venezuela may have contributed to their genetic divergence from other populations. PMID:24363569

  2. A new species of the genus Calotes (Squamata: Agamidae) from high elevations of the Knuckles massif of Sri Lanka.

    PubMed

    Amarasinghe, A A Thasun; Karunarathna, D M S Suranjan; Hallermann, Jakob; Fujinuma, Junichi; Grillitsch, Heinz; Campbell, Patrick D

    2014-01-01

    A new species of agamid lizard, of the genus Calotes, is described based on morphological evidence. This species is restricted to the Knuckles massif (>900 m elevation) of Sri Lanka. The genus Calotes consists of seven species in Sri Lanka, five of which appear to form an endemic radiation. The new species most closely resembles C. liocephalus Günther, 1872 which has an isolated population in the central highlands and is only known from Pundaluoya (~1000m), Dickoya (~1200m), Upcot (~1400m), Agrapatanas (1665m) and Peak Wilderness (Sri Pada) (>1400m). The populations from Pundaluoya and Dickoya appear to be locally extinct from the wild and are known only from museum specimens collected over 120 years ago. Males of the new species are different from males of C. liocephalus because of the absence of a gular pouch; by having mid gular scales smaller in size than those of its counterpart; scales on the snout which are larger in size than those on the occipital and forehead; pectoral scales which are not enlarged; elongated subcaudal scales; slightly carinate and acuminate abdominal scales; and scales on venter which are somewhat larger in size than those on dorsum at the same level. Finally, we also redescribe Calotes liocephalus, and provide a key to the Sri Lankan species of genus Calotes. PMID:24872171

  3. First record of Porocephalus cf. clavatus (Pentastomida: Porocephalida) as a parasite on Bothrops asper (Squamata: Viperidae) in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Alvarado, G; Sánchez-Monge, A

    2015-11-01

    Pentastomids are parasites that infect respiratory cavities of vertebrates, they are pretty common but poorly known in wildlife veterinary. A Bothrops asper snake (Garman, 1884) was captured in the Caribbean region of Costa Rica and had its lung infested with pentastomids, identified as ca Porocephalus clavatus (Wyman, 1845). This represents the first record of Porocephalus (Humboldt, 1812) on B. asper as well as P. cf. clavatus in Costa Rica. Further studies are needed to clarify their taxonomic position, images and scanning electron microscopy photographs (SEM) of the specimens are given. PMID:26628232

  4. A new species of Kukri Snake (Oligodon Fitzinger, 1826; Squamata: Colubridae) from the Cat Tien National Park, southern Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Vassilieva, Anna B; Geissler, Peter; Galoyan, Eduard A; Poyarkov, Nikolay A; Van Devender, Robert Wayne; Böhme, Wolfgang

    2013-01-01

    We describe a new species of the genus Oligodon from the lowland forests of Cat Tien National Park, Dong Nai Province, in southern Vietnam. Oligodon cattienensis sp. nov. is distinguished from the remaining Southeast Asian kukri snakes by the combination of the following characters: medium-sized, deeply forked hemipenes without spines, 17-17-15 dorsal scale rows, nasal entire, 2 small postoculars, almost equal in size, 167-178 ventrals, 31-35 subcaudals, 24-35 + 5 large dark-edged vertebral blotches in combination with a yellow-orange or red vertebral stripe between blotches, head pattern including ocular band, temporal bands and elongated chevron, ventrals pink or whitish (reddish in juveniles) in life, some bearing a quadrangular dark blotch on each lateral side, or ventrals being entirely dark. Based on the hemipenial morphology the new species is assigned to the Oligodon cyclurus species group. A comparison table for all Indochinese Oligodon is provided. PMID:26146721

  5. Seasonal variations in behaviour of thermoregulation in juveniles and adults Liolaemus lutzae (Squamata, Liolaemidae) in a remnant of Brazilian restinga.

    PubMed

    Maia-Carneiro, Thiago; Rocha, Carlos Frederico Duarte

    2013-11-01

    Adaptations of lizards inhabiting hot arid environments should include mechanisms of behavioural thermoregulation. In contrast, in environments with lower temperatures lizards tend to behave as thermoconformers. Herein we aim to infer thermoregulatory behaviours exhibited by Liolaemus lutzae (a lizard species endemic to restingas in the coast of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) in two different seasonal thermal environments. In the dry season, the body temperatures (Tb) of the lizards were higher than air temperature (Ta) and similar to substrate temperature (Ts), suggesting thermoconformer thermoregulatory behaviour using Ts. During the rainy season, the higher percentage of negative values of ΔTs (=Tb-Ts) and ΔTa (=Tb-Ta) and the tendency for lower Tb compared to Ts suggest a more active behavioural thermoregulation in that season. The ΔTs was higher for juveniles in the rainy season, suggesting that youngest lizards tended to thermoregulate more actively regarding to Ts than adults. L. lutzae probably survives under high Ts due to the behaviour of the individuals sheltering inside burrows or under detritus and burying themselves into the sand. This behavioural flexibility may potentially reduce variations in Tb of active lizards in changing thermal environments both during the daily cycle and between seasons. PMID:23941976

  6. Treerunners, cryptic lizards of the Plica plica group (Squamata, Sauria, Tropiduridae) of northern South America.

    PubMed

    Murphy, John C; Jowers, Michael J

    2013-01-01

    The arboreal, Neotropical lizard Plica plica (Linnaeus, 1758) has been long considered a widespread species with a distribution east of the Andes. A preliminary examination of 101 specimens from about 28 locations mostly north of the Amazon suggests that Plica plica is a cryptic species complex with taxa that can be distinguished on the basis of the number of scale rows at mid-body; the arrangement, shape and ornamentation of scales on the snout; the number of lamellae on the fourth toe; the number of subocular plates; as well as other commonly used external morphological traits. The allopatric species discussed here are concordant with northern South American geography. Plica plica (Linnaeus, 1758) is associated with the Guiana Shield (Suriname, Guyana and Venezuela). A second species, P. caribeana sp. n. is associated with the Caribbean Coastal Range of Venezuela including Trinidad and Tobago. A third, distinctive species, P. rayi sp. n. is associated with the middle Orinoco at the eastern edge of the Guiana Shield. Two other species, P. kathleenae sp. n. and P. medemi sp. n., each based upon a single specimen, one from the Sierra Acarai Mountains of Guyana, and the other from southern Meta, Colombia are described. In addition to morphological analyses, we sequenced 12S and 16S rDNA gene fragments from one Plica plica from Trinidad to assess its relationship and taxonomy to other mainland Plica cf. plica. The results suggest Plica caribeana sp. n. likely diverged prior to the separation of Trinidad from northern Venezuela. Isolation in the Caribbean Coastal Range during its rapid uplift in the late Miocene, combined with a marine incursion into northern Venezuela may have contributed to their genetic divergence from other populations. PMID:24363569

  7. An endemic new species of Ameiva (Squamata: Teiidae) from an isolated dry   forest in southern Peru.

    PubMed

    Landauro, Caroll Z; García-Bravo, Antonio; Venegas, Pablo J

    2015-01-01

    We describe a new species of Ameiva from an interandean dry forest in central-southern Peru. Ameiva reticulata sp. nov. represents the fifth species in the genus known to occur in Peru. The new species is similar to the species of the A. ameiva complex such as A. ameiva, A. atrigularis, A. pantherina, and A. praesignis, and is distinguished from these by  a smaller size, a lower  count of dorsal scales along the middorsal line and scales across the midbody, and by the gular coloration. PMID:25947699

  8. A new microendemic species of Tropidurus (Squamata: Tropiduridae) from southern Brazil and revalidation of Tropidurus catalanensis Gudynas & Skuk, 1983.

    PubMed

    Kunz, Tobias Saraiva; Borges-Martins, Márcio

    2013-01-01

    The South American and cis-andean lizard genus Tropidurus has a complex taxonomic history. Most species were recently described and previous revisions included few specimens from the southern part of the continent. Tropidurus torquatus has the broadest geographic distribution in the genus and several morphological and ecological differences were described within its distribution. We analyzed the geographic variation in external morphological characters of Tropidurus torquatus, including large number of samples from southern Brazil. Tropidurus catalanensis is revalidated and Tropidurus imbituba sp. nov., with a restrict distribution in the southern coast of Brazil, is described. The new species is distinguished from Tropidurus catalanensis by the number of dorsal scales. It can be distinguished from T. catalanensis and T. torquatus by a distinct orange ventral coloration in adults, which can reach the lateral portion of the body in adult males. Our analysis also suggests that at least two other undescribed species could be recognized under the name Tropidurus torquatus in southeastern and central Brazil. PMID:25232619

  9. A new species of kukri snake (Squamata: Colubridae: Oligodon Fitzinger, 1826) from Con Dao Islands, southern Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Sang Ngoc; Nguyen, Vu Dang Hoang; Le, Son Hong; Murphy, Robert W

    2016-01-01

    We describe a new kukri snake, Oligodon condaoensis sp. nov., from Con Dao Islands, southern Vietnam based on the morphological characters of four specimens. It differs from other congeners by a combination of the following characters: medium size in adults (total length up to 552 mm); 17-17-15 dorsal scale rows; deeply forked hemipenes without spines and papillae, extending to subcaudal 13 or 14; 11-13 maxillary teeth, the posterior three being enlarged; cloacal plate undivided; head scalation complete; nasal divided; presubocular absent; 168-176 ventrals; 33-37 subcaudals; overall dorsal coloration dark gray, faint body stripes present or absent; and ventral coloration cream to dark gray without rectangular blotches. We also provide a list of 43 species of amphibians and terrestrial reptiles recorded from Con Dao Islands. PMID:27470803

  10. Additions to Philippine Slender Skinks of the Brachymeles bonitae Complex (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) III: a new species from Tablas Island.

    PubMed

    Davis, Drew R; Geheber, Aaron D; Watters, Jessa L; Penrod, Michelle L; Feller, Kathryn D; Ashford, Alissa; Kouri, Josh; Nguyen, Daniel; Shauberger, Kathryn; Sheatsley, Kyra; Winfrey, Claire; Wong, Rachel; Sanguila, Marites B; Brown, Rafe M; Siler, Cameron D

    2016-01-01

    Studies of the diversity of Philippine amphibians and reptiles have resulted in the continued description of cryptic species. Species formerly thought to range across multiple recognized faunal regions are now considered to be assemblages of multiple unique species, each restricted to a single faunal region. This pattern continues to hold true when considering Philippine skinks of the genus Brachymeles. Recent studies have resulted in the description of numerous unique species with many exhibiting various degrees of digit loss or limb reduction, as well as suggesting that unique lineages are still present in the B. bonitae Complex. In this paper, we describe a new species of fossorial skink within this species complex from Tablas Island based on collections made nearly 50 years ago. Although no genetic data are available for the new species, examinations of morphological data (qualitative traits, meristic counts, and mensural measurements) support its distinction from all other members of the genus. Brachymeles dalawangdaliri sp. nov. is differentiated from other members of the genus based on a suite of unique phenotypic characteristics, including a small body size (SVL 66.0-80.9 mm), bidactyl fore-limbs, digitless, unidactyl, or bidactyl hind limbs, a high number of presacral vertebrae (49), the absence of auricular openings, and distinct dorsal head scale patterns. The description of the new species increases the diversity of endemic vertebrates recognized to occur in the Romblon Island Group in the central Philippines. PMID:27395650

  11. Intraspecific variation in body size and shape in an andean highland anole species, Anolis ventrimaculatus (Squamata: Dactyloidae).

    PubMed

    Calderón-Espinosa, Martha L; Ortega-León, Angela M; Zamora-Abrego, Joan G

    2013-03-01

    Variation in body characteristics related to lizard locomotion has been poorly studied at the intraspecific level in Anolis species. Local adaptation due to habitat heterogeneity has been reported in some island species. However, studies of mainland species are particularly scarce and suggest different patterns: high variability among highland lizards and poorly differentiated populations in one Amazonian species. We characterized inter population variation of body size and shape in the highland Andean Anolis ventrimaculatus, an endemic species from Western Colombia. A total of 15 morphometric variables were measured in specimens from the reptile collection of the Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional, Colombia. The study included individuals from seven different highland localities. We found size and shape sexual dimorphism, both of which varied among localities. Patterns of variation in body proportions among populations were different in both males and females, suggesting that either sexual or natural selective factors are different in each locality and between sexes. Since this species exhibits a fragmented distribution in highlands, genetic divergence may also be a causal factor of the observed variation. Ecological, behavioral, additional morphological as well as phylogenetic data, may help to understand the evolutionary processes behind the geographic patterns found in this species. PMID:23894978

  12. Evolution around the Red Sea: Systematics and biogeography of the agamid genus Pseudotrapelus (Squamata: Agamidae) from North Africa and Arabia.

    PubMed

    Tamar, Karin; Scholz, Sebastian; Crochet, Pierre-André; Geniez, Philippe; Meiri, Shai; Schmitz, Andreas; Wilms, Thomas; Carranza, Salvador

    2016-04-01

    Since the Oligocene, regions adjacent to the Red Sea have experienced major environmental changes, from tectonic movements and continuous geological activity to shifting climatic conditions. The effect of these events on the distribution and diversity of the regional biota is still poorly understood. Agamid members of the genus Pseudotrapelus are diurnal, arid-adapted lizards distributed around the Red Sea from north-eastern Africa, across the mountains and rocky plateaus of the Sinai and Arabian Peninsulas northwards to Syria. Despite recent taxonomic work and the interest in the group as a model for studying biogeographic and diversity patterns of the arid areas of North Africa and Arabia, its taxonomy is poorly understood and a comprehensive phylogeny is still lacking. In this study, we analyzed 92 Pseudotrapelus specimens from across the entire distribution range of the genus. We included all known species and subspecies, and sequenced them for mitochondrial (16S, ND4 and tRNAs) and nuclear (MC1R, c-mos) markers. This enabled us to obtain the first time-calibrated molecular phylogeny of the genus, using gene trees, species trees and coalescent-based methods for species delimitation. Our results revealed Pseudotrapelus as a monophyletic genus comprised of two major clades and six independently evolving lineages. These lineages correspond to the five currently recognized species and a sixth lineage relating to the synonymized P. neumanni. The subspecific validity of P. sinaitus werneri needs further assessment as it does not form a distinct cluster relative to P. s. sinaitus. The onset of Pseudotrapelus diversification is estimated to have occurred in Arabia during the late Miocene. Radiation has likely resulted from vicariance and dispersal events due to the continued geological instability, sea level fluctuations and climatic changes within the region. PMID:26772670

  13. Lizards from the end of the world: phylogenetic relationships of the Liolaemus lineomaculatus section (Squamata: Iguania: Liolaemini).

    PubMed

    Breitman, M Florencia; Avila, Luciano J; Sites, Jack W; Morando, Mariana

    2011-05-01

    The Liolaemus lineomaculatus section is a geographically widely distributed group of lizards from the Patagonian region of southern South America, and includes 18 described species representing the most southerly distributed Liolaemus taxa (the genus includes 228 species and extends from Tierra del Fuego north to south-central Peru). Despite high species diversity, the phylogenetic relationships of this section are unknown. In the present work we sampled all described species in the L. lineomaculatus section as well as currently undescribed candidate species to reconstruct the first complete phylogenetic hypothesis for the clade. Our data set included four anonymous nuclear loci, three nuclear protein-coding loci, and two mitochondrial genes. We compared results obtained with three different phylogenetic methods for the concatenated data set (Maximum Parsimony, Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian Inference) with a coalescent-based species tree approach (BEST), and recovered congruent, strongly-supported topological arrangements across all methods. We identified four main clades within the L. lineomaculatus section: the lineomaculatus, magellanicus, somuncurae, and kingii+archeforus groups, for which we estimated divergence times. We discuss the taxonomic implications of these results and how the future integration of phylogeographic, niche modeling and morphological approaches will allow testing biogeographical hypotheses in this clade. PMID:21315163

  14. A new species of Blaesodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Tsingy limestone outcrops in Namoroka National Park, north-western Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Ineich, Ivan; Glaw, Frank; Vences, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    We describe a new gekkonid lizard of the genus Blaesodactylus from Tsingy limestone of a deciduous dry forest of Namoroka National Park, north-western Madagascar. Blaesodactylus victori sp. nov., the sixth recognized species of this genus, is distinguished from all other congeners by its large size and a combination of regular small gular granules, spotted venter, lack of dorsal tubercles, enlarged supranasal scales separated ventrally by a much smaller scale in contact with the rostral, and black naris. The new arboreal species is also characterized by its dark dorso-ventral stripes on the head separating infralabial and most supralabial plates and in life by a typical white spotted pattern on a washed grey to dark grey vermiculated dorsum. Molecular phylogenetic data place the species into a clade with B. boivini and B. microtuberculatus, as sister to a subclade containing these two species. The new species shares some morphological characters states with its African sister genus Homopholis, suggesting that its morphology might be rather plesiomorphic. We also identify several previously overlooked morphological traits characterizing the entire B. boivini clade, possibly also being plesiomorphic. Due to its extremely limited presumed extent of occurrence and continuing decline of its habitat we propose an IUCN Red List status of "Critically Endangered" for the new species. PMID:27394884

  15. Early stages of divergence: phylogeography, climate modeling, and morphological differentiation in the South American lizard Liolaemus petrophilus (Squamata: Liolaemidae)

    PubMed Central

    Fontanella, Frank M; Feltrin, Natalia; Avila, Luciano J; Sites, Jack W; Morando, Mariana

    2012-01-01

    This study examines the phylogeographic structure within the Patagonian lizard Liolaemus petrophilus and tests for patterns of between-clade morphological divergence and sexual dimorphism, as well as demographic and niche changes associated with Pleistocene climate changes. We inferred intraspecific relationships, tested hypotheses for historical patterns of population expansion, and incorporated ecological niche modeling (ENM) with standard morphological and geometric morphometric analyses to examine between-clade divergence as indirect evidence for adaptation to different niches. The two inferred haploclades diverged during the early Pleistocene with the Southern clade depicting the genetic signature of a recent population increase associated with expanding niche envelope, whereas the Northern clade shows stable populations in a shrinking niche envelope. The combination of molecular evidence for postisolation demographic change and ENM, suggest that the two haploclades have responded differently to Pleistocene climatic events. PMID:22837827

  16. Molecular phylogeny of Panaspis and Afroablepharus skinks (Squamata: Scincidae) in the savannas of sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Medina, Maria F; Bauer, Aaron M; Branch, William R; Schmitz, Andreas; Conradie, Werner; Nagy, Zoltán T; Hibbitts, Toby J; Ernst, Raffael; Portik, Daniel M; Nielsen, Stuart V; Colston, Timothy J; Kusamba, Chifundera; Behangana, Mathias; Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Greenbaum, Eli

    2016-07-01

    African snake-eyed skinks are relatively small lizards of the genera Panaspis and Afroablepharus. Species allocation of these genera frequently changed during the 20th century based on morphology, ecology, and biogeography. Members of these genera occur primarily in savanna habitats throughout sub-Saharan Africa and include species whose highly conserved morphology poses challenges for taxonomic studies. We sequenced two mitochondrial (16S and cyt b) and two nuclear genes (PDC and RAG1) from 76 Panaspis and Afroablepharus samples from across eastern, central, and southern Africa. Concatenated gene-tree and divergence-dating analyses were conducted to infer phylogenies and biogeographic patterns. Molecular data sets revealed several cryptic lineages, with most radiations occurring during the mid-Miocene to Pliocene. We infer that rifting processes (including the formation of the East African Rift System) and climatic oscillations contributed to the expansion and contraction of savannas, and caused cladogenesis in snake-eyed skinks. Species in Panaspis and Afroablepharus used in this study, including type species for both genera, formed a monophyletic group. As a result, the latter genus should be synonymized with the former, which has priority. Conservatively, we continue to include the West African species P. breviceps and P. togoensis within an expanded Panaspis, but note that they occur in relatively divergent clades, and their taxonomic status may change with improved taxon sampling. Divergence estimates and cryptic speciation patterns of snake-eyed skinks were consistent with previous studies of other savanna vertebrate lineages from the same areas examined in this study. PMID:27118179

  17. A new genus and species of xenodermatid snake (Squamata: Caenophidia: Xenodermatidae) from northern Lao People's Democratic Republic.

    PubMed

    Teynié, Alexandre; David, Patrick; Lottier, Anne; Le, Minh Duc; Vidal, Nicolas; Nguyen, Truong Quang

    2015-01-01

    A male snake collected in Louangphabang Province and a second specimen observed in Houaphan Province, North Laos, share morphological characters with the Asian genus Fimbrios Smith, 1921, including erected edges on the first supra- and infralabial scales, but differ in the following morphological characters: fewer dorsal scale rows (25-27 vs. 30-33), fewer maxillary teeth (27 vs. 30-35), posterior teeth progressively slightly enlarged, and especially the correspondence of two dorsal scale rows per ventral plate throughout the body (i.e. the first dorsal scale row made of a small scale above the fore part of a ventral, followed by a much larger scale above its hind part), a condition known only in Xenodermus Reinhardt, 1836. As the Laotian specimens differ in morphological characters from other genera and species in the family Xenodermatidae, and on the basis of molecular analyses showing a large genetic divergence from the genus Fimbrios (p-distance ≥14.7 %, mitochondrial COI gene), we place these specimens in a new genus, Parafimbrios gen. nov., and describe them as a new species, Parafimbrios lao sp. nov. Besides the characters mentioned above, the new species is diagnosed by a combination of the following ones: small, strongly keeled dorsal scales; rostral and first four supra- and infralabials with raised, erected edges; horizontal tissue ridges above the rostral; loreal single, large, elongate; ventral scales 177-189; subcaudals 55-56, undivided; dorsal colour purplish-grey, neck with a broad, very pale grey collar reaching downwards the pale grey colour of the venter. The morphological characters of the new genus are compared with those of the genera Fimbrios Smith, 1921, Xenodermus Reinhardt, 1836, Stoliczkaia Jerdon, 1870, Achalinus Peters, 1869, and Xylophis Beddome, 1878. A key to the genera Achalinus, Fimbrios and Parafimbrios gen. nov. is provided. Parafimbrios laos spec. nov. is the 111th snake species currently recorded from Laos. PMID:25781800

  18. A new species of arboreal forest-dwelling gecko (Hemidactylus: Squamata: Gekkonidae) from coastal Kenya, East Africa.

    PubMed

    Malonza, Patrick K; Bauer, Aaron M

    2014-01-01

    A new species of Hemidactylus, H. mrimaensis sp. nov., is described from coastal kaya forests of Kenya. This small-sized, arboreal gecko may be distinguished from its probable close relative, the sympatric H. mabouia, by its more slender habitus, golden color, small adult body length (maximum SVL 50 mm in females) and features of scalation including keeled dorsal tubercles in 11-14 longitudinal rows, pointed tubercles on tail larger than those on the dorsum, and 32-34 precloacal pores in males. This gecko may be endemic to the coastal forests and given the ongoing threats to this habitat, the species is of high conservation concern. PMID:24869535

  19. A new lizard species of the Phymaturus patagonicus group (Squamata: Liolaemini) from northern Patagonia, Neuquén, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Marín, Andrea González; Pérez, Cristian Hernán Fulvio; Minoli, Ignacio; Morando, Mariana; Avila, Luciano Javier

    2016-01-01

    The integrative taxonomy framework allows developing robust hypotheses of species limits based on the integration of results from different data sets and analytical methods. In this work, we test a candidate species hypothesis previously suggested based on molecular data, with geometric and traditional morphometrics analyses (multivariate and univariate). This new lizard species is part of the Phymaturus patagonicus group (payuniae clade) that is distributed in Neuquén and Mendoza provinces (Argentina). Our results showed that Phymaturus rahuensis sp. nov. differs from the other species of the payuniae clade by a higher number of midbody scales, and fewer supralabials scales, finger lamellae and toe lamellae. Also, its multidimensional spaces, both based on continuous lineal variables and geometric morphometrics (shape) characters, do not overlap with those of the other species in this clade. The results of the morphometric and geometric morphometric analyses presented here, coupled with previously published molecular data, represent three independent lines of evidence that support the diagnosis of this new taxon. PMID:27395232

  20. Additions to Philippine Slender Skinks of the Brachymeles bonitae Complex (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) I: a new species from Lubang Island.

    PubMed

    Geheber, Aaron D; Davis, Drew R; Watters, Jessa L; Penrod, Michelle L; Feller, Kathryn D; Davey, Conner S; Ellsworth, Elyse D; Flanagan, Rachel L; Heitz, Brendan B; Moore, Tana; Nguyen, Marie D C; Roberts, Austyn; Sutton, John; Sanguila, Marites B; Linkem, Charles W; Brown, Rafe M; Siler, Cameron D

    2016-01-01

    A new species of slender skink is described from the Philippines. The species is endemic to Lubang Island, and is assigned to the Brachymeles bonitae Complex based on phenotypic and genetic data. Specimens were collected from Lubang Island between 1991 and 2012, and were examined based on morphological data (qualitative traits, meristic counts, and mensural measurements). Published genetic sequence data from phylogenetic studies of the genus reveal the new species to be highly divergent from congeners. Brachymeles ligtas sp. nov. is differentiated from other members of the genus based on a number of distinct morphological features, including small body size (SVL 60.7-79.6 mm), bidactyl fore-limbs, digitless hind limbs, high number of presacral vertebrae (50), and the absence of auricular openings. Additionally, the new species has diagnostic, distinct dorsal head scale patterns. This new species becomes the only member of the genus known to occur on the deep-ocean island of Lubang. PMID:27395648

  1. Combined next-generation sequencing and morphology reveal fine-scale speciation in Crocodile Skinks (Squamata: Scincidae: Tribolonotus).

    PubMed

    Rittmeyer, Eric N; Austin, Christopher C

    2015-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing has vast potential to revolutionize the fields of phylogenetics and population genetics through its ability to collect genomic scale data sets of thousands of orthologous loci. Despite this potential, other types of data (e.g. morphology, ecology) remain important, particularly for studies endeavouring to delimit species. Here, we integrate next-generation sequencing with morphology to examine divergence between populations of Tribolonotus pseudoponceleti on the islands of Buka and Bougainville in the Solomon Archipelago. We used the Ion Torrent PGM to collect over 648 Mbp of sequence data for 12 samples, representing 1526 loci recovered from all samples, and 3342 were recovered from at least six samples. Genetic structure analyses strongly support the distinctiveness of these two populations, and Bayes factor delimitations decisively select speciation between Buka and Bougainville. Principal components and discriminant function analyses reveal concordant morphological divergence. Finally, demographic analyses via diffusion approximation and approximate Bayesian computation prefer a complex model of mid-Pleistocene divergence with migration, and a later decrease or cessation of migration and population size shift, suggesting a scenario in which migration was enabled by Pleistocene merging of these two islands, and limited when isolated by higher sea levels. Further analysis of four Sanger sequenced loci in IMa2 had limited power to distinguish among models including and excluding migration, but resulted in similar population size and divergence time estimates, although with much broader confidence intervals. This study represents a framework for how next-generation sequencing and morphological data can be combined and leveraged towards validating putative species and testing demographic scenarios for speciation. PMID:25470077

  2. Vulnerability to climate warming of Liolaemus pictus (Squamata, Liolaemidae), a lizard from the cold temperate climate in Patagonia, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Kubisch, Erika Leticia; Fernández, Jimena Beatriz; Ibargüengoytía, Nora Ruth

    2016-02-01

    The vulnerability of populations and species to global warming depends not only on the environmental temperatures, but also on the behavioral and physiological abilities to respond to these changes. In this sense, the knowledge of an organism's sensitivity to temperature variation is essential to predict potential responses to climate warming. In particular, it is interesting to know how close species are to their thermal limits in nature and whether physiological plasticity is a potential short-term response to warming climates. We exposed Liolaemus pictus lizards, from northern Patagonia, to either 21 or 31 °C for 30 days to compare the effects of these treatments on thermal sensitivity in 1 and 0.2 m runs, preferred body temperature (T pref), panting threshold (T pant), and critical minimum temperature (CTMin). Furthermore, we measured the availability of thermal microenvironments (operative temperatures; T e) to measure how close L. pictus is, in nature, to its optimal locomotor performance (T o) and thermal limits. L. pictus showed limited physiological plasticity, since the acclimation temperature (21 and 31 °C) did not affect the locomotor performance nor did it affect T pref, the T pant, or the CTMin. The mean T e was close to T o and was 17 °C lower than the CTMax. The results suggest that L. pictus, in a climate change scenario, could be vulnerable to the predicted temperature increment, as this species currently lives in an environment with temperatures close to their highest locomotor temperature threshold, and because they showed limited acclimation capacity to adjust to new thermal conditions by physiological plasticity. Nevertheless, L. pictus can run at 80 % or faster of its maximum speed across a wide range of temperatures near T o, an ability which would attenuate the impact of global warming. PMID:26679700

  3. Unusual soft-tissue preservation of a crocodile lizard (Squamata, Shinisauria) from the green river formation (Eocene) and shinisaur relationships.

