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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.

  3. 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

  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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Habitat structural effect on squamata fauna of the restinga ecosystem in northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Dias, Eduardo J R; Rocha, Carlos F D

    2014-03-01

    In this work, we surveyed data on richness and composition of squamatan reptiles and habitat structural effect in nine areas of restinga ecosystem in the State of Bahia, northeastern Brazil. The "restinga" ecosystems are coastal sand dune habitats on the coast of Brazil. Our main hypothesis is that the Squamata fauna composition along these restinga areas would be modulated by habitat structural. After 90 days of field sampling we recorded approximately 5% of reptile species known in Brazil. The composition of Squamata assemblages varied mainly based on the presence or absence of lizards of the genera Ameivula and Tropidurus. Our data showed that habitat structure consistently affected the composition of local Squamata fauna, especially lizards.

  8. Helminth community of scaled quail (Callipepla squamata) from western Texas.

    PubMed

    Landgrebe, Jill N; Vasquez, Barbara; Bradley, Russell G; Fedynich, Alan M; Lerich, Scott P; Kinsella, John M

    2007-02-01

    Forty-eight scaled quail (Callipepla squamata) were collected during August 2002 at Elephant Mountain Wildlife Management Area in Brewster County, Texas, and examined for helminths. Eight species of helminths were found (5 nematodes and 3 cestodes), representing 2,811 individuals. Of these species, Gongylonema sp., Procyrnea pileata, and Choanotaenia infundibulum are reported from scaled quail for the first time. Prevalence of Aulonocephalus pennula, Gongylonema sp., Oxyspirura petrowi, Physaloptera sp., P. pileata, C. infundibulum, Fuhrmannetta sp., and Rhabdometra odiosa was 98, 2, 56, 4, 60, 2, 25, and 35%, respectively. Aulonocephalus pennula numerically dominated, accounting for 88% of total worms. Statistical analyses were performed on the 5 species with > or = 25% prevalence using the after-hatch-year host sample (n = 38). Prevalence of P. pileata was higher (P = 0.049) in females than in males and higher (P = 0.037) in the sample collected from the site that had spreader dams (berms 1-2 m high and 4-55 m long constructed in varying sizes to catch and retain rainfall) than the control site (no spreader dams). Higher rank mean abundance of A. pennula and O. petrowi (P = 0.0001 and P = 0.0052, respectively) was found in the host sample collected from the site that had spreader dams than the control site. A host gender-by-collection site interaction (P = 0.0215) was observed for P. pileata. Findings indicate that scaled quail are acquiring indirect life cycle helminths in arid western Texas habitats. PMID:17436967

  9. Sclerotic Rings in Mosasaurs (Squamata: Mosasauridae): Structures and Taxonomic Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Yamashita, Momo; Konishi, Takuya; Sato, Tamaki

    2015-01-01

    Mosasaurs (Squamata: Mosasauridae) were a highly diverse, globally distributed group of aquatic lizards in the Late Cretaceous (98–66 million years ago) that exhibited a high degree of adaptation to life in water. To date, despite their rich fossil record, the anatomy of complete mosasaur sclerotic rings, embedded in the sclera of the eyeball, has not been thoroughly investigated. We here describe and compare sclerotic rings of four mosasaur genera, Tylosaurus, Platecarpus, Clidastes, and Mosasaurus, for the first time. Two specimens of Tylosaurus and Platecarpus share an exact scleral ossicle arrangement, excepting the missing portion in the specimen of Platecarpus. Furthermore, the exact arrangement and the total count of 14 ossicles per ring are shared between Tylosaurus and numerous living terrestrial lizard taxa, pertaining to both Iguania and Scleroglossa. In contrast, two species of Mosasaurus share the identical count of 12 ossicles and the arrangement with each other, while no living lizard taxa share exactly the same arrangement. Such a mosaic distribution of these traits both among squamates globally and among obligatorily aquatic mosasaurs specifically suggests that neither the ossicle count nor their arrangement played major roles in the aquatic adaptation in mosasaur eyes. All the mosasaur sclerotic rings examined consistently exhibit aperture eccentricity and the scleral ossicles with gently convex outer side. Hitherto unknown to any squamate taxa, one specimen of Platecarpus unexpectedly shows a raised, concentric band of roughened surface on the inner surface of the sclerotic ring. It is possible that one or both of these latter features may have related to adaptation towards aquatic vision in mosasaurs, but further quantitative study of extant reptilian clades containing both terrestrial and aquatic taxa is critical and necessary in order to understand possible adaptive significances of such osteological features. PMID:25692667

  10. Spermiogenesis in the imbricate alligator lizard, Barisia imbricata (Reptilia, Squamata, Anguidae).

    PubMed

    Gribbins, Kevin M; Rheubert, Justin L; Touzinsky, Katherine; Hanover, Jessica; Matchett, Caroline L; Granados-González, Gisela; Hernández-Gallegos, Oswaldo

    2013-06-01

    Although the events of spermiogenesis are commonly studied in amniotes, the amount of research available for Squamata is lacking. Many studies have described the morphological characteristics of mature spermatozoa in squamates, but few detail the ultrastructural changes that occur during spermiogenesis. This study's purpose is to gain a better understanding of the subcellular events of spermatid development within the Imbricate Alligator Lizard, Barisia imbricata. The morphological data presented here represent the first complete ultrastructural study of spermiogenesis within the family Anguidae. Samples of testes from four specimens collected on the northwest side of the Nevado de Toluca, México, were prepared using standard techniques for transmission electron microscopy. Many of the ultrastructural changes occurring during spermiogenesis within B. imbricata are similar to that of other squamates (i.e., early acrosome formation, chromatin condensation, flagella formation, annulus present, and a prominent manchette). However, there are a few unique characteristics within B. imbricata spermatids that to date have not been described during spermiogenesis in other squamates. For example, penetration of the acrosomal granule into the subacrosomal space to form the basal plate of the perforatorium during round spermatid development, the clover-shaped morphology of the developing nuclear fossa of the flagellum, and the bulbous shape to the perforatorium are all unique to the Imbricate Alligator Lizard. These anatomical character differences may be valuable nontraditional data that along with more traditional matrices (such as DNA sequences and gross morphological data) may help elucidate phylogenetic relationships, which are historically considered controversial within Squamata.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Plasma lipid concentrations for some Brazilian lizards.

    PubMed

    Gillett, M P; Lima, V L; Costa, J C; Sibrian, A M

    1979-01-01

    1. Plasma concentrations of cholesterol, cholesteryl esters, phospholipids and triglycerides were determined for ten species of Brazilian lizards, Iguana iguana, Tropidurus torquatos and T. semitaeniatus (Iguanidae), Tupinambis teguixin, Ameiva ameiva and Cnemidophorus ocellifer (Teiidae), Mabuya maculata (Scincidae), Hemidactylus mabouia (Gekkonidae), Amphisbaenia vermicularis and Leposternon polystegum (Amphisbaenidae). 2. Considerable inter- and intra-species variations in plasma lipid concentrations were observed. 3. The percentage of total cholesterol esterified and the individual phospholipid composition of plasma were relatively constant for each species. 4. Over 60% of the cholesteryl esters present in plasma from three species each of iguanid and teiid lizards were polyenoic. PMID:318307

  14. 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

  15. 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

  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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  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 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

  1. The sexual segment of Hemidactylus turcicus and the evolution of sexual segment location in squamata.

    PubMed

    Rheubert, Justin L; Murray, Christopher M; Siegel, Dustin S; Babin, Johnathan; Sever, David M

    2011-07-01

    observed, and only the molecular based phylogeny resolves the ancestral condition of the Squamata as the sexual segment of the kidney being observed in the distal convoluted tubule, collecting duct, and ureter.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Organochlorine pesticides, lead, and mercury in northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and scaled quail (Callipepla squamata) from the Rolling Plains ecoregion of Texas and Oklahoma.

    PubMed

    Baxter, Catherine E; Pappas, Sara; Abel, Michael T; Kendall, Ronald J

    2015-07-01

    Northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and scaled quail (Callipepla squamata) from the Rolling Plains ecoregion in Texas and Oklahoma were evaluated for organochlorine pesticides, Pb, and Hg. Of all organochlorine pesticides analyzed, only p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE) and p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (p,p'-DDD) were found in a few composite liver samples. Similarly, a small fraction of tissue samples had detectable levels of Hg (liver and breast) or Pb exceeding background concentrations (femur). Lead concentrations in a few individuals fell within the range associated with moderate toxicity.

  6. 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

  7. A new species of Cosmocerca (Nematoda: Cosmocercidae) and other helminths in Cyrtodactylus gubaot (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Philippines.

    PubMed

    Bursey, Charles R; Goldberg, Stephen R; Siler, Cameron D; Brown, Rafe M

    2015-12-01

    Cosmocerca leytensis sp. nov. (Ascaridida, Cosmocercidae) from the large intestine of Cyrtodactylus gubaot (Squamata: Gekkonidae) collected on Leyte Island, Philippines is described and illustrated. Cosmocerca leytensis sp. nov. is the 30th species assigned to the genus, the 4th from the Oriental region, and the first from the Philippine Islands. The new species is most similar to those species possessing 4 pairs of plectanes, i.e., C. archeyi, C. australis, C. oroensis, and C sardiniae. Cosmocerca sardiniae lacks lateral alae; C. archeyi, C. australis, C. leytensis sp. nov. and C. oroensis possess lateral alae. Spicule length of C. oroensis is less than 75 μm, while C. archeyi, C. australis, and C. leytensis sp. nov. have spicule lengths greater than 75 μm. Males of C. australis possess 2 pairs of rosette caudal papillae, which are lacking in C. archeyi and C. leytensis sp. nov. Females of C. archeyi posses a conical tail, females of C. leytensis sp. nov. have a rounded posterior end supporting a flexible filament.

  8. 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

  9. Localization of S1- and S2-like immunoreactivity in the nervous system of the brittle star Amphipholis squamata (Delle Chiaje 1828).

    PubMed Central

    de Bremaeker, N; Deheyn, D; Thorndyke, M C; Baguet, F; Mallefet, J

    1997-01-01

    The recent isolation and characterization of the SALMFanide neuropeptides S1 GFNSALMFamide; and S2 (SGPYSFNSGLTFamide) from the sea stars. Asterias rubens and Asterias forbesi have initiated numerous studies on their morphological localization and distribution within the phylum Echinodermata. It has been shown by immunocytochemistry and radioimmunoassay that these peptides are widely distributed in the nervous system of some asteroids, echinoids and ophiuroids. A physiological approach has also shown that S1 and S2 potentiate the luminescence of the small ophiuroid Amphipholis squamata. In the present study. S1- and S2-like immunoreactivity have been localized in A. squamata by immunocytochemistry on both wholemount preparation and histological sections. The results reveal a widespread neuronal distribution of S1-like immunoreactivity in the circumoral ring, radial nerve cord, and tube feet. S1-like immunoreactivity was found to be associated with axons and cell bodies in both the ectoneural and hyponeural components of the nervous. S2-like immunoreactivity was detected only in the ectoneural plenus of the circumoral ring and radial nerve cord. PMID:9178539

  10. Phylogeny, biogeography and evolution of clutch size in South American lizards of the genus Kentropyx (Squamata: Teiidae).