    PubMed

    Conrad, Jack L; Head, Jason J; Carrano, Matthew T

    2014-03-01

    We describe an unusual squamate fossil from the Green River Formation (Uintan, Eocene) from the Piceance Creek Basin, Colorado, USA. The new specimen, USNM PAL 540708, is a small fossil squamate skin lacking skeletal elements. It is preserved as a part and counterpart in fine-grained limestone. Recovery of a fossil organism's skin (not a shed, but a true skin) is unusual and is most often accompanied by bone preservation. Phylogenetic analysis of a combined morphology (phenotype) and genetic data set reveals that USNM PAL 540708 is a shinisaur and reaffirms that shinisaurs are more closely related to varanids than to Xenosaurus. Shinisaur fossils are very rare, with only three species having been described (Dalinghosaurus longidigitus, Bahndwivici ammoskius, and Merkurosaurus ornatus). Despite differences in the relative size of scales, the new fossil demonstrates that shinisaurs have remained unchanged in the distribution of scales and patterns of scale size during the Cenozoic. This, paired with the osteological similarity between another Green River fossil (Bahndwivici ammoskius) demonstrates considerable overall conservatism within shinisaurs over the past 50 million years. PMID:24482393

  4. Antifungal and Insecticidal Activity from Two Juniperus Essential Oils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Essential oils of two Tibetan Junipers Juniperus saltuaria and J. squamata var. fargesii (Cupressaceae) were obtained by distilling dried leaves and branches using a Clevenger apparatus. Sixty-seven compounds from J. saltuaria and 58 compounds from J. squamata var. fargesii were identified by gas c...

  5. Molecular data reveal spatial and temporal patterns of diversification and a cryptic new species of lowland Stenocercus Duméril & Bibron, 1837 (Squamata: Tropiduridae).

    PubMed

    Teixeira, Mauro; Prates, Ivan; Nisa, Carolina; Silva-Martins, Nathalia Suzan Camarão; Strüssmann, Christine; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut

    2016-01-01

    Phylogenetic studies have uncovered biogeographic patterns and the associated diversification processes of Neotropical wet forest taxa, yet the extensive open and drier biomes have received much less attention. In the Stenocercus lizard radiation, restricted sampling and phylogenetic information have limited inferences about the timing, spatial context, and environmental drivers of diversification in the open and dry lowland settings of eastern and southern South America. Based on new DNA sequence data of previously unsampled species, we provide an updated historical biogeographic hypothesis of Stenocercus. We infer phylogenetic relationships, estimate divergence times, and track ancestral distributions, asking whether cladogenetic events within the genus correlate to reported shifts in South American landscapes during the past 30millionyears, focusing in the open and drier areas. To examine correlations between genetic and ecological divergence, we extracted environmental data from occurrence records and estimated climatic envelopes occupied by lowland taxa. Our results suggest that Stenocercus began to diversify around the South American Midwest by the late Oligocene. We recovered two main lowland and two main Andean clades within the genus; within both Andean clades, most cladogenetic events date back to the Miocene, synchronously with the most intense phase of Andean uplift. In the western clade of lowland Stenocercus, species ranges and divergence times are consistent with major landscape shifts at the upper Guaporé and Paraguay River basins as a result of Andean orogeny, suggesting vicariant speciation. By contrast, in the 'horned' lowland clade, we find evidence that dispersal and ecological differentiation have shaped species divergences and current ranges in the Brazilian Cerrado, Caatinga, Pampas and Atlantic Forest, possibly under a vanishing refuge scenario. Lastly, our phylogenetic results indicate two divergent clades within the formerly recognized taxon S. sinesaccus, and further evaluation of morphological data corroborates the existence of a distinct, new species of Stenocercus, here described. The new taxon occurs in the Chapada dos Parecis massif in the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Rondônia. PMID:26432394

  6. Commentary on the type material of Tantilla gracilis Baird and Girard, 1853 and Tantilla nigriceps Kennicott, 1860 (Reptilia: Squamata), with a neotype designation for T. nigriceps

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gotte, S.W.; Wilson, L.D.

    2005-01-01

    We demonstrate that USNM 2040 and not UMMZ 3781 (originally part of lot USNM 4500) was most likely the holotype of Tantilla gracilis. The type specimens of Tantilla nigriceps have been lost or destroyed. It is not possible to determine from the original description of Tantilla nigriceps if this name represents what is currently known as T. nigriceps or T. hobartsmithi. In order to attribute the name T. nigriceps firmly to the species as currently recognized, we designate a neotype.

  7. Genetic structure, phylogeny, and biogeography of Brazilian eyelid-less lizards of genera Calyptommatus and Nothobachia (Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae) as inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Siedchlag, Ana Carolina; Benozzati, Maria Lúcia; Passoni, José Carlos; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut

    2010-08-01

    Calyptommatus and Nothobachia genera of gymnophthalmid lizards are restricted to sandy open habitats on São Francisco River margins, northeastern Brazil. Phylogenetic relationships and geographic distribution of the four recognized species of Calyptommatus were analyzed from partial mitochondrial cyt b, 12S, and 16S rRNA genes sequencing, taking allopatric populations of the monotypic Nothobachia ablephara as the outgroup. In Calyptommatus a basal split separated C. sinebrachiatus, a species restricted to the eastern bank of the river, from the three other species. In this clade, C. confusionibus, found on western margin, was recovered as the sister group of the two other species, C. leiolepis and C. nicterus, from opposite margins. According to approximate date estimations, C. sinebrachiatus would have separated from the other congeneric species by 4.4-6.5 my, and C. nicterus, also from eastern bank, would be diverging by 1.8-2.6 my from C. leiolepis, the sister species on the opposite margin. C. confusionibus and C. leiolepis, both from western sandy areas, would be differentiating by 2.8-5.0 my. Divergence times of about 3.0-4.0 my were estimated for allopatric populations of Nothobachia restricted to western margin. Significant differences in 16S rRNA secondary structure relatively to other vertebrates are reported. Distinct evolutionary patterns are proposed for different taxa in those sandy areas, probably related to historical changes in the course of São Francisco River. PMID:20434569

  8. Phylogeny, species limits, and biogeography of the Brazilian lizards of the genus Eurolophosaurus (Squamata: Tropiduridae) as inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Passoni, José Carlos; Benozzati, Maria Lúcia; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut

    2008-02-01

    Phylogenetic relationships and divergence times for 10 populations of the three recognized "species" of Brazilian lizards of genus Eurolophosaurus were estimated from 1229bp of cyt b, COI, 12S, and 16S rRNA mitochondrial gene segments. Eurolophosaurus is monophyletic and the basal split within the genus separates E. divaricatus from a clade comprising E. amathites and E. nanuzae. Three populations of E. divaricatus, which occurs along the western bank of Rio São Francisco, were consistently grouped together. On the east bank of the river, E. amathites and E. nanuzae from state of Bahia were recovered as the sister group of E. nanuzae populations from state of Minas Gerais. The paraphyly of E. nanuzae and the high divergence levels among populations of E. divaricatus strongly suggest that species limits in Eurolophosaurus should be revised. Even considering an extreme evolutionary rate of 2.8% sequence divergence per million years for the four gene segments analyzed together, E. divaricatus would have separated from the two other species by at least 5.5my ago, and E. amathites from E. nanuzae populations from Bahia and Minas Gerais, respectively, by 1.5 and 3.5my. The paleolacustrine hypothesis and changes in the course of the river potentially explain faunal divergence in the area, but divergences are much older than previously admitted. PMID:18082430

  9. Establishing a New Species Encephalitozoon pogonae for the Microsporidian Parasite of Inland Bearded Dragon Pogona vitticeps Ahl 1927 (Reptilia, Squamata, Agamidae).

    PubMed

    Sokolova, Yuliya Y; Sakaguchi, Kanako; Paulsen, Daniel B

    2016-07-01

    The microsporidium parasitizing Inland Bearded Dragons Pogona vitticeps, and developing primarily in macrophages within foci of granulomatous inflammation of different organs, is described as a new species Encephalitozoon pogonae. Establishing the new species was based on sequencing the ITS-SSUrDNA region of the ribosomal gene and consequent SSUrDNA-inferred phylogenetic analyses, as well as on comparison of pathogenesis, host specificity, and ultrastructure among Encephalitozoon species and isolates. The new species is closely related to E. lacertae and E. cuniculi. Analysis of the literature suggests that this microsporidium has been reported previously as an unidentified microsporidian species or isolate of E. cuniculi and may represent a common infection in bearded dragons. All stages of E. pogonae develop in parasitophorous vacuoles. Uninucleate spores on methanol-fixed smears measured 2.1 × 1.1 μm, range 1.7-2.6 × 0.9-1.7 μm; on ultrathin sections spores measured 0.8-1.1 × 1.8-2.2 μm. Ultrastructural study revealed 3-6 polar filament coils, a mushroom-shaped polar disk, and a polar sac embracing half of the volume occupied by the lamellar polaroplast. In activated spores, polar filament everted eccentrically. The overall morphology and intracellular development of E. pogonae were similar to other Encepahalitozoon spp. We also review the existing data on microsporidia infecting reptiles. PMID:26785360

  10. Phylogeography of the ocellated skink Chalcides ocellatus (Squamata, Scincidae), with the use of mtDNA sequences: a hitch-hiker's guide to the Mediterranean.

    PubMed

    Kornilios, P; Kyriazi, P; Poulakakis, N; Kumlutaş, Y; Ilgaz, C; Mylonas, M; Lymberakis, P

    2010-02-01

    We analyze geographic genetic variation in C. ocellatus to evaluate the influences of major climatic, paleogeographic and anthropogenic factors in its biogeographic history. Ninety four specimens from 61 populations were collected across all of its geographical range and analyzed based on partial mitochondrial sequences (cyt b, 12S, and ND1). Our results demonstrate that an ancestral form of C. ocellatus, which expanded in northwestern Africa at the end of Miocene, diverged in at least three separate evolutionary lineages approximately 4.57Ma: C. humilis spread south of the Sahara, while the other two (C. ocellatus sensu stricto) were restricted in the coastal North African region. The complicated history of the ocellated skink is a result of multiple vicariant phenomena followed by multiple active or passive dispersals. The Messinian salinity crisis and the re-flooding of the Mediterranean basin, the climatic transition from Middle to Upper Pliocene, and the hyperarid phase of the Sahara, affected the distribution and diversification of C. ocellatus, while in historical times it was introduced in the central Mediterranean islands and eastern Mediterranean region from Tunisia and Cyrenaica, respectively. PMID:19765663

  11. First assessment on the molecular phylogeny of Anatololacerta (Squamata, Lacertidae) distributed in Southern Anatolia: insights from mtDNA and nDNA markers.

    PubMed

    Candan, Kamil; Kankılıç, Tolga; Güçlü, Özgür; Kumlutaş, Yusuf; Durmuş, Salih Hakan; Lymberakis, Petros; Poulakakis, Nikos; Ilgaz, Çetin

    2016-05-01

    The genus Anatololacerta (Lacertidae) occurs mainly in Anatolia (western and southern Turkey) and on the Aegean islands Samos, Ikaria, and Rhodos. Although its taxonomy has long been debated and is currently nascent, three morphological species have been attributed to this genus: Anatololacerta anatolica, Anatololacerta oertzeni, and Anatololacerta danfordi. Here, we investigated the evolutionary history of A. oertzeni and Anatololacerta danfordi based on both mitochondrial and nuclear markers (16S rRNA and cmos). In total, 34 Anatololacerta specimens were analyzed using maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian inference (BI) methods. Our results supported the presence of four well-supported lineages: two belongs to A. oertzeni and two to A. danfordi. The temporal diversification of these lineages probably started with the divergence of the first A. oertzeni lineage from western Antalya at 7.9 Mya. The other two major splits may have occurred in early Pliocene (4.4 Mya: the divergence of the second A. oertzeni from A. danfordi) and in late Pliocene (2.7 Mya: the divergence of the two lineages of A. danfordi). The phylogeographical scenario suggests that the major diversification events (from late Miocene to late Pliocene) could be related with climatic oscillations (such as the late Miocene aridification and the Messinian Salinity Crisis) and tectonic movements (such as the uplift of the central Taurus mountain). PMID:25489775

  12. Evolutionary dynamics of two satellite DNA families in rock lizards of the genus Iberolacerta (Squamata, Lacertidae): different histories but common traits.

    PubMed

    Rojo, Verónica; Martínez-Lage, Andrés; Giovannotti, Massimo; González-Tizón, Ana M; Nisi Cerioni, Paola; Caputo Barucchi, Vincenzo; Galán, Pedro; Olmo, Ettore; Naveira, Horacio

    2015-09-01

    Satellite DNAs compose a large portion of all higher eukaryotic genomes. The turnover of these highly repetitive sequences is an important element in genome organization and evolution. However, information about the structure and dynamics of reptilian satellite DNA is still scarce. Two satellite DNA families, HindIII and TaqI, have been previously characterized in four species of the genus Iberolacerta. These families showed different chromosomal locations, abundances, and evolutionary rates. Here, we extend the study of both satellite DNAs (satDNAs) to the remaining Iberolacerta species, with the aim to investigate the patterns of variability and factors influencing the evolution of these repetitive sequences. Our results revealed disparate patterns but also common traits in the evolutionary histories of these satellite families: (i) each satellite DNA is made up of a library of monomer variants or subfamilies shared by related species; (ii) species-specific profiles of satellite repeats are shaped by expansions and/or contractions of different variants from the library; (iii) different turnover rates, even among closely related species, result in great differences in overall sequence homogeneity and in concerted or non-concerted evolution patterns, which may not reflect the phylogenetic relationships among taxa. Contrasting turnover rates are possibly related to genomic constraints such as karyotype architecture and the interspersed organization of diverging repeat variants in satellite arrays. Moreover, rapid changes in copy number, especially in the centromeric HindIII satDNA, may have been associated with chromosomal rearrangements and even contributed to speciation within Iberolacerta. PMID:26384818

  13. Re-examination of Hemidactylus tenkatei van Lidth de Jeude, 1895: Populations from Timor provide insight into the taxonomy of the H. brookii Gray, 1845 complex (Squamata: Gekkonidae).

    PubMed

    Kathriner, Andrew; O'shea, Mark; Kaiser, Hinrich

    2014-01-01

    Recent herpetofaunal investigations in Timor-Leste revealed populations similar to Hemidactylus brookii Gray, 1845 in four of 13 districts. In order to properly identify these populations, we examined their relationships to other H. brookii-complex populations, notably those from nearby Roti Island, Indonesia (to which the name H. tenkatei van Lidth de Jeude, 1895 has been applied) and topotypic Bornean samples. We evaluated both meristic and mensural data from a set of specimens that included the type material of H. brookii and H. tenkatei, and we generated nuclear (RAG1) and mitochondrial (ND2) DNA sequence data for Timor-Leste specimens and a topotypical Bornean specimen presumed to represent H. brookii sensu stricto. Morphologically, Timorese geckos are clearly distinct from H. brookii and identical to H. tenkatei. Our molecular data show that the Bornean specimen thought to be H. brookii is genetically congruent with Timor-Leste specimens, and this specimen is therefore identified as H. tenkatei. Our data also reveal that the Burmese species H. subtriedroides Annandale, 1905 is distinct from both H. tenkatei and H. brookii. While the current data do not allow us to determine with certainty whether H. tenkatei is the oldest available name for these widespread forms, it is the only name that can be reliably applied at this time. PMID:25543951

  14. Ontogeny of pronounced female-biased sexual size dimorphism in the Malaysian cat gecko (Aeluroscalabotes felinus: Squamata: Eublepharidae): a test of the role of testosterone in growth regulation.

    PubMed

    Kubička, Lukáš; Golinski, Alison; John-Alder, Henry; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2013-07-01

    Species differences in the effect of male gonadal androgens on male growth are considered a possible mechanism allowing shifts in magnitude and even direction of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) in squamate reptiles. According to the bipotential growth regulation hypothesis, the androgen testosterone (T) enhances male growth in species with male-biased SSD and conversely inhibits male growth in males of female-larger species. In the present study, we describe the ontogeny of the pronounced female-biased SSD and report the effect of T on growth via hormonal manipulations in males and females of the Malaysian cat gecko (Aeluroscalabotes felinus). In accord with the predictions of the bipotential growth regulation hypothesis, growth was inhibited by replacement of T in castrated males. Additionally, exogenous T inhibited growth of females to male-typical levels. Nevertheless, male castration alone did not significantly affect growth, contrary to the prediction of the bipotential growth regulation hypothesis, which contradicts the generality of this hypothesis. Application of exogenous T to females can interfere with normal ovarian function. Therefore, although not directly tested in this study, we suggest that ovarian effects on the ontogeny of SSD in A. felinus are consistent with our results. The development of SSD is a function of differential growth between the sexes, and potential sex-specific growth regulation in both males and females should be taken into account as possible proximate mechanisms responsible for SSD. PMID:23545460

  15. A new mountain lizard from Montes de León (NW Iberian Peninsula): Iberolacerta monticola astur ssp. nov. (Squamata: Lacertidae).

    PubMed

    Arribas, Oscar J; Galán, Pedro; Remón, Núria; Naveira, Horacio

    2014-01-01

    Iberolacerta populations from the Northern Montes de Leon (NML) were studied by means of external morphology (scalation and biometry), osteology and genetics (mtDNA and microsatellites), searching for their homogeneity ("intrazonalanalysis") and, once verified, comparing them with Iberolacerta monticola s. str. (from Central Cantabrian Mountains)and/. gal ani (from Southern Montes de Leon) ("extrazonal analysis") from neighboring areas.Our "intrazonal analysis" revealed discordances between the different approaches, especially the patterns of variation of nuclear microsatellites (congruent with external morphology) and mtDNA, namely a very low nuclear differentiation between relatively highly differentiated mtDNA lineages. The morphological approach was unable to discriminate any of the populations as significantly different from the others in the NML. Mitochondrial DNA revealed a haplotype lineage closely related to I. galani (MNL-II in our text) in some specimens of Sierra de Villabandfn and Suspiron, but these populations are morphologically indistinguishable from the main part of the other populations that belong to lineage NML-1,phylogenetically closer to/. monticola. After a separation from I. manti cola ca. 1.8 Mya, the populations in this geographic region must have suffered at least two different waves of gene flow from I. gal ani, the second one not much later than 0.5 Mya. Microsatellite results indicate that all the NML populations are genetically similar in terms of their nuclear genomes,independently of their mitochondrial differentiation (NML-I vs. NML-II haplotype groups). Since all the morphological and microsatellite evidences point towards the fact that, independently of the mitochondrial haplotypes that they bear (NML-1 or NML-II), there is only one taxon in the area, we describe it as: Iberolacerta monticola astur ssp. nov.Concerning the relationships of I. m. astur ssp. nov. with I. monticola s. str. and I. gal ani ("extra zonal analysis"), in the female analyses the new taxon centroid is closer to I. monticola s. str. than to I. gal ani (more similarity with I manticolas.str.), whereas in the male analyses the relationship is just the contrary (closer to I. gal ani, paralleling the direction of the hypothesized past hybridization). Moreover, in both sexes' ANOVA, I. m. astur ssp. nov. results more similar (lessP<0.05 differences) to I. galani than to I. monticola s. str. Osteologically, I. m. astur ssp. nov. is slightly more similar toI. monticola s. str. than to I. galani, especially in the squamosal bone, which is regularly arched (primitive shape). Genetically,as indicated above, the NML populations can be subdivided in two groups according to their mitochondrial DNA,namely NML-I (bearing clearly differentiated haplotypes, phylogenetically closer to I. monticola) and NML-II (whose haplotypes could have been mistaken for those of an I. gal ani population). This mitochondrial subdivision has at most a subtle nuclear correlate, however. According to the nuclear microsatellite markers, all the NML populations belong to a single group(/. m. astur ssp. nov.), which would be more similar to I. gal ani than to I monticola, with NML-II populations lying closer to I. galani than those from the NML-I group and, correspondingly, more distant from I. monticola. The discordant phylogenetic signal of mitochondrial and nuclear markers is discussed in terms of past introgression events and sex-biases in phylopatry and dispersion in these species. Iberolacerta manti cola astur ssp. nov., inhabits the Northern Montes de Leon (Sierra de Gistreo sensu latissimo ): Gistredo,Catoute, Tambaron, Nevadfn, Villabandfn (or Macizo del Alto de Ia Canada), Arcos del Agua (or Fernan Perez),Tiendas and Suspiron, mainly in quartzite and slate rock substrates. Its current distribution, cornered in the NW of theNorthern part of the Montes de Leon, suggests a possible competitive exclusion between this taxon and/. galani, as the galani haplotypes (NML-II) appear cornered in the most harsh and continental areas, speaking also about a, even in the past, very limited presence of this species in the area that probably was soon absorbed by I. m. astur ssp. nov. (with NMLI haplotypes). Variation in watershed limits (especially with l montico/a s. str. in the North) and Pleistocene climatic oscillations(with I. gal ani in the South) probably played a crucial role in isolation of the different Iberolacerta colonizationwaves in this zone. These changes in the boundaries among watersheds limited the contact between the NML and the main Cantabrian Mountains, restricting to narrow points (different along time) the contact between the two ranges, and thus,the areas for possible contact between I. m. astur ssp. nov. and I. monticola s. str. (see Fig. lB). The origin of this tax on dates back to the end of Pliocene or Lower Pleistocene (around 1.8 Mya), according to mtDNA divergence. On the other side, climatic oscillations allowed expansion and contact with the more continental harsh climate-dwelling I. gal ani. PMID:24870674

  16. [Demography and nesting ecology of green iguana, Iguana iguana (Squamata: Iguanidae), in 2 exploited populations in Depresión Momposina, Colombia].

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Eliana M; Ortega, Angela M; Bock, Brian C; Páez, Vivian P

    2003-03-01

    We studied the demography and nesting ecology of two populations of Iguana iguana that face heavy exploitation and habitat modification in the Momposina Depression, Colombia. Lineal transect data was analyzed using the Fourier model to provide estimates of social group densities, which was found to differ both within and among populations (1.05-6.0 groups/ha). Mean group size and overall iguana density estimates varied between populations as well (1.5-13.7 iguanas/ha). The density estimates were far lower than those reported from more protected areas in Panama and Venezuela. Iguana densities were consistently higher in sites located along rivers (2.5 iguanas/group) than in sites along the margin of marshes, probably due to vegetational differences (1.5 iguanas/group). There was no correlation between density estimates and estimates of relative abundance (number of iguanas seen/hour/person) due to differing detectabilities of iguana groups among sites. The adult sex ratio (1:2.5 males:females) agreed well with other reports in the literature based upon observation of adult social groups, and probably results from the polygynous mating system in this species rather than a real demographic skew. Nesting in this population occurs from the end of January through March and hatching occurs between April and May. We monitored 34 nests, which suffered little vertebrate predation, perhaps due to the lack of a complete vertebrate fauna in this densely inhabited area, but nests suffered from inundation, cattle trampling, and infestation by phorid fly larvae. Clutch sizes in these populations were lower than all other published reports except for the iguana population on the highly xeric island of Curaçao, implying that adult females in our area are unusually small. We argue that this is more likely the result of the exploitation of these populations rather than an adaptive response to environmentally extreme conditions. PMID:15162698

  17. Microendemicity in the northern Hajar Mountains of Oman and the United Arab Emirates with the description of two new species of geckos of the genus Asaccus (Squamata: Phyllodactylidae)

    PubMed Central

    Jayasinghe, Sithum; Wilms, Thomas; Els, Johannes

    2016-01-01

    Background The Hajar Mountains of Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the highest mountain range in Eastern Arabia. As a result of their old geological origin, geographical isolation, complex topography and local climate, these mountains provide an important refuge for endemic and relict species of plants and animals with strong Indo-Iranian affinities. Among vertebrates, the rock climbing nocturnal geckos of the genus Asaccus represent the genus with the highest number of endemic species in the Hajar Mountains. Recent taxonomic studies on the Zagros populations of Asaccus have shown that this genus is much richer than it was previously thought and preliminary morphological and molecular data suggest that its diversity in Arabia may also be underestimated. Methods A total of 83 specimens originally classified as Asaccus caudivolvulus (including specimens of the two new species described herein), six other Asaccus species from the Hajar and the Zagros Mountains and two representatives of the genus Haemodracon were sequenced for up to 2,311 base pairs including the mitochondrial 12S and cytb and the nuclear c-mos, MC1R and ACM4 genes. Phylogenetic relationships were inferred using both Bayesian and maximum-likelihood approaches and the former method was also used to calibrate the phylogenetic tree. Haplotype networks and phylogenetic trees were inferred from the phased nuclear genes only. Sixty-one alcohol-preserved adult specimens originally classified as Asaccus caudivolvulus from the northern Hajar Mountains were examined for 13 morphometric and the five meristic variables using multivariate methods and were also used to diagnose and describe the two new species. Results The results of the molecular and morphological analyses indicate that the species originally classified as Asaccus caudivolvulus is, in fact, an assemblage of three different species that started diversifying during the Mid-Miocene. The molecular phylogenies consistently recovered the Hajar endemic A. montanus as sister taxon to all the other Asaccus species included in the analyses, rendering the Arabian species of Asaccus polyphyletic. Discussion Using this integrative approach we have uncovered a very old diversification event that has resulted in a case of microendemicity, where three morphologically and ecologically similar medium-sized lizard species coexist in a very short and narrow mountain stretch. Asaccus caudivolvulus is restricted to a small coastal area of the UAE and at risk from heavy development, while the two new species described herein are widely distributed across the northern tip of the Hajar Mountains and seem to segregate in altitude when found in close proximity in the Musandam Peninsula (Oman). Similarly to other integrative analyses of Hajar reptiles, this study highlights the high level of diversity and endemicity of this arid mountain range, underscoring its status as one of the top hotspots of reptile diversity in Arabia. PMID:27602305

  18. A new blue-tailed Monitor lizard (Reptilia, Squamata, Varanus) of the Varanus indicus group from Mussau Island, Papua New Guinea

    PubMed Central

    Weijola, Valter; Donnellan, Stephen C.; Lindqvist, Christer

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We describe a new species of Varanus from Mussau Island, north-east of New Guinea. The new species is a member of the Varanus indicus species group and is distinguished from all other members by both morphological and molecular genetic characters. It is the third species of Varanus reported from the Bismarck Archipelago and the first record of a yellow tongued member of the Varanus indicus species group from a remote oceanic island. The herpetofauna of Mussau Island has not been well studied but the discovery of this new species is in accordance with recent findings indicating that the island may harbor several unknown endemic vertebrates. The distribution of the closely related Varanus finschi is also discussed in the light of recent fieldwork and a review of old records. PMID:27103877

  19. Isolation, characterization, cloning and expression of an alpha-neurotoxin from the venom of the Mexican coral snake Micrurus laticollaris (Squamata: Elapidae).

    PubMed

    Carbajal-Saucedo, Alejandro; López-Vera, Estuardo; Bénard-Valle, Melisa; Smith, Eric N; Zamudio, Fernando; de Roodt, Adolfo R; Olvera-Rodríguez, Alejandro

    2013-05-01

    A new member of short chain α-neurotoxic protein family from venom of the Mexican coral snake, Micrurus laticollaris, was characterized. This protein, named MlatA1, possesses 61 amino acids with 8 conserved cysteine residues, sharing 30-91% sequence identity with other fully sequenced Micrurus toxins. MlatA1 (LD50i.v. = 0.064 mg/kg) antagonizes with both fetal and adult nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) as well as α-7 neuronal nAChR in a dose-dependent way. Specific rabbit anti-Mlat serum (titer higher than 18,000) does not show any protective ability against this toxin, nevertheless it was able to recognize protein bands in six out of twelve Micrurus venoms showing the existence of two distinct antigenic groups for α-neurotoxins in North American coral snakes species. The MlatA1 gene was cloned and used to produce recombinant toxin (rMlatA1) that was recognized by rabbit anti-native toxin but was depleted of toxic activity. PMID:23438486

  20. On the systematics of Trimeresurus labialis Fitzinger in Steindachner, 1867, a pitviper from the Nicobar Islands (India), with revalidation of Trimeresurus mutabilis Stoliczka, 1870 (Squamata, Viperidae, Crotalinae).

    PubMed

    Vogel, Gernot; David, Patrick; Chandramouli, S R

    2014-01-01

    The Asian pitviper currently identified as Trimeresurus labialis Fitzinger in Steindachner, 1867 is revised on the basis of morphological data obtained from 37 preserved specimens originating from seven islands of the Nicobar Islands. Multivariate analyses shows that these specimens can be divided into two clusters of populations which differ by a series of constant taxonomically informative morphological characters. The first cluster, which includes the name-bearing types of Trimeresurus labialis Fitzinger in Steindachner, 1867, is present only on Car Nicobar Island. The second cluster, which includes the name-bearing types of Trimeresurus mutabilis Stoliczka, 1870, is distributed on the Central Nicobar Islands. We regard these clusters as distinct species, which are morphologically diagnosable and isolated from each other. As a consequence, Trimeresurus mutabilis, long considered a synonym of T. labialis, is here resurrected to specific level. A lectotype is designated for Trimeresurus mutabilis. PMID:24869554

  1. A phylogeny of the only ground-dwelling radiation of Cyrtodactylus (Squamata, Gekkonidae): diversification of Geckoella across peninsular India and Sri Lanka.

    PubMed

    Agarwal, Ishan; Karanth, K Praveen

    2015-01-01

    The subgenus Geckoella, the only ground-dwelling radiation within Cyrtodactylus, closely overlaps in distribution with brookii group Hemidactylus in peninsular India and Sri Lanka. Both groups have Oligocene origins, the latter with over thrice as many described species. The striking difference in species richness led us to believe that Geckoella diversity is underestimated, and we sampled for Geckoella across peninsular India. A multi-locus phylogeny reveals Geckoella diversity is hugely underestimated, with at least seven undescribed species, doubling previously known richness. Strikingly, the new species correspond to cryptic lineages within described Indian species (complexes); a number of these endemic lineages from the hills of peninsular India outside the Western Ghats, highlighting the undocumented diversity of the Indian dry zone. The Geckoella phylogeny demonstrates deep splits between the Indian species and Sri Lankan G. triedrus, and between Indian dry and wet zone clades, dating back to the late Oligocene. Geckoella and brookii group Hemidactylus show contrasting diversification patterns. Geckoella shows signals of niche conservatism and appears to have retained its ancestral forest habitat. The late Miocene burst in speciation in Geckoella may be linked to the expansion of rain forests during the mid-Miocene climatic optimum and subsequent fragmentation with increasing late Miocene aridification. PMID:25281922

  2. Revalidation of Natrix clerki Wall, 1925, an overlooked species in the genus Amphiesma Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854 (Squamata: Natricidae).

    PubMed

    David, Patrick; Agarwal, Ishan; Athreya, Ramana; Mathew, Rosamma; Vogel, Gernot; Mistry, Viral K

    2015-01-01

    Natrix clerki Wall, 1925, previously known from its sole holotype and considered a synonym of Amphiesma parallelum (Boulenger, 1890), is resurrected in the genus Amphiesma on the basis of the analysis of morphological variation in 28 specimens of "Amphiesma parallelum" auctorum, plus six living, unvouchered specimens discovered in Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland, India, and one vouchered specimen from Talle Valley in Arunachal Pradesh. Specimens from northeast India (Nagaland), northern Myanmar, and China (Yunnan), previously identified as Amphiesma parallelum either in the literature or in museum's catalogues, are also here referred to A. clerki. The holotype of Amphiesma clerki is redescribed. As a consequence, the definition of Amphiesma parallelum is modified. A. parallelum inhabits the Khasi Hills and Naga Hills in Northeast India, whereas A. clerki has a wider range in the Eastern Himalayas, northern Myanmar and Yunnan (China). Amphiesma clerki differs from A. parallelum by its longer tail, dorsal scales more strongly keeled, scales of the first dorsal scale row strongly keeled vs. smooth, a postocular streak not interrupted at the level of the neck, and a much more vivid pattern on a darker background colour. Characters of species of the Amphiesma parallelum group, i.e. A. clerki, A. parallelum, A. bitaeniatum, A. platyceps and A. sieboldii are compared. A key to this group is provided. PMID:25781134

  3. Phylogeography of the two smooth skinks, Scincella boettgeri and S. formosensis (Squamata: Scincidae) in the Southern Ryukyus and Taiwan, as inferred from variation in mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences.

    PubMed

    Koizumi, Yuki; Ota, Hidetoshi; Hikida, Tsutomu

    2014-04-01

    Scincella boettgeri and S. formosensis are respectively small-bodied, morphologically similar skinks, endemic to the Southern Ryukyus and Taiwan. To estimate the phylogeography of both species, we performed phylogenetic analyses using the mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) gene sequences based on 102 individuals of S. boettgeri from 12 Southern-Ryukyu islands and 33 S. formosensis from six localities in Taiwan. A total of 67 haplotypes were recognized for S. boettgeri and 21 for S. formosensis. The phylogenetic analyses revealed that the populations of Scincella spp. in the Southern Ryukyus and Taiwan are composed of three major clades, the Yonagunijima clade from Yonagunijima Island, the Southern-Ryukyu clade from the Southern Ryukyus exclusive of Yonagunijima Island, and the Taiwan clade from Taiwan. These clades showed high levels of genetic divergence, suggesting that the species have been isolated since the Early Pliocene. The Southern-Ryukyu and Taiwan clades were further divided into three and four subclades, respectively. Two of the three Southern-Ryukyu subclades are partially sympatric on two islets of the Yaeyama Group, suggesting this population represents a secondary contact subsequent to their allopatric differentiations. PMID:24694225

  4. Phylogenetic relationships, genetic divergence, historical biogeography and conservation of an endangered gecko, Goniurosaurus kuroiwae (Squamata: Eublepharidae), from the Central Ryukyus, Japan.

    PubMed

    Honda, Masanao; Kurita, Takaki; Toda, Mamoru; Ota, Hidetoshi

    2014-05-01

    The Kuroiwa's eyelid gecko Goniurosaurus kuroiwae is an endangered species in a state of relict endemism in the Central Ryukyus, Japan, and is divided into five subspecies. We analyzed variations in sequence data for approximately 1900 base positions of mitochondrial 12S and 16S rRNA, and cytochrome b genes from samples representing all recognized subspecies of G. kuroiwae together with those from congeneric species in order to test the relevant previous phylogenetic hypotheses and discuss biogeographical implications in the degree and pattern of genetic divergence within G. kuroiwae. Our results, while confirming a previous molecular phylogenetic hypothesis proposed on the basis of much smaller data set, negate the relationships hypothesized on morphological grounds by explicitly supporting: 1) the primary dichotomy, with substantial genetic divergence, between G. k. splendens from the Amami Island Group and the remaining subspecies all from the Okinawa Island Group; and 2) the presence of at least six independent lineages within the latter, indicating non-monophyly for two of the subspecies, G. k. kuroiwae and G. k. orientalis, in the current taxonomic definitions. The marked genetic divergence between populations of the two island groups seems to have initiated in the middle Miocene, i.e., prior to formation of straits that have consistently been separating these two island groups since the early Pleistocene. All populations of G. kuroiwae are regarded as endangered from the viewpoint of conservation genetics. PMID:24832904

  5. Radiation, multiple dispersal and parallelism in the skinks, Chalcides and Sphenops (Squamata: Scincidae), with comments on Scincus and Scincopus and the age of the Sahara Desert.

    PubMed

    Carranza, S; Arnold, E N; Geniez, Ph; Roca, J; Mateo, J A

    2008-03-01

    Phylogenetic analysis using up to 1325 base pairs of mitochondrial DNA from 179 specimens and 30 species of Chalcides, Sphenops, Eumeces, Scincopus and Scincus indicates that Sphenops arose twice independently within Chalcides. It is consequently synonymized with that genus. Chalcides in this broader sense originated in Morocco, diversifying into four main clades about 10 Ma, after which some of its lineages dispersed widely to cover an area 40 times as large. Two separate lineages invaded the Canary Islands and at least five main lineages colonized southern Europe. At least five more spread across northern Africa, one extending into southwest Asia. Elongate bodies with reduced limbs have evolved at least four times in Chalcides, mesic 'grass-swimmers' being produced in one case and extensive adaptation to life in loose desert sand in two others. In clade, Chalcides striatus colonized SW Europe from NW Africa 2.6 Ma and C. chalcides mainland Italy 1.4 Ma, both invasions being across water, while C. c. vittatus reached Sardinia more recently, perhaps anthropogenically, and C. guentheri spread 1200km further east to Israel. C. minutus is a composite, with individuals from the type locality forming a long independent lineage and the remaining ones investigated being most closely related to C. mertensi. In the Northern clade, C. boulengeri and C. sepsoides spread east through sandy habitats north of the Sahara about 5 Ma, the latter reaching Egypt. C. bedriagai invaded Spain around the same time, perhaps during the Messinian period when the Mediterranean was dry, and shows considerable diversification. Although it is currently recognized as one species, the C. ocellatus clade exhibits as much phylogenetic depth as the other main clades of Chalcides, having at least six main lineages. These have independently invaded Malta and Sardinia from Tunisia and also southwest Arabia C. o. humilis appears to have spread over 4000 km through the Sahel, south of the Sahara quite recently, perhaps in the Pleistocene. In the Western clade of Chalcides, C. delislei appears to have dispersed in a similar way. There were also two invasions of the Canary Islands: one around 5 Ma by C. simonyi, and the other about 7 Ma by the ancestor of C. viridanus+C. sexlineatus. C. montanus was believed to be related to C. lanzai of the Northern clade, but in the mtDNA tree it is placed within C. polylepis of the Western clade, although this may possibly be an artifact of introgression. The Eumeces schneideri group, Scincopus and Scincus form a clade separate from Chalcides. Within this clade, the geographically disjunct E. schneideri group is paraphyletic. One of its members, E. algeriensis is the sister taxon to Scincopus, and Scincus may also be related to these taxa. The phylogeny suggests Scincopus entered desert conditions in Africa, up to 9.6 Ma and the same may have been true of Scincus up to 11.7 Ma. Scincus appears to have diversified and spread into Arabia around 6 Ma. Dates of origin and divergence of these skinks, desert Chalcides and other squamates agree with recent geological evidence that the Sahara is at least 5-7 My old. The subspecies Chalcides viridanus coeruleopunctatus is upgraded to the species level as C. coeruleopunctatus stat nov., on the basis of its large genetic divergence from C. v. viridanus. PMID:18276164

  6. A review of Cordylus machadoi (Squamata: Cordylidae) in southwestern Angola, with the description of a new species from the Pro-Namib desert.

    PubMed

    Stanley, Edward L; Ceríaco, Luis M P; Bandeira, Suzana; Valerio, Hilaria; Bates, Michael F; Branch, William R

    2016-01-01

    The girdled lizard genus Cordylus is represented in Angola by two species, Cordylus angolensis and C. machadoi, separated from their nearest congeners by over 700 km. Here we describe a new species, Cordylus namakuiyus sp. nov., endemic to the arid lowlands west of the southern Angolan escarpment. Phylogenetic analysis using three mitochondrial and eight nuclear genes shows that the low-elevation forms and the proximate, high-elevation species C. machadoi are genetically divergent and reciprocally monophyletic, and together form the earliest diverging lineage of the northern Cordylus clade. Morphological data, collected using computed tomography and traditional techniques (scalation and morphology), identify consistent phenotypic differences between these high- and low-elevation species and allows for a detailed description of the osteology and osteodermal arrangements of the new species. A series of 50 specimens, collected during the 1925 Vernay expedition to southwestern Angola and housed at the American Museum of Natural History, are assigned to the new species, although the identity of Cordylus from northern Namibia remains ambiguous and requires further investigation. PMID:27395495

  7. Deep divergence and structure in the Tropical Oceanic Pacific: a multilocus phylogeography of a widespread gekkonid lizard (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Gehyra oceanica)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tonione, Maria A.; Fisher, Robert N.; Zhu, Catherine; Moritz, Craig

    2016-01-01

    Aim The islands of the Tropical Oceanic Pacific (TOP) host both local radiations and widespread, colonizing species. The few phylogeographical analyses of widespread species often point to recent human-aided expansions through the Pacific, suggesting that the communities are recently assembled. Here we apply multilocus data to infer biogeographical history of the gekkonid lizard, Gehyra oceanica, which is widespread, but for which prior analyses suggested a pre-human history and in situ diversification. Location Tropical Oceanic Pacific. Methods We generated a data set including mtDNA and diagnostic SNPs for 173 individuals of G. oceanica spanning Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia. For a subset of these individuals, we also sequenced nuclear loci. From these data, we performed maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference to reveal major clades. We also performed Bayesian clustering analyses and coalescence–based species delimitation tests to infer the number of species in this area. Results We found evidence for six independent evolutionary lineages (candidate species) within G. oceanica that diverged between the Pliocene and the early Pleistocene, with high diversity through northern Melanesia, and pairing of northern Melanesian endemic taxa with widespread lineages across Micronesia and Polynesia. Main conclusions The islands of northern Melanesia not only have unrecognized diversity, but also were the source of independent expansions of lineages through the more remote northern and eastern Pacific. These results highlight the very different evolutionary histories of island faunas on remote archipelagos versus those across Melanesia and point to the need for more intensive studies of fauna within Melanesia if we are to understand the evolution of diversity across the tropical Pacific.

  8. Description and phylogenetic relationships of a new genus and two new species of lizards from Brazilian Amazonia, with nomenclatural comments on the taxonomy of Gymnophthalmidae (Reptilia: Squamata).

    PubMed

    Colli, Guarino R; Hoogmoed, Marinus S; Cannatella, David C; Cassimiro, José; Gomes, Jerriane Oliveira; Ghellere, José Mário; Gomes, Jerriane Oliveira; Ghellere, José Mário; Nunes, Pedro M Sales; Pellegrino, Kátia C M; Salerno, Patricia; Souza, Sergio Marques De; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut

    2015-01-01

    We describe a new genus and two new species of gymnophthalmid lizards based on specimens collected from Brazilian Amazonia, mostly in the "arc of deforestation". The new genus is easily distinguished from other Gymnophthalmidae by having very wide, smooth, and imbricate nuchals, arranged in two longitudinal and 6-10 transverse rows from nape to brachium level, followed by much narrower, strongly keeled, lanceolate, and mucronate scales. It also differs from all other Gymnophthalmidae, except Iphisa, by the presence of two longitudinal rows of ventrals. The new genus differs from Iphisa by having two pairs of enlarged chinshields (one in Iphisa); posterior dorsal scales lanceolate, strongly keeled and not arranged in longitudinal rows (dorsals broad, smooth and forming two longitudinal rows), and lateral scales keeled (smooth). Maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian phylogenetic analyses based on morphological and molecular data indicate the new species form a clade that is most closely related to Iphisa. We also address several nomenclatural issues and present a revised classification of Gymnophthalmidae. PMID:26623733

  9. Description of the hemipenial morphology of Tupinambis quadrilineatus Manzani and Abe, 1997 (Squamata, Teiidae) and new records from Piauí, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    da Silva, Marcélia Basto; de Lima-Filho, Geraldo Rodrigues; Cronemberger, Áurea Aguiar; Carvalho, Leonardo Sousa; Manzani, Paulo Roberto; Vieira, Jânia Brito

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Few data are available on the morphology of the hemipenis of teiid lizards, especially those of the recently-defined genus Tupinambis, a widely-distributed group of large-bodied lizards. This study provides an illustrated description of the hemipenis of Tupinambis quadrilineatus, which is similar to that of other representatives of the Tupinambinae subfamily. New records of the species from the state of Piauí, in northeastern Brazil, are also presented. PMID:24363597

  10. Detecting the Anomaly Zone in Species Trees and Evidence for a Misleading Signal in Higher-Level Skink Phylogeny (Squamata: Scincidae).

    PubMed

    Linkem, Charles W; Minin, Vladimir N; Leaché, Adam D

    2016-05-01

    The anomaly zone, defined by the presence of gene tree topologies that are more probable than the true species tree, presents a major challenge to the accurate resolution of many parts of the Tree of Life. This discrepancy can result from consecutive rapid speciation events in the species tree. Similar to the problem of long-branch attraction, including more data via loci concatenation will only reinforce the support for the incorrect species tree. Empirical phylogenetic studies often employ coalescent-based species tree methods to avoid the anomaly zone, but to this point these studies have not had a method for providing any direct evidence that the species tree is actually in the anomaly zone. In this study, we use 16 species of lizards in the family Scincidae to investigate whether nodes that are difficult to resolve place the species tree within the anomaly zone. We analyze new phylogenomic data (429 loci), using both concatenation and coalescent-based species tree estimation, to locate conflicting topological signal. We then use the unifying principle of the anomaly zone, together with estimates of ancestral population sizes and species persistence times, to determine whether the observed phylogenetic conflict is a result of the anomaly zone. We identify at least three regions of the Scincidae phylogeny that provide demographic signatures consistent with the anomaly zone, and this new information helps reconcile the phylogenetic conflict in previously published studies on these lizards. The anomaly zone presents a real problem in phylogenetics, and our new framework for identifying anomalous relationships will help empiricists leverage their resources appropriately for investigating and overcoming this challenge. PMID:26738927

  11. A cryptic palm-pitviper species (Squamata: Viperidae: Bothriechis) from the Costa Rican highlands, with notes on the variation within B. nigroviridis.

    PubMed

    Doan, Tiffany M; Mason, Andrew J; Castoe, Todd A; Sasa, Mahmood; Parkinson, Christopher L

    2016-01-01

    Middle America is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, harboring an exceptional number of rare and endemic species. This is especially true of Middle American cloud forests, where montane specialists occupy restricted, high-elevation ranges making them attractive candidates for investigating historical biogeography and speciation. One such highland-restricted species, the black speckled palm-pitviper (Bothriechis nigroviridis), occupies the Central, Tilarán, and Talamanca Cordilleras in Costa Rica and Panama. In this study, we investigate the genetic and morphological variation among populations of B. nigroviridis by inferring a multilocus phylogeny (21 individuals) and analyzing meristic scale characters with a principal component analysis (64 individuals). We find B. nigroviridis sensu stricto to be composed of two deeply divergent lineages, one with a restricted range in the northern and central Cordillera Talamanca and the other ranging throughout the Central, Tilarán, and Talamanca Cordilleras. Furthermore, these two lineages are morphologically distinct, with previously unrecognized differences in several characters allowing us to name and diagnose a new species B. nubestris sp. nov. We also examine the genetic and morphological variation within B. nigroviridis and discuss biogeographic hypotheses that may have led to the diversification of Bothriechis lineages. PMID:27470764

  12. Scale Morphology and Micro-Structure of Monitor Lizards (Squamata: Varanidae: Varanus spp.) and their Allies: Implications for Systematics, Ecology, and Conservation.

    PubMed

    Bucklitsch, Yannick; Böhme, Wolfgang; Koch, André

    2016-01-01

    We analysed scale morphology and micro-structure from five different body regions using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) across all nine recognized subgenera of the monitor lizard genus Varanus including 41 different species investigated. As far as we are aware, this qualitative visual technique was applied by us for the first time to most monitor lizard species and probably also to the primary outgroup and sister species Lanthanotus borneensis. A comprehensive list of 20 scalation characters each with up to seven corresponding character states was established and defined for the five body regions sampled. For the phylogenetic approach, parsimony analyses of the resulting morphological data matrix as well as Bremer and bootstrap support calculations were performed with the software TNT. Our results demonstrate that a variety of micro-ornamentations (i.e., ultra- or micro-dermatoglyphics) as seen in various squamate groups is hardly present in monitor lizards. In several species from six out of nine subgenera, however, we found a honeycomb-shaped micro-structure of foveate polygons. Two further samples of Euprepiosaurus Fitzinger, 1843 exhibit each another unique microscopic structure on the scale surface. Notably, the majority of species showing the honeycombed ultra-structure inhabit arid habitats in Australia, Africa and the Middle East. Therefore, it can be inferred that this microscopic scalation feature, which has also been identified in other desert dwelling lizard species, is taxonomically and ecologically correlated with a xeric habitat type in varanids, too. In addition, the systematic affiliation of V. spinulosus, an endemic monitor lizard species from the Solomon Islands with an extraordinary scale shape, is discussed in the light of current hypotheses about its phylogenetic position within the Varanidae. Due to its unique scalation characteristics, in combination with other morphological evidence, a new monotypic subgenus, Solomonsaurus subgen. nov., is erected for this enigmatic monitor lizard species. Furthermore, we propose a taxonomic splitting of the morphologically and ecologically heterogeneous subgenus Euprepiosaurus comprising the Pacific or mangrove and the tree monitor lizards, respectively, again based on the SEM data. Thus, for the members of the highly arboreal V. prasinus species group erection of a new subgenus, Hapturosaurus subgen. nov., is justified based on the autapomorphic scale shape in concert with further morphological, phylogenetic and ecological evidence. In addition, V. reisingeri originally described as a distinct species is considered conspecific with the wide-spread V. prasinus due to joint synapormorphic features in the ventral scale micro-structure. Consequently, V. prasinus is (again) rendered polytypic with the taxon reisingeri being assigned subspecies status here.        In conclusion, the established scalation characters allow discrimination of single species even among closely-related Varanus species, such as the members of the V. indicus species group. Together with a recently published identification key for Southeast Asian monitor lizards based on macroscopic phenotypic characters (Koch et al. 2013), the SEM-pictures of the present study may serve as additional references for the microscopic identification of CITES-relevant monitor lizard skins and products, respectively. PMID:27615821

  13. A new genus and species of gekkonid lizard (Squamata: Gekkota: Gekkonidae) from Hormozgan Province with a revised key to gekkonid genera of Iran.

    PubMed

    Safaei-Mahroo, Barbod; Ghaffari, Hanyeh; Anderson, Steven C

    2016-01-01

    We describe a new genus and species of gekkonid from two gravid specimens which were found within Koh-e Homag Protected Area, Hormozgan Province, southern Iran. The genus Parsigecko gen. nov. can be distinguished from other genera of Middle East Gekkonidae by a combination of the following characteristics: digits not dilated, dorsal tail covered with small scales without any tubercles or keels, having two strong keeled and pointed scales on each side of each annulus. Parsigecko ziaiei sp. nov. is a ground-dwelling lizard. The new species was found in the Zagros Mountain forest steppe patch with scattered wild pistachio trees and mountain almond shrubs surrounded by South Iran Nubo-Sindian desert and semi-desert habitat in the south of Iran. The genus is the 13th gekkonid genus known from Iran, and the only gekkonid genus endemic to the Zagros Mountains. A key to the genera of the Gekkonidae in Iran is provided. PMID:27394876

  14. A relict lineage and new species of green palm-pitviper (Squamata, Viperidae, Bothriechis) from the Chortís Highlands of Mesoamerica

    PubMed Central

    Townsend, Josiah H.; Medina-Flores, Melissa; Wilson, Larry David; Jadin, Robert C.; Austin, James D.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract 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 that is sister to Bothriechis lateralis, which is distributed in Costa Rica and western Panama and is isolated from the new taxon by the Nicaraguan Depression. This represents the 15th endemic species occurring in Refugio de Vida Silvestre Texíguat, one of the richest herpetofaunal sites in Honduras, itself being the country with the highest degree of herpetofaunal endemism in Central America. We name this new species in honor of a Honduran conservationist slain in fighting against illegal logging, highlighting the sacrifices of rural activists in battling these issues and the critical importance of conservation in these areas. PMID:23794885

  15. So Far Away, Yet So Close: Strong Genetic Structure in Homonota uruguayensis (Squamata, Phyllodactylidae), a Species with Restricted Geographic Distribution in the Brazilian and Uruguayan Pampas

    PubMed Central

    Felappi, Jéssica F.; Vieira, Renata C.; Fagundes, Nelson J. R.; Verrastro, Laura V.

    2015-01-01

    The Pampas is a biologically rich South American biome, but is poorly represented in phylogeographic studies. While the Pleistocene glacial cycles may have affected the evolutionary history of species distributed in forested biomes, little is known about their effects on the habitats that remained stable through glacial cycles. The South American Pampas have been covered by grasslands during both glacial and interglacial periods and therefore represent an interesting system to test whether the genetic structure in such environments is less pronounced. In this study, we sampled Pampean populations of Homonota uruguayensis from Southern Brazil and Uruguay to assess the tempo and mode of population divergence, using both morphological measurements and molecular markers. Our results indicate that, in spite of its narrow geographic distribution, populations of H. uruguayensis show high levels of genetic structure. We found four major well-supported mtDNA clades with strong geographic associations. Estimates of their divergence times fell between 3.16 and 1.82 million years before the present. Populations from the central portion of the species distribution, on the border between Uruguay and Brazil, have high genetic diversity and may have undergone a population expansion approximately 250,000 years before the present. The high degree of genetic structure is reflected in the analyses of morphological characters, and most individuals could be correctly assigned to their parental population based on morphology alone. Finally, we discuss the biogeographic and conservation implications of these findings. PMID:25692471

  16. Two new species of diminutive leaf-litter skinks (Squamata: Scincidae: Tytthoscincus) from Gunung Penrissen, Sarawak, Malaysia (northern Borneo).

    PubMed

    Karin, Benjamin R; Das, Indraneil; Bauer, Aaron M

    2016-01-01

    We describe two new species of skinks from Gunung Penrissen, Sarawak, Malaysia, in northern Borneo, Tytthoscincus batupanggah sp. nov. and T. leproauricularis sp. nov. Morphological and molecular analyses both corroborate the two new species as unique compared to all other Tytthoscincus and additional Sphenomorphus that are candidates for taxonomic placement in the genus Tytthoscincus. Despite their phenotypic similarity and sympatric distribution, a molecular analysis shows that the new species are not sister taxa and exhibit a deep genetic divergence between each of their respective sister taxa. We discuss how historical climatic and geographic processes may have led to the co-distribution of two relatively distantly related phenotypically similar species. In light of these discoveries, we also emphasize the importance of conserving primary montane tropical rainforest for maintaining species diversity. PMID:27394504

  17. Cryptic, Sympatric Diversity in Tegu Lizards of the Tupinambis teguixin Group (Squamata, Sauria, Teiidae) and the Description of Three New Species

    PubMed Central

    Jowers, Michael J.; Lehtinen, Richard M.; Charles, Stevland P.; Colli, Guarino R.; Peres, Ayrton K.; Hendry, Catriona R.; Pyron, R. Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Tegus of the genera Tupinambis and Salvator are the largest Neotropical lizards and the most exploited clade of Neotropical reptiles. For three decades more than 34 million tegu skins were in trade, about 1.02 million per year. The genus Tupinambis is distributed in South America east of the Andes, and currently contains four recognized species, three of which are found only in Brazil. However, the type species of the genus, T. teguixin, is known from Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela (including the Isla de Margarita). Here we present molecular and morphological evidence that this species is genetically divergent across its range and identify four distinct clades some of which are sympatric. The occurrence of cryptic sympatric species undoubtedly exacerbated the nomenclatural problems of the past. We discuss the species supported by molecular and morphological evidence and increase the number of species in the genus Tupinambis to seven. The four members of the T. teguixin group continue to be confused with Salvator merianae, despite having a distinctly different morphology and reproductive mode. All members of the genus Tupinambis are CITES Appendix II. Yet, they continue to be heavily exploited, under studied, and confused in the minds of the public, conservationists, and scientists. PMID:27487019

  18. Liolaemus carlosgarini and Liolaemus riodamas (Squamata: Liolaemidae), two new species of lizards lacking precloacal pores, from Andean areas of central Chile.

    PubMed

    Esquerré, Damien; Núñez, Herman; Scolaro, José Alejandro

    2013-01-01

    Most of the lizards of the Liolaemus genus present precloacal pores in males, with few exceptions in species of the lineomaculatus and neuquensis groups, and in the elongatus-kriegi complex. The elongatus-kriegi complex, belonging to the Liolaemus (sensu stricto) subgenus, is composed of medium sized, saxicolous, viviparous and insectivorous or omnivorous lizards, distributed between the Andean and Patagonian zones of Chile and Argentina. We reviewed the taxonomic history of this group, and we describe two new species, Liolaemus carlosgarini, found in the vicinity of the Maule Lagoon, in the Maule Region, Chile, and Liolaemus riodamas, described from the population that was originally designated as Liolaemus cf ceii, from Las Damas River, near the Termas del Flaco locality, in the Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins Region, thereby based on this research L. ceii is eliminated from the species belonging to Chile. Both species have as a diagnostic character the absence of precloacal pores, and we suggest here their presumptive systematic relationships in Liolaemus. We analyzed ten species of Liolaemus, in order to perform a phylogenetic analysis based on external morphology, using mostly squamation and morphometric characters. The analysis was performed using PAUP, with the Maximum Parsimony criterion. In addition, through diaphanisation, we studied and described the osteology of the new species. We conclude that species lacking precloacal pores do not form a monophyletic group, and that constructing a phylogeny using only external morphology, at least for this group of reptiles, is insufficient to establish solid phyletic relationships. Other sort of characters should complement the morphological ones. PMID:26131484

  19. Phylogenetic relationships within Bothrops neuwiedi group (Serpentes, Squamata): geographically highly-structured lineages, evidence of introgressive hybridization and Neogene/Quaternary diversification.