    PubMed

    Werneck, Fernanda de P; Giugliano, Lilian G; Collevatti, Rosane G; Colli, Guarino R

    2009-01-01

    The lizard genus Kentropyx (Squamata: Teiidae) comprises nine species, which have been placed in three species groups (calcarata group, associated to forests ecosystems; paulensis and striata groups, associated to open ecosystems). We reconstructed phylogenetic relationships of Kentropyx based on morphology (pholidosis and coloration) and mitochondrial DNA data (12S and 16S), using maximum parsimony and Bayesian methods, and evaluated biogeographic scenarios based on ancestral areas analyses and molecular dating by Bayesian methods. Additionally, we tested the life-history hypothesis that species of Kentropyx inhabiting open ecosystems (under seasonal environments) produce larger clutches with smaller eggs and that species inhabiting forest ecosystems (under aseasonal conditions) produce clutches with fewer and larger eggs, using Stearns' phylogenetic-subtraction method and canonical phylogenetic ordination to take in to account the effects of phylogeny. Our results showed that Kentropyx comprises three monophyletic groups, with K. striata occupying a basal position in opposition to previous suggestions of relationships. Additionally, Bayesian analysis of divergence time showed that Kentropyx may have originated at the Tertiary (Eocene/Oligocene) and the 'Pleistocene Refuge Hypothesis' may not explain the species diversification. Based on ancestral reconstruction and molecular dating, we argued that a savanna ancestor is more likely and that historical events during the Tertiary of South America promoted the differentiation of the genus, coupled with recent Quaternary events that were important as dispersion routes and for the diversification at populational levels. Clutch size and egg volume were not significantly different between major clades and ecosystems of occurrence, even accounting for the phylogenetic effects. Finally, we argue that phylogenetic constraints and phylogenetic inertia might be playing essential roles in life history evolution of Kentropyx.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-10-01

    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 (5797 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 Bipes 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 the block cob, trnT, trnP, as they are in birds.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

    2015-09-25

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Nomenclatural issues in the Psammodromus hispanicus (Squamata: Lacertidae) species group.

    PubMed

    Crochet, Pierre-André

    2015-01-01

    The Psammodromus hispanicus species group has been recently shown to include three lineages that differ in morphology (San-Jose et al. 2012), have largely parapatric range but exhibit little evidence of historical gene flow (Fitze et al. 2011), leading to the recognition of these three lineages as distinct species (Fitze et al. 2012). The eastern species can be unambiguously associated with the nomen Lacerta edwarsiana Dugès 1829, as the detailed information in Dugès (1829) leaves no doubt that he describes as Lacerta edwarsiana the local member of the P. hispanicus complex, and the type locality is the "bas Languedoc", an area of France equivalent to the lowland parts of the current Languedoc region where the only member of the complex is the eastern lineage. The types of Psammodromus edwarsianus have not been traced as far as I am aware, but given the lack of uncertainty regarding allocation of this nomen to the eastern lineage of the P. hispanicus complex this has no nomenclatural consequence. Two nomenclatural issues remain in this species group however: the aim of this note is to solve them.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Synonyms for some species of Mexican anoles (Squamata: Dactyloidae).

    PubMed

    De Oca, Adrián Nieto Montes; Poe, Steven; Scarpetta, Simon; Gray, Levi; Lieb, Carl S

    2013-01-01

    We studied type material and freshly collected topotypical specimens to assess the taxonomic status of five names associated with species of Mexican Anolis. We find A. schmidti to be a junior synonym of A. nebulosus, A. breedlovei to be a junior synonym of A. cuprinus, A. polyrhachis to be a junior synonym of A. rubiginosus, A. simmonsi to be a junior synonym of A. nebuloides, and A. adleri to be a junior synonym of A. liogaster.

  11. 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.

  12. Neuromuscular Activity of Micrurus laticollaris (Squamata: Elapidae) Venom in Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Carbajal-Saucedo, Alejandro; Floriano, Rafael Stuani; Dal Belo, Cháriston André; Olvera-Rodríguez, Alejandro; Alagón, Alejandro; Rodrigues-Simioni, Léa

    2014-01-01

    In this work, we have examined the neuromuscular activity of Micrurus laticollaris (Mexican coral snake) venom (MLV) in vertebrate isolated nerve-muscle preparations. In chick biventer cervicis preparations, the MLV induced an irreversible concentration- and time-dependent (1–30 µg/mL) neuromuscular blockade, with 50% blockade occurring between 8 and 30 min. Muscle contractures evoked by exogenous acetylcholine were completely abolished by MLV, whereas those of KCl were also significantly altered (86% ± 11%, 53% ± 11%, 89% ± 5% and 89% ± 7% for one, three, 10 and 30 µg of venom/mL, respectively; n = 4; p < 0.05). In mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparations, MLV (1–10 µg/mL) promoted a slight increase in the amplitude of twitch-tension (3 µg/mL), followed by neuromuscular blockade (n = 4); the highest concentration caused complete inhibition of the twitches (time for 50% blockade = 26 ± 3 min), without exhibiting a previous neuromuscular facilitation. The venom (3 µg/mL) induced a biphasic modulation in the frequency of miniature end-plate potentials (MEPPs)/min, causing a significant increase after 15 min, followed by a decrease after 60 min (from 17 ± 1.4 (basal) to 28 ± 2.5 (t15) and 12 ± 2 (t60)). The membrane resting potential of mouse diaphragm preparations pre-exposed or not to d-tubocurarine (5 µg/mL) was also significantly less negative with MLV (10 µg/mL). Together, these results indicate that M. laticollaris venom induces neuromuscular blockade by a combination of pre- and post-synaptic activities. PMID:24445448

  13. Neuromuscular activity of Micrurus laticollaris (Squamata: Elapidae) venom in vitro.

    PubMed

    Carbajal-Saucedo, Alejandro; Floriano, Rafael Stuani; Dal Belo, Cháriston André; Olvera-Rodríguez, Alejandro; Alagón, Alejandro; Rodrigues-Simioni, Léa

    2014-01-17

    In this work, we have examined the neuromuscular activity of Micrurus laticollaris (Mexican coral snake) venom (MLV) in vertebrate isolated nerve-muscle preparations. In chick biventer cervicis preparations, the MLV induced an irreversible concentration- and time-dependent (1-30 µg/mL) neuromuscular blockade, with 50% blockade occurring between 8 and 30 min. Muscle contractures evoked by exogenous acetylcholine were completely abolished by MLV, whereas those of KCl were also significantly altered (86% ± 11%, 53% ± 11%, 89% ± 5% and 89% ± 7% for one, three, 10 and 30 µg of venom/mL, respectively; n = 4; p < 0.05). In mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparations, MLV (1-10 µg/mL) promoted a slight increase in the amplitude of twitch-tension (3 µg/mL), followed by neuromuscular blockade (n = 4); the highest concentration caused complete inhibition of the twitches (time for 50% blockade = 26 ± 3 min), without exhibiting a previous neuromuscular facilitation. The venom (3 µg/mL) induced a biphasic modulation in the frequency of miniature end-plate potentials (MEPPs)/min, causing a significant increase after 15 min, followed by a decrease after 60 min (from 17 ± 1.4 (basal) to 28 ± 2.5 (t15) and 12 ± 2 (t60)). The membrane resting potential of mouse diaphragm preparations pre-exposed or not to d-tubocurarine (5 µg/mL) was also significantly less negative with MLV (10 µg/mL). Together, these results indicate that M. laticollaris venom induces neuromuscular blockade by a combination of pre- and post-synaptic activities.

  14. The taxonomic status of Tantilla marcovani Lema 2004 (Squamata: Colubridae).

    PubMed

    Mata-Silva, Vicente; Wilson, Larry David

    2016-03-16

    The colubrid snake genus Tantilla currently comprises 62 valid species distributed from the southern United States of America to southern Bolivia in the west, and Uruguay and northern Argentina in the east (Wilson & Mata-Silva 2014, 2015). Of these 62 species, 13 are found in South America (Wilson & Mata-Silva 2014, 2015). The most recently described of these Southamerican species is Tantilla marcovani Lema, 2004. While we were working on a checklist and key to the members of the Tantilla clade (sensu Holm 2008, including the genera Geagras Cope 1876, Scolecophis Fitzinger 1843, Tantilla Baird & Girard 1853, and Tantillita Smith 1941; Wilson & Mata-Silva 2015), it became apparent that the diagnosis of T. marcovani entirely falls to distinguish this nominal taxon from the widespread and extensively variable T. melanocephala Linnaeus 1758. Tantilla melanocephala, as presently envisioned, is the most broadly distributed member of its genus (Wilson & Mena 1980; Savage 2002; Greenbaum et al. 2004), occurring from Panama southward into the major portion of the South American continent, apart from Chile and southern Argentina.

  15. 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.

  16. The taxonomic status of Tantilla marcovani Lema 2004 (Squamata: Colubridae).

    PubMed

    Mata-Silva, Vicente; Wilson, Larry David

    2016-01-01

    The colubrid snake genus Tantilla currently comprises 62 valid species distributed from the southern United States of America to southern Bolivia in the west, and Uruguay and northern Argentina in the east (Wilson & Mata-Silva 2014, 2015). Of these 62 species, 13 are found in South America (Wilson & Mata-Silva 2014, 2015). The most recently described of these Southamerican species is Tantilla marcovani Lema, 2004. While we were working on a checklist and key to the members of the Tantilla clade (sensu Holm 2008, including the genera Geagras Cope 1876, Scolecophis Fitzinger 1843, Tantilla Baird & Girard 1853, and Tantillita Smith 1941; Wilson & Mata-Silva 2015), it became apparent that the diagnosis of T. marcovani entirely falls to distinguish this nominal taxon from the widespread and extensively variable T. melanocephala Linnaeus 1758. Tantilla melanocephala, as presently envisioned, is the most broadly distributed member of its genus (Wilson & Mena 1980; Savage 2002; Greenbaum et al. 2004), occurring from Panama southward into the major portion of the South American continent, apart from Chile and southern Argentina. PMID:27394464

  17. 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.