    PubMed

    Machado, Taís; Silva, Vinícius X; Silva, Maria José de J

    2014-02-01

    Eight current species of snakes of the Bothrops neuwiedi group are widespread in South American open biomes from northeastern Brazil to southeastern Argentina. In this paper, 140 samples from 93 different localities were used to investigate species boundaries and to provide a hypothesis of phylogenetic relationships among the members of this group based on 1122bp of cyt b and ND4 from mitochondrial DNA and also investigate the patterns and processes occurring in the evolutionary history of the group. Combined data recovered the B. neuwiedi group as a highly supported monophyletic group in maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses, as well as four major clades (Northeast I, Northeast II, East-West, West-South) highly-structured geographically. Monophyly was recovered only for B. pubescens. By contrast, B. diporus, B. lutzi, B. erythromelas, B. mattogrossensis, B. neuwiedi, B. marmoratus, and B. pauloensis, as currently defined on the basis of morphology, were polyphyletic. Sympatry, phenotypic intergrades and shared mtDNA haplotypes, mainly between B. marmoratus and B. pauloensis suggest recent introgressive hybridization and the possible occurrence of a narrow hybrid zone in Central Brazil. Our data suggest at least three candidate species: B. neuwiedi from Espinhaço Range, B. mattogrossensis (TM173) from Serra da Borda (MT) and B. diporus (PT3404) from Castro Barros, Argentina. Divergence estimates highlight the importance of Neogene events in the origin of B. neuwiedi group, and the origin of species and diversification of populations of the Neotropical fauna from open biomes during the Quaternary climate fluctuations. Data reported here represent a remarkable increase of the B. neuwiedi group sampling size, since representatives of all the current recognized species from a wide geographic range are included in this study, providing basic information for understanding the evolution and conservation of Neotropical biodiversity. PMID:24140980

  20. A simple non-invasive protocol to establish primary cell lines from tail and toe explants for cytogenetic studies in Australian dragon lizards (Squamata: Agamidae)

    PubMed Central

    O’Meally, Denis; Quinn, Alexander E.; Sarre, Stephen D.; Georges, Arthur; Marshall Graves, Jennifer A.

    2009-01-01

    Primary cell lines were established from cultures of tail and toe clips of five species of Australian dragon lizards: Tympanocryptis pinguicolla, Tympanocryptis sp., Ctenophorus fordi, Amphibolurus norrisi and Pogona vitticeps. The start of exponential cell growth ranged from 1 to 5 weeks. Cultures from all specimens had fibroblastic morphology. Cell lines were propagated continuously up to ten passages, cryopreserved and recovered successfully. We found no reduction in cell viability after short term (<6 months) storage at −80 °C. Mitotic metaphase chromosomes were harvested from these cell lines and used in differential staining, banding and fluorescent in situ hybridisation. Cell lines maintained normal diploidy in all species. This study reports a simple non-invasive method for establishing primary cell lines from Australian dragon lizards without sacrifice. The method is likely to be applicable to a range of species. Such cell lines provide a virtually unlimited source of material for cytogenetic, evolutionary and genomic studies. PMID:19199067

  1. Cryptic, Sympatric Diversity in Tegu Lizards of the Tupinambis teguixin Group (Squamata, Sauria, Teiidae) and the Description of Three New Species.

    PubMed

    Murphy, John C; Jowers, Michael J; Lehtinen, Richard M; Charles, Stevland P; Colli, Guarino R; Peres, Ayrton K; Hendry, Catriona R; Pyron, R Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Tegus of the genera Tupinambis and Salvator are the largest Neotropical lizards and the most exploited clade of Neotropical reptiles. For three decades more than 34 million tegu skins were in trade, about 1.02 million per year. The genus Tupinambis is distributed in South America east of the Andes, and currently contains four recognized species, three of which are found only in Brazil. However, the type species of the genus, T. teguixin, is known from Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela (including the Isla de Margarita). Here we present molecular and morphological evidence that this species is genetically divergent across its range and identify four distinct clades some of which are sympatric. The occurrence of cryptic sympatric species undoubtedly exacerbated the nomenclatural problems of the past. We discuss the species supported by molecular and morphological evidence and increase the number of species in the genus Tupinambis to seven. The four members of the T. teguixin group continue to be confused with Salvator merianae, despite having a distinctly different morphology and reproductive mode. All members of the genus Tupinambis are CITES Appendix II. Yet, they continue to be heavily exploited, under studied, and confused in the minds of the public, conservationists, and scientists. PMID:27487019

  2. Quaternary range and demographic expansion of Liolaemus darwinii (Squamata: Liolaemidae) in the Monte Desert of Central Argentina using Bayesian phylogeography and ecological niche modelling.

    PubMed

    Camargo, Arley; Werneck, Fernanda P; Morando, Mariana; Sites, Jack W; Avila, Luciano J

    2013-08-01

    Until recently, most phylogeographic approaches have been unable to distinguish between demographic and range expansion processes, making it difficult to test for the possibility of range expansion without population growth and vice versa. In this study, we applied a Bayesian phylogeographic approach to reconstruct both demographic and range expansion in the lizard Liolaemus darwinii of the Monte Desert in Central Argentina, during the Late Quaternary. Based on analysis of 14 anonymous nuclear loci and the cytochrome b mitochondrial DNA gene, we detected signals of demographic expansion starting at ~55 ka based on Bayesian Skyline and Skyride Plots. In contrast, Bayesian relaxed models of spatial diffusion suggested that range expansion occurred only between ~95 and 55 ka, and more recently, diffusion rates were very low during demographic expansion. The possibility of population growth without substantial range expansion could account for the shared patterns of demographic expansion during the Last Glacial Maxima (OIS 2 and 4) in fish, small mammals and other lizards of the Monte Desert. We found substantial variation in diffusion rates over time, and very high rates during the range expansion phase, consistent with a rapidly advancing expansion front towards the southeast shown by palaeo-distribution models. Furthermore, the estimated diffusion rates are congruent with observed dispersal rates of lizards in field conditions and therefore provide additional confidence to the temporal scale of inferred phylogeographic patterns. Our study highlights how the integration of phylogeography with palaeo-distribution models can shed light on both demographic and range expansion processes and their potential causes. PMID:23786355

  3. Plasma concentrations of progesterone and estradiol and the relation to reproduction in Galápagos land iguanas, Conolophus marthae and C. subcristatus (Squamata, Iguanidae).

    PubMed

    Onorati, Michela; Sancesario, Giulia; Pastore, Donatella; Bernardini, Sergio; Carrión, Jorge E; Carosi, Monica; Vignoli, Leonardo; Lauro, Davide; Gentile, Gabriele

    2016-09-01

    In a combined approach, endocrine and ultrasonic analyses were performed to assess reproduction of two syntopic populations of terrestrial Galápagos iguanas the Conolophus marthae (the Galápagos Pink Land Iguana) and C. subcristatus on the Volcán Wolf (Isabela Island). The ELISA methods (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) were used to measure plasma concentrations of progesterone (P4) and 17β-estradiol (E2) from samples collected over the course of three different seasons: July 2010, June 2012-2014. As for C. subcristatus, the large number of females with eggs in 2012 and 2014 were associated with increased plasma P4 concentrations and the corresponding absence of females with eggs in July 2010 when concentrations of both hormones levels were basal indicating reproduction was still ongoing in June and had ended in July. In C. marthae, even though there was a positive relationship between egg-development stages and hormone concentrations, P4 concentrations were basal through the three years that samples were collected, with some females having a lesser number of eggs compared with C. subcristatus. In C. marthae P4 and E2 patterns did not allow for defining a specific breeding season. PMID:27449407

  4. A preliminary assessment of the Nactus pelagicus species group (Squamata: Gekkonidae) in New Guinea and a new species from the Admiralty Islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fisher, Robert N.; Zug, G.R.

    2012-01-01

    The Slender-toed Geckos (Nactus) currently have four recognized species in New Guinea, and these species divide into two sister clades: a pelagicus clade and a vankampeni clade (Heinicke et al. 2010). The latter contains three dwarf species. The former consists of five bisexual populations, of which numerous New Guinea populations are uncharacterized nomenclaturally and lumped under the epithet ‘pelagicus.’ This report and description of a new species of the pelagicus group from Manus Island in the Admiralty Islands encourages us to offer a preliminary assessment of morphology and diversity in New Guinea ‘pelagicus’ populations.

  5. First molecular verification of Dixonius vietnamensis Das, 2004 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) with the description of a new species from Vinh Cuu Nature Reserve, Dong Nai Province, Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Ziegler, Thomas; Botov, Andreas; Nguyen, Tao Thien; Bauer, Aaron M; Brennan, Ian G; Ngo, Hanh Thi; Nguyen, Truong Quang

    2016-01-01

    Based on near-topotypic specimens of Dixonius vietnamensis from Khanh Hoa Province in southern Vietnam genetic analyses showed that the recently described D. taoi is sister to D. vietnamensis and several separate forms exist which previously have been misidentified as D. vietnamensis and D. siamensis. The Dixonius population from Vinh Cuu Nature Reserve, Dong Nai Province, Vietnam, represents an undescribed species. Dixonius minhlei sp. nov. can be distinguished from its congeners based on the following diagnostic characters: small size (up to 47.5 mm SVL); 7-9 supralabials; 14-15 rows of keeled tubercles on dorsum; 20-23 ventral scale rows; 7 or 8 precloacal pores in males; a canthal stripe running from rostrum through the eye and terminating at back of head; lateral second pair of postmentals maximum one quarter the size of first pair; dorsum olive gray with more or less discernible brownish olive blotches. This is the sixth species of Dixonius known to occur in Vietnam. PMID:27395733

  6. Hiding in plain sight: a new species of bent-toed gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Cyrtodactylus) from West Timor, collected by Malcolm Smith in 1924.

    PubMed

    Kathriner, Andrew; Bauer, Aaron M; O'shea, Mark; Sanchez, Caitlin; Kaiser, Hinrich

    2014-01-01

    We describe a new species of bent-toed gecko from a single specimen initially collected in 1924 by Malcolm Smith on Timor Island in the Lesser Sunda Archipelago of Indonesia. Cyrtodactylus celatus sp. nov. is distinguished from all other congeners by the following combination of characters: small adult size; without spinose tubercles on the ventrolateral body fold and along the lateral margin of the tail; 16 longitudinal rows of tubercles at midbody; 42 ventral scales between the ventrolateral folds at midbody; no transversely enlarged, median subcaudal scales; 17 subdigital lamellae (seven basal + ten distal) under the fourth toe; no abrupt transition between postfemoral and ventral femoral scale series. The specimen is the earliest confirmed record of the genus Cyrtodactylus for Timor, and it is the first putatively endemic gecko species described from this island.  PMID:25543756

  7. On the taxonomic status of the Thai endemic freshwater snake Parahelicops boonsongi, with the erection of a new genus (Squamata: Natricidae).

    PubMed

    David, Patrick; Pauwels, Olivier S G; Nguyen, Truong Quang; Vogel, Gernot

    2015-01-01

    Parahelicops boonsongi Taylor & Elbel, 1958 is known from only three specimens from Thailand. It has been placed either in the genus Parahelicops Bourret, 1934, along with Parahelicops annamensis Bourret, 1934, or in the genus Opisthotropis Günther, 1872. We compared its morphological characters with those of P. annamensis and with three other relevant genera, Opisthotropis, Pararhabdophis Bourret, 1934, and Paratapinophis Angel, 1929. Parahelicops boonsongi is phenotypically distinct from Parahelicops annamensis, Opisthotropis, and all other natricine genera. We consequently erect a new genus, Isanophis gen. nov., to accommodate Parahelicops boonsongi. PMID:25947772

  8. Two new species of Cyrtodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Southern Bukit Barisan Range of Sumatra and an estimation of their phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Michael B; O'connell, Kyle A; Barraza, Gabriel; Riyanto, Awal; Kurniawan, Nia; Smith, Eric N

    2015-01-01

    We describe Cyrtodactylus psarops sp. nov. and C. semicinctus sp. nov., two new species of bent-toed geckos from montane forests in the southern Bukit Barisan Range of Sumatra, Indonesia. The new species are closely related to one another and to C. semenanjungensis, a lowland species currently known only from Peninsular Malaysia. Three characters of the new species immediately distinguish them from most congeners in the Sunda Region: they lack transversely enlarged subcaudals, have a precloacal depression, and have a greatly enlarged scale positioned at the apex of a continuous series of femoral and precloacal pore-bearing scales. They differ from one another in cephalic pattern, tuberculation of the brachium, and in numbers of cloacal tubercles, dorsal bands, and ventrals in a transverse row. The greatly enlarged scale at the apex of the precloacal pores appears to be a rare apomorphy of these two species and C. agamensis. PMID:26624112

  9. A retrospective study of mortality in varanid lizards (Reptilia: Squamata: Varanidae) at the Bronx Zoo: implications for husbandry and reproductive management in zoos.

    PubMed

    Mendyk, Robert W; Newton, Alisa L; Baumer, Megan

    2013-03-01

    Varanid lizards have been maintained in zoological parks for more than a century, yet few studies to date have attempted to pinpoint significant health issues affecting their management or areas of captive husbandry that are in need of improvement. In an effort to identify and better understand some of the husbandry-related challenges and health issues specifically affecting varanids in zoos, this study examined mortality in 16 species maintained at the Bronx Zoo between 1968 and 2009. Out of 108 records reviewed, complete necropsy reports were available for 85 individuals. Infection-related processes including bacterial (15.3%), protozoal (12.9%), nematode (9.4%), and fungal (3.5%) infections accounted for the greatest number of deaths (47.1%). Noninfectious diseases including female reproductive disorders (7.1%), neoplasia (7.1%), gout (10.8%), and hemipenal prolapse (1.3%) accounted for 29.4% of deaths. Multiple disease agents were responsible for 5.9% of deaths, and a cause for death could not be determined for 17.7% of individuals. Reproductive complications accounted for 11.5% of female deaths, but were identified in 23.1% of females. Although not necessarily the cause for death, gout was present in 18.8% of individuals. Differences in mortality between species, genders, and origin (captive-bred vs. wild-caught) were also evaluated. The results of this study corroborate earlier findings that identify bacterial infections, neoplasia, female reproductive disorders, gout, and endoparasitism as major sources of mortality in captive varanids. In light of these results, we discuss potential etiologies and offer recommendations for improving captive management practices in zoos. PMID:22997089

  10. Microanatomical and Histological Features in the Long Bones of Mosasaurine Mosasaurs (Reptilia, Squamata) – Implications for Aquatic Adaptation and Growth Rates

    PubMed Central

    Houssaye, Alexandra; Lindgren, Johan; Pellegrini, Rodrigo; Lee, Andrew H.; Germain, Damien; Polcyn, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    Background During their evolution in the Late Cretaceous, mosasauroids attained a worldwide distribution, accompanied by a marked increase in body size and open ocean adaptations. This transition from land-dwellers to highly marine-adapted forms is readily apparent not only at the gross anatomic level but also in their inner bone architecture, which underwent profound modifications. Methodology/Principal Findings The present contribution describes, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the internal organization (microanatomy) and tissue types and characteristics (histology) of propodial and epipodial bones in one lineage of mosasauroids; i.e., the subfamily Mosasaurinae. By using microanatomical and histological data from limb bones in combination with recently acquired knowledge on the inner structure of ribs and vertebrae, and through comparisons with extant squamates and semi-aquatic to fully marine amniotes, we infer possible implications on mosasaurine evolution, aquatic adaptation, growth rates, and basal metabolic rates. Notably, we observe the occurrence of an unusual type of parallel-fibered bone, with large and randomly shaped osteocyte lacunae (otherwise typical of fibrous bone) and particular microanatomical features in Dallasaurus, which displays, rather than a spongious inner organization, bone mass increase in its humeri and a tubular organization in its femora and ribs. Conclusions/Significance The dominance of an unusual type of parallel-fibered bone suggests growth rates and, by extension, basal metabolic rates intermediate between that of the extant leatherback turtle, Dermochelys, and those suggested for plesiosaur and ichthyosaur reptiles. Moreover, the microanatomical features of the relatively primitive genus Dallasaurus differ from those of more derived mosasaurines, indicating an intermediate stage of adaptation for a marine existence. The more complete image of the various microanatomical trends observed in mosasaurine skeletal elements supports the evolutionary convergence between this lineage of secondarily aquatically adapted squamates and cetaceans in the ecological transition from a coastal to a pelagic lifestyle. PMID:24146919

  11. Additions to Philippine Slender Skinks of the Brachymeles bonitae Complex (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) II: a new species from the northern Philippines.

    PubMed

    Siler, Cameron D; Davis, Drew R; Freitas, Elyse S; Huron, Nicholas A; Geheber, Aaron D; Watters, Jessa L; Penrod, Michelle L; Papeș, Monica; Amrein, Andrew; Anwar, Alyssa; Cooper, Dontae; Hein, Tucker; Manning, Annalisa; Patel, Neeral; Pinaroc, Lauren; Diesmos, Arvin C; Diesmos, Mae L; Oliveros, Carl H; Brown, Rafe M

    2016-01-01

    We describe a new digitless scincid lizard of the genus Brachymeles from northern Luzon and Camiguin Norte islands in the Philippines. This species belongs to the Brachymeles bonitae Complex, and both molecular and morphological data confirm that this species is distinct from all other congeners. Formerly considered to be a single widespread species, this group of species has been the focus of recent systematic reviews. Here we describe a new species in the B. bonitae Complex, recognized currently to constitute five species. Brachymeles ilocandia sp. nov. is the second digitless and the seventeenth non-pentadactyl species in genus. The description of this species brings the total number of species in the genus to 40, and provides new insight into unique distribution patterns of species of the northern Philippines. PMID:27395649

  12. Description of a new species of the genus Ptychozoon (Squamata: Gekkonidae), representing a new national record of this genus from southern Yunnan Province, China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying-Yong; Wang, Jian; Liu, Zu-Yao

    2016-01-01

    A new species of the Parachute Gecko, Ptychozoon bannaense sp. nov., is described on the basis of two specimens from Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province, China. The new species can be distinguished from eight known congeners by the following combination of morphological characters: body size moderate, SVL 83.2-87.5 mm; rostral with a short dorsomedian groove; dorsal head and body covered with granular scales without enlarged tubercles, but male with several enlarged tubercles on the occipital region; two supranasals separated from each other by a large internasal; the absence of a predigital notch in the preantebrachial cutaneous flap; male possesses 17 preanofemoral pores in a continuous scale row; tail tubercle absent, 24 pairs of lateral denticulate cutaneous lobes of the tail; width of tail and caudal lobes progressively decreasing posteriorly; the terminal caudal flap short, semicircle, not expanded; lack of lobe fusion at the terminal caudal flap border; the presence of four dark dorsal bands between fore- and hind limbs insertions, the third and fourth dorsal bands fused into a X-shaped mark. The new species is also divergent from known taxa in mitochondrial gene sequences, supporting its recognition based on morphological characters. The discovery and description of Ptychozoon bannaense brings the total number of Ptychozoon to nine, and represents the first record of the genus Ptychozoon in China. PMID:27394272

  13. Integrative taxonomy and preliminary assessment of species limits in the Liolaemus walkeri complex (Squamata, Liolaemidae) with descriptions of three new species from Peru

    PubMed Central

    Aguilar, César; Wood Jr, Perry L.; Cusi, Juan C.; Guzmán, Alfredo; Huari, Frank; Lundberg, Mikael; Mortensen, Emma; Ramírez, César; Robles, Daniel; Suárez, Juana; Ticona, Andres; Vargas, Víctor J.; Venegas, Pablo J.; Sites Jr, Jack W.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Species delimitation studies based on integrative taxonomic approaches have received considerable attention in the last few years, and have provided the strongest hypotheses of species boundaries. We used three lines of evidence (molecular, morphological, and niche envelopes) to test for species boundaries in Peruvian populations of the Liolaemus walkeri complex. Our results show that different lines of evidence and analyses are congruent in different combinations, for unambiguous delimitation of three lineages that were “hidden” within known species, and now deserve species status. Our phylogenetic analysis shows that L. walkeri, L. tacnae and the three new species are strongly separated from other species assigned to the alticolor-bibronii group. Few conventional morphological characters distinguish the new species from closely related taxa and this highlights the need to integrate other sources of data to erect strong hypothesis of species limits. A taxonomic key for known Peruvian species of the subgenus Lioalemus is provided. PMID:24453545

  14. Molecular evolution of Bov-B LINEs in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Kordis, D; Gubensek, F

    1999-09-30

    Since their discovery in family Bovidae (bovids), Bov-B LINEs, believed to be order-specific SINEs, have been found in all ruminants and recently also in Viperidae snakes. The distribution and the evolutionary relationships of Bov-B LINEs provide an indication of their origin and evolutionary dynamics in different species. The evolutionary origin of Bov-B LINE elements has been shown unequivocally to be in Squamata (squamates). The horizontal transfer of Bov-B LINE elements in vertebrates has been confirmed by their discontinuous phylogenetic distribution in Squamata (Serpentes and two lizard infra-orders) as well as in Ruminantia, by the high level of nucleotide identity, and by their phylogenetic relationships. The direction of horizontal transfer from Squamata to the ancestor of Ruminantia is evident from the genetic distances and discontinuous phylogenetic distribution of Bov-B LINE elements. The ancestor of Colubroidea snakes has been recognized as a possible donor of Bov-B LINE elements to Ruminantia. The timing of horizontal transfer has been estimated from the distribution of Bov-B LINE elements in Ruminantia and the fossil data of Ruminantia to be 40-50 My ago. The phylogenetic relationships of Bov-B LINE elements from the various Squamata species agrees with that of the species phylogeny, suggesting that Bov-B LINE elements have been stably maintained by vertical transmission since the origin of Squamata in the Mesozoic era. PMID:10570995

  15. Unusual horizontal transfer of a long interspersed nuclear element between distant vertebrate classes.

    PubMed

    Kordis, D; Gubensek, F

    1998-09-01

    We have shown previously by Southern blot analysis that Bov-B long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs) are present in different Viperidae snake species. To address the question as to whether Bov-B LINEs really have been transmitted horizontally between vertebrate classes, the analysis has been extended to a larger number of vertebrate, invertebrate, and plant species. In this paper, the evolutionary origin of Bov-B LINEs is shown unequivocally to be in Squamata. The previously proposed horizontal transfer of Bov-B LINEs in vertebrates has been confirmed by their discontinuous phylogenetic distribution in Squamata (Serpentes and two lizard infra-orders) as well as in Ruminantia, by the high level of nucleotide identity, and by their phylogenetic relationships. The horizontal transfer of Bov-B LINEs from Squamata to the ancestor of Ruminantia is evident from the genetic distances and discontinuous phylogenetic distribution. The ancestor of Colubroidea snakes is a possible donor of Bov-B LINEs to Ruminantia. The timing of horizontal transfer has been estimated from the distribution of Bov-B LINEs in Ruminantia and the fossil data of Ruminantia to be 40-50 My ago. The phylogenetic relationships of Bov-B LINEs from the various Squamata species agrees with that of the species phylogeny, suggesting that Bov-B LINEs have been maintained stably by vertical transmission since the origin of Squamata in the Mesozoic era. PMID:9724768

  16. Horizontal transfer of non-LTR retrotransposons in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Kordis, D; Gubensek, F

    1999-01-01

    Since their discovery in family Bovidae (bovids), Bov-B LINEs, believed to be order-specific SINEs, have been found in all ruminants and recently also in Viperidae snakes. The distribution and the evolutionary relationships of Bov-B LINEs provide an indication of their origin and evolutionary dynamics in different species. The evolutionary origin of Bov-B LINE elements has been shown unequivocally to be in Squamata (squamates). The horizontal transfer of Bov-B LINE elements in vertebrates has been confirmed by their discontinuous phylogenetic distribution in Squamata (Serpentes and two lizard infra-orders) as well as in Ruminantia, by the high level of nucleotide identity, and by their phylogenetic relationships. The direction of horizontal transfer from Squamata to the ancestor of Ruminantia is evident from the genetic distances and discontinuous phylogenetic distribution of Bov-B LINE elements. The ancestral snake lineage (Boidae) has been recognized as a possible donor of Bov-B LINE elements to Ruminantia. The timing of horizontal transfer has been estimated from the distribution of Bov-B LINE elements in Ruminantia and the fossil data of Ruminantia to be 40-50 mya. The phylogenetic relationships of Bov-B LINE elements from the various Squamata species agrees with that of the species phylogeny, suggesting that Bov-B LINE elements have been stably maintained by vertical transmission since the origin of Squamata in the Mesozoic era. PMID:10952205

  17. The Knight and the King: two new species of giant bent-toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus, Gekkonidae, Squamata) from northern New Guinea, with comments on endemism in the North Papuan Mountains

    PubMed Central

    Oliver, Paul M.; Richards, Stephen J.; Mumpuni; Rösler, Herbert

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The diverse biota of New Guinea includes many nominally widespread species that actually comprise multiple deeply divergent lineages with more localised histories of evolution. Here we investigate the systematics of the very large geckos of the Cyrtodactylus novaeguineae complex using molecular and morphological data. These data reveal two widespread and divergent lineages that can be distinguished from each other, and from type material of Cyrtodactylus novaeguineae, by aspects of size, build, coloration and male scalation. On the basis of these differences we describe two new species. Both have wide distributions that overlap extensively in the foothill forests of the North Papuan Mountains, however one is seemingly restricted to hill and lower montane forests on the ranges themselves, while the other is more widespread throughout the surrounding lowlands. The taxon endemic to the North Papuan Mountains is related to an apparently lowland form currently known only from Waigeo and Batanta Island far to the west – hinting at a history on island arcs that accreted to form the North Papuan Mountains. PMID:27006624

  18. The Knight and the King: two new species of giant bent-toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus, Gekkonidae, Squamata) from northern New Guinea, with comments on endemism in the North Papuan Mountains.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Paul M; Richards, Stephen J; Mumpuni; Rösler, Herbert

    2016-01-01

    The diverse biota of New Guinea includes many nominally widespread species that actually comprise multiple deeply divergent lineages with more localised histories of evolution. Here we investigate the systematics of the very large geckos of the Cyrtodactylus novaeguineae complex using molecular and morphological data. These data reveal two widespread and divergent lineages that can be distinguished from each other, and from type material of Cyrtodactylus novaeguineae, by aspects of size, build, coloration and male scalation. On the basis of these differences we describe two new species. Both have wide distributions that overlap extensively in the foothill forests of the North Papuan Mountains, however one is seemingly restricted to hill and lower montane forests on the ranges themselves, while the other is more widespread throughout the surrounding lowlands. The taxon endemic to the North Papuan Mountains is related to an apparently lowland form currently known only from Waigeo and Batanta Island far to the west - hinting at a history on island arcs that accreted to form the North Papuan Mountains. PMID:27006624

  19. A new species of bent-toed gecko, genus Cyrtodactylus Gray, 1827 (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae), from Jawa Timur Province, Java, Indonesia, with taxonomic remarks on C. fumosus (Müller, 1895).

    PubMed

    Hartmann, Lukas; Mecke, Sven; Kieckbusch, Max; Mader, Felix; Kaiser, Hinrich

    2016-01-01

    A new species of the gekkonid lizard genus Cyrtodactylus Gray, 1827 is described from Klakah, Lumajang Regency, Jawa Timur Province, Java, Indonesia. Cyrtodactylus klakahensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from all other congeners by the presence of (1) a deep precloacal groove in males, (2) three rows of enlarged precloacofemoral scales, of which the third row bears 37-38 pores in males, (3) three or four rows of enlarged scales between the precloacofemoral scale rows and the cloaca, forming distinct chevrons, (4) raised and strongly keeled dorsal tubercles in 15-19 rows at midbody, (5) an indistinct lateral fold, (6) 17-20 subdigital lamellae under the 4th toe, and (7) subcaudal scales which are not transversely enlarged. Cyrtodactylus klakahensis sp. nov. is only the third bent-toed gecko species described from Java, indicating that the diversity of this genus on this island has been neglected in the past. Furthermore, we confirm that C. fumosus (Müller, 1895) is a species that possesses a precloacal groove in males and is most likely restricted to northern Sulawesi. That species is defined by a single female holotype (NMB-REPT 2662). Specimens in museum collections catalogued as C. fumosus from localities elsewhere are misidentified and likely represent undescribed species. PMID:27395895

  20. An inconspicuous, conspicuous new species of Asian pipesnake, genus Cylindrophis (Reptilia: Squamata: Cylindrophiidae), from the south coast of Jawa Tengah, Java, Indonesia, and an overview of the tangled taxonomic history of C. ruffus (Laurenti, 1768).

    PubMed

    Kieckbusch, Max; Mecke, Sven; Hartmann, Lukas; Ehrmantraut, Lisa; O'shea, Mark; Kaiser, Hinrich

    2016-01-01

    We describe a new species of Cylindrophis currently known only from Grabag, Purworejo Regency, Jawa Tengah Pro-vince (Central Java), Java, Indonesia. Cylindrophis subocularis sp. nov. can be distinguished from all congeners by the presence of a single, eponymous subocular scale between the 3rd and 4th or 4th and 5th supralabial, preventing contact between the 4th or 5th supralabial and the orbit, and by having the prefrontal in narrow contact with or separated from the orbit. We preface our description with a detailed account of the tangled taxonomic history of the similar and putatively wide-ranging species C. ruffus, which leads us to (1) remove the name Scytale scheuchzeri from the synonymy of C. ruffus, (2) list the taxon C. rufa var. javanica as species inquirenda, and (3) synonymize C. mirzae with C. ruffus. We provide additional evidence to confirm that the type locality of C. ruffus is Java. Cylindrophis subocularis sp. nov. is the second species of Asian pipesnake from Java. PMID:27394478

  1. Chromosomal evolution in the Brazilian geckos of the genus Gymnodactylus (Squamata, Phyllodactylidae) from the biomes of Cerrado, Caatinga and Atlantic rain forest: evidence of Robertsonian fusion events and supernumerary chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Pellegrino, K C M; dos Santos, R M L; Rodrigues, M T; Laguna, M M; Amaro, R C; Yonenaga-Yassuda, Y

    2009-01-01

    Chromosomes of the South American geckos Gymnodactylus amarali and G. geckoides from open and dry areas of the Cerrado and Caatinga biomes in Brazil, respectively, were studied for the first time, after conventional and AgNOR staining, CBG- and RBG-banding, and FISH with telomeric sequences. Comparative analyses between the karyotypes of open areas and the previously studied Atlantic forest species G. darwinii were also performed. The chromosomal polymorphisms detected in populations of G. amarali from the states of Goiás and Tocantins is the result of centric fusions (2n = 38, 39 and 40), suggesting a differentiation from a 2n = 40 ancestral karyotype and the presence of supernumerary chromosomes. The CBG- and RBG-banding patterns of the Bs are described. G. geckoides has 40 chromosomes with gradually decreasing sizes, but it is distinct from the 2n = 40 karyotypes of G. amarali and G. darwinii due to occurrence of pericentric inversions or centromere repositioning. NOR location seems to be a marker for Gymnodactylus, as G. amarali and G. geckoides share a medium-sized subtelocentric NOR-bearing pair, while G. darwinii has NORs at the secondary constriction of the long arm of pair 1. The comparative analyses indicate a non-random nature of the Robertsonian rearrangements in the genus Gymnodactylus. PMID:20215729

  2. The association of Triatoma maculata (Ericsson 1848) with the gecko Thecadactylus rapicauda (Houttuyn 1782) (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae): a strategy of domiciliation of the Chagas disease peridomestic vector in Venezuela?

    PubMed Central

    Reyes-Lugo, M; Reyes-Contreras, M; Salvi, I; Gelves, W; Avilán, A; Llavaneras, D; Navarrete, LF; Cordero, G; Sánchez, EE; Rodríguez-Acosta, A

    2011-01-01

    Objective To investigate the bioecological relationship between Chagas disease peridomestic vectors and reptiles as source of feeding. Methods In a three-story building, triatomines were captured by direct search and electric vacuum cleaner search in and outside the building. Then, age structure of the captured Triatoma maculata (T. maculata) were identified and recorded. Reptiles living in sympatric with the triatomines were also searched. Results T. maculata were found living sympatric with geckos (Thecadactylus rapicauda) and they bit residents of the apartment building in study. A total of 1 448 individuals of T. maculata were captured within three days, of which 74.2% (1 074 eggs) were eggs, 21.5% were nymphs at different stages, and 4.3% were adults. Conclusions The association of T. maculata and T. rapicauda is an effective strategy of colonizing dwellings located in the vicinity of the habitat where both species are present; and therefore, could have implications of high importance in the intradomiciliary transmission of Chagas disease. PMID:23569775

  3. Divergence and long-distance overseas dispersals of island populations of the Ryukyu five-lined skink, Plestiodon marginatus (Scincidae: Squamata), in the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan, as revealed by mitochondrial DNA phylogeography.

    PubMed

    Kurita, Kazuki; Hikida, Tsutomu

    2014-04-01

    We assessed the historical biogeography of the Ryukyu five-lined skink, Plestiodon marginatus, and related species (P. stimpsonii and P. elegans). Our specific aims were to reveal the origin, tim- ing, and route of the colonization to three volcanic islands in the northern Tokara Group of the northern Ryukyus: Kuchinoshima, Nakanoshima, and Suwanosejima. We conducted phylogenetic analyses and divergence time estimation using a partial sequence of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene for P. marginatus collected from across its whole range (the northern and central Ryukyus), and for P. stimpsonii (from the Yaeyama Group of the southern Ryukyus) and P. elegans (from Taiwan). Our results suggest three major clades (A, B, and C). Clades A and B consist of P. marginatus, excluding the Kuchinoshima population, and Clade C consisted of the Kuchinoshima population, P. stimpsonii, and P. elegans. These clades are estimated to have diverged during the Late Miocene to the Late Pliocene. Among the three examined northern Tokara populations, the Kuchinoshima population was shown to be a sister group of P. stimpsonii. The two other populations from Nakanoshima and Suwanosejima Islands were closely related to P. marginatus from the northern part of the Okinawa Group and that from Kodakarajima Island in the southern Tokara Group, respectively. These populations are estimated to have diverged from their respective related spe cies in various ages of the Early to Late Pleistocene, suggesting that they colonized the islands by independent overseas dispersals of approximately 50-850 km via the Kuroshio Current. Taxonomic implications for P. marginatus are also discussed. PMID:24694220

  4. The missing leopard lizard: Liolaemus ubaghsi sp. nov., a new species of the leopardinus clade (Reptilia: Squamata: Liolaemidae) from the Andes of the O'Higgins Region in Chile.

    PubMed

    Esquerré, Damien; Troncoso-Palacios, Jaime; Garín, Carlos F; Núnez, Herman

    2014-01-01

    Liolaemus is an extremely species rich genus of iguanid lizards from southern South America. Most of the diversity though is found in the Andes Cordillera, between Argentina and Chile. Here we describe Liolaemus ubaghsi sp. nov., from El Teniente Mine, in the Andean mountains of the O'Higgins Region in Chile. This species presents scalation and pattern traits that belong to the leopardinus clade, a group of viviparous, high altitude lizards that inhabit the mountain ranges surrounding Santiago City. The species of this clade in turn belong to the Andean and Patagonian elongatus-kriegi complex. Liolaemus ubaghsi sp. nov. has been previously recognized as L. leopardinus and L. elongatus, nevertheless we present diagnostic traits that allow us to describe it as a new species. It mainly differs from the rest of the leopardinus clade (L. leopardinus, L. ramonensis, L. valdesianus and L. frassinettii) by having the following unique combination of traits: ochre background coloration, a wide dark occipital stripe, dark flanks, white dots dispersed on the dorsum, absence of leopard-like spots and enlarged infralabial scales.  PMID:24943631

  5. Lost in the middle of the sea, found in the back of the shelf: A new giant species of Trachylepis (Squamata: Scincidae) from Tinhosa Grande islet, Gulf of Guinea.

    PubMed

    Ceríaco, Luis M P

    2015-01-01

    A new species of Trachylepis is described from Tinhosa Grande islet, São Tomé e Príncipe, Gulf of Guinea. Tinhosa Grande islet is a small (20.5 ha), isolated desert islet used by several bird communities as a nesting place. The new species is distinguished from its congeners by its color pattern, size and lepidosis. Due to its limited geographical distribution the new species appears to be one of the most vulnerable vertebrate species on the planet. In this study we provide a brief discussion on the natural history of the new species, as well as conservation concerns and suggestions. PMID:26249874

  6. Systematics of small Gehyra (Squamata: Gekkonidae) of the southern Kimberley, Western Australia: redescription of G. kimberleyi Börner & Schüttler, 1983 and description of a new restricted range species.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Paul M; Bourke, Gayleen; Pratt, Renae C; Doughty, Paul; Moritz, Craig

    2016-01-01

    Ongoing fieldwork and molecular research continues to reveal that the monsoonal tropics of northern Australia contain more vertebrate species than currently recognised. Here we focus on two morphologically distinctive, yet unrecognised forms in the genus Gehyra from the southern Kimberley region and surrounding deserts. We base our descriptions on a combination of unpublished genetic data and a morphological examination of voucher specimens. We recognise and redescribe G. kimberleyi, a species with a broad distribution extending over most of the south-west Kimberley, across the Great Sandy Desert and into the far northern Pilbara. This species has been previously assigned to G. pilbara owing to its frequent occurrence on termite mounds and short snout, but can be distinguished from G. pilbara and other regionally sympatric Gehyra by its moderate body size, moderate number of pre-cloacal pores in males (12-17) and aspects of dorsal colouration. We also describe G. girloorloo sp. nov., a small rock-dwelling species with a short snout, low number of pre-cloacal pores in males (8-11) and pinkish-grey dorsal colouration with alternating series of indistinct pale spots and irregular transversely-aligned dark blotches. The new species appears to be restricted to a relatively small region of exposed limestone karst in the south-west Kimberley and is entirely circumscribed by morphologically similar congeners. PMID:27394804

  7. Cryptic diversity and morphological convergence in threatened species of fossorial skinks in the genus Scelotes (Squamata: Scincidae) from the Western Cape Coast of South Africa: implications for species boundaries, digit reduction and conservation.

    PubMed

    Heideman, Neil J L; Mulcahy, Daniel G; Sites, Jack W; Hendricks, Martin G J; Daniels, Savel R

    2011-12-01

    We investigated the evolutionary relationships among populations of two threatened Red Data Book fossorial skinks, Scelotes gronovii and Scelotes kasneri, along the Western Cape Coast of South Africa. The genus Scelotes shows considerable variation in limb and digit reduction. We sampled four localities purported to contain S. gronovii and seven of S. kasneri, encompassing all of each species' limited distribution. Each of these species lack forelimbs, and differ by the number of digits on the hind limbs, among other morphological characters; S. gronovii bears a single digit and S. kasneri bears two digits on the hind limbs. Sequence data obtained from three mtDNA (16S ribosomal RNA, cytochrome b, and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide dehydrogenase 1 unit; 2035 bp ttl.) and two nuclear (dynein axonemal heavy chain 3 and the natural killer tumor recognition; 1848 bp ttl.) gene regions were used to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships among the two focal species and several other co-distributed species (Scelotes bipes, Scelotes montispectus, and Scelotes sexlineatus). Phylogenetic results (Bayesian and parsimony) revealed that several populations previously considered S. kasneri actually belong to other species, and others are paraphyletic with respect to one another. Additionally, populations of S. gronovii were also found to be paraphyletic, with populations south of the Berg River supported as sister to S. bipes, and populations north of the Berg River sister the remaining sampled species. Our results require a redefinition of S. sexlineatus to encompass populations morphologically convergent with S. kasneri and restrict the ranges of the already threatened S. kasneri and S. gronovii even further. The paraphyly of S. gronovii and the placement of each clade as sister to clades of species bearing two digits on the hind limbs suggests that digit loss has occurred at least twice in this group. PMID:21907812

  8. Applying n-dimensional hypervolumes for species delimitation: unexpected molecular, morphological, and ecological diversity in the Leaf-Toed Gecko Phyllodactylus reissii Peters, 1862 (Squamata: Phyllodactylidae) from northern Peru.

    PubMed

    Koch, Claudia; Flecks, Morris; Venegas, Pablo J; Bialke, Patrick; Valverde, Sebastian; Rödder, Dennis

    2016-01-01

    An integrative taxonomic approach based on morphology, molecular analyses, and climatic niche modeling was used to uncover cryptic diversity in the phyllodactylid gecko species Phyllodactylus reissii. At least three distinct species could be identified among the examined specimens from southern Ecuador and northern Peru. Phyllodactylus magister, described by Noble (1924) from arid Andean valleys of the Chinchipe and Marañón rivers in the Peruvian Department of Cajamarca and synonymized with P. reissii by Dixon & Huey (1970) is elevated from synonymy and a detailed redescription is provided. A new species of the genus Phyllodactylus from the Andean dry forest of the southern Marañón valley is identified and described herein. Phyllodactylus pachamama sp. nov. is differentiated from other South American congeners on the basis of mtDNA sequence divergence, morphological characters, and differences in the realized climatic niche. At least in Peru, P. reissii seems to primarily inhabit the northern coastal region west of the Andes, while the inter-Andean area along the Río Marañón and its tributaries seems to be inhabited mostly by other species of the genus, which are endemic to this area. The Andean valleys are underestimated in terms of biodiversity and lack thorough investigation and conservation actions. PMID:27615910

  9. The amphisbaenian ear: Blanus cinereus and Diplometopon zarudnyi.

    PubMed

    Gans, C; Wever, E G

    1975-04-01

    Observations on the structure and function of the ear in amphisbaenians have been extended to two new species: to Blanus cinereus of the family Amphisbaenidae and Diplometopon zarudnyi of the family Trogonophidae. Blanus, considered one of the most primitive of this group of reptiles, shows a distinctive form of sound-receptive mechanism. The usual extracolumella is lacking, and the columella attaches to a cartilaginous plate beneath the skin posterior to the facial area. Diplometopon zarudnyi, a highly modified trogonophid, shows a columella and extracolumella of massive dimensions, with considerable calcification of the latter process. Cochlear potential measurements revealed the levels of auditory sensitivity in these species. A peculiar feature is the degree of stability of the ear's responses in the presence of large variations in body temperature. PMID:1055420

  10. The Evolutionary Implications of Hemipenial Morphology of Rattlesnake Crotalus durissus terrificus (Laurent, 1768) (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae)

    PubMed Central

    Porto, Marcovan; de Oliveira, Marco Antonio; Pissinatti, Lorenzo; Rodrigues, Renata Lopes; Rojas-Moscoso, Julio Alejandro; Cogo, José Carlos; Metze, Konradin; Antunes, Edson; Nahoum, César; Mónica, Fabíola Z.; De Nucci, Gilberto

    2013-01-01

    Most amniotes vertebrates have an intromittent organ to deliver semen. The reptile Sphenodon and most birds lost the ancestral penis and developed a cloaca-cloaca mating. Known as hemipenises, the copulatory organ of Squamata shows unique features between the amniotes intromittent organ. They are the only paired intromittent organs across amniotes and are fully inverted and encapsulated in the tail when not in use. The histology and ultrastructure of the hemipenes of Crotalus durissus rattlesnake is described as the evolutionary implications of the main features discussed. The organization of hemipenis of Crotalus durissus terrificus in two concentric corpora cavernosa is similar to other Squamata but differ markedly from the organization of the penis found in crocodilians, testudinata, birds and mammals. Based on the available data, the penis of the ancestral amniotes was made of connective tissue and the incorporation of smooth muscle in the framework of the sinusoids occurred independently in mammals and Crotalus durissus. The propulsor action of the muscle retractor penis basalis was confirmed and therefore the named should be changed to musculus hemipenis propulsor.The retractor penis magnus found in Squamata has no homology to the retractor penis of mammals, although both are responsible for the retraction of the copulatory organ. PMID:23840551

  11. Amblyomma dissimile Koch (Acari: Ixodidae) attacking Primolius maracana Vieillot (Psittaciformes: Psittacidae) in the Amazon region, State of Pará, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Scofield, A; Bahia, M; Martins, A L; Góes-Cavalcante, G; Martins, T F; Labruna, M B

    2011-01-01

    The tick Amblyomma dissimile Koch feeds preferentially on reptiles (Squamata), although amphibians (Anura) also seem to be important hosts. We report an A. dissimile nymph infesting a blue-winged macaw, Primolius maracana, held in captivity in the Mangal das Garças Park, State of Pará, Brazil. Environmental observations suggest that free-living iguanas (Iguana iguana), which used to walk on the bird enclosure in the park, were the source of the A. dissimile tick that infested the blue-winged macaw. We provide the second world record of a bird host for A. dissimile, and the first bird record for this species in South America. PMID:21952971

  12. New species of Parapharyngodon (Nematoda: Pharyngodonidae) in Phymaturus spp. (Iguania: Liolaemidae) from Argentina.

    PubMed

    Ramallo, Geraldine; Bursey, Charles; Castillo, Gabriel; Acosta, Juan Carlos

    2016-09-01

    Parapharyngodon sanjuanensis sp. nov. (Nematoda: Pharyngodonidae) from the large intestines of Phymaturus punae and Phymaturus williamsi (Squamata: Liolaemidae) from province of San Juan, Argentina, is described and illustrated. Parapharyngodon sanjuanensis sp. nov. is the 54th species assigned to the genus and the 8th from the Neotropical region. It differs from other species in the genus in that males possess 8 caudal papillae, 6 of which are large and pedunculate, 2 are small, almost inconspicuous; anterior lip echinate, posterior lip bilobate; females possess prominent vulva and short stiff tail spike. PMID:27447208

  13. Integration of molecules and new fossils supports a Triassic origin for Lepidosauria (lizards, snakes, and tuatara)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Lepidosauria (lizards, snakes, tuatara) is a globally distributed and ecologically important group of over 9,000 reptile species. The earliest fossil records are currently restricted to the Late Triassic and often dated to 227 million years ago (Mya). As these early records include taxa that are relatively derived in their morphology (e.g. Brachyrhinodon), an earlier unknown history of Lepidosauria is implied. However, molecular age estimates for Lepidosauria have been problematic; dates for the most recent common ancestor of all lepidosaurs range between approximately 226 and 289 Mya whereas estimates for crown-group Squamata (lizards and snakes) vary more dramatically: 179 to 294 Mya. This uncertainty restricts inferences regarding the patterns of diversification and evolution of Lepidosauria as a whole. Results Here we report on a rhynchocephalian fossil from the Middle Triassic of Germany (Vellberg) that represents the oldest known record of a lepidosaur from anywhere in the world. Reliably dated to 238–240 Mya, this material is about 12 million years older than previously known lepidosaur records and is older than some but not all molecular clock estimates for the origin of lepidosaurs. Using RAG1 sequence data from 76 extant taxa and the new fossil specimens two of several calibrations, we estimate that the most recent common ancestor of Lepidosauria lived at least 242 Mya (238–249.5), and crown-group Squamata originated around 193 Mya (176–213). Conclusion A Early/Middle Triassic date for the origin of Lepidosauria disagrees with previous estimates deep within the Permian and suggests the group evolved as part of the faunal recovery after the end-Permain mass extinction as the climate became more humid. Our origin time for crown-group Squamata coincides with shifts towards warmer climates and dramatic changes in fauna and flora. Most major subclades within Squamata originated in the Cretaceous postdating major continental fragmentation. The

  14. An Amphisbaenian Skull from the European Miocene and the Evolution of Mediterranean Worm Lizards

    PubMed Central

    Bolet, Arnau; Delfino, Massimo; Fortuny, Josep; Almécija, Sergio; Robles, Josep M.; Alba, David M.

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of blanid amphisbaenians (Mediterranean worm lizards) is mainly inferred based on molecular studies, despite their fossils are common in Cenozoic European localities. This is because the fossil record exclusively consists in isolated elements of limited taxonomic value. We describe the only known fossil amphisbaenian skull from Europe – attributed to Blanus mendezi sp. nov. (Amphisbaenia, Blanidae) – which represents the most informative fossil blanid material ever described. This specimen, from the Middle Miocene of Abocador de Can Mata (11.6 Ma, MN7+8) in the Vallès-Penedès Basin (Catalonia, NE Iberian Peninsula), unambiguously asserts the presence of Blanus in the Miocene of Europe. This reinforces the referral to this genus of the previously-known, much more incomplete and poorly-diagnostic material from other localities of the European Neogene. Our analysis – integrating the available molecular, paleontological and biogeographic data – suggests that the new species postdates the divergence between the two main (Eastern and Western Mediterranean) extant clades of blanids, and probably precedes the split between the Iberian and North-Western African subclades. This supports previous paleobiogeographic scenarios for blanid evolution and provides a significant minimum divergence time for calibrating molecular analyses of blanid phylogeny. PMID:24896828

  15. Ultrastructural differentiation of sperm tail region in Diplometopon zarudnyi (an amphisbaenian reptile)

    PubMed Central

    Al-Dokhi, O.; Mukhtar, Ahmed; Al-Dosary, A.; Al-Sadoon, M.K.

    2015-01-01

    Diplometopon zarudnyi, a worm lizard belongs to amphisbaenia under trogonophidae family. This species exists in limited areas of the Arabian Peninsula and is an oscillating digger found in sub-surface soils. The present study aimed to investigate the sperm tail differentiation in D. zarudnyi. Ten male adults of D. zarudnyi were collected from Riyadh during April–May 2011. To study the sperm tail at the ultrastructural level the testes were fixed in 3% glutaraldehyde, than post fixed in 1% osmium tetaroxide followed by dehydration in ethanol grades; samples were cleared in propylene oxide and embedded in resin. Tail formation begins by the moving of centrioles and mitochondria towards the posterior pole of sperm head. Simultaneously many microtubules of the midpiece axoneme were enclosed by a thick layer of granular material. Mitochondria of midpiece lie alongside the proximal centriole which forms a very short neck region and possess tubular cristae internally and concentric layers of cristae superficially. During this course a fibrous sheath surrounds the axoneme of mid and principal piece. At the end dissolution of longitudinal manchette takes place. The mitochondria then rearrange themselves around the proximal and distal centrioles to form a neck region. Later, the fibrous sheath surrounds the proximal portion of the flagella. This part along with sperm head of D. zarudnyi provides a classical model that could be used in future for evolutionary and phylogenetic purposes of class reptilia. PMID:26155090

  16. Molecular evolution of HoxA13 and the multiple origins of limbless morphologies in amphibians and reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Singarete, Marina E.; Grizante, Mariana B.; Milograna, Sarah R.; Nery, Mariana F.; Kin, Koryu; Wagner, Günter P.; Kohlsdorf, Tiana

    2015-01-01

    Developmental processes and their results, morphological characters, are inherited through transmission of genes regulating development. While there is ample evidence that cis-regulatory elements tend to be modular, with sequence segments dedicated to different roles, the situation for proteins is less clear, being particularly complex for transcription factors with multiple functions. Some motifs mediating protein-protein interactions may be exclusive to particular developmental roles, but it is also possible that motifs are mostly shared among different processes. Here we focus on HoxA13, a protein essential for limb development. We asked whether the HoxA13 amino acid sequence evolved similarly in three limbless clades: Gymnophiona, Amphisbaenia and Serpentes. We explored variation in ω (dN/dS) using a maximum-likelihood framework and HoxA13sequences from 47 species. Comparisons of evolutionary models provided low ω global values and no evidence that HoxA13 experienced relaxed selection in limbless clades. Branch-site models failed to detect evidence for positive selection acting on any site along branches of Amphisbaena and Gymnophiona, while three sites were identified in Serpentes. Examination of alignments did not reveal consistent sequence differences between limbed and limbless species. We conclude that HoxA13 has no modules exclusive to limb development, which may be explained by its involvement in multiple developmental processes. PMID:26500429

  17. Molecular characterization of thyroid hormone receptors from the leopard gecko, and their differential expression in the skin.

    PubMed

    Kanaho, Yoh-Ichiro; Endo, Daisuke; Park, Min Kyun

    2006-06-01

    Thyroid hormones (THs) play crucial roles in various developmental and physiological processes in vertebrates, including squamate reptiles. The effect of THs on shedding frequency is interesting in Squamata, since the effects on lizards are quite the reverse of those in snakes: injection of thyroxine increases shedding frequency in lizards, but decreases it in snakes. However, the mechanism underlying this differential effect remains unclear. To facilitate the investigation of the molecular mechanism of the physiological functions of THs in Squamata, their two specific receptor (TRalpha and beta) cDNAs, which are members of the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily, were cloned from a lizard, the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius. This is the first molecular cloning of thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) from reptiles. The deduced amino acid sequences showed high identity with those of other species, especially in the C and E/F domains, which are characteristic domains in nuclear hormone receptors. Expression analysis revealed that TRs were widely expressed in many tissues and organs, as in other animals. To analyze their role in the skin, temporal expression analysis was performed by RT-PCR, revealing that the two TRs had opposing expression patterns: TRalpha was expressed more strongly after than before skin shedding, whereas TRbeta was expressed more strongly before than after skin shedding. This provides good evidence that THs play important roles in the skin, and that the roles of their two receptor isoforms are distinct from each other. PMID:16849843

  18. A review of Chilean chiggers (Acari: Trombiculidae), with the description of a new genus and ten new species.

    PubMed

    Stekolnikov, Alexandr A; González-Acuña, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    A new genus and species of chigger mites, Diaguitacarus choapensis gen. et sp. nov., is described from four lizard species of the genus Liolaemus in Choapa Province of Chile. Eight new chigger species are described from lizards of the genera Liolaemus, Phymaturus (Squamata: Liolaemidae), and Microlophus (Squamata: Tropiduridae), in Arica and Parinacota, Atacama, Coquimbo, Valparaíso, and Biobío Regions: Eutrombicula nerudai sp. nov., Eutrombicula mistrali sp. nov., Eutrombicula picunche sp. nov., Microtrombicula mapuche sp. nov., Parasecia molini sp. nov., Paratrombicula philippii sp. nov., Morelacarus jorgei sp. nov., and Morelacarus camanchaca sp. nov. A new species Proschoengastia antarctica sp. nov., which is described from American mink Neovison vison on Navarino Island (Region of Magallanes and Antártica Chilena), is the most southerly chigger species, found at the distance of about 1000 km from the continent of Antarctica. Whartonacarus chaetosus (Brennan and Jones, 1961) comb. nov., which was described from Peru, is for the first time recorded in Chile (Atacama Region) and on Microlophus atacamensis. A new combination Proschoengastia macrochaeta (Brennan and Jones, 1961) comb. nov. is established. The genus Morelacarus Vercammen-Grandjean, 1973 previously known from Mexico and southwestern USA is for the first time recorded in Chile. A review of all previously described Chilean chiggers and a key to Eutrombicula species from Chile are provided. In all, 22 species from 13 genera were recorded in Chile, of which only one species (Whartonacarus chaetosus) is known outside the country. PMID:26249418

  19. A gravid lizard from the Cretaceous of China and the early history of squamate viviparity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yuan; Evans, Susan E.

    2011-09-01

    Although viviparity is most often associated with mammals, roughly one fifth of extant squamate reptiles give birth to live young. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that the trait evolved more than 100 times within Squamata, a frequency greater than that of all other vertebrate clades combined. However, there is debate as to the antiquity of the trait and, until now, the only direct fossil evidence of squamate viviparity was in Late Cretaceous mosasauroids, specialised marine lizards without modern equivalents. Here, we document viviparity in a specimen of a more generalised lizard, Yabeinosaurus, from the Early Cretaceous of China. The gravid female contains more than 15 young at a level of skeletal development corresponding to that of late embryos of living viviparous lizards. This specimen documents the first occurrence of viviparity in a fossil reptile that was largely terrestrial in life, and extends the temporal distribution of the trait in squamates by at least 30 Ma. As Yabeinosaurus occupies a relatively basal position within crown-group squamates, it suggests that the anatomical and physiological preconditions for viviparity arose early within Squamata.

  20. Does beach nourishment have long-term effects on intertidal macroinvertebrate species abundance?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leewis, Lies; van Bodegom, Peter M.; Rozema, Jelte; Janssen, Gerard M.