  18. Morphological variation in the tropical anole, Anolis casildae (Squamata: Polychrotidae).

    PubMed

    Nicholson, K E; Roberto Ibáñez, D; Jaramillo, C A; Lips, K R

    2001-06-01

    We describe morphological variation (scalation and coloration) observed among eight individuals of the Panamanian lizard species Anolis casildae. This variation was not observed in the holotype and aids in identification of this recently described species (originally described on the basis of a single, male specimen). This species occurs only in the Reserva Forestal Fortuna (Chiriquí Province) and the adjacent Bosque Protector Palo Seco (Bocas del Toro Province) in western Panama. Anolis casildae can be distinguished from all other Panamanian anole species via six features: (1) two enlarged superciliary scales (the first larger than the second); (2) an anterior nasal scale in contact with the rostral scale or separated from the rostral by one scale; (3) 6-8 sublabial scales to the center of the eye; (4) 3-4 scales between the supraobital semicircles; (5) unique coloration (4-6 oblique brown bands interspersed by blue-outlined yellow patches; dewlap is a dirty cream color with broad yellow scale rows irregularly interspersed with smaller emerald green scales) and (6) A. casildae occurs from 1,050 to 1,400 m in the Cordillera Central. We also compare our natural history observations of A. casildae to a similar large anole, A. frenatus, a species which we believe A. casildae to be closely related. PMID:11935926

  19. 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

  20. 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

  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. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Morphology and development of the placentae in Eulamprus quoyii group skinks (Squamata: Scincidae)

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, Bridget F; Brandley, Matthew C; Murphy, Christopher R; Thompson, Michael B

    2012-01-01

    Frequent evolutionary changes in reproductive mode have produced a wide range of placental structures in viviparous squamate reptiles. Closely related species with different placental structures and resolved phylogenetic relationships are particularly useful for reconstructing how placentae might have transformed during the evolutionary process. We used light microscopy to study placental morphology in mid- to late stage embryos of four closely related species of Eulamprus, a genus of viviparous scincid lizards that we had reason to suspect may display significant interspecific variation in placental morphology. Embryos from all four species possess a chorioallantoic placenta, an omphaloplacenta and an interomphalopleuric membrane, characteristics present in other viviparous skinks. However, unlike other viviparous skinks but characteristic of oviparous skinks, the allantois expands to surround the yolk sac in each species, supplanting the omphalopleure with a larger area of chorioallantois until a chorioallantoic placenta surrounds the entire egg in one specimen that is only a few days from birth. All four Eulamprus species share the same extraembryonic membrane morphology, but the cellular morphology of the uterine epithelium in the chorioallantoic placenta and omphaloplacenta varies between species. We determined that the interomphalopleuric membrane is a shared derived character of the Eulamprus quoyii species group. New phylogenetic information indicates that variation in the chorioallantoic placenta is a result of two independent transitions, but that variation in the omphaloplacenta can be explained using a single change within the species studied. Our results indicate that E. quoyii group skinks are a valuable model for investigating the evolution of viviparity, as extraembryonic membrane development in these species shows features characteristic of both oviparous and viviparous skinks. PMID:22420511

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Karyological characterization of the butterfly lizard (Leiolepis reevesii rubritaeniata, Agamidae, Squamata) by molecular cytogenetic approach.

    PubMed

    Srikulnath, K; Matsubara, K; Uno, Y; Thongpan, A; Suputtitada, S; Apisitwanich, S; Matsuda, Y; Nishida, C

    2009-01-01

    Karyological characterization of the butterfly lizard (Leiolepis reevesii rubritaeniata) was performed by conventional Giemsa staining, Ag-NOR banding, FISH with the 18S-28S and 5S rRNA genes and telomeric (TTAGGG)n sequences, and CGH. The karyotype was composed of 2 distinct components, macrochromosomes and microchromosomes, and the chromosomal constitution was 2n = 2x = 36 (L(4)(m) + L(2)(sm) + M(2)(m) + S(4)(m) + 24 microchromosomes). NORs and the 18S-28S rRNA genes were located at the secondary constriction of the long arm of chromosome 1, and the 5S rRNA genes were localized to the pericentromeric region of chromosome 6. Hybridization signals of (TTAGGG)n sequences were observed at the telomeric ends of all chromosomes and interstitially at the same position as the 18S-28S rRNA genes, suggesting that in the Leiolepinae tandem fusion probably occurred between chromosome 1 and a microchromosome where the 18S-28S rRNA genes were located. CGH analysis, however, failed to identify sex chromosomes, suggesting that this species may have a TSD system or exhibit GSD with morphologically undetectable cryptic sex chromosomes. Homologues of 6 chicken Z-linked genes (ACO1/IREBP, ATP5A1, CHD1, DMRT1, GHR, RPS6) were all mapped to chromosome 2p in the same order as on the snake chromosome 2p.

  8. 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.

  9. Material properties of the skin of the Kenyan sand boa Gongylophis colubrinus (Squamata, Boidae).

    PubMed

    Klein, Marie-Christin G; Deuschle, Julia K; Gorb, Stanislav N

    2010-09-01

    On the basis of structural data, it has been previously assumed that the integument of snakes consists of a hard, robust, inflexible outer surface (Oberhäutchen and beta-layer) and soft, flexible inner layers (alpha-layers). The aim of this study was to compare material properties of the outer and inner scale layers of the exuvium of Gongylophis colubrinus, to relate the structure of the snake integument to its mechanical properties. The nanoindentation experiments have demonstrated that the outer scale layers are harder, and have a higher effective elastic modulus than the inner scale layers. The results obtained provide strong evidence about the presence of a gradient in the material properties of the snake integument. The possible functional significance of this gradient is discussed here as a feature minimizing damage to the integument during sliding locomotion on an abrasive surface, such as sand.

  10. 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.

  11. Postnatal development of the skull of Dinilysia patagonica (Squamata-stem Serpentes).

    PubMed

    Scanferla, Agustín; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S

    2014-03-01

    The snake skull represents a profound transformation of the ancestral squamate cranium in which dermal skull roof bones were integrated with the braincase, in a manner convergent with that which occurred during the origin of mammals. However, the ontogeny of snake characters at the origin of the clade has until now been inaccessible. Here we describe a postnatal ontogenetic series of the Late Cretaceous stem snake Dinilysia patagonica and compare it to that of extant lizards and snakes. Comparative analysis indicates notable ontogenetic changes, including advanced state of ossification, isometric growth of the otic capsule, fusion of the stylohyal to the quadrate, and great posterior elongation of the supratemporal. Of these transformations, the unfused condition of braincase bones and the retention of a large otic capsule in adults are examples of paedomorphic and peramorphic processes, respectively. Some ontogenetic transformations detected, in particular those present in middle ear, skull roof and suspensorium, are strikingly similar to those present in extant snakes. Nevertheless, Dinilysia retains a lizard-like paroccipital process without an epiphyseal extremity, and a calcified epiphysis that caps the sphenoccipital tubercle. Finally, the integration of the dermal skull roof with the braincase is similar to that seen in mammals with regard to the overall closure of the braincase, but the two evolutionary and developmental modules appear less integrated in snakes in that the parietal bone of the dermal skull roof progressively overlaps the supraoccipital of the chondrocranial braincase.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. A new species of pentastomida infecting Tropidurus hispidus (Squamata: Tropiduridae) from Caatinga in Northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Almeida, W O; Freire, E M X; Lopes, S G

    2008-02-01

    This article describes a new species of Brazilian Raillietiella Sambon, 1910 from lungs of Tropidurus hispidus (Spix, 1825). Between July and October 2005 eighteen specimens of T. hispidus were actively captured with elastic rubber slings in granite outcrops (lajeiros) (06 degrees 59' S and 39 degrees 31' W) from caatinga formations in the municipality of Farias Brito, State of Ceará, Northeastern Brazil. One female and one male of T. hispidus had lungs infected by Raillietiella mottae sp. nov. (prevalence 11.1% and mean intensity of infection 6.0 +/- 1.4, range 5-7). The parasite's main diagnostic characteristics include the dimensions of sharp hooks and strongly curved or "C-shaped" male copulatory spicules with knob-like posterior projection from the base towards the inner curvature of the spicule.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. The complete mitochondrial genome of Chinese glass lizard Ophisaurus harti (Squamata: Anguidae).

    PubMed

    Pan, Hong-Chun; Liu, Lei; Li, Ping; Li, Xiao-Fei; Liu, Zheng-Liang

    2015-04-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of Ophisaurus harti is a circular molecule of 17,163 bp in length, containing 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNAs, 22 transfer RNAs and a control region. The A + T content of the overall base composition of H-strand is 54.9% (T: 23.4%; C: 30.8%; A: 31.5%; G: 14.3%). COI gene begins with GTG as start codon, while other 12 protein-coding genes start with a typical ATG initiation codon. ND1. COI. ATP8. ATP6. ND4L and ND5 genes are terminated with TAA as stop codon, ND2. ND6 and Cyt b end with TAG, COIII ends with TA, COII and ND3 end with T and ND4 ends with TG.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. A new species of the genus Tropiocolotes Peters, 1880 from western Iran (Squamata: Sauria: Gekkonidae).

    PubMed

    Krause, Valentina; Ahmadzadeh, Faraham; Moazeni, Mostafa; Wagner, Philipp; Wilms, Thomas M

    2013-01-01

    The genus Tropiocolotes comprises small, naked toed, ground dwelling and nocturnal desert geckos, ranging from Morocco and Mauritania in northern Africa to south and central Arabia as well as coastal Iran. Herein, we describe a new species of the genus Tropiocolotes from western Iran based on five specimens from Nayband region. This new taxon is described with a statistical approach based on 34 meristic, metric and qualitative morphological characters of more than 300 individuals of related species. PMID:26106762

  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. Taxonomy, phylogeny, and distribution of Bronchocela rayaensis (Squamata: Agamidae) on the Thai-Malay Peninsula.

    PubMed

    Grismer, L Lee; Wood, Perry L Jr; Aowphol, Anchelee; Cota, Michael; Murdoch, Mathew L; Aguilar, César; Grismer, Marta S

    2016-01-01

    An integrative taxonomic analysis used to identify a new population of Bronchocela from Phuket Island, Thailand indicates it is conspecific with B. rayaensis from the Langkawi Archipelago of northwestern Peninsular Malaysia. An additional specimen photographed from Khura Buri District, Phang-nga Province is also considered to be B. rayaensis and represents a northern range extension of 295 km from the Langkawi Archipelago. PMID:27394463

  9. 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.

  10. Evidence for parallel ecological speciation in scincid lizards of the Eumeces skiltonianus species group (Squamata: Scincidae).

    PubMed

    Richmond, Jonathan Q; Reeder, Tod W

    2002-07-01

    We identify instances of parallel morphological evolution in North American scincid lizards of the Eumeces skiltonianus species group and provide evidence that this system is consistent with a model of ecological speciation. The group consists of three putative species divided among two morphotypes, the small-bodied and striped E. skiltonianus and E. lagunensis versus the large-bodied and typically uniform-colored E. gilberti. Members of the group pass through markedly similar phenotypic stages during early development, but differ with respect to where terminal morphology occurs along the developmental sequence. The morphotypes also differ in habitat preference, with the large-bodied gilberti form generally inhabiting lower elevations and drier environments than the smaller, striped morphs. We inferred the phylogenetic relationships of 53 skiltonianus group populations using mtDNA sequence data from the ND4 protein-coding gene and three flanking tRNAs (900 bp total). Sampling encompassed nearly the entire geographic range of the group, and all currently recognized species and subspecies were included. Our results provide strong evidence for parallel origins of three clades characterized by the gilberti morphotype, two of which are nested within the more geographically widespread E. skiltonianus. Eumeces lagunensis was also nested among populations of E. skiltonianus. Comparative analyses using independent contrasts show that evolutionary changes in body size are correlated with differences in adult color pattern. The independently derived association of gilberti morphology with warm, arid environments suggests that phenotypic divergence is the result of adaptation to contrasting selection regimes. We provide evidence that body size was likely the target of natural selection, and that divergences in color pattern and mate recognition are probable secondary consequences of evolving large body size.

  11. Seasonal spermatogenesis in the Mexican endemic oviparous lizard, Sceloporus aeneus (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae)

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Gallegos, Oswaldo; Méndez-de la Cruz, Fausto Roberto; Villagrán-SantaCruz, Maricela; Rheubert, Justin L; Granados-González, Gisela; Gribbins, Kevin M

    2014-01-01

    Oviparous species of Sceloporus exhibit either seasonal or continuous spermatogenesis and populations from high-elevation show a seasonal pattern known as spring reproductive activity. We studied the spermatogenic cycle of a high-elevation (2700 m) population of endemic oviparous lizard, Sceloporus aeneus, that resided south of México, D.F. Histological analyses were performed on the testes and reproductive ducts from individual lizards collected monthly. This population of S. aeneus showed a seasonal pattern of spermatogenesis, with 4 successive phases common in other lizards. These include: 1) Quiescence in August, which contained solely spermatogonia and Sertoli cells; 2) Testicular recrudescence (September-January) when testes became active with mitotic spermatogonia, spermatocytes beginning meiosis, and the early stages of spermiogenesis with spermatids; 3) Maximum testicular activity occurred from March to May and is when the largest spermiation events ensued within the germinal epithelia, which were also dominated by spermatids and spermiogenic cells; 4) Testicular regression in June was marked with the number of all germs cells decreasing rapidly and spermatogonia dominated the seminiferous epithelium. February was a transitional month between recrudescence and maximum activity. The highest sperm abundance in the lumina of epididymides was during maximum testicular activity (March-May). Thus, before and after these months fewer spermatozoa were detected within the excurrent ducts as the testis transitions from recrudescence to maximum activity in February and from maximum activity to quiescence in June. Maximum spermatogenic activity corresponds with warmest temperatures at this study site. This pattern known as spring reproductive activity with a fall recrudescence was similar to other oviparous species of genus Sceloporus. PMID:26413407

  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. New species of Oswaldocruzia (Nematoda: Molineidae) in Ameiva festiva (Squamata: Teiidae) from Nicaragua.

    PubMed

    Bursey, Charles R; Goldberg, Stephen R; Vitt, Laurie J

    2006-04-01

    Oswaldocruzia nicaraguensis n. sp. (Strongylida: Molineidae) from the intestines of Ameiva festiva (Sauria: Teiidae) is described and illustrated. Oswaldocruzia nicaraguensis represents the 78th species assigned to the genus and is most similar to the Caribbean species of the genus by possessing spicules in which each of the 3 divisions terminates in numerous fine points. Of the 8 species assigned to this group, O. nicaraguensis is most similar to Oswaldocruzia moraveci; of the 8 species, only O. moraveci and O. nicaraguensis possess a type II bursa and lack cervical alae. It is separated from O. moraveci by the position of the tips of ribs 5-6; close together in O. nicaraguensis, well separated in O. moraveci. PMID:16729693

  14. Banding patterns and chromosomal evolution in five species of neotropical Teiinae lizards (Squamata: Teiidae).

    PubMed

    dos Santos, Rodrigo Marques Lima; Pellegrino, Katia Cristina Machado; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut; Yonenaga-Yassuda, Yatiyo

    2007-11-01

    Karyotypes of five species of South American teiid lizards from subfamily Teiinae: Ameiva ameiva, Kentropyx calcarata, K. paulensis, K. vanzoi (2n = 50, all acrocentric), and Cnemidophorus ocellifer (2n = 50, all biarmed), are herein described and compared on the basis of conventional and silver staining, and CBG and RBG banding patterns. Meiotic data are also included. Karyotypes of K. paulensis, K. vanzoi, and C. ocellifer are reported here for the first time. Inter-generic variability in Ag-NORs location was detected with NORs occurring at the end of long arm of pair 1 in K. calcarata, K. paulensis, and K. vanzoi; pair 5 in C. ocellifer and pair 7 in A. ameiva. The location of NORs, along with the karyological differences between A. ameiva and the Central American species (A. auberi), corroboretes the molecular-based hypothesis that the genus Ameiva is paraphyletic. Inter-populational heteromorphism in Ag-NORs size was detected between populations of C. ocellifer. RBG and CBG banding data demonstrated that the biarmed condition of the C. ocellifer chromosomes is due to multiple pericentric inversion events instead of addition of constitutive heterochromatin. Differential-staining techniques used here revealed valuable information about Teiinae karyotypic diversity and made it possible to compare these species, contributing to both the better comprehension of their chromosomal evolution and issues on taxa systematics. PMID:17206461

  15. The effects of early experience on subsequent feeding responses in the Tegu, Tupinambis teguixin (Squamata : Teiidae).

    PubMed

    Punzo, F

    2003-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of early feeding experiences on subsequent responses to prey in the tegu, Tupinambis teguixin. Five-day old lizards were exposed to the odors of various prey and control substances on cotton-tipped applicators with the tongue-flick attack score (TFAS) chosen as the dependent variable. Each lizard was exposed to four stimuli: two controls (deionised water and cologne), and extracts from a mouse Mus musculus, and a lizard Ameiva ameiva, in a repeated measures, randomized block design, receiving one stimulus training session / day over a 40-day period. Tongue-flicks directed toward the applicator were counted over a 1 min period as well as the amount of time that elapsed from the first tongue flick to any bite that may have occurred. Live neonatal mice (but not A. ameiva), offered on a weekly basis, were used as a food source for tegus over a 10-month period. After 10 months, tegus were exposed to applicators containing control odors as well as those containing extracts from mice and lizards (A. ameiva). Mouse extracts elicited significantly higher TFAS as compared to those elicited by A. ameiva or control odors, suggesting that prey odors encountered in the environment shortly after hatching can influence prey preferences by these lizards later in life. These results also indicate that tegu lizards can learn to use specific odor cues associated with naturally occurring prey as releasers for subsequent hunting behaviors. PMID:12974408

  16. Plasmodium carmelinoi n. sp. (Haemosporida: Plasmodiidae) of the lizard Ameiva ameiva (Squamata: Teiidae) in Amazonian Brazil.

    PubMed

    Lainson, R; Franco, C M; Da Matta, R

    2010-06-01

    Plasmodium carmelinoi n. sp. is described in the teiid lizard Ameiva ameiva from north Brazil. Following entry of the merozoites into the erythrocyte, the young, uninucleated trophozoites are at first tear-shaped and already possess a large vacuole: with growth, they may assume an irregular shape, but eventually become spherical or broadly ovoid. The vacuole reduces the cytoplasm of the parasite to a narrow peripheral band in which nuclear division produces a schizont with 8-12 nuclei. At first the dark, brownish-black pigment granules are restricted to this rim of cytoplasm but latterly become conspicuously concentrated within the vacuole. The mature schizonts are spherical to ovoid and predominantly polar in their position in the erythrocyte. They average 5.4 x 4,9 microm (4.4 x 4.4 - 6.6 x 5,9 microm), shape index 1.1, n = 50: 8-12 merozoites are produced and measure approximately 2.0 x 1,0 microm. Mature gametocytes are also polar in position, and spherical to subspherical. The macrogametocytes measure 5.7 x 5,2 microm (4.4 x 4.0- 5.9 x 5,1 microm), shape index 1.1, n = 50 and, following staining by Giemsa's method, possess a compact, pink-staining nucleus and a clear blue, faintly stained cytoplasm. Microgametocytes are slightly larger, 6.0 x 5,0 microm (5.2 x 4.4 - 6.2 x 5,2 microm), shape index 1.2, n = 45. They stain an over-all pink colour due to the dispersed nuclear chromatin. The vacuoles in both the macro- and microgametocytes are considerably smaller than those of the schizonts and of ovoid or spindle shape: they contain most of the pigment granules. The sex ratio, as seen in an inicial intense infection, was 1 male to 2.2 females. Prevalence of infection was low (5%) but, due to the very low parasitaemia which may result in a failure to detect parasites, it is probably higher than this. PMID:20597439

  17. Signal transduction in red blood cells of the lizards Ameiva ameiva and Tupinambis merianae (Squamata, Teiidae).

    PubMed

    Beraldo, F H; Sartorello, R; Lanari, R D; Garcia, C R

    2001-06-01

    The fluorescent calcium probe, Fluo-3, AM was used to measure the intracellular calcium concentration in red blood cells (RBCs) of the teiid lizards Ameiva ameiva and Tupinambis merianae. The cytosolic [Ca2+] is maintained around 20 nM and the cells contain membrane-bound Ca2+ pools. One pool appears to be identifiable with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) inasmuch as addition of the sarco-endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase, SERCA, inhibitor thapsigargin induces an increase in cytosolic [Ca2+ both in the presence and in the absence of extracellular Ca2+. In addition to the ER, an acidic compartment appears to be involved in Ca2+ storage, as collapse of intracellular pHgradients by monensin, a Na+ -H+ exchanger, and nigericin, a K+ -H+ exchanger, induce the release of Ca2+ from internal pools. A vacuolar H+ pump, sensitive to NBD-Cl and bafilomycin appears to be necessary to load the acidic Ca2+ pools. Finally, the purinergic agonist ATP triggers a rapid and transient increase of [Ca2+]c in the cells from both lizard species, mostly by mobilization of the cation from internal stores. PMID:11352509

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. [Seasonal changes in the dorsal coloration in the lizard Aspidoscelis costata costata (Squamata: Teiidae)].

    PubMed

    Hernández-Gallegos, Oswaldo; Domínguez-Vega, Hublester

    2012-03-01

    Color and color patterns in animals are important characteristics that bring protection, by dampening the ability of predators that depend on their sight to detect their preys. In lizards, the dorsal coloration plays a key role in communication of intraspecific signals such as social cues. In this study, we evaluated the seasonal changes in the dorsal coloration of the wide foraging lizard A. costata costata, in Tonatico, State of Mexico, Mexico. The seasonal evaluation included: the rainy season from mid June to mid September (can also include the end of May to early October); and the dry season for the rest of the year. The dorsal coloration of A. costata costata and their microhabitats were evaluated by contrasting the color pattern with an identification guide and the control colors of Pantone, during 11 samplings carried out from February-October 2007. Individual lizard analysis recorded snout-vent length, sex and stage (juveniles and adults). Besides, all animals were marked by toe-clipping, allowing to distinguish dorsal coloration between seasons, sex and stage. A total of 95 lizards were analyzed (53 and 42 for the dry and rainy seasons respectively). We found that the dorsal coloration in A. costata costata varies seasonally and with microhabitats: during the dry season individuals show a brown coloration whereas during the rainy season becomes greener, as the background dominant vegetation color. The results of the present study suggest that: 1) the variation in dorsal coloration in A. costata costata plays an important role in the survival (by cryptic camouflage) of this widely foraging species; 2) the changes in the dorsal coloration of A. costata costata are individually expressed traits, since the coloration of the same lizard is either brown or green depending on the season; and 3) the cryptic functions of the dorsal coloration in widely foraging species have been largely underestimated. We discuss the possible influence of the changes in coloration in an habitat that changes drastically between both dry and rainy seasons. PMID:22458234

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. A novel species of Euspondylus (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from the Andes Mountains of central Peru.

    PubMed

    Doan, Tiffany M; Adams, Grant

    2015-10-21

    The South American gymnophthalmid genus Euspondylus is distributed from Venezuela through Peru, with its highest diversity occurring in Peru. Euspondylus paxcorpus sp. nov. is a new species from Junín, Peru possessing prefrontal scales and represented by 60 specimens. The new species differs from all other species by the combination of four supraoculars with supraocular/supraciliary fusion, 5-7 occipitals, a single palpebral scale, five supralabials and infralabials, quadrangular dorsal scales with low keels arranged in transverse series only, 40-45 in a longitudinal count and 22-28 in a transverse count, 12 rows of ventrals in a transverse count and 23-25 in a longitudinal count, and no sexual dimorphism in coloration. The discovery of E. paxcorpus increases the known number of Euspondylus species to 13. Because the coloration patterns of the specimens were greatly different after preservation in alcohol, caution should be used when identifying Euspondylus species from museum specimens.