    2012-11-01

    Coastal squeeze is the largest threat for sandy coastal areas. To mitigate seaward threats, erosion and sea level rise, sand nourishment is commonly applied. However, its long-term consequences for macroinvertebrate fauna, critical to most ecosystem services of sandy coasts, are still unknown. Seventeen sandy beaches - nourished and controls - were sampled along a chronosequence to investigate the abundance of four dominant macrofauna species and their relations with nourishment year and relevant coastal environmental variables. Dean's parameter and latitude significantly explained the abundance of the spionid polychaete Scolelepis squamata, Beach Index (BI), sand skewness, beach slope and latitude explained the abundance of the amphipod Haustorius arenarius and Relative Tide Range (RTR), recreation and sand sorting explained the abundance of Bathyporeia sarsi. For Eurydice pulchra, no environmental variable explained its abundance. For H. arenarius, E. pulchra and B. sarsi, there was no relation with nourishment year, indicating that recovery took place within a year after nourishment. Scolelepis squamata initially profited from the nourishment with "over-recolonisation". This confirms its role as an opportunistic species, thereby altering the initial community structure on a beach after nourishment. We conclude that the responses of the four dominant invertebrates studied in the years following beach nourishment are species specific. This shows the importance of knowing the autecology of the sandy beach macroinvertebrate fauna in order to be able to mitigate the effects of beach nourishment and other environmental impacts.

  1. A new squamate lizard from the Upper Cretaceous Adamantina Formation (Bauru Group), São Paulo State, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Nava, William R; Martinelli, Agustín G

    2011-03-01

    The record of non-mosasaur squamates (Reptilia, Squamata) is sparse in the Cretaceus fossil record of Brazil and include six putative reports, three from the Aptian-Albian of the Araripe Basin (Tijubina pontei Bonfim-Júnior and Marques, Olindalacerta brasiliensis Evans and Yabumoto, and a lizard indet.) and three from the Upper Cretaceous of the Bauru Group (Pristiguana brasiliensis Estes and Price, Anilioidae gen. et sp. indet., and Squamata gen. et sp. indet.). In this contribution, a new genus and species of lizard, Brasiliguana prudentis gen. et sp. nov., is described based on an isolated left maxilla with teeth. The material was discovered in an outcrop of the Upper Cretaceous Adamantina Formation (Bauru Group) located in the proximity of Presidente Prudente Municipality, São Paulo State, Brazil. The new taxon is considered a basal non-Priscagamidae+Acrodonta iguanian based on the presence of a weakly inclined anterior margin of the maxillary nasal process and maxillary tooth shape and tooth implantation similar to that of iguanians rather than of other lizard groups (e.g. teiids). This finding significantly increases the squamate lizard diversity of South America, which is still poorly understood and sparsely represented in the fossil record. PMID:21437386

  2. A new hypothesis of squamate evolutionary relationships from nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequence data

    SciTech Connect

    Townsend, Ted M.; Larson, Allan; Louis, Edward; Macey, J. Robert

    2004-05-19

    Squamate reptiles serve as model systems for evolutionary studies of a variety of morphological and behavioral traits, and phylogeny is crucial to many generalizations derived from such studies. Specifically, the traditional dichotomy between Iguania and Scleroglossa has been correlated with major evolutionary shifts within Squamata. We present a molecular phylogenetic study of squamates using DNA sequence data from the nuclear genes RAG-1 and c-mos and the mitochondrial ND2 region, sampling all major clades and most major subclades. Monophyly of Iguania, Anguimorpha, and almost all currently recognized squamate families is strongly supported. However, monophyly is rejected for Scleroglossa, Varanoidea, and several other higher taxa, and Iguania is highly nested within Squamata. Limblessness evolved independently in snakes, dibamids, and amphisbaenians, suggesting widespread morphological convergence or parallelism in limbless, burrowing forms. Amphisbaenians are the sister group of lacertids, and snakes are grouped with iguanians and anguimorphs. Dibamids diverged early in squamate evolutionary history. Xantusiidae is the sister taxon of Cordylidae. Studies of functional tongue morphology and feeding mode have found significant differences between Scleroglossa and Iguania, and our finding of a nonmonophyletic Scleroglossa and a highly nested Iguania suggest that similar states evolved separately in Sphenodon and Iguania, and that jaw prehension is the ancestral feeding mode in squamates.

  3. Histology of the Skin of Three Limbless Squamates Dwelling in Mesic and Arid Environments.

    PubMed

    Allam, Ahmed A; Daza, Juan D; Abo-Eleneen, Rasha E

    2016-07-01

    The skin of limbless squamates has an increased contact with the substrate compared with limbed counterparts. Comparatively, the contact with the substrate is intensified in fossorial species, where the whole circumference of the body interacts with the soil during underground locomotion. Although fossoriality in Squamata, specifically lizards and snakes, has been studied ecologically and morphologically (e.g., osteological changes), not enough detail is yet available regarding changes in organs critical for underground lifestyle such as the skin. Here we used histological and microscopical techniques (scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy) to uncover the structural detail of the epidermis and dermis in three limbless reptiles, the amphisbaenian Diplometopon zarudnyi, and two snakes, Indotyphlops braminus (Typhlopidae) and Cerastes cerastes (Viperidae). The skin of these taxa shows pronounced morphological diversity, which is likely associated to different environmental and functional demands upon these reptiles. Anat Rec, 299:979-989, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27111253

  4. The Origin, Early History and Diversification of Lepidosauromorph Reptiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Susan E.; Jones, Marc E. H.

    The reptilian group Lepidosauria diversified through the Mesozoic, survived the end-Cretaceous extinction relatively unscathed, and has more than 7,000 living species. Although originally constituted as a "waste-bin" for non-archosaurian diapsids, modern definitions limit Lepidosauria to its two constituent groups, Rhynchocephalia and Squamata, and their most recent common ancestor. To date, the earliest known lepidosaurs are from the Late Triassic (Carnian) of Europe and India, but their derived morphology provides indirect evidence of a longer, unrecorded, history. Rhynchocephalians and squamates probably diverged in the Early-Middle Triassic, and new material from the Early Triassic of Poland sheds some light on their common ancestor. The roots of Lepidosauria may extend into the Palaeozoic, but there are critical gaps in the fossil record.

  5. Biochemical Characterization, Action on Macrophages, and Superoxide Anion Production of Four Basic Phospholipases A2 from Panamanian Bothrops asper Snake Venom

    PubMed Central

    Rueda, Aristides Quintero; Rodríguez, Isela González; Arantes, Eliane C.; Setúbal, Sulamita S.; Calderon, Leonardo de A.; Zuliani, Juliana P.; Stábeli, Rodrigo G.; Soares, Andreimar M.

    2013-01-01

    Bothrops asper (Squamata: Viperidae) is the most important venomous snake in Central America, being responsible for the majority of snakebite accidents. Four basic PLA2s (pMTX-I to -IV) were purified from crude venom by a single-step chromatography using a CM-Sepharose ion-exchange column (1.5 × 15 cm). Analysis of the N-terminal sequence demonstrated that pMTX-I and III belong to the catalytically active Asp49 phospholipase A2 subclass, whereas pMTX-II and IV belong to the enzymatically inactive Lys49 PLA2s-like subclass. The PLA2s isolated from Panama Bothrops asper venom (pMTX-I, II, III, and IV) are able to induce myotoxic activity, inflammatory reaction mainly leukocyte migration to the muscle, and induce J774A.1 macrophages activation to start phagocytic activity and superoxide production. PMID:23509779

  6. Mass extinction of lizards and snakes at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Longrich, Nicholas R.; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S.; Gauthier, Jacques A.

    2012-12-01

    The Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary is marked by a major mass extinction, yet this event is thought to have had little effect on the diversity of lizards and snakes (Squamata). A revision of fossil squamates from the Maastrichtian and Paleocene of North America shows that lizards and snakes suffered a devastating mass extinction coinciding with the Chicxulub asteroid impact. Species-level extinction was 83%, and the K-Pg event resulted in the elimination of many lizard groups and a dramatic decrease in morphological disparity. Survival was associated with small body size and perhaps large geographic range. The recovery was prolonged; diversity did not approach Cretaceous levels until 10 My after the extinction, and resulted in a dramatic change in faunal composition. The squamate fossil record shows that the end-Cretaceous mass extinction was far more severe than previously believed, and underscores the role played by mass extinctions in driving diversification.

  7. Novel snake papillomavirus does not cluster with other non-mammalian papillomaviruses

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Papillomaviruses (PVs) are associated with the development of neoplasias and have been found in several different species, most of them in humans and other mammals. We identified, cloned and sequenced PV DNA from pigmented papilloma-like lesions of a diamond python (Morelia spilota spilota). This represents the first complete PV genome discovered in a Squamata host (MsPV1). It consists of 7048 nt and contains the characteristic open reading (ORF) frames E6, E7, E1, E2, L1 and L2. The L1 ORF sequence showed the highest percentage of sequence identities to human PV5 (57.9%) and Caribbean manatee (Trichechus manatus) PV1 (55.4%), thus, establishing a new clade. According to phylogenetic analysis, the MsPV1 genome clusters with PVs of mammalian rather than sauropsid hosts. PMID:21910860

  8. Two new Japanese species of Gastrotricha (Chaetonotida, Chaetonotidae, Lepidodermella and Dichaeturidae, Dichaetura), with Comments on the Diversity of Gastrotrichs in Rice Paddies.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Takahito G; Maeda, Masako; Furuya, Hidetaka

    2013-01-01

    Two new species of freshwater gastrotrichs are described from rice paddies in Otsu, Shiga, Japan. Lepidodermella acantholepida n. sp. is a medium sized species attaining a length of 145 microum, scales are flattened ovals and similar to those of L. squamata except that two dorsal scales near the furca have a claw-like spine. Dichaeturafilispina n. sp. is a medium sized species attaining a length of 185 microm, characterized by a thin, fiber-like spine, a spined furca with a constriction near its base and an elongate body. A total of 44 species (seven genera) including two new species were found in the rice paddies. The diversity of rice paddy gastrotrichs is briefly discussed. PMID:26167579

  9. Mass extinction of lizards and snakes at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary

    PubMed Central

    Longrich, Nicholas R.; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S.; Gauthier, Jacques A.

    2012-01-01

    The Cretaceous–Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary is marked by a major mass extinction, yet this event is thought to have had little effect on the diversity of lizards and snakes (Squamata). A revision of fossil squamates from the Maastrichtian and Paleocene of North America shows that lizards and snakes suffered a devastating mass extinction coinciding with the Chicxulub asteroid impact. Species-level extinction was 83%, and the K-Pg event resulted in the elimination of many lizard groups and a dramatic decrease in morphological disparity. Survival was associated with small body size and perhaps large geographic range. The recovery was prolonged; diversity did not approach Cretaceous levels until 10 My after the extinction, and resulted in a dramatic change in faunal composition. The squamate fossil record shows that the end-Cretaceous mass extinction was far more severe than previously believed, and underscores the role played by mass extinctions in driving diversification. PMID:23236177

  10. Contributions to the knowledge of amphibians and reptiles from Volta Grande do Xingu, northern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Vaz-Silva, W; Oliveira, R M; Gonzaga, A F N; Pinto, K C; Poli, F C; Bilce, T M; Penhacek, M; Wronski, L; Martins, J X; Junqueira, T G; Cesca, L C C; Guimarães, V Y; Pinheiro, R D

    2015-08-01

    The region of Volta Grande do Xingu River, in the state of Pará, presents several kinds of land use ranging from extensive cattle farming to agroforestry, and deforestation. Currently, the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Power Plant affects the region. We present a checklist of amphibians and reptiles of the region and discuss information regarding the spatial distribution of the assemblies based on results of Environmental Programmes conducted in the area. We listed 109 amphibian (Anura, Caudata, and Gymnophiona) and 150 reptile (Squamata, Testudines, and Crocodylia) species. The regional species richness is still considered underestimated, considering the taxonomic uncertainty, complexity and cryptic diversity of various species, as observed in other regions of the Amazon biome. Efforts for scientific collection and studies related to integrative taxonomy are needed to elucidate uncertainties and increase levels of knowledge of the local diversity. PMID:26691094

  11. First description of the nymph and larva of Dermacentor compactus Neumann, 1901 (Acari: Ixodidae), parasites of squirrels (Rodentia: Sciuridae) in southeast Asia.

    PubMed

    Apanaskevich, Dmitry A

    2016-05-01

    Recent reexamination of collection lots stored in the United States National Tick Collection revealed adult specimens of Dermacentor compactus Neumann, 1901 (Acari: Ixodidae) reared from field-collected nymphs, which allowed us to associate field-collected unidentified nymphs and larvae with this species. Nymphs of D. compactus can be easily distinguished from those of other congeneric species by the shape of the scutum and spiracular plate, the hypostome dentition, and the size of the spurs on the coxae. Larvae of this species can be distinguished by the shape and sculpture of the scutum, the shape of basis capituli, the absence of auriculae, and the size of the spurs on coxae II and III. Both nymphs and larvae feed mostly on various species of squirrels (Rodentia: Sciuridae). Considerably fewer nymphs and larvae were found on murid rodents (Rodentia: Muridae), domestic dogs (Carnivora: Canidae), and a snake (Squamata: Colubridae). PMID:27095664

  12. Live birth among Iguanian lizards predates Pliocene–Pleistocene glaciations

    PubMed Central

    Schulte, James A.; Moreno-Roark, Franck

    2010-01-01

    Among tetrapods, viviparity is estimated to have evolved independently within Squamata (lizards and snakes) more than 100 times, most frequently in species occupying cold climate environments. Because of this relationship with cold climates, it is sometimes assumed that many origins of squamate viviparity occurred over the past 2.5–4 Myr during the Pliocene–Pleistocene glaciations; however, this hypothesis is untested. Divergence-dating analysis on a 733-species tree of Iguanian lizards recovers 20 independent lineages that have evolved viviparity, of which 13 multispecies groups derived live birth prior to glacial advances (8–66 Myr ago). These results place the transitions from egg-laying to live birth among squamates in a well-supported historical context to facilitate examination of the underlying phenotypic and genetic changes associated with this complex shift in reproduction. PMID:19812068

  13. New data on Pleistocene and Holocene herpetofauna of Marie Galante (Blanchard Cave, Guadeloupe Islands, French West Indies): Insular faunal turnover and human impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailon, S.; Bochaton, C.; Lenoble, A.

    2015-11-01

    This work presents the herpetofaunal remains collected from Blanchard Cave (Marie-Galante, Guadeloupe Archipelago). This site has yielded the oldest stratigraphic layers (around 40,000 BP) of the island, along with data concerning the herpetofaunal biodiversity of the island from the Late Pleistocene to pre-Columbian and modern times. The study of these fossil remains reveals the presence of at least 11 amphibian and squamata taxa (Eleutherodactylus cf. martinicensis, Iguana sp., Anolis ferreus, Leiocephalus cf. cuneus, Thecadactylus cf. rapicauda, cf. Capitellum mariagalantae, Ameiva sp., cf. Antillotyphlops, Boa sp., Alsophis sp. and Colubridae sp. 2) during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene on Marie-Galante Island and provides new evidence concerning extinction times and the introduced or native status of taxa. This study also reveals that this bone assemblage is the result of diverse accumulation processes and provides new morphological data on the past herpetofauna of Marie-Galante.

  14. Biochemical characterization, action on macrophages, and superoxide anion production of four basic phospholipases A2 from Panamanian Bothrops asper snake venom.

    PubMed

    Rueda, Aristides Quintero; Rodríguez, Isela González; Arantes, Eliane C; Setúbal, Sulamita S; Calderon, Leonardo de A; Zuliani, Juliana P; Stábeli, Rodrigo G; Soares, Andreimar M

    2013-01-01

    Bothrops asper (Squamata: Viperidae) is the most important venomous snake in Central America, being responsible for the majority of snakebite accidents. Four basic PLA2s (pMTX-I to -IV) were purified from crude venom by a single-step chromatography using a CM-Sepharose ion-exchange column (1.5 × 15 cm). Analysis of the N-terminal sequence demonstrated that pMTX-I and III belong to the catalytically active Asp49 phospholipase A2 subclass, whereas pMTX-II and IV belong to the enzymatically inactive Lys49 PLA2s-like subclass. The PLA2s isolated from Panama Bothrops asper venom (pMTX-I, II, III, and IV) are able to induce myotoxic activity, inflammatory reaction mainly leukocyte migration to the muscle, and induce J774A.1 macrophages activation to start phagocytic activity and superoxide production. PMID:23509779

  15. Comparative reproductive and physiological responses of northern bobwhite and scaled quail to water deprivation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Giuliano, W.M.; Patino, R.; Lutz, R.S.

    1998-01-01

    We compared reproductive and physiological responses of captive female northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and scaled quail (Callipepla squamata) under control and water deprivation conditions. Scaled quail required less food and water to reproduce successfully under control conditions than northern bobwhite. Additionally, in scaled quail, serum osmolality levels and kidney mass were unaffected by water deprivation, whereas in northern bobwhite, serum osmolality levels increased and kidney mass declined. This finding indicates that scaled quail may have osmoregulatory abilities superior to those of northern bobwhite. Under control conditions, northern bobwhite gained more body mass and produced more but smaller eggs than scaled quail. Under water deprivation conditions, northern bobwhite lost more body mass but had more laying bens with a higher rate of egg production than scaled quail. Our data suggest that northern bobwhite allocated more resources to reproduction than to body maintenance, while scaled quail apparently forego reproduction in favor of body maintenance during water deprivation conditions.

  16. Novel snake papillomavirus does not cluster with other non-mammalian papillomaviruses.

    PubMed

    Lange, Christian E; Favrot, Claude; Ackermann, Mathias; Gull, Jessica; Vetsch, Elisabeth; Tobler, Kurt

    2011-01-01

    Papillomaviruses (PVs) are associated with the development of neoplasias and have been found in several different species, most of them in humans and other mammals. We identified, cloned and sequenced PV DNA from pigmented papilloma-like lesions of a diamond python (Morelia spilota spilota). This represents the first complete PV genome discovered in a Squamata host (MsPV1). It consists of 7048 nt and contains the characteristic open reading (ORF) frames E6, E7, E1, E2, L1 and L2. The L1 ORF sequence showed the highest percentage of sequence identities to human PV5 (57.9%) and Caribbean manatee (Trichechus manatus) PV1 (55.4%), thus, establishing a new clade. According to phylogenetic analysis, the MsPV1 genome clusters with PVs of mammalian rather than sauropsid hosts. PMID:21910860

  17. Molecular characterization of insulin from squamate reptiles reveals sequence diversity and possible adaptive evolution.

    PubMed

    Yamagishi, Genki; Yoshida, Ayaka; Kobayashi, Aya; Park, Min Kyun

    2016-01-01

    The Squamata are the most adaptive and prosperous group among ectothermic amniotes, reptiles, due to their species-richness and geographically wide habitat. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying their prosperity remain largely unknown, unique features have been reported from hormones that regulate energy metabolism. Insulin, a central anabolic hormone, is one such hormone, as its roles and effectiveness in regulation of blood glucose levels remain to be examined in squamates. In the present study, cDNAs coding for insulin were isolated from multiple species that represent various groups of squamates. The deduced amino acid sequences showed a high degree of divergence, with four lineages showing obviously higher number of amino acid substitutions than most of vertebrates, from teleosts to mammals. Among 18 sites presented to comprise the two receptor binding surfaces (one with 12 sites and the other with 6 sites), substitutions were observed in 13 sites. Among them was the substitution of HisB10, which results in the loss of the ability to hexamerize. Furthermore, three of these substitutions were reported to increase mitogenicity in human analogues. These substitutions were also reported from insulin of hystricomorph rodents and agnathan fishes, whose mitogenic potency have been shown to be increased. The estimated value of the non-synonymous-to-synonymous substitution ratio (ω) for the Squamata clade was larger than those of the other reptiles and aves. Even higher values were estimated for several lineages among squamates. These results, together with the regulatory mechanisms of digestion and nutrient assimilation in squamates, suggested a possible adaptive process through the molecular evolution of squamate INS. Further studies on the roles of insulin, in relation to the physiological and ecological traits of squamate species, will provide an insight into the molecular mechanisms that have led to the adaptivity and prosperity of squamates. PMID:26344944

  18. Reptilian Transcriptomes v2.0: An Extensive Resource for Sauropsida Genomics and Transcriptomics

    PubMed Central

    Tzika, Athanasia C.; Ullate-Agote, Asier; Grbic, Djordje; Milinkovitch, Michel C.

    2015-01-01

    Despite the availability of deep-sequencing techniques, genomic and transcriptomic data remain unevenly distributed across phylogenetic groups. For example, reptiles are poorly represented in sequence databases, hindering functional evolutionary and developmental studies in these lineages substantially more diverse than mammals. In addition, different studies use different assembly and annotation protocols, inhibiting meaningful comparisons. Here, we present the “Reptilian Transcriptomes Database 2.0,” which provides extensive annotation of transcriptomes and genomes from species covering the major reptilian lineages. To this end, we sequenced normalized complementary DNA libraries of multiple adult tissues and various embryonic stages of the leopard gecko and the corn snake and gathered published reptilian sequence data sets from representatives of the four extant orders of reptiles: Squamata (snakes and lizards), the tuatara, crocodiles, and turtles. The LANE runner 2.0 software was implemented to annotate all assemblies within a single integrated pipeline. We show that this approach increases the annotation completeness of the assembled transcriptomes/genomes. We then built large concatenated protein alignments of single-copy genes and inferred phylogenetic trees that support the positions of turtles and the tuatara as sister groups of Archosauria and Squamata, respectively. The Reptilian Transcriptomes Database 2.0 resource will be updated to include selected new data sets as they become available, thus making it a reference for differential expression studies, comparative genomics and transcriptomics, linkage mapping, molecular ecology, and phylogenomic analyses involving reptiles. The database is available at www.reptilian-transcriptomes.org and can be enquired using a wwwblast server installed at the University of Geneva. PMID:26133641

  19. Reptilian Transcriptomes v2.0: An Extensive Resource for Sauropsida Genomics and Transcriptomics.

    PubMed

    Tzika, Athanasia C; Ullate-Agote, Asier; Grbic, Djordje; Milinkovitch, Michel C

    2015-06-01

    Despite the availability of deep-sequencing techniques, genomic and transcriptomic data remain unevenly distributed across phylogenetic groups. For example, reptiles are poorly represented in sequence databases, hindering functional evolutionary and developmental studies in these lineages substantially more diverse than mammals. In addition, different studies use different assembly and annotation protocols, inhibiting meaningful comparisons. Here, we present the "Reptilian Transcriptomes Database 2.0," which provides extensive annotation of transcriptomes and genomes from species covering the major reptilian lineages. To this end, we sequenced normalized complementary DNA libraries of multiple adult tissues and various embryonic stages of the leopard gecko and the corn snake and gathered published reptilian sequence data sets from representatives of the four extant orders of reptiles: Squamata (snakes and lizards), the tuatara, crocodiles, and turtles. The LANE runner 2.0 software was implemented to annotate all assemblies within a single integrated pipeline. We show that this approach increases the annotation completeness of the assembled transcriptomes/genomes. We then built large concatenated protein alignments of single-copy genes and inferred phylogenetic trees that support the positions of turtles and the tuatara as sister groups of Archosauria and Squamata, respectively. The Reptilian Transcriptomes Database 2.0 resource will be updated to include selected new data sets as they become available, thus making it a reference for differential expression studies, comparative genomics and transcriptomics, linkage mapping, molecular ecology, and phylogenomic analyses involving reptiles. The database is available at www.reptilian-transcriptomes.org and can be enquired using a wwwblast server installed at the University of Geneva. PMID:26133641

  20. Food web structure of the epibenthic and infaunal invertebrates on the Catalan slope (NW Mediterranean): Evidence from δ 13C and δ 15N analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fanelli, E.; Papiol, V.; Cartes, J. E.; Rumolo, P.; Brunet, C.; Sprovieri, M.

    2011-01-01

    The food-web structure of the epibenthic and infaunal invertebrates on the continental slope of the Catalan Sea (Balearic basin, NW Mediterranean) was investigated using carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes on a total of 34 species, and HPLC pigment analyses for three key species. Samples were collected close to Barcelona (NE Iberian Peninsula), between 650 and 800 m depth and between February 2007 and February 2008. Mean δ 13C values ranged from -21.0‰ (small Calocaris macandreae and Amphipholis squamata) to -14.5‰ ( Sipunculus norvegicus). Values of δ 15N ranged from 4.0‰ ( A. squamata) to 12.1‰ ( Molpadia musculus). The stable isotope ratios of benthic fauna displayed a continuum of values (e.g. δ 15N range of 8‰), confirming a wide spectrum of feeding strategies (from active suspension feeders to predators) and complex food webs. According to the available information on diets of benthic fauna, the lowest values were found for surface deposit feeders (small C. macandrae and the two ophiuroids A. squamata and Amphiura chiajei) and active suspension feeders ( Abra longicallus and Scalpellum scalpellum) feeding on different sizes of particulate organic matter (POM), among which small particles may exhibit lower δ 15N. High annual mean δ 15N values were found among sub-surface deposit feeders, exploiting refractory or frequently recycled organic matter that is enriched in δ 15N. Carnivorous polychaetes ( Nephtys spp., Oenonidae and Polynoidae) and large decapods ( Geryon longipes and Paromola cuvieri) also displayed high δ 15N values. δ 13C ranges were particularly wide among surface deposit feeders (ranging from -21.0‰ to -16.4‰), suggesting exploitation of POM of both terrigenous and oceanic origins. Correlation between δ 13C and δ 15N was generally weak, indicating multiple carbon sources, likely due to the consumption of different kinds of sinking particles (e.g. marine snow, phytodetritus, etc.), sedimented and frequently recycled POM

  1. A revised metric for quantifying body shape in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Collar, David C; Reynaga, Crystal M; Ward, Andrea B; Mehta, Rita S

    2013-08-01

    Vertebrates exhibit tremendous diversity in body shape, though quantifying this variation has been challenging. In the past, researchers have used simplified metrics that either describe overall shape but reveal little about its anatomical basis or that characterize only a subset of the morphological features that contribute to shape variation. Here, we present a revised metric of body shape, the vertebrate shape index (VSI), which combines the four primary morphological components that lead to shape diversity in vertebrates: head shape, length of the second major body axis (depth or width), and shape of the precaudal and caudal regions of the vertebral column. We illustrate the usefulness of VSI on a data set of 194 species, primarily representing five major vertebrate clades: Actinopterygii, Lissamphibia, Squamata, Aves, and Mammalia. We quantify VSI diversity within each of these clades and, in the course of doing so, show how measurements of the morphological components of VSI can be obtained from radiographs, articulated skeletons, and cleared and stained specimens. We also demonstrate that head shape, secondary body axis, and vertebral characteristics are important independent contributors to body shape diversity, though their importance varies across vertebrate groups. Finally, we present a functional application of VSI to test a hypothesized relationship between body shape and the degree of axial bending associated with locomotor modes in ray-finned fishes. Altogether, our study highlights the promise VSI holds for identifying the morphological variation underlying body shape diversity as well as the selective factors driving shape evolution. PMID:23746908

  2. Persistent effect of incubation temperature on stress-induced behavior in the Yucatan banded gecko (Coleonyx elegans).

    PubMed

    Trnik, Marian; Albrechtová, Jana; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2011-02-01

    Although variability in behavioral traits within animal populations is well documented, the mechanisms maintaining that variability are still insufficiently known. In this study, we examined whether differences in thermal environment during egg incubation can permanently organize nonsocial behavior across different contexts and situations in a lizard species. We incubated eggs of the Yucatan banded gecko, Coleonyx elegans (Squamata: Gekkota: Eublepharidae) at 3 constant temperatures (26, 28, and 30 °C) and raised juveniles separately under the same conditions until adulthood. We then subjected them to 3 behavioral tests within 2 different contexts: an open-field test and a test of antipredator behavior (stressful context) as well as a test of feeding behavior (nonstressful context). Individuals of both sexes incubated at 30 °C were consistently less active and showed lower frequencies of several stereotypic behaviors in the stressful contexts than did individuals incubated at 26 and 28 °C. The test of feeding behavior revealed no significant effect of incubation temperature on geckos' behavior. Thus, our study demonstrates that developmental plasticity may play an important role in producing variability in stress-induced behavior in lizards. PMID:21244135

  3. Role of macrofauna on benthic oxygen consumption in sandy sediments of a high-energy tidal beach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charbonnier, Céline; Lavesque, Nicolas; Anschutz, Pierre; Bachelet, Guy; Lecroart, Pascal

    2016-06-01

    Sandy beaches exposed to tide and waves are characterized by low abundance and diversity of benthic macrofauna, because of high-energy conditions. This is the reason why there are few studies on benthic communities living in such highly dynamic environments. It has been shown recently that tidal sandy beaches may act as biogeochemical reactors. Marine organic matter that is supplied in the sand during each flood tide is efficiently mineralized through aerobic respiration. In order to quantify the role of macrofauna in the whole beach benthic respiration, we studied the macrofauna and the pore water oxygen content of an exposed sandy beach (Truc Vert, SW of France) during four seasons in 2011. The results showed that macrofauna was characterised by a low number of species of specialized organisms such as the crustaceans Eurydice naylori and Gastrosaccus spp. and the polychaetes Ophelia bicornis and Scolelepis squamata. The distribution and abundance of macrofauna were clearly affected by exposure degree and emersion time. The combined monitoring of benthic macrofauna and pore waters chemistry allowed us to estimate (1) the macrofauna oxygen uptake, calculated with a standard allometric relationship using biomass data, and (2) the total benthic oxygen uptake, calculated from the oxygen deficit measured in pore waters. This revealed that benthic macrofauna respiration represented a variable but low (<10%) contribution to the total benthic oxygen consumption. This suggests that oxygen was mainly consumed by microbial respiration.