  13. Baseline values of micronuclei and comet assay in the lizard Tupinambis merianae (Teiidae, Squamata).

    PubMed

    Schaumburg, Laura G; Poletta, Gisela L; Siroski, Pablo A; Mudry, Marta D

    2012-10-01

    The Micronucleus test (MN) and Comet assay (CA) are currently the most widely used methods that allow the characterization of DNA damage induced by physical and chemical agents in wild species. The continuous expansion of the cultivated areas in Argentina, since the introduction of transgenic crops, mainly soy, in association with the increased use of pesticides, transformed deeply the natural environments where the lizard Tupinambis merianae (tegu lizard) occurs. Despite the fact that reptiles have shown to be excellent bioindicators of environmental contaminants, there is no record of genotoxicity studies in T. merianae. The aim of the present study was to adjust the MN test and CA protocols to be applied in erythrocytes of T. merianae, and determine the baseline values of DNA damage in this species. We used 20 adult lizards (10 males: 10 females) from Estación Zoológica Experimental "Granja La Esmeralda" (Santa Fe, Argentina). Peripheral blood samples were collected from all animals and the MN test and CA applied according to the protocols established for other reptilian species. We test critical parameters of CA protocol (cell density, unwinding and electrophoresis times) using increasing concentrations of H2O2 (10, 25 and 50 μM) as a known genotoxic agent to induce DNA damage. Based on this, we determined the most suitable conditions for the CA in this species: a cell density of 4×10(3) erythrocytes per slide, 10 min of unwinding and 15 min of electrophoresis at 0.90 V/cm approximately. The baseline frequency of micronuclei (BFMN=MN/1000 erythrocytes counted) determined for this species was 0.95±0.27 and the basal damage index (BDI: calculated from 100 comet images classified in arbitrary units)=103.85±0.97. No differences were observed between sexes in the BFMN or BDI (p>0.05), and no relation was found between baseline values and length or weight of the analyzed animals (p>0.05). These results demonstrated the sensitivity of both biomarkers of genotoxicity to be applied in erythrocytes of this species, with baseline values comparable to those reported in other reptilian species. These results allow us to propose the tegu lizard for future in vivo studies to assess the genotoxicity of different agents, including those possibly affecting it in its natural geographic distribution. PMID:22902164

  14. Resolving the phylogeny of lizards and snakes (Squamata) with extensive sampling of genes and species.

    PubMed

    Wiens, John J; Hutter, Carl R; Mulcahy, Daniel G; Noonan, Brice P; Townsend, Ted M; Sites, Jack W; Reeder, Tod W

    2012-12-23

    Squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes) are one of the most diverse groups of terrestrial vertebrates. Recent molecular analyses have suggested a very different squamate phylogeny relative to morphological hypotheses, but many aspects remain uncertain from molecular data. Here, we analyse higher-level squamate phylogeny with a molecular dataset of unprecedented size, including 161 squamate species for up to 44 nuclear genes each (33 717 base pairs), using both concatenated and species-tree methods for the first time. Our results strongly resolve most squamate relationships and reveal some surprising results. In contrast to most other recent studies, we find that dibamids and gekkotans are together the sister group to all other squamates. Remarkably, we find that the distinctive scolecophidians (blind snakes) are paraphyletic with respect to other snakes, suggesting that snakes were primitively burrowers and subsequently re-invaded surface habitats. Finally, we find that some clades remain poorly supported, despite our extensive data. Our analyses show that weakly supported clades are associated with relatively short branches for which individual genes often show conflicting relationships. These latter results have important implications for all studies that attempt to resolve phylogenies with large-scale phylogenomic datasets.

  15. Molecular systematics and undescribed diversity of Madagascan scolecophidian snakes (Squamata: Serpentes).

    PubMed

    Nagy, Zoltán T; Marion, Angela B; Glaw, Frank; Miralles, Aurélien; Nopper, Joachim; Vences, Miguel; Hedges, S Blair

    2015-11-10

    We provide an updated molecular phylogenetic analysis of global diversity of typhlopid and xenotyphlopid blindsnakes, adding a set of Madagascan samples and sequences of an additional mitochondrial gene to an existing supermatrix of nuclear and mitochondrial gene segments. Our data suggest monophyly of Madagascan typhlopids, exclusive of introduced Indotyphlops braminus. The Madagascar-endemic typhlopid clade includes two species previously assigned to the genus Lemuriatyphlops (in the subfamily Asiatyphlopinae), which were not each others closest relatives. This contradicts a previous study that described Lemuriatyphlops based on a sequence of the cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 gene from a single species and found this species not forming a clade with the other Malagasy species included. Based on our novel phylogenetic assessment we include all species in this endemic typhlopid clade in the genus Madatyphlops and in the subfamily Madatyphlopinae and consider Lemuriatyphlops as junior synonym. Within Madatyphlops, we identify several candidate species. For some of these (those in the M. arenarius complex), our preliminary data suggest sympatric occurrence and morphological differentiation, thus the existence of undescribed species. We also comment on the genus-level classification of several non-Madagascan typhlopids. We suggest that African species included in Madatyphlops (Afrotyphlops calabresii, A. cuneirostris, A. platyrhynchus, and Rhinotyphlops leucocephalus) should not be included in this genus. We furthermore argue that recent claims of Sundatyphlops, Antillotyphlops, and Cubatyphlops being "undiagnosable" or "not monophyletic" were based on errors in tree reconstruction and failure to notice diagnostic characters, and thus regard these three genera as valid.

  16. Renal sexual segment of the Cottonmouth snake, Agkistrodon piscivorous (Reptilia, Squamata, Viperidae).

    PubMed

    Sever, David M; Siegel, Dustin S; Bagwill, April; Eckstut, Mallory E; Alexander, Laura; Camus, Angelle; Morgan, Colby

    2008-06-01

    The seasonal variation of the renal sexual segment (RSS) of males of the Cottonmouth snake, Agkistrodon piscivorous, is described using light and electron microscopy. This study is the first to describe the ultrastructure of the RSS of a viper (Viperidae) and only the fourth on a snake. Renal sexual segments from males collected February to May and from August to November are similar in appearance. The cells are eosinophilic and react with periodic acid/Schiff procedure (PAS) for neutral carbohydrates and bromphenol blue (BB) for proteins. At the ultrastructure level, the cells contain large (2 microm diameter), electron-dense secretory granules and smaller vesicles with a diffuse material, and these structures abut against the luminal border and upon clear vacuoles continuous with intercellular canaliculi. Evidence was found for both apocrine and merocrine processes of product release. In June and July, the RSS are significantly smaller in diameter, largely basophilic, and have only scattered granules that are PAS+ and BB+. Cytologically, the RSS from June to July lack electron-dense secretory granules and the smaller vesicles with diffuse material. Numerous condensing vacuoles and abundant rough endoplasmic reticulum, however, indicate that active product synthesis is occurring. This is the first report of significant seasonal variation in the histology and ultrastructure of the RSS of a snake, although such reports exist for lizards. The seasons when the RSS is most highly hypertrophied correspond to the fall and spring mating seasons of A. piscivorous, as determined by other studies.

  17. Ultrastructural description of spermiogenesis within the Mediterranean Gecko, Hemidactylus turcicus (Squamata: Gekkonidae).

    PubMed

    Rheubert, Justin L; Siegel, Dustin S; Venable, Katherine J; Sever, David M; Gribbins, Kevin M

    2011-10-01

    We studied spermiogenesis in the Mediterranean Gecko, Hemidactylus turcicus, at the electron microscope level and compared to what is known within other Lepidosaurs. In H. turcicus germ cells are connected via cytoplasmic bridges where organelle and cytoplasm sharing is observed. The acrosome develops from merging transport vesicles that arise from the Golgi and subsequently partition into an acrosomal cap containing an acrosomal cortex, acrosomal medulla, perforatorium, and subacrosomal cone. Condensation of DNA occurs in a spiral fashion and elongation is aided by microtubules of the manchette. A nuclear rostrum extends into the subacrosomal cone and is capped by an epinuclear lucent zone. Mitochondria and rough endoplasmic reticulum migrate to the posterior portion of the developing germ cell during the cytoplasmic shift and the flagellum elongates. Mitochondria surround the midpiece as the anlage of the annulus forms. The fibrous sheath begins at mitochondrial tier 3 and continues into the principal piece. Peripheral fibers associated with microtubule doublets 3 and 8 are grossly enlarged. During the final stages of germ cell development spermatids are wrapped with a series of Sertoli cell processes, which exhibit ectoplasmic specializations and differing cytoplasmic consistencies. The results observed here corroborate previous studies, which show the conservative nature of sperm morphology. However, ultrastructural character combinations specific to sperm and spermiogenesis seem to differ among taxa. Further studies into sperm morphology are needed in order to judge the relevance of the ontogenic changes recorded here and to determine their role in future studies on amniote evolution.

  18. Sperm aggregations in female Agkistrodon piscivorus (Reptilia:Squamata): a histological and ultrastructural investigation.

    PubMed

    Siegel, Dustin S; Sever, David M

    2008-02-01

    Upon copulation in female Agkistrodon piscivorus, sperm migrate up the oviduct to sperm storage tubules (SSTs) in the posterior infundibulum. The epithelium of the SSTs is composed of ciliated and secretory cells and differs ultrastructurally from that of the epithelium lining the lumen of the posterior infundibulum. Sperm pass through an area composed primarily of ciliated cells at the opening of each gland before aligning themselves in parallel arrays with their nuclei facing an area composed primarily of secretory cells at the base of the tubules. Sperm are also found embedded inter- and intracellularly in the SSTs. The secretory vacuoles in the SSTs become highly electron dense after the start of the fall mating season along with the synthesis of lipid droplets. Histochemical analysis reveals that the alteration in secretory material density is caused by the production of neutral carbohydrates. Some sperm remain in aggregates in the nonglandular section of the posterior uterus until the time of ovulation. However, ultrastructural evidence indicates these sperm degrade before ovulation. Therefore, sperm in posterior aggregates have no role in fertilization of ovulated ova. The data presented here support the hypothesis that infundibular sperm storage is the mode that snakes utilize to sequester viable sperm until ovulation.

  19. Seasonal variation in the oviduct of female Agkistrodon piscivorus (Reptilia:Squamata): an ultrastructural investigation.

    PubMed

    Siegel, Dustin S; Sever, David M

    2008-08-01

    The annual oviductal cycle of the Cottonmouth, Agkistrodon piscivorus, is described using electron microscopy. This is only the second such study on a snake and the first on a viperid species. Specimens were collected in reproductive and nonreproductive condition throughout the year and five ultrastructurally unique regions were recognized: the anterior infundibulum, posterior infundibulum, glandular uterus, nonglandular uterus, and vagina. Except for the anterior infundibulum and vagina, which exhibit no seasonal variation in ultrastructure, the oviduct becomes highly secretory at the start of vitellogenesis. This includes the entire luminal border of the uterus, the tubular glands of the glandular uterus, and the luminal border and sperm storage tubules of the posterior infundibulum. The secretory materials produced in the oviduct vary among regions of the oviduct, and also can vary among time periods in the same region of the oviduct. Variation is especially evident in the sperm storage tubules. Secretory activity in the sperm storage tubules ceases after ovulation, but the tubular glands of the glandular uterus remain secretory until parturition, at which time secretory activity in the varying sections of the oviduct decreases dramatically. After parturition, the oviduct remains in a dormant state until the next reproductive season. The seasonal variation in oviducal morphology mirrors the temperate primitive reproductive cycle known for some pitvipers. Uterine glands of A. piscivorous are more similar in secretory activity to those of an oviparous lizard than a viviparous colubrid snake, suggesting variation in uterine gland morphology between snakes of different families.

  20. [Taxonomy of some microteids from Venezuela (Squamata), II: Nomenklature situation of Prionodactylus ampuedai and Prionodactylus phelpsorum].

    PubMed

    Mijares-Urrutia, A

    2000-01-01

    New records of the poorly known microteiid lizard Prionodactylus ampuedai, morphological variation, and new data on natural history are reported. We report the loss of the holotypes of P. ampuedai and P. phelpsorum, and designate a neotype for the former. Euspondylus goeleti is resurrected from the synonymy with E. phelpsorum and this latter is transferred to the genus Prionodactylus.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Anolis marsupialis Taylor 1956, a valid species from southern Pacific Costa Rica (Reptilia, Squamata, Dactyloidae).

    PubMed

    Köhler, Johannes J; Poe, Steven; Ryan, Mason J; Köhler, Gunther

    2015-01-01

    The examination of the holotype of Anolis marsupialis Taylor 1956 along with recently collected specimens reveals that A. marsupialis is a valid species. It differs from its closest congeners A. humilis Peters 1863 and A. quaggulus Cope 1885, in male dewlap coloration, scalation, body size, and hemipenial morphology. These findings are supported by preliminary molecular genetic analysis. 

  6. 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.

  7. Comparing alignment methods for inferring the history of the new world lizard genus Mabuya (Squamata: Scincidae).

    PubMed

    Whiting, Alison S; Sites, Jack W; Pellegrino, Katia C M; Rodrigues, Miguel T

    2006-03-01

    The rapid increase in the ability to generate molecular data, and the focus on model-based methods for tree reconstruction have greatly advanced the use of phylogenetics in many fields. The recent flurry of new analytical techniques has focused almost solely on tree reconstruction, whereas alignment issues have received far less attention. In this paper, we use a diverse sampling of gene regions from lizards of the genus Mabuya to compare the impact, on phylogeny estimation, of new maximum likelihood alignment algorithms with more widely used methods. Sequences aligned under different optimality criteria are analyzed using partitioned Bayesian analysis with independent models and parameter settings for each gene region, and the most strongly supported phylogenetic hypothesis is then used to test the hypothesis of two colonizations of the New World by African scincid lizards. Our results show that the consistent use of model-based methods in both alignment and tree reconstruction leads to trees with more optimal likelihood scores than the use of independent criteria in alignment and tree reconstruction. We corroborate and extend earlier evidence for two independent colonizations of South America by scincid lizards. Relationships within South American Mabuya are found to be in need of taxonomic revision, specifically complexes under the names M. heathi, M. agilis, and M. bistriata (sensu, M.T. Rodrigues, Papeis Avulsos de Zoologia 41 (2000) 313).

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Vanderduys, Eric

    2016-06-01

    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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Riyanto, Awal; Kurniati, Hellen; Engilis, Andrew

    2016-05-05

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-09

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-08

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Baseline values of micronuclei and comet assay in the lizard Tupinambis merianae (Teiidae, Squamata).

    PubMed

    Schaumburg, Laura G; Poletta, Gisela L; Siroski, Pablo A; Mudry, Marta D

    2012-10-01

    The Micronucleus test (MN) and Comet assay (CA) are currently the most widely used methods that allow the characterization of DNA damage induced by physical and chemical agents in wild species. The continuous expansion of the cultivated areas in Argentina, since the introduction of transgenic crops, mainly soy, in association with the increased use of pesticides, transformed deeply the natural environments where the lizard Tupinambis merianae (tegu lizard) occurs. Despite the fact that reptiles have shown to be excellent bioindicators of environmental contaminants, there is no record of genotoxicity studies in T. merianae. The aim of the present study was to adjust the MN test and CA protocols to be applied in erythrocytes of T. merianae, and determine the baseline values of DNA damage in this species. We used 20 adult lizards (10 males: 10 females) from Estación Zoológica Experimental "Granja La Esmeralda" (Santa Fe, Argentina). Peripheral blood samples were collected from all animals and the MN test and CA applied according to the protocols established for other reptilian species. We test critical parameters of CA protocol (cell density, unwinding and electrophoresis times) using increasing concentrations of H2O2 (10, 25 and 50 μM) as a known genotoxic agent to induce DNA damage. Based on this, we determined the most suitable conditions for the CA in this species: a cell density of 4×10(3) erythrocytes per slide, 10 min of unwinding and 15 min of electrophoresis at 0.90 V/cm approximately. The baseline frequency of micronuclei (BFMN=MN/1000 erythrocytes counted) determined for this species was 0.95±0.27 and the basal damage index (BDI: calculated from 100 comet images classified in arbitrary units)=103.85±0.97. No differences were observed between sexes in the BFMN or BDI (p>0.05), and no relation was found between baseline values and length or weight of the analyzed animals (p>0.05). These results demonstrated the sensitivity of both biomarkers of genotoxicity to be applied in erythrocytes of this species, with baseline values comparable to those reported in other reptilian species. These results allow us to propose the tegu lizard for future in vivo studies to assess the genotoxicity of different agents, including those possibly affecting it in its natural geographic distribution.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. A new small karst-dwelling species of Cyrtodactylus (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Java, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Riyanto, Awal; Bauer, Aaron M; Yudha, Donan Satria

    2014-04-07

    A new small karst-dwelling species of the genus Cyrtodactylus is described from East Java and Special Province of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Cyrtodactylus semiadii sp. nov. is a small species (SVL to 47.1 mm in females, 42.1 mm in males) distinguished from all other congeners by unique characters combination: short, robust, cylindrical tail, indistinct ventrolateral folds, absence of precloacal groove, absence of enlarged femoral scales, absence of precloacal and femoral pores and lack of enlarged median subcaudal scales. It is the third member of the genus recorded from Java. 

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-22

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. Forgotten records of Chrysopelea taprobanica Smith, 1943 (Squamata: Colubridae) from India.

    PubMed

    Somaweera, Ruchira; Pantoja, Davi Lima; Deepak, V

    2015-01-01

    The colubrid snake Chrysopelea taprobanica Smith, 1943 was described from a holotype from Kanthali (= Kantalai) and paratypes from Kurunegala, both localities in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) (Smith 1943). Since its description, literature pertaining to Sri Lankan snake fauna considered this taxon to be endemic to the island (Taylor 1950, Deraniyagala 1955, de Silva 1980, de Silva 1990, Somaweera 2004, Somaweera 2006, de Silva 2009, Pyron et al. 2013). In addition, earlier efforts on the Indian peninsula (e.g. Das 1994, 1997, Das 2003, Whitaker & Captain 2004, Aengals et al. 2012) and global data compilations (e.g. Wallach et al. 2014, Uetz & Hošek 2015) did not identify any record from mainland India until Guptha et al. (2015) recorded a specimen (voucher BLT 076 housed at Bio-Lab of Seshachalam Hills, Tirupathi, India) in the dry deciduous forest of Chamala, Seshachalam Biosphere Reserve in Andhra Pradesh, India in November 2013. Guptha et al. (2015) further mentioned an individual previously photographed in 2000 at Rishi Valley, Andhra Pradesh, but with no voucher specimen collected. Guptha's record, assumed to be the first confirmed record of C. taprobanica in India, is noteworthy as it results in a large range extension, from northern Sri Lanka to eastern India with an Euclidean distance of over 400 km, as well as a change of status, i.e., species not endemic to Sri Lanka. However, at least three little-known previous records of this species from India evaded most literature and were overlooked by the researchers including ourselves.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Postnatal development of the skull of Dinilysia patagonica (Squamata-stem Serpentes).

    PubMed

    Scanferla, Agustín; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S

    2014-03-01

    The snake skull represents a profound transformation of the ancestral squamate cranium in which dermal skull roof bones were integrated with the braincase, in a manner convergent with that which occurred during the origin of mammals. However, the ontogeny of snake characters at the origin of the clade has until now been inaccessible. Here we describe a postnatal ontogenetic series of the Late Cretaceous stem snake Dinilysia patagonica and compare it to that of extant lizards and snakes. Comparative analysis indicates notable ontogenetic changes, including advanced state of ossification, isometric growth of the otic capsule, fusion of the stylohyal to the quadrate, and great posterior elongation of the supratemporal. Of these transformations, the unfused condition of braincase bones and the retention of a large otic capsule in adults are examples of paedomorphic and peramorphic processes, respectively. Some ontogenetic transformations detected, in particular those present in middle ear, skull roof and suspensorium, are strikingly similar to those present in extant snakes. Nevertheless, Dinilysia retains a lizard-like paroccipital process without an epiphyseal extremity, and a calcified epiphysis that caps the sphenoccipital tubercle. Finally, the integration of the dermal skull roof with the braincase is similar to that seen in mammals with regard to the overall closure of the braincase, but the two evolutionary and developmental modules appear less integrated in snakes in that the parietal bone of the dermal skull roof progressively overlaps the supraoccipital of the chondrocranial braincase. PMID:24493375

  13. The histological structure of glyptosaurine osteoderms (Squamata: Anguidae), and the problem of osteoderm development in squamates.

    PubMed

    Buffrénil, Vivian de; Sire, Jean-Yves; Rage, Jean-Claude

    2010-06-01

    Glyptosaurinae, a fossil clade of anguid lizards, possess robust osteoderms, with granular ornamentation. In this study, the structural and histological features of these osteoderms were described in order to reconstruct their developmental pattern and further document the degree of homology that could exist between vertebrate integumentary skeletons. Glyptosaurine osteoderms have a diploe architecture and display an unusually complex structure that includes four tissue types: a core of woven-fibered bone intensely remodeled; a peripheral formation of the same tissue containing dense bundles of long Sharpey fibers; a thick basal layer of lamellar bone; and a superficial layer of a non-osseous material that belongs to the category of hypermineralized tissues such as ganoine, or enameloid and enamel tissues. The growth pattern of glyptosaurine osteoderms involved appositional processes due to osteoblast activity. In early growth stages, osseous metaplasia might have also been involved, but this possibility is not substantiated by histological observations. The superficial layer of the osteoderms must have resulted from epidermal contribution, a conclusion that would support previous hypotheses on the role of epidermal-dermal interactions in the formation of squamate osteoderms. PMID:20101726

  14. Developmental morphology of limb reduction in Hemiergis (Squamata: Scincidae): chondrogenesis, osteogenesis, and heterochrony.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, Michael D

    2002-12-01

    Digit loss is a common theme in tetrapod evolution that may involve changes in several developmental processes. The skink genus Hemiergis provides an ideal model to study these processes in closely related taxa: within three Western Australian Hemiergis species, digit quantity ranges between two and five. For three consecutive reproductive seasons, gravid females of Hemiergis were collected in the field and their embryos prepared for histological analysis of limb skeletal development (chondrogenesis and osteogenesis). Comparative studies of skeletal developmental morphology demonstrate that limbs with fewer than five digits do not result from a simple truncation of a putative ancestral (five-digit) developmental program. The developmental and adult morphologies in two-, three-, and four-digit Hemiergis are neither predicted nor explained by a simple model of heterochrony involving either chondrogenesis or osteogenesis. In postnatal Hemiergis, digit number and relative limb length do not correlate in a simple linear fashion. Instead, limb size and digit reduction may correlate with substrate conditions and burrowing behavior. PMID:12386893

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

    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

  16. Cranial osteology of the Andean lizard Stenocercus guentheri (Squamata: Tropiduridae) and its postembryonic development.