  4. Fetal Membrane Ultrastructure and Development in the Oviparous Milksnake Lampropeltis triangulum (Colubridae) with Reference to Function and Evolution in Snakes.

    PubMed

    Kim, Young K; Blackburn, Daniel G

    2016-07-01

    In eggs of oviparous reptiles, fetal membranes maintain developing embryos through the exchange of respiratory gases and provision of water and calcium. As part of a survey of reptilian fetal membranes, we used scanning electron microscopy to study fetal membrane morphology in the oviparous Pueblan milksnake, Lampropeltis triangulum campbelli. The chorioallantois initially is an avascular structure lined by enlarged chorionic and allantoic epithelia. Upon vascularization, the chorionic epithelium becomes greatly attenuated, enhancing the potential for gas exchange; the allantoic epithelium also flattens. The bilaminar omphalopleure of the yolk sac lacks blood vessels, but it becomes vascularized by allantoic capillaries and transformed into an omphalallantois. Upon regression of the isolated yolk mass, this membrane is converted to chorioallantois, equipping it for gas exchange. Allantoic fluid serves as a water reservoir, and we postulate that it facilitates water uptake by establishing an osmotic gradient. Early in development, epithelia of both the chorion and the omphalopleure show apical microvilli that greatly increase the cell surface area available for water uptake. However, these features are incompatible with gas exchange and are lost as oxygen needs take precedence. A comparison of the fetal membranes to those of other squamate species (both oviparous and viviparous) reveals characteristics that are probably ancestral for snakes, some of which are plesiomorphic for Squamata. The widespread phylogenetic distribution of these features reflects their utility as adaptations that serve functional requirements of squamate embryos. PMID:27373551

  5. Tribological analysis of the ventral scale structure in a Python regius in relation to laser textured surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdel-Aal, H. A.; El Mansori, M.

    2013-09-01

    Laser texturing is one of the leading technologies applied to modify surface topography. To date, however, a standardized procedure to generate deterministic textures is virtually non-existent. In nature, especially in squamata, there are many examples of deterministic structured textures that allow species to control friction and condition their tribological response for efficient function. In this work, we draw a comparison between industrial surfaces and reptilian surfaces. We chose the Python regius species as a bio-analogue with a deterministic surface. We first study the structural make up of the ventral scales of the snake (both construction and metrology). We further compare the metrological features of the ventral scales to experimentally recommended performance indicators of industrial surfaces extracted from open literature. The results indicate the feasibility of engineering a laser textured surface based on the reptilian ornamentation constructs. It is shown that the metrological features, key to efficient function of a rubbing deterministic surface, are already optimized in the reptile. We further show that optimization in reptilian surfaces is based on synchronizing surface form, textures and aspects to condition the frictional response. Mimicking reptilian surfaces, we argue, may form a design methodology potentially capable of generating advanced deterministic surface constructs capable of efficient tribological function.

  6. cDNA-derived amino-acid sequence of a land turtle (Geochelone carbonaria) beta-chain hemoglobin.

    PubMed

    Bordin, S; Meza, A N; Saad, S T; Ogo, S H; Costa, F F

    1997-06-01

    The cDNA sequence encoding the turtle Geochelone carbonaria beta-chain was determinated. The isolation of hemoglobin mRNA was based on degenerate primers' PCR in combination with 5'- and 3'-RACE protocol. The full length cDNA is 615 bp with the ATG start codon at position 53 and TGA stop codon at position 495; The AATAAA polyadenylation signal is found at position 599. The deduced polypeptyde contains 146 amino-acid residues. The predicted amino acid sequence shares 83% identity with the beta-globin of a related specie, the aquatic turtle C. p. belli. Otherwise, identity is higher when compared with chicken beta-Hb (80%) than with other reptilian orders (Squamata, 69%, and Crocodilia, 61%). Compared with human HbA, there is 67% identity, and at least three amino acid substitutions could be of some functional significance (Glu43 beta-->Ser, His116 beta-->Thr and His143 beta-->Leu). To our knowledge this represents the first cDNA sequence of a reptile globin gene described. PMID:9238523

  7. Helminth parasites of the lesser great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis from two nesting regions in the Czech Republic.

    PubMed

    Moravec, Frantisek; Scholz, Tomas

    2016-01-01

    Parasitological examinations of 102 specimens of the lesser great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis (Blumenbach) from two nesting regions in the Czech Republic (South Bohemia and South Moravia) were carried out at the Institute of Parasitology, Czech Academy of Sciences (previously the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences) in the years 1987-1992. In them, a total of 19 species of helminth parasites was found, including Trematoda (11 species), Cestoda (2), Nematoda (4) and Acanthocephala (2), which can be divided into three main groups regarding their host specificity: parasites specific for cormorants (Phalacrocorax spp.) (37%), those parasitic mainly in cormorants (16%) and non-specific parasites (47%). Of the 19 species recorded, 100% were found in South Moravia, but only 47% of these 19 species in South Bohemia. The higher number of helminth species in cormorants from South Moravia and a higher proportion of non-specific species may be associated with the presence of the large Nové Mlýny water reservoir, in addition to better ecological and environmental conditions in this warmer region. Scanning electron microscopical examination of three common nematode species parasitising cormorants, Contracaecum rudolphii Hartwich, 1964, Desmidocercella incognita Solonitsin, 1932 and Syncuaria squamata (von Linstow, 1883), revealed some taxonomically important, previously unreported morphological features, such as the cephalic structures, numbers and distribution of male caudal papillae or the shapes of spicules. PMID:27312270

  8. A review of the Carboniferous and Permian trilobites of Australia.

    PubMed

    Vanderlaan, Tegan A; Ebach, Malte C

    2015-01-01

    The first complete review of the Carboniferous and Permian trilobite species found within Australia is presented to assess the current standing of Australian taxa in a modern systematic context. The review consists of four families, 20 genera and 61 known species from the early Tournaisian to Moscovian (358.9 Ma to 304 Ma), throughout New South Wales, Tasmania, Western Australia and Queensland. The revision also includes a revised anatomical nomenclature for Australian Carboniferous trilobites. Emended diagnoses are provided for seven genera and 28 species. The genus Thalabaria is placed within the subfamily Archegoninae, and the genera Australokaskia and Planokaskia are placed within Cummingellinae. The subgenera Brachymetopus (Spinimetopus), Bollandia (Capricornia), Australokaskia (Longilobus) and Australokaskia (Planilobus) are suppressed within Brachymetopus, Bollandia, Australokaskia, respectively. All Brachymetopus (Brachymetopus) maccoyi subspecies are elevated to species. Species of Linguaphillipsia are considered sensu lato until there is adequate revision of the entire genus. New combinations include the following: Aprathia semicircularis is reassigned to Weania; Aprathia applanata is questionably reassigned to Carbonocoryphe; and Phillipsia squamata is tentatively reassigned to Palaeophillipsia. The following have been synonymised: Conophillipsia with Monodechenella; Megaproetus with Pudoproetus; Weberiphillipsia with Palaeophillipsia; Weania (Rosehillia) with Schizophillipsia; Conophillipsia breviceps dungogensis with Monodechenella breviceps; Linguaphillipsia raglanensis with Linguaphillipsia stanvellensis; and Weberiphillipsia girvanensis with Palaeophillipsia collinsi. Carbonocoryphe (Winterbergia) elegans, Carbonocoryphe (Winterbergia) keepitensis and Winterbergia? waterhousei are considered representatives of indeterminate genera. PMID:25781767

  9. Checklist of Gastrotricha of the Polish Baltic Sea with the first reports of Heterolepidoderma joermungandri Kånneby, 2011, and Turbanella hyalina Schultze, 1853.

    PubMed

    Kolicka, Małgorzata; Kisielewski, Jacek; Kotwicki, Lech; Zawierucha, Krzysztof; Grzelak, Katarzyna

    2014-01-01

    Gastrotricha is a cosmopolitan phylum of aquatic and semi-terrestrial invertebrates comprising more than 800 described species. Up to now, only five taxonomic and faunistic papers have been published on the gastrotrichs of the Polish Baltic Sea and 27 taxa have been found (including three freshwater, which were found in estuaries). This article presents a complete list of brackish and estuarine Gastrotricha from the Polish Baltic Sea accompanied by localities and the first observations of gastrotrich species inhabiting the underwater macrophytes. Although the group has been studied for more than 150 years, the gastrotrich community of marine macrophytes has not been studied in any great detail. Here we provide data on gastrotrich communities living on macrophytes and also in sandy sediments. In total, nine species were found (seven from sandy sediments, two species from macrophytes). Seven of the species belong to Chaetonotida: Halichaetonotus balticus Kisielewski, 1975, H. lamellatus Kisielewski, 1975, H. schromi Kisielewski, 1975, Heterolepidoderma joermungandri Kånneby, 2011, Lepidodermella squamata (Dujardin, 1841), Xenotrichula intermedia Remane, 1934, and X. velox Remane, 1927(c). Two of species belong to Macrodasyida: Turbanella cornuta Remane, 1925, and T. hyalina Schultze, 1853. H. joermungandri and T. hyalina are new for Polish fauna. Both species correspond with the original descriptions but differ by some morphometric characters. Taxonomic, morphometric, and biogeographic remarks are provided for the new records together with differential interference contrast (DIC) microphotographs. PMID:25283904

  10. At the feet of the dinosaurs: the early history and radiation of lizards.

    PubMed

    Evans, Susan E

    2003-11-01

    Lizards, snakes and amphisbaenians together constitute the Squamata, the largest and most diverse group of living reptiles. Despite their current success, the early squamate fossil record is extremely patchy. The last major survey of squamate palaeontology and evolution was published 20 years ago. Since then, there have been major changes in systematic theory and methodology, as well as a steady trickle of new fossil finds. This review examines our current understanding of the first 150 million years of squamate evolution in the light of the new data and changing ideas. Contrary to previous reports, no squamate fossils are currently documented before the Jurassic. Nonetheless, indirect evidence predicts that squamates had evolved by at least the middle Triassic, and had diversified into existing major lineages before the end of this period. There is thus a major gap in the squamate record at a time when key morphological features were evolving. With the exception of fragmentary remains from Africa and India, Jurassic squamates are known only from localities in northern continents (Laurasia). The situation improves in the Early Cretaceous, but the southern (Gondwanan) record remains extremely poor. This constrains palaeobiogeographic discussion and makes it difficult to predict centres of origin for major squamate clades on the basis of fossil evidence alone. Preliminary mapping of morphological characters onto a consensus tree demonstrates stages in the sequence of acquisition for some characters of the skull and postcranial skeleton, but many crucial stages--most notably those relating to the acquisition of squamate skull kinesis--remain unclear. PMID:14700390

  11. New host records for Amblyomma rotundatum (Acari: Ixodidae) from Grussaí restinga, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Viana, Lúcio André; Winck, Gisele Regina; Almeida-Santos, Marlon; Telles, Felipe Bottona da Silva; Gazêta, Gilberto Salles; Rocha, Carlos Frederico Duarte

    2012-01-01

    Amblyomma rotundatum Koch is a parthenogenetic tick usually associated with reptiles and amphibians. However, relatively few studies on occurrences of ticks in wild reptile populations in Brazil have been produced. The aim of this study was to analyze the presence of ticks associated with reptile species in the Grussaí restinga, in the municipality of São João da Barra, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Between December 2010 and January 2011, 131 individuals belonging to nine species of reptiles of the order Squamata were sampled: the lizards Tropidurus torquatus (n = 51), Hemidactylus mabouia (n = 25), Mabuya agilis (n = 30), Mabuya macrorhyncha (n = 6), Cnemidophorus littoralis (n = 5) and Ameiva ameiva (n = 10); and the snakes Philodryas olfersii (n = 2), Oxyrhopus rhombifer (n = 1) and Micrurus corallinus (n = 1). The only tick species found to be associated with any of the reptiles sampled was A. rotundatum. One adult female was detected on one individual of the lizard A. ameiva, one nymph on one individual of the lizard T. torquatus and four nymphs on one individual of the snake P. olfersii. This study is the first record of parasitism of A. rotundatum involving the reptiles T. torquatus and P. olfersii as hosts. Our results suggest that in the Grussaí restinga habitat, A. rotundatum may use different species of reptiles to complete its life cycle. PMID:23070450

  12. Antimicrobial Peptides in Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    van Hoek, Monique L.

    2014-01-01

    Reptiles are among the oldest known amniotes and are highly diverse in their morphology and ecological niches. These animals have an evolutionarily ancient innate-immune system that is of great interest to scientists trying to identify new and useful antimicrobial peptides. Significant work in the last decade in the fields of biochemistry, proteomics and genomics has begun to reveal the complexity of reptilian antimicrobial peptides. Here, the current knowledge about antimicrobial peptides in reptiles is reviewed, with specific examples in each of the four orders: Testudines (turtles and tortosises), Sphenodontia (tuataras), Squamata (snakes and lizards), and Crocodilia (crocodilans). Examples are presented of the major classes of antimicrobial peptides expressed by reptiles including defensins, cathelicidins, liver-expressed peptides (hepcidin and LEAP-2), lysozyme, crotamine, and others. Some of these peptides have been identified and tested for their antibacterial or antiviral activity; others are only predicted as possible genes from genomic sequencing. Bioinformatic analysis of the reptile genomes is presented, revealing many predicted candidate antimicrobial peptides genes across this diverse class. The study of how these ancient creatures use antimicrobial peptides within their innate immune systems may reveal new understandings of our mammalian innate immune system and may also provide new and powerful antimicrobial peptides as scaffolds for potential therapeutic development. PMID:24918867

  13. Novel parvoviruses in reptiles and genome sequence of a lizard parvovirus shed light on Dependoparvovirus genus evolution.

    PubMed

    Pénzes, Judit J; Pham, Hanh T; Benkö, Mária; Tijssen, Peter

    2015-09-01

    Here, we report the detection and partial genome characterization of two novel reptilian parvoviruses derived from a short-tailed pygmy chameleon (Rampholeon brevicaudatus) and a corn snake (Pantherophis guttatus) along with the complete genome analysis of the first lizard parvovirus, obtained from four bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps). Both homology searches and phylogenetic tree reconstructions demonstrated that all are members of the genus Dependoparvovirus. Even though most dependoparvoviruses replicate efficiently only in co-infections with large DNA viruses, no such agents could be detected in one of the bearded dragon samples, hence the possibility of autonomous replication was explored. The alternative ORF encoding the full assembly activating protein (AAP), typical for the genus, could be obtained from reptilian parvoviruses for the first time, with a structure that appears to be more ancient than that of avian and mammalian parvoviruses. All three viruses were found to harbour short introns as previously observed for snake adeno-associated virus, shorter than that of any non-reptilian dependoparvovirus. According to the phylogenetic calculations based on full non-structural protein (Rep) and AAP sequences, the monophyletic cluster of reptilian parvoviruses seems to be the most basal out of all lineages of genus Dependoparvovirus. The suspected ability for autonomous replication, results of phylogenetic tree reconstruction, intron lengths and the structure of the AAP suggested that a single Squamata origin instead of the earlier assumed diapsid (common avian-reptilian) origin is more likely for the genus Dependoparvovirus of the family Parvoviridae. PMID:26067293

  14. Characterization of pituitary growth hormone and its receptor in the green iguana (Iguana iguana).

    PubMed

    Ávila-Mendoza, José; Carranza, Martha; Pérez-Rueda, Ernesto; Luna, Maricela; Arámburo, Carlos

    2014-07-01

    Pituitary growth hormone (GH) has been studied in most vertebrate groups; however, only a few studies have been carried out in reptiles. Little is known about pituitary hormones in the order Squamata, to which the green iguana (gi) belongs. In this work, we characterized the hypophysis of Iguana iguana morphologically. The somatotrophs (round cells of 7.6-10 μm containing 250- to 300-nm secretory granules where the giGH is stored) were found, by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization, exclusively in the caudal lobe of the pars distalis, whereas the lactotrophs were distributed only in the rostral lobe. A pituitary giGH-like protein was obtained by immuno-affinity chromatography employing a heterologous antibody against chicken GH. giGH showed molecular heterogeneity (22, 44, and 88 kDa by SDS-PAGE/Western blot under non-reducing conditions and at least four charge variants (pIs 6.2, 6.5, 6.9, 7.4) by isoelectric focusing. The pituitary giGH cDNA (1016 bp), amplified by PCR and RACE, encodes a pre-hormone of 218 aa, of which 190 aa correspond to the mature protein and 28 aa to the signal peptide. The giGH receptor cDNA was also partially sequenced. Phylogenetic analyses of the amino acid sequences of giGH and giGHR homologs in vertebrates suggest a parallel evolution and functional relationship between the GH and its receptor. PMID:24769041

  15. Evolutionary Diversification of the Lizard Genus Bassiana (Scincidae) across Southern Australia

    PubMed Central

    Dubey, Sylvain; Shine, Richard

    2010-01-01

    Background Relatively recent (Plio-Pleistocene) climatic variations had strong impacts on the fauna and flora of temperate-zone North America and Europe; genetic analyses suggest that many lineages were restricted to unglaciated refuges during this time, and have expanded their ranges since then. Temperate-zone Australia experienced less severe glaciation, suggesting that patterns of genetic structure among species may reflect older (aridity-driven) divergence events rather than Plio-Pleistocene (thermally-mediated) divergences. The lizard genus Bassiana (Squamata, Scincidae) contains three species that occur across a wide area of southern Australia (including Tasmania), rendering them ideally-suited to studies on the impact of past climatic fluctuations. Methodology/Principal Findings We performed molecular phylogenetic and dating analyses using two partial mitochondrial genes (ND2 and ND4) of 97 samples of Bassiana spp. Our results reveal a pattern of diversification beginning in the Middle Miocene, with intraspecific diversification arising from 5.7 to 1.7 million years ago in the Upper Miocene-Lower Pleistocene. Conclusions/Significance In contrast to the temperate-zone Northern Hemisphere biota, patterns of evolutionary diversification within southern Australian taxa appear to reflect geologically ancient events, mostly relating to east-west discontinuities imposed by aridity rather than (as is the case in Europe and North America) relatively recent recolonisation of northern regions from unglaciated refugia to the south. PMID:20886050

  16. Early-summer temperature variations over the past 563 yr inferred from tree rings in the Shaluli Mountains, southeastern Tibet Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Yang; Gou, Xiaohua; Gao, Linlin; Yang, Tao; Yang, Meixue

    2014-05-01

    We developed a tree-ring chronology (AD 1446-2008) based on 75 cores from 37 Abies squamata Mast. trees from the Shaluli Mountains, southeastern Tibet Plateau, China, using signal-free methods, which are ideally suited to remove or reduce the distortion introduced during traditional standardization. This chronology correlates best with regional temperatures in June-July, which allowed us to develop a June-July temperature reconstruction that explained 51.2% of the variance in the instrumental record. The reconstruction showed seven cold periods and five warm periods. Cold periods were identified from AD 1472 to 1524, 1599 to 1653, 1661 to 1715, 1732 to 1828, 1837 to 1847, 1865 to 1876 and 1907 to 1926. Warm intervals occurred from AD 1446 to 1471, 1525 to 1598, 1716 to 1731, 1848 to 1864, 1877 to 1906 and 1927 to present. The reconstruction agrees well with nearby tree-ring-based temperature reconstructions. Spatial correlation analyses suggest that our reconstructions provide information on June-July temperature variability for the southeastern Tibetan Plateau and its vicinity. Spectral analyses revealed significant peaks at 2-6, 10.7, 51.2, 102.2 and 204.8 yr. The temperature variability in this area may be affected by ENSO, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and solar activity.

  17. Karyotype Reorganization in the Hokou Gecko (Gekko hokouensis, Gekkonidae): The Process of Microchromosome Disappearance in Gekkota

    PubMed Central

    Srikulnath, Kornsorn; Uno, Yoshinobu; Nishida, Chizuko; Ota, Hidetoshi; Matsuda, Yoichi

    2015-01-01

    The Hokou gecko (Gekko hokouensis: Gekkonidae, Gekkota, Squamata) has the chromosome number 2n = 38, with no microchromosomes. For molecular cytogenetic characterization of the gekkotan karyotype, we constructed a cytogenetic map for G. hokouensis, which retains the ancestral karyotype of Gekkota, with 86 functional genes, and compared it with cytogenetic maps for four Toxicofera species that have many microchromosomes (Elaphe quadrivirgata, Varanus salvator macromaculatus, Leiolepis reevesii rubritaeniata, and Anolis carolinensis) and that for a lacertid species (Lacerta agilis) with only one pair of autosomal microchromosomes. Ten pairs of G. hokouensis chromosomes [GHO1, 2, 3, Z(4), 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, and 15] showed highly conserved linkage homology with macrochromosomes and/or macrochromosome arms of the four Toxicofera species and corresponded to eight L. agilis macrochromosomes (LAG). However, GHO5, GHO9, GHO10, GHO11, and LAG6 were composed of chromosome segments that have a homology with Toxicofera microchromosomes, and no homology was found in the chromosomes between G. hokouensis and L. agilis. These results suggest that repeated fusions of microchromosomes may have occurred independently in each lineage of Gekkota and Lacertidae, leading to the disappearance of microchromosomes and appearance of small-sized macrochromosomes. PMID:26241471

  18. Prey type and foraging ecology of Sanderlings Calidris alba in different climate zones: are tropical areas more favourable than temperate sites?

    PubMed Central

    Ntiamoa-Baidu, Yaa; Piersma, Theunis; Reneerkens, Jeroen

    2015-01-01

    Sanderlings (Calidris alba) are long-distance migratory shorebirds with a non-breeding range that spans temperate and tropical coastal habitats. Breeding in the High Arctic combined with non-breeding seasons in the tropics necessitate long migrations, which are energetically demanding. On an annual basis, the higher energy expenditures during migration might pay off if food availability in the tropics is higher than at temperate latitudes. We compared foraging behaviour of birds at a north temperate and a tropical non-breeding site in the Netherlands and Ghana, respectively. In both cases the birds used similar habitats (open beaches), and experienced similar periods of daylight, which enabled us to compare food abundance and availability, and behavioural time budgets and food intake. During the non-breeding season, Sanderlings in the Netherlands spent 79% of their day foraging; in Ghana birds spent only 38% of the daytime period foraging and the largest proportion of their time resting (58%). The main prey item in the Netherlands was the soft-bodied polychaete Scolelepis squamata, while Sanderlings in Ghana fed almost exclusively on the bivalve Donax pulchellus, which they swallowed whole and crushed internally. Average availability of polychaete worms in the Netherlands was 7.4 g ash free dry mass (AFDM) m−2, which was one tenth of the 77.1 g AFDM m−2 estimated for the beach in Ghana. In the tropical environment of Ghana the Sanderlings combined relatively low energy requirements with high prey intake rates (1.64 mg opposed to 0.13 mg AFDM s−1 for Ghana and the Netherlands respectively). Although this may suggest that the Ghana beaches are the most favourable environment, processing the hard-shelled bivalve (D. pulchellus) which is the staple food could be costly. The large amount of daytime spent resting in Ghana may be indicative of the time needed to process the shell fragments, rather than indicate rest. PMID:26290790

  19. Prey type and foraging ecology of Sanderlings Calidris alba in different climate zones: are tropical areas more favourable than temperate sites?

    PubMed

    Grond, Kirsten; Ntiamoa-Baidu, Yaa; Piersma, Theunis; Reneerkens, Jeroen

    2015-01-01

    Sanderlings (Calidris alba) are long-distance migratory shorebirds with a non-breeding range that spans temperate and tropical coastal habitats. Breeding in the High Arctic combined with non-breeding seasons in the tropics necessitate long migrations, which are energetically demanding. On an annual basis, the higher energy expenditures during migration might pay off if food availability in the tropics is higher than at temperate latitudes. We compared foraging behaviour of birds at a north temperate and a tropical non-breeding site in the Netherlands and Ghana, respectively. In both cases the birds used similar habitats (open beaches), and experienced similar periods of daylight, which enabled us to compare food abundance and availability, and behavioural time budgets and food intake. During the non-breeding season, Sanderlings in the Netherlands spent 79% of their day foraging; in Ghana birds spent only 38% of the daytime period foraging and the largest proportion of their time resting (58%). The main prey item in the Netherlands was the soft-bodied polychaete Scolelepis squamata, while Sanderlings in Ghana fed almost exclusively on the bivalve Donax pulchellus, which they swallowed whole and crushed internally. Average availability of polychaete worms in the Netherlands was 7.4 g ash free dry mass (AFDM) m(-2), which was one tenth of the 77.1 g AFDM m(-2) estimated for the beach in Ghana. In the tropical environment of Ghana the Sanderlings combined relatively low energy requirements with high prey intake rates (1.64 mg opposed to 0.13 mg AFDM s(-1) for Ghana and the Netherlands respectively). Although this may suggest that the Ghana beaches are the most favourable environment, processing the hard-shelled bivalve (D. pulchellus) which is the staple food could be costly. The large amount of daytime spent resting in Ghana may be indicative of the time needed to process the shell fragments, rather than indicate rest. PMID:26290790

  20. Understanding interaction effects of climate change and fire management on bird distributions through combined process and habitat models

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, Joseph D.; Gutzwiller, Kevin J.; Barrow, Wylie C.; Johnson-Randall, Lori; Zygo, Lisa; Swint, Pamela

    2011-01-01

    Avian conservation efforts must account for changes in vegetation composition and structure associated with climate change. We modeled vegetation change and the probability of occurrence of birds to project changes in winter bird distributions associated with climate change and fire management in the northern Chihuahuan Desert (southwestern U.S.A.). We simulated vegetation change in a process-based model (Landscape and Fire Simulator) in which anticipated climate change was associated with doubling of current atmospheric carbon dioxide over the next 50 years. We estimated the relative probability of bird occurrence on the basis of statistical models derived from field observations of birds and data on vegetation type, topography, and roads. We selected 3 focal species, Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata), Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus), and Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus), that had a range of probabilities of occurrence for our study area. Our simulations projected increases in relative probability of bird occurrence in shrubland and decreases in grassland and Yucca spp. and ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) vegetation. Generally, the relative probability of occurrence of all 3 species was highest in shrubland because leaf-area index values were lower in shrubland. This high probability of occurrence likely is related to the species' use of open vegetation for foraging. Fire suppression had little effect on projected vegetation composition because as climate changed there was less fuel and burned area. Our results show that if future water limits on plant type are considered, models that incorporate spatial data may suggest how and where different species of birds may respond to vegetation changes.

  1. Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) Mitochondrial Population Genomics Reveals Structure, Divergence, and Evidence for Heteroplasmy

    PubMed Central

    Halley, Yvette A.; Oldeschulte, David L.; Bhattarai, Eric K.; Hill, Joshua; Metz, Richard P.; Johnson, Charles D.; Presley, Steven M.; Ruzicka, Rebekah E.; Rollins, Dale; Peterson, Markus J.; Murphy, William J.; Seabury, Christopher M.