    PubMed

    Torres-Carvajal, Omar

    2003-01-01

    In spite of the great diversity of iguanian lizards, detailed descriptions of their osteocrania and postembryonic development are rare. Herein, the adult cranial osteology of the tropidurid lizard Stenocercus guentheri and its postembryonic development are described based on cleared and double-stained and dry skeletal specimens from a single Ecuadorian population. The amphikinetic skull of S. guentheri is short and elevated and bears teeth on the premaxilla, maxillae, and pterygoids. Mandibular teeth are present on the dentaries. Ossification of the articular from Meckel's cartilage and growth of the parietal (ossification and investment of the frontoparietal fontanelle) are the most significant ontogenetic changes of the splanchnocranium and dermatocranium, respectively. The ossification of the cartilage separating the bones of the braincase is the most relevant postembryonic ontogenetic event of the neurocranium. The number of teeth does not vary ontogenetically and replacement teeth are present throughout postembryonic life. This study includes a list of the osteocranial characters of Stenocercus that have been used in systematic studies, as well as a discussion of functional morphology and kinesis. PMID:12420324

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Cyrtodactylus khelangensis, a new cave-dwelling Bent-toed Gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Lampang Province, northern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Pauwels, Olivier S G; Sumontha, Montri; Panitvong, Nonn; Varaguttanonda, Varawut

    2014-01-01

    We describe Cyrtodactylus khelangensis sp. nov. from a limestone cave in Pratu Pha, Mae Mo District, Lampang Province, northern Thailand. It is characterized by a maximal known SVL of 95.3 mm; 16-20 longitudinal rows of dorsal tubercles; a continuous series of 37-40 enlarged femoroprecloacal scales, including six-seven pitted or pore-bearing scales (males) or one or two pitted scales (females) on each femur separated by a diastema from 2-6 pore-bearing precloacal scales (males and females); no precloacal groove nor depression; transversely enlarged subcaudal scales; and four irregular brown dorsal bands between nuchal loop and hind limb insertions.

  20. 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

  1. Surface structure and frictional properties of the skin of the Amazon tree boa Corallus hortulanus (Squamata, Boidae).

    PubMed

    Berthé, R A; Westhoff, G; Bleckmann, H; Gorb, S N

    2009-03-01

    The legless locomotion of snakes requires specific adaptations of their ventral scales to maintain friction force in different directions. The skin microornamentation of the snake Corallus hortulanus was studied by means of scanning electron microscopy and the friction properties of the skin were tested on substrates of different roughness. Skin samples from various parts of the body (dorsal, lateral, ventral) were compared. Dorsal and lateral scales showed similar, net-like microornamentation and similar friction coefficients. Average friction coefficients for dorsal and lateral scales on the epoxy resin surfaces were 0.331 and 0.323, respectively. In contrast, ventral scales possess ridges running parallel to the longitudinal body axis. They demonstrated a significantly lower friction coefficient compared to both dorsal and lateral scales (0.191 on average). In addition, ventral scales showed frictional anisotropy comparing longitudinal and perpendicular direction of the ridges. This study clearly demonstrates that different skin microstructure is responsible for different frictional properties in different body regions.

  2. 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

  3. 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

    2014-04-03

    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. 

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    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.

  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. 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.

  8. 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 below the eye; dewlap in males yellow; and no elbow or knee patches. Pseudocalotes rhaegal sp. nov. most likely occurs in syntopy with P. flavigula in Tanah Rata at Cameron Highlands and its discovery adds to a growing body of literature detailing the recent descriptions of several new, upland, closely related, sympatric species in Peninsular Malaysia. Another new population referred to here as Pseudocalotes sp. nov. from the Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary, Betong District, Yala Province, Thailand is discussed. The discovery and description of these three new Pseudocalotes from the upland regions of Peninsular Malaysia continues to underscore the remarkably high herpetological diversity and ecological complexity in this sky island archipelago that is still underestimated, unappreciated, and unprotected. PMID:27395729

  9. 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.

  10. [Home range of Aspidoscelis cozumela (Squamata: Teiidae): a parthenogenetic lizard microendemic to Cozumel Island, México].

    PubMed

    Hernández-Gallegos, Oswaldo; López-Moreno, Ana Esthela; Méndez-Sánchez, José Fernando; Rheubert, Justin Lloyd; Méndez-de la Cruz, Fausto Roberto

    2015-09-01

    Home range is defined as the area within which an individual moves to acquire resources necessary to increase their fitness and may vary inter and intra-specifically with biotic and abiotic factors. This study details the home range of the parthenogenic lizard, Aspidoscelis cozumela, an active forager microendemic to Cozumel Island, México, with high preference for open sand beaches. The home range of A. cozumela was compared with other species of Aspidoscelis (gonochoric and parthenogenetic) and other lizards that occupy coastal habitats. Furthermore, the biotic and abiotic factors that may influence home range were analyzed. This study was conducted in the beach located on the East side of the island (area of 4,000 M2) that is composed primarily of halophyte vegetation with high levels of sunlight. From 1999 to 2001, nine samples were taken which included the dry, rainy, "nortes", and breeding seasons. During each sampling, capture-mark-recapture techniques were conducted and the date, time of day, and snout-vent length (SVL) were recorded to the nearest millimeter. Individuals were located in the study area using a bi-coordinate reference using 10 x 10 m subdivisions of the habitat. Home range and home range overlap were calculated using the convex polygon method in McPaal and home range/SVL correlation was tested using Pearson's correlation. To calculate females home range, three or more recaptures were considered. A total of 20 home ranges that averaged 45.1 ± 14.0 m2 were obtained and no correlation between SVL and home range size was detected (p = 0.9229, n = 20). However, removing individuals with outlier home ranges (females with home ranges > 100 m2, n = 2) resulted in a positive correlation with SVL (r = 0.61, p = 0.0072, n = 18). A 22.9 ± 5.7% overlap in home range was also detected. The small home range of A. cozumela represents the smallest home range within the Aspidoscelis genus recorded to date (including both parthenogenetic and gonochoric species) and contrasts the theoretical predictions of broad home ranges for widely foraging species. Thermoregulatory benefits and a high population density may explain the small home range of A. cozumela. Although this species is highly adapted to the environmental conditions present on the open sand beaches, anthropogenic effects on these habitats by the development of tourism infrastructure may jeopardize their existence on Cozumel Island.

  11. The complete mitochondrial genome of the toad-headed lizard subspecies, Phrynocephalus theobaldi orientalis (Reptilia, Squamata, Agamidae).

    PubMed

    Liao, Pinghu; Jin, Yuanting

    2016-01-01

    The first complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Phrynocephalus viviparity was determined for the toad-headed lizard Phrynocephalus theobaldi orientalis. The 16,608 bp mitogenome contains 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA genes, 22 tRNA genes and 2 control regions (CRs). The overall base composition of H-strand is T: 26.7%, C: 24.5%, A: 37.6%, G: 11.2%. The gene arrangement and composition of P. theobaldi orientalis was similar to other published mitochondrial genomes of Phrynocephalus oviparity, except that tRNA-Phe and tRNA-Pro were exchanged. The control region comprised two parts, one between tRNA-Thr and tRNA-Phe and another between tRNA-Pro and 12S RNA. The complete mitogenome sequence of P. theobaldi orientalis provided fundamental data for resolving phylogenetic and genetic problems related to Phrynocephalus viviparity.

  12. A new phasmid gecko (Squamata: Diplodactylidae: Strophurus) from the Arnhem Plateau: more new diversity in rare vertebrates from northern Australia.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Paul M; Parkin, Tom

    2014-10-22

    The Arnhem Plateau is a rugged expanse of sandstone escarpment in the Australian Monsoonal Tropics with a highly endemic biota. Here we describe a new species of small spinifex dwelling Strophurus (phasmid gecko) that also appears to be endemic to this region. Strophurus horneri sp. nov. can be diagnosed from all congeners by aspects of size, coloration and scalation. Even with the description of this new species, however, levels of morphological and genetic diversity within Strophurus from the stone country of the Northern Territory suggest additional divergent lineages are present. A number of recent studies have now provided preliminary evidence of evolutionary diversity within the Arnhem Plateau, but data remains scant and almost nothing is known about how topography and historical processes have shaped the endemic biota of this region. 

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Red blood cells of the lizards Ameiva ameiva (Squamata, Teiidae) display multiple mechanisms to control cytosolic calcium.

    PubMed

    Beraldo, F H; Sartorello, R; Gazarini, M L; Caldeira, W; Garcia, C R S

    2002-02-01

    We have previously reported that lizard red blood cells control their cytosolic calcium concentration by sequestering calcium ions in pools, which could be discharged by thapsigargin, by the Na+/H+ ionophore, monensin, by the K+/H+ ionophore, nigericin and by the proton pump inhibitor, bafilomycin A1 [1]. We have now demonstrated, with the aid of confocal microscopy, the presence in these cells of organelles, which accumulate the dye acridine orange and are thus by inference the sites of proton pools. We have found, moreover, that monensin, nigericin and bafilomycin all act to discharge these pools. We further show that calcium release ensues when the calcium ionophore, ionomycin, is added after thapsigargin and monensin; this implies the existence of a third pool, besides the acidic pool and the Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER), which participates in calcium homeostasis. The ER calcium pool can de discharged by the addition of the second messenger, IP3, and we present evidence, based on confocal microscopy, that the IP3 receptors are located in or close to the nucleus. PMID:11969248

  16. Ultrastructure of spermatozoa of the lizard Ameiva ameiva, with considerations on polymorphism within the family Teiidae (Squamata).

    PubMed

    Giugliano, L G; Teixeira, R D; Colli, G R; Báo, S N

    2002-09-01

    A detailed description of sperm ultrastructure of the lizard Ameiva ameiva (Teiidae) is provided. Mature spermatozoa are characterized by: a depressed acrosome at the anterior portion; a unilateral ridge at the anterolateral portion; an acrosome vesicle divided into cortex and medulla; medulla divided into two regions with different electron-densities; paracrystalline subacrosomal material with radial organization in transverse section; a pointed prenuclear perforatorium; a stopper-like perforatorium base plate that appears embedded in the subacrosomal material; the presence of an epinuclear lucent zone surrounded by its own membrane; a large nuclear rostrum; round nuclear shoulders; a nuclear space at the nucleus tip; a bilateral stratified laminar structure; a central dense body within the proximal centriole; a short midpiece; an axonemal midpiece axial component; peripheral fibers 3 and 8 grossly enlarged at the anterior portion of axoneme; columnar mitochondria with linear cristae; solid dense bodies arranged as rings or spirals; a triangular-shaped annulus in transverse section; a fibrous sheath into the midpiece; a thin zone of cytoplasm at the anterior portion of the principal piece; and a slight decrease in diameter of the principal piece immediately after the annulus. Comparisons with Cnemidophorus sexlineatus and Micrablepharus maximiliani failed to identify unique sperm ultrastructure traits of Teiidae or Teiioidea (Teiidae + Gymnophthalmidae). High levels of polymorphism between Ameiva and Cnemidophorus, two closely related genera of the family Teiidae, were detected, suggesting that extensive sampling within squamate families is essential if sperm ultrastructure data are to be used in phylogenetic analyses at this taxonomic level. PMID:12125065

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

    2016-07-07

    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 below the eye; dewlap in males yellow; and no elbow or knee patches. Pseudocalotes rhaegal sp. nov. most likely occurs in syntopy with P. flavigula in Tanah Rata at Cameron Highlands and its discovery adds to a growing body of literature detailing the recent descriptions of several new, upland, closely related, sympatric species in Peninsular Malaysia. Another new population referred to here as Pseudocalotes sp. nov. from the Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary, Betong District, Yala Province, Thailand is discussed. The discovery and description of these three new Pseudocalotes from the upland regions of Peninsular Malaysia continues to underscore the remarkably high herpetological diversity and ecological complexity in this sky island archipelago that is still underestimated, unappreciated, and unprotected.