    2015-01-01

    squamata) as being explanatory factors for the two bobwhite maternal lineages observed. Instead, our analyses support the supposition that two diverged maternal lineages have survived from pre-expansion to post-expansion population(s), with the segregation of some slightly deleterious nonsynonymous mutations. PMID:26713762

  2. First Large-Scale DNA Barcoding Assessment of Reptiles in the Biodiversity Hotspot of Madagascar, Based on Newly Designed COI Primers

    PubMed Central

    Nagy, Zoltán T.; Sonet, Gontran; Glaw, Frank; Vences, Miguel

    2012-01-01

    Background DNA barcoding of non-avian reptiles based on the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene is still in a very early stage, mainly due to technical problems. Using a newly developed set of reptile-specific primers for COI we present the first comprehensive study targeting the entire reptile fauna of the fourth-largest island in the world, the biodiversity hotspot of Madagascar. Methodology/Principal Findings Representatives of the majority of Madagascan non-avian reptile species (including Squamata and Testudines) were sampled and successfully DNA barcoded. The new primer pair achieved a constantly high success rate (72.7–100%) for most squamates. More than 250 species of reptiles (out of the 393 described ones; representing around 64% of the known diversity of species) were barcoded. The average interspecific genetic distance within families ranged from a low of 13.4% in the Boidae to a high of 29.8% in the Gekkonidae. Using the average genetic divergence between sister species as a threshold, 41–48 new candidate (undescribed) species were identified. Simulations were used to evaluate the performance of DNA barcoding as a function of completeness of taxon sampling and fragment length. Compared with available multi-gene phylogenies, DNA barcoding correctly assigned most samples to species, genus and family with high confidence and the analysis of fewer taxa resulted in an increased number of well supported lineages. Shorter marker-lengths generally decreased the number of well supported nodes, but even mini-barcodes of 100 bp correctly assigned many samples to genus and family. Conclusions/Significance The new protocols might help to promote DNA barcoding of reptiles and the established library of reference DNA barcodes will facilitate the molecular identification of Madagascan reptiles. Our results might be useful to easily recognize undescribed diversity (i.e. novel taxa), to resolve taxonomic problems, and to monitor the international pet trade

  3. Molecular characterization of the leopard gecko POMC gene and expressional change in the testis by acclimation to low temperature and with a short photoperiod.

    PubMed

    Endo, Daisuke; Park, Min Kyun

    2004-08-01

    The gene for proopiomelanocortin (POMC), a common precursor of malanotropins, corticotropin, and beta-endorphin, was isolated and analyzed in the squamata species, the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius. Leopard gecko POMC (lgPOMC) cDNA is composed of 1299bp, excluding the poly(A) tail, and encodes 270 amino acids. The deduced amino acid sequence showed the same structural organization as that of other species and displayed identity with those of other vertebrates: 68% with mud turtles, 57/57% with African clawed frog A/B, 53% with chickens, and 45% with mice. In a phylogenic tree, the lgPOMC clustered with the sequences of the mud turtle POMC and python POMC. The lgPOMC gene comprises three exons and two introns and this structure is consistent with humans, rats, mice, African clawed frog and zebrafish. RT-PCR analysis revealed that the lgPOMC mRNA was expressed only in the whole brain, pituitary, and gonads. To analyze in more detail, a competitive assay system to quantify the expression levels of POMC mRNA was established. We measured the POMC mRNA expression levels in the leopard gecko testes following transfer from a condition of 29 degrees C, 16L/8D to 18 degrees C, 10L/14D over 6 weeks. This 6-week acclimation increased the POMC mRNA expression levels significantly. This suggests that the leopard gecko POMC-derived peptides play a role in the mediation of the effect of environmental factors on reproduction. PMID:15242753

  4. Understanding interaction effects of climate change and fire management on bird distributions through combined process and habitat models

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, Joseph D.; Gutzwiller, Kevin J.; Barrow, Wylie C.; Johnson-Randall, Lori; Zygo, Lisa; Swint, Pamela

    2011-01-01

    Avian conservation efforts must account for changes in vegetation composition and structure associated with climate change. We modeled vegetation change and the probability of occurrence of birds to project changes in winter bird distributions associated with climate change and fire management in the northern Chihuahuan Desert (southwestern U.S.A.). We simulated vegetation change in a process-based model (Landscape and Fire Simulator) in which anticipated climate change was associated with doubling of current atmospheric carbon dioxide over the next 50 years. We estimated the relative probability of bird occurrence on the basis of statistical models derived from field observations of birds and data on vegetation type, topography, and roads. We selected 3 focal species, Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata), Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus), and Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus), that had a range of probabilities of occurrence for our study area. Our simulations projected increases in relative probability of bird occurrence in shrubland and decreases in grassland and Yucca spp. and ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) vegetation. Generally, the relative probability of occurrence of all 3 species was highest in shrubland because leaf-area index values were lower in shrubland. This high probability of occurrence likely is related to the species' use of open vegetation for foraging. Fire suppression had little effect on projected vegetation composition because as climate changed there was less fuel and burned area. Our results show that if future water limits on plant type are considered, models that incorporate spatial data may suggest how and where different species of birds may respond to vegetation changes. ??2011 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. Elucidating the phylogenetic position of Gnathostomulida and first mitochondrial genomes of Gnathostomulida, Gastrotricha and Polycladida (Platyhelminthes).

    PubMed

    Golombek, Anja; Tobergte, Sarah; Struck, Torsten H

    2015-05-01

    Gnathostomulida is a taxon of small marine worms, which exclusively inhabit the interstitium. The evolution of Gnathostomulida has been discussed for decades. Originally regarded as primitive animals with affinities to flatworms, the phylogenetic position of Gnathostomulida has been debated. Given the lack of an anus a close relationship to Platyhelminthes has been maintained (i.e., Plathelminthomorpha hypothesis). Alternative hypotheses proposed Gnathostomulida as being close to Gastrotricha due to the presence of a monociliary epidermis (i.e., Monokonta/Neotrichozoa hypothesis) or to Syndermata based on the complicated jaw apparatus (i.e., Gnathifera hypothesis). Molecular analyses using only few genes were inconclusive. Recent phylogenomic studies brought some progress by placing Gnathostomulida as sister to Syndermata, but support for this relationship was low and depended on the analytical strategy. Herein we present the first data of complete or nearly complete mitochondrial genomes for two gnathostomulids (Gnathostomula paradoxa &G. armata), one gastrotrich (Lepidodermella squamata) and one polyclad flatworm (Stylochoplana maculata) to address the uncertain phylogenetic affinity of Gnathostomulida. Our analyses found Gnathostomulida as sister to Syndermata (Gnathifera hypothesis). Thorough sensitivity analyses addressing taxon instability, branch length heterogeneity (also known as long branch attraction) and base composition heterogeneity showed that the position of Gnathostomulida is consistent across the different analyses and, hence, independent of potential misleading biases. Moreover, by ameliorating these different biases nodal support values could be increased to maximum values. Thus, our data support the hypothesis that the different jaw apparatuses of Syndermata and Gnathostomulida are indeed homologous structures as proposed by the Gnathifera hypothesis. PMID:25796325

  6. XROMM analysis of rib kinematics during lung ventilation in the green iguana, Iguana iguana.

    PubMed

    Brainerd, Elizabeth L; Moritz, Sabine; Ritter, Dale A

    2016-02-01

    The three-dimensional rotations of ribs during breathing are typically described as bucket-handle rotation about a dorsoventrally oriented axis, pump-handle rotation about a mediolateral axis, and caliper rotation about a rostrocaudal axis. In amniotes with double-headed ribs, rib motion is constrained primarily to one degree-of-freedom (DOF) rotation about an axis connecting the two rib articulations. However, in Squamata, the ribs are single headed and the hemispherical costovertebral joints permit rotations with three DOF. In this study, we used X-ray reconstruction of moving morphology (XROMM ) to quantify rib rotation during deep breathing in four green iguanas. We found that rib rotation was strongly dominated by bucket-handle rotation, thus exhibiting nearly hinge-like motion, despite the potential for more complex motions. The vertebral and sternal segments of each rib did not deform measurably during breathing, but they did move relative to each other at a thin, cartilaginous intracostal joint. While standing still and breathing deeply, four individual iguanas showed variability in their rib postures, with two breathing around a highly inflated posture, and two breathing around a posture with the ribs folded halfway back. Bucket-handle rotations showed clear rostrocaudal gradients, with rotation increasing from the third cervical to the first or second dorsal rib, and then decreasing again caudally, a pattern that is consistent with the intercostal muscles in the rostral intercostal spaces being the primary drivers of inspiration. The constrained, primarily bucket-handle rotations observed here during breathing do not help to explain the evolution of permissive, hemispherical costovertebral joints in squamates from the more constrained, double-headed rib articulations of other amniotes. PMID:26596531

  7. Response of benthic macrofauna to an oil pollution: Lessons from the “Prestige” oil spill on the rocky shore of Guéthary (south of the Bay of Biscay, France)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castège, Iker; Milon, Emilie; Pautrizel, Françoise

    2014-08-01

    The benthic community on the rocky foreshore of Guéthary (France) has been monitored since 2002. The standardized and quantitative monitoring method counts 20 geographically referenced quadrats spread on three littoral zones: upper mediolittoral, lower mediolittoral and infralittoral zones. The setting up of this monitoring occurred when the “Prestige” sunk close to the Finistere Cape in Galicia (Spain). The oil slick following the shipwreck impacted the Guéthary foreshore in early 2003. After the “Prestige” oil spill, the taxonomic richness decreased in the studied area with a loss of 16 species - from 57 in 2002 (before the shipwreck) to 41 species in 2004. Two or 3 years later, taxonomic richness increased to a level observed prior to the oil spill. Along the years, temporal variations in community structure of benthic macrofauna are revealed by detailed analysis. Some polluo-sensitive species disappeared after 2002 and have not reappeared yet (e.g.: Hymeniacidon perlevis). Some others reappeared two or three years after the spill or even later (e.g.: Amphipholis squamata, Botryllus schlosseri, Calliostoma zizyphinum, Echinus esculentus, etc.). Noteworthy changes were found in 2004 driven by the sudden increase in abundance of grazers. The following years, these abundances went back to a stable level. The benthic community seemed to recover almost 5 years later, although a new composition of macrofauna populations was observed. In overall aspect, the complexity of the benthic ecosystem response to oil spills confirms the need of regularly updated baselines to assess the impact of pollutions and more generally to maintain marine biodiversity.

  8. Chromosome size-correlated and chromosome size-uncorrelated homogenization of centromeric repetitive sequences in New World quails.

    PubMed

    Ishishita, Satoshi; Tsuruta, Yuri; Uno, Yoshinobu; Nakamura, Atsushi; Nishida, Chizuko; Griffin, Darren K; Tsudzuki, Masaoki; Ono, Tamao; Matsuda, Yoichi

    2014-04-01

    Many families of centromeric repetitive DNA sequences isolated from Struthioniformes, Galliformes, Falconiformes, and Passeriformes are localized primarily to microchromosomes. However, it is unclear whether chromosome size-correlated homogenization is a common characteristic of centromeric repetitive sequences in Aves. New World and Old World quails have the typical avian karyotype comprising chromosomes of two distinct sizes, and C-positive heterochromatin is distributed in centromeric regions of most autosomes and the whole W chromosome. We isolated six types of centromeric repetitive sequences from three New World quail species (Colinus virginianus, CVI; Callipepla californica, CCA; and Callipepla squamata, CSQ; Odontophoridae) and one Old World quail species (Alectoris chukar, ACH; Phasianidae), and characterized the sequences by nucleotide sequencing, chromosome in situ hybridization, and filter hybridization. The 385-bp CVI-MspI, 591-bp CCA-BamHI, 582-bp CSQ-BamHI, and 366-bp ACH-Sau3AI fragments exhibited tandem arrays of the monomer unit, and the 224-bp CVI-HaeIII and 135-bp CCA-HaeIII fragments were composed of minisatellite-like and microsatellite-like repeats, respectively. ACH-Sau3AI was a homolog of the chicken nuclear membrane repeat sequence, whose homologs are common in Phasianidae. CVI-MspI, CCA-BamHI, and CSQ-BamHI showed high homology and were specific to the Odontophoridae. CVI-MspI was localized to microchromosomes, whereas CVI-HaeIII, CCA-BamHI, and CSQ-BamHI were mapped to almost all chromosomes. CCA-HaeIII was localized to five pairs of macrochromosomes and most microchromosomes. ACH-Sau3AI was distributed in three pairs of macrochromosomes and all microchromosomes. Centromeric repetitive sequences may be homogenized in chromosome size-correlated and -uncorrelated manners in New World quails, although there may be a mechanism that causes homogenization of centromeric repetitive sequences primarily between microchromosomes, which is commonly

  9. Transcriptomic analysis of the venom gland of the red-headed krait (Bungarus flaviceps) using expressed sequence tags

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The Red-headed krait (Bungarus flaviceps, Squamata: Serpentes: Elapidae) is a medically important venomous snake that inhabits South-East Asia. Although the venoms of most species of the snake genus Bungarus have been well characterized, a detailed compositional analysis of B. flaviceps is currently lacking. Results Here, we have sequenced 845 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from the venom gland of a B. flaviceps. Of the transcripts, 74.8% were putative toxins; 20.6% were cellular; and 4.6% were unknown. The main venom protein families identified were three-finger toxins (3FTxs), Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitors (including chain B of β-bungarotoxin), phospholipase A2 (including chain A of β-bungarotoxin), natriuretic peptide (NP), CRISPs, and C-type lectin. Conclusion The 3FTxs were found to be the major component of the venom (39%). We found eight groups of unique 3FTxs and most of them were different from the well-characterized 3FTxs. We found three groups of Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitors (SPIs); one group was comparable to the classical SPIs and the other two groups to chain B of β-bungarotoxins (with or without the extra cysteine) based on sequence identity. The latter group may be functional equivalents of dendrotoxins in Bungarus venoms. The natriuretic peptide (NP) found is the first NP for any Asian elapid, and distantly related to Australian elapid NPs. Our study identifies several unique toxins in B. flaviceps venom, which may help in understanding the evolution of venom toxins and the pathophysiological symptoms induced after envenomation. PMID:20350308

  10. Effects of luteectomy in early pregnancy on the maintenance of gestation and plasma progesterone concentrations in the viviparous temperate lizard Barisia imbricata imbricata

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Several studies have shown that the corpus luteum is the principal source of progesterone during the gravidity period in reptiles; however, its participation in the maintenance of gestation in the viviparous squamata is in dispute. The effects of ovariectomy or luteectomy vary according to the species and the time at which the procedure is performed. In this paper, we describe the effects of luteectomy during early pregnancy on the maintenance of gestation and progesterone concentrations in the temperate Mexican viviparous lizard Barisia imbricata imbricata. Methods Twenty-four lizards were subjected to three different treatments: luteectomy, sham luteectomy or non-surgical treatment, and blood samples were obtained before and after surgical treatment at different stages of gestation to determine the effects of luteectomy on the maintenance of gestation and progesterone concentrations. Results Spontaneous abortion was not observed in any of the females. However, luteectomy provoked abnormal parturition and a significant reduction in the number of young born alive. Parturition was normal in untreated females as well as those submitted to sham luteectomy. The surgical treatment also caused a significant reduction in progesterone concentrations in luteectomised females during early and middle gestation. However, no significant differences in hormone concentrations were observed among the three groups during late gestation or immediately post-parturition. Conclusions Our observations indicate that the presence of the corpus luteum is not necesary for the maintenance of gestation, but that it does participate in parturition control. Moreover, the corpus luteum of the viviparous lizard B. i. imbricata produces progesterone, at least during the first half of pregnancy, and that an extra-ovarian source of progesterone must maintain gestation in the absence of luteal tissue. PMID:20184772

  11. Phylogeny, divergence times and species limits of spiny lizards (Sceloporus magister species group) in western North American deserts and Baja California.

    PubMed

    Leaché, Adam D; Mulcahy, Daniel G

    2007-12-01

    The broad distribution of the Sceloporus magister species group (squamata: phrynosomatidae) throughout western North America provides an appropriate model for testing biogeographical hypotheses explaining the timing and origins of diversity across mainland deserts and the Baja California Peninsula. We inferred concordant phylogenetic trees describing the higher-level relationships within the magister group using 1.6 kb of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and 1.7 kb of nuclear DNA data. These data provide strong support for the parallel divergence of lineages endemic to the Baja California Peninsula (S. zosteromus and the orcutti complex) in the form of two sequential divergence events at the base of the magister group phylogeny. A relaxed phylogenetic analysis of the mtDNA data using one fossil and one biogeographical constraint provides a chronology of these divergence events and evidence that further diversification within the Baja California clades occurred simultaneously, although patterns of geographical variation and speciation between clades differ. We resolved four major phylogeographical clades within S. magister that (i) provide a novel phylogenetic placement of the Chihuahuan Desert populations sister to the Mojave Desert; (ii) illustrate a mixed history for the Colorado Plateau that includes Mojave and Sonoran Desert components; and (iii) identify an area of overlap between the Mojave and Sonoran Desert clades near Yuma, Arizona. Estimates of bidirectional migration rates among populations of S. magister using four nuclear loci support strong asymmetries in gene flow among the major mtDNA clades. Based on the nonexclusivity of mtDNA haplotypes, nuclear gene flow among populations and wide zones of phenotypic intergradation, S. magister appears to represent a single geographically variable and widespread species. PMID:17944851

  12. Impact of a major cyclone on a southeast African estuarine lake system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forbes, A. T.; Cyrus, D. P.

    The St Lucia lake and estuarine system in northern Natal, South Africa was struck by Cyclone Domoina on 31 January 1984. This is the only cyclone known to have traversed part of South Africa. The ensuing flood levels in the St Lucia system (which have been exceeded perhaps only one other time in recorded history) provided an opportunity to assess the effect of a major disturbance on a subtropical estuarine system. Major geomorphological changes occurred in the mouth area where all man-made structures were obliterated. The two river channels were scoured from 2-3 m to 10-14 m in depth and widened by up to 300 m, while the shoreline between the two channels retreated in places up to 100 m. An estimated 16∗10 6 m 3 of sediment were removed from the lower reaches of the system including areas of mangrove and Phragmites australis swamp. One-metre tall mangrove saplings died following inundation lasting days to weeks. Effects on the fauna included redistribution of the tanaid Apseudes digitalis, the mysid Mesopodopsis africana, the copepod Pseudodiaptomus stuhlmanni, the polychaete Scololepis squamata and the bivalve Solen cylindraceus, all typical lake species which appeared in the tidal channel linking the lake with the sea. Responses of other species such as the penaeid prawns, the crab Scylla serrata and the sole Solea bleekeri suggested that physiological tolerance, extended larval or juvenile recruitment periods and prey switching minimized long-term flood effects. No large-scale mortalities were noted, and the absence of a temperature shock is considered to be a significant feature.

  13. Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) Mitochondrial Population Genomics Reveals Structure, Divergence, and Evidence for Heteroplasmy.

    PubMed

    Halley, Yvette A; Oldeschulte, David L; Bhattarai, Eric K; Hill, Joshua; Metz, Richard P; Johnson, Charles D; Presley, Steven M; Ruzicka, Rebekah E; Rollins, Dale; Peterson, Markus J; Murphy, William J; Seabury, Christopher M

    2015-01-01

    squamata) as being explanatory factors for the two bobwhite maternal lineages observed. Instead, our analyses support the supposition that two diverged maternal lineages have survived from pre-expansion to post-expansion population(s), with the segregation of some slightly deleterious nonsynonymous mutations. PMID:26713762

  14. Continental shelf benthos off Otago Peninsula, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Probert, P. Keith; Wilson, John B.

    1984-09-01

    Benthic macrofauna of the continental shelf off Otago Peninsula, south-eastern New Zealand (45°51'S, 170°52'E) was surveyed by dredge sampling during 1973-1975. Numerical classification (Canberra metric coefficient and flexible sorting) was used to produce site groups and species groups, and three major benthic communities were recognised: a shallow-water (14-25 m) fauna inhabiting well-sorted fine sand, a mid-shelf fauna (concentrated in the depth range 50-76 m) associated with sediments containing the greatest proportions of gravel and siltclay, and a predominantly sand-bottom fauna occurring mainly on the outer shelf (87-150 m). All station groups were dominated numerically by polychaetes (mean of 36·6-56% of individuals) with Mollusca (13·8-25%) or Crustacea (12·1-19·4%) the next most abundant group. The inshore sand fauna was the most distinct, characteristic elements being the trochid gastropod Antisolarium egenum, an amphipod of the genus Hippomedon and dense patches of the spionid polychaete Spiophanes bombyx. Diagnostic species of the mid-shelf mixed sediments were Lepidonotus jacksoni, Psammolyce antipoda, Lumbrineris brevicirra and Phyllamphicteis foliata (Polychaeta), Terenochiton otagoensis, Micrelenchus caelatus caelatus, Maoricolpus roseus roseus and Zegalerus tenuis (Mollusca), Ampelisca chiltoni (Amphipoda) and Amphipholis squamata (Ophiuroidea). Outer shelf sand stations were faunally less distinct, but among the more characteristic species were Euthalenessa fimbriata, Sigalion sp. and Euchone sp. (Polychaeta) and Gari stangeri (Bivalvia). Several abundant species were widely distributed among station groups, notably Nephtys macroura, Lumbrineris magalhaensis, Phyllochaetopterus socialis and Owenia fusiformis (Polychaeta) and Nucula nitidula and Tawera spissa (Bivalvia). Free-living lunulitiform Bryozoa of the genus Otionella were a characteristic component of inner and outer shelf sand faunas, and their inshore penetration probably marks

  15. Bone indicators of grasping hands in lizards

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Grasping is one of a few adaptive mechanisms that, in conjunction with clinging, hooking, arm swinging, adhering, and flying, allowed for incursion into the arboreal eco-space. Little research has been done that addresses grasping as an enhanced manual ability in non-mammalian tetrapods, with the exception of studies comparing the anatomy of muscle and tendon structure. Previous studies showed that grasping abilities allow exploitation for narrow branch habitats and that this adaptation has clear osteological consequences. The objective of this work is to ascertain the existence of morphometric descriptors in the hand skeleton of lizards related to grasping functionality. A morphological matrix was constructed using 51 morphometric variables in 278 specimens, from 24 genera and 13 families of Squamata. To reduce the dimensions of the dataset and to organize the original variables into a simpler system, three PCAs (Principal Component Analyses) were performed using the subsets of (1) carpal variables, (2) metacarpal variables, and (3) phalanges variables. The variables that demonstrated the most significant contributions to the construction of the PCA synthetic variables were then used in subsequent analyses. To explore which morphological variables better explain the variations in the functional setting, we ran Generalized Linear Models for the three different sets. This method allows us to model the morphology that enables a particular functional trait. Grasping was considered the only response variable, taking the value of 0 or 1, while the original variables retained by the PCAs were considered predictor variables. Our analyses yielded six variables associated with grasping abilities: two belong to the carpal bones, two belong to the metacarpals and two belong to the phalanges. Grasping in lizards can be performed with hands exhibiting at least two different independently originated combinations of bones. The first is a combination of a highly elongated centrale

  16. Messinian deep-water turbidites and glacioeustatic sea-level changes in the North Atlantic: Linkage to the Mediterranean Salinity Crisis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jijun; Scott, David B.

    1996-06-01

    Our benthic foraminiferal data clearly indicate eight layers of deep-water turbidites during the Messinian (MTL 1-8) and one in the early Pliocene (PTL 1) in Ocean Drilling Program Leg 105, Site 646B. These deep-water tuibidite deposits are characterized by highly concentrated agglutinated marsh benthic foraminifera (e.g., Trochammina cf. squamata, Ammotium sp. A, Miliammina fusca), rounded quartz, polished thick-walled benthic foraminifera, wood fragments, plant seeds, plant fruit, and highly concentrated mica and are interbedded with sediments containing deep-water benthic faunas. We suggest these turbidites deposited during sea-level low stands (˜80-100 m below sea level), and their ages are tentatively correlated to 6.59, 6.22, 6.01, 5.89, 5.75, 5.7, 5.65, 5.60, and 5.55 Ma, respectively, based on the Messinian oxygen isotope enrichments at Site 552A of Deep Sea Drilling Project Leg 81. The turbidites layers during the late Messinian, coeval with frequent climate changes suggested by six oxygen enrichment excursions of Site 552A, may have been in part linked to the late Messinian evaporite deposits in the Mediterranean Basin. The most profound climate changes at 5.75 and 5.55 Ma may have been related to the Lower and Upper Evaporites in the Mediterranean Basin. An electronic supplement of this material may be obtained on adiskette or Anonymous FTP from KOSMOS .AGU.ORG, (LOGIN toAGU's FTP account using ANONYMOUS as the username and GUESTas the password. Go to the right directory by typing CD APEND. TypeLS to see what files are available. Type GET and the name of the file toget it. Finally, type EXIT to leave the system. (Paper 96PA00572,Messinian deep-water turbidites and glacioeustatic sea-level changes inthe North Atlantic: Linkage to the Mediterranean Salinity Crisis, JijunZhang and David B. Scott). Diskette may be ordered from AmericanGeophysical Union, 2000 Florida Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.20009; $15.00. Payment must accompany order.

  17. Gradients in precipitation and seasonality between Central and Eastern Asia (Mongolia, Northern Vietnam) during the Oligocene with implication for earlier monsoonal circulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boehme, Madelaine; Krings, Michael; Prieto, Jérome; Schneider, Simon

    2010-05-01

    presence of large-sized longirostrine crocodiles we found diverse ferns, including arborescent Osmundaceae and planosol paleosoils similar to those which developed today in this region. Böhme, M. 2007. Oligocene-Miocene Vertebrates from the Valley of Lakes (Central Mongolia): Morphology, phylogenetic and stratigraphic implications - 3. Herpetofauna (Anura, Squamata) and palaeoclimatic implications: preliminary results.- Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums Wien 108A: 43-52. Böhme, M., Prieto J., Schneider, S. (submitted): Cenozoic basins of Northern Vietnam: biostratigraphy, vertebrate and invertebrate fauna.- Journal of Asian Earth Sciences. Dupont-Nivet, G., Krijgsman, W., Langereis, C.G., Abels, H. A., Dai, S. and Fang, X. 2007. Tibetan Plateau aridification linked to global cooling at the Eocene-Oligocene transition.- Nature 445, 635-638.

  18. Reptilian transferrins: evolution of disulphide bridges and conservation of iron-binding center.

    PubMed

    Ciuraszkiewicz, Justyna; Biczycki, Marian; Maluta, Aleksandra; Martin, Samuel; Watorek, Wiesław; Olczak, Mariusz

    2007-07-01

    known bird homologues. A partially different disulphide bridge pattern was found in the Squamata (snakes and lizards). The possibility of a unique interdomain disulphide bridge was predicted for LtrF. Differences were found in iron-binding centers from those of previously known transferrins. Substitutions were found in the iron-chelating residues of StrF and TtrF and in the synergistic anion-binding residues of NtrF. In snakes, the transferrin (PtrF, HtrF and GtrF) N-lobe "dilysine trigger" occurring in all other known transferrins was not found, which indicates a different mechanism of iron release. PMID:17466466

  19. Unprecedented recent warming rate and temperature variability over the east Tibetan Plateau inferred from Alpine treeline dendrochronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Chunming; Masson-Delmotte, Valérie; Daux, Valérie; Li, Zongshan; Carré, Matthieu; Moore, John C.

    2015-09-01

    Despite instrumental records showing recent large temperature rises on the Tibetan Plateau (TP), only a few tree-ring temperature reconstructions do capture this warming trend. Here, we sampled 260 trees from seven Alpine treeline locations across the southeast TP. Standardized tree-ring width chronologies of Abies squamata and Sabina squamat were produced following Regional Curve Standardization detrending. The leading principal component of these records is well correlated with the regional summer (JJA) minimum temperature (MinT) (R2 = 0.47, P < 0.001, 1953-2009). Hence we produce a regional summer MinT reconstruction spanning the last 212 years. This reconstruction reveals a long-term persistent warming trend, starting in the 1820s, at a rate of 0.45 ± 0.09 °C/century (1820-2009). This trend is also detected since the 1820s in the Asian summer MinT reconstruction produced by the PAGES 2K project, with a very close warming rate (0.43 ± 0.08 °C/century, 1820-1989). Our record also displays an enhanced multi-decadal variability since the mid-twentieth century. The 1990s-2000s are the warmest of our whole record, due to the superposition of the gradual warming trend and decadal variability during this interval. The strongest decadal cooling occurs during the 1950s and the largest warming trend during the 1970s. The magnitude of warming from 1973 to 2003 was larger than the total warming trend from 1820s to 2009. Extreme events are also more frequent since 1950. The pattern of multi-decadal variability has similarities with the Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation, suggesting common causality. CMIP5 historical simulations fail to capture both the magnitude and timing of this multi-decadal variability. The ensemble CMIP5 average produces a steady warming trend starting in the 1970s, which only accounts for about 60 % of the observed warming trend during this period. We conclude that TP summer temperature could reflect a climate response to increased greenhouse gas