  5. Escape tactics and effects of perch height and habituation on flight initiation distance in two Jamaican anoles (Squamata: polychrotidae).

    PubMed

    Cooper, William E

    2010-12-01

    Escape by Anolis lizards is influenced by microhabitats and fight initiation distance increases with predation risk. Differences in microhabitat use among ecomorphs affect escape behavior, but only two studies have reported ecomorphological differences in flight initiation distance among Greater Antillean species. I studied effects of predation risk and microhabitats on escape behavior by conducting field experiments using two species of anoles, Anolis lineatopus and A. grahami, on the campus of the University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica. Because ecomorphological variation of anoles has evolved independently within each island of the Greater Antilles, but relationships between ecomorphs and escape behaviors are poorly known, I characterized microhabitat use and escape tactics, and determined relationships between flight initiation distance and two risk factors, habituation to human presence and perch height, in Anolis lineatopus, a trunk-ground anole and A. grahami, a trunk-crown anole. Sample sizes for A. lineatopus and A. grahami were 214 and 93, for microhabitat use and escape destinations, 74 and 34 for human presence and 125 and 34 for perch height. The two species occurred in similar microhabitats and exhibited similar escape tactics, but exhibited key differences expected for their ecomorphs. Both species were sighted frequently on the ground and on trees, but A. lineatopus were more frequently on ground and were perched lower than A. grahami. Both species escaped from ground to trees and when on trees hid on far sides and escaped without changing climbing direction with equal frequency. The frequency of fleeing upward was greater for A. grahami than A. lineatopus. Both species exhibited habituation by having shorter flight initiation distances in areas with more frequent exposure to people. In both species flight initiation distance increased as perch height decreased because, lizards had to climb farther to be out of reach when perched lower. The relationship between flight initiation distance and perch height may apply to other anole ecomorphs that flee upward when low perched on trees.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Observations on variation in the ultrastructure of the proximal testicular ducts of the Ground Skink, Scincella lateralis (Reptilia: Squamata).

    PubMed

    Sever, David M; Rheubert, Justin L; Hill, Toren A; Siegel, Dustin S

    2013-04-01

    The North American Ground Skink, Scincella lateralis, is a member of the most speciose family of lizards, the Scincidae. The only descriptions of the testicular ducts of skinks concern the light microscopy of 13 species in eight other genera. We combine histological observations with results from transmission electron microscopy on a sample of skinks collected throughout the active season. The single rete testis has squamous epithelium with a large, indented nucleus and no junctional complexes between cells or conspicuous organelles. Nuclei of sperm in the rete testis area are associated with cytoplasmic bodies that are lost in the ductuli efferentes. The ductuli efferentes have both ciliated and nonciliated cells and show little seasonal variation except for the narrowing of intercellular canaliculi when sperm are absent. When the ductus epididymis contains sperm, the anterior one-third lacks copious secretory material around luminal sperm, whereas in the posterior two-thirds sperm are embedded in a dense matrix of secretory material. Light and dark principal cells exist and both contain saccular, often distended rough endoplasmic reticula, and widened intercellular canaliculi that bridge intracellular spaces. Junctional complexes are lacking between principal cells except for apical tight junctions. Electron-dense secretory granules coalesce at the luminal border for apocrine release. The cranial end of the ductus deferens is similar in cytology to the posterior ductus epididymis. Each of the nine squamates in which the proximal testicular ducts have been studied with electron microscopy has some unique characters, but no synapomorphies for squamates as a group are recognized.

  10. 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.

  11. Revision of the genus Lepidoblepharis (Reptilia: Squamata: Sphaerodactylidae) in Central America, with the description of three new species.

    PubMed

    Batista, Abel; Ponce, Marcos; Vesely, Milan; Mebert, Konrad; Hertz, Andreas; Köhler, Gunther; Carrizo, Arcadio; Lotzkat, Sebastian

    2015-01-01

    Based on morphological and molecular data, we describe three new species of the genus Lepidoblepharis with granular dorsals from Panama (Lepidoblepharis emberawoundule sp. nov., Lepidoblepharis rufigularis sp. nov., and Lepidoblepharis victormartinezi sp. nov.). The results of our molecular analyses confirm the existence of five deeply differentiated genealogical lineages among Panamanian Lepidoblepharis. We present detailed descriptions of their morphology, including some new valuable scalation characters (ventral and subfemoral escutcheon) and hemipenes, as well as comparisons with the other two species of the genus known to occur in Panama (L. sanctaemartae and L. xanthostigma) and their South American congeners. Last, we provide an updated identification key for the genus Lepidoblepharis in Central America. PMID:26250268

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Oogenesis and ovarian histology in two populations of the viviparous lizard Sceloporus grammicus (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae) from the central Mexican Plateau.

    PubMed

    Lozano, Abraham; Ramírez-Bautista, Aurelio; Uribe, Mari Carmen

    2014-08-01

    The annual histological changes in ovarian morphology (oogenesis, follicular atresia, and corpus luteum) are described for the Mexican lizard Sceloporus grammicus, in two populations that inhabit contrasting environments (vegetation categories, climate, precipitation, and temperature) from Hidalgo State, Mexico. Two germinal beds were situated on the dorsal surface of each ovary of this species. In both the populations, oogenesis involves two major processes: previtellogenesis and vitellogenesis. The histological changes during previtellogenesis are similar to those for other reptilian sauropsids, whereas vitellogenesis differs and the features of this last process are described for the first time. In early previtellogenesis, primary oocytes have fibrillar chromosomes and the ooplasm stains slightly. The primordial follicles are surrounded by a granulosa composed of cuboidal follicular cells. During late previtellogenesis, the oocyte had an eccentric nucleus with lamp-brush chromosomes and multiple nucleoli. The granulosa becomes multilayered and polymorphic, containing three cell types: small, intermediate, and pyriform. The zona pellucida was homogeneous and clearly observed. In early vitellogenesis, the oocyte showed several small acidophilic granules distributed in the center and the periphery of the oocyte. As vitellogenesis progresses, the yolk platelets move toward the central area of the oocyte and they fuse to form acidophilic and homogeneous yolk. Lipid droplets were distributed irregularly in the ooplasm of the oocyte. In Zacualtipán, the results revealed a strong seasonal reproductive activity. Females had vitellogenic follicles from July to September, and pregnant females were founded from September to March. In Tizayuca, the results showed an unusual pattern of reproductive activity. Females with vitellogenic follicles and pregnant females were found throughout the year, indicating continuous reproduction. We suggest that the observed differences in reproductive activity from these populations indicate adaptative fine tuning in response to local environmental conditions. These results contribute to the knowledge of variation in vitellogenesis and reproductive strategies of this species and among spiny lizards overall.

  15. A new species of Homonota (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkota: Phyllodactylidae) endemic to the hills of Paraje Tres Cerros, Corrientes Province, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Cajade, Rodrigo; Etchepare, Eduardo Gabriel; Falcione, Camila; Barrasso, Diego Andrés; Alvarez, Blanca Beatriz

    2013-01-01

    The genus Homonota comprises nine South American species of terrestrial and nocturnal lizards. Homonota lizards lack the femoral pores typical of other South American Phyllodactylidae, and their infradigital lamellas are not expanded. We here describe a new species, Homonota taragui sp. nov., exclusively found on a small group of three hills up to 179 meters above sea level in central eastern Corrientes Province, Argentina. The new species differs from other Homonota species by a combination of characters, including: a well-marked dorsal, reticulate, dark pattern contrasting with a lighter colored background; small, star-shaped chromatophores on the abdomen; the post-orbital region of the head covered by granular scales; the dorsal and anterior regions of the thighs covered by keeled scales interspersed with cycloid scales; and the internasal scale in contact with rostral scales. The conservation status of Homonota taragui sp. nov. may be vulnerable, due to its localized endemism with populations on three small hills surrounded by intense agricultural and livestock activity. Two endemic plant species are known from these hills, and this new lizard represents the first endemic animal species.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Revision of the genus Lepidoblepharis (Reptilia: Squamata: Sphaerodactylidae) in Central America, with the description of three new species.

    PubMed

    Batista, Abel; Ponce, Marcos; Vesely, Milan; Mebert, Konrad; Hertz, Andreas; Köhler, Gunther; Carrizo, Arcadio; Lotzkat, Sebastian

    2015-01-01

    Based on morphological and molecular data, we describe three new species of the genus Lepidoblepharis with granular dorsals from Panama (Lepidoblepharis emberawoundule sp. nov., Lepidoblepharis rufigularis sp. nov., and Lepidoblepharis victormartinezi sp. nov.). The results of our molecular analyses confirm the existence of five deeply differentiated genealogical lineages among Panamanian Lepidoblepharis. We present detailed descriptions of their morphology, including some new valuable scalation characters (ventral and subfemoral escutcheon) and hemipenes, as well as comparisons with the other two species of the genus known to occur in Panama (L. sanctaemartae and L. xanthostigma) and their South American congeners. Last, we provide an updated identification key for the genus Lepidoblepharis in Central America.

  19. Multilocus genetic diversity and historical biogeography of the endemic wall lizard from Ibiza and Formentera, Podarcis pityusensis (Squamata: Lacertidae).

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, V; Brown, R P; Terrasa, B; Pérez-Mellado, V; Castro, J A; Picornell, A; Ramon, M M

    2013-10-01

    Two monophyletic sister species of wall lizards inhabit the two main groups of Balearic Islands: Podarcis lilfordi from islets and small islands around Mallorca and Menorca and Podarcis pityusensis from Ibiza, Formentera and associated islets. Genetic diversity within the endangered P. lilfordi has been well characterized, but P. pityusensis has not been studied in depth. Here, 2430 bp of mtDNA and 15 microsatellite loci were analysed from P. pityusensis populations from across its natural range. Two main genetic groupings were identified, although geographical structuring differed slightly between the mtDNA and the nuclear loci. In general, individuals from islets/islands adjacent to the main island of Ibiza were genetically distinct from those from Formentera and the associated Freus islands for both mtDNA and the nuclear loci. However, most individuals from the island of Ibiza were grouped with neighbouring islets/islands for nuclear loci, but with Formentera and Freus islands for the mitochondrial locus. A time-calibrated Bayesian tree was constructed for the principal mitochondrial lineages within the Balearics, using the multispecies coalescent model, and provided statistical support for divergence of the two main P. pityusensis lineages 0.111-0.295 Ma. This suggests a mid-late Pleistocene intraspecific divergence, compared with an early Pleistocene divergence in P. lilfordi, and postdates some major increases in sea level between 0.4 and 0.6 Ma, which may have flooded Formentera. The program IMa2 provided a posterior divergence time of 0.089-0.221 Ma, which was similar to the multispecies coalescent tree estimate. More significantly, it indicated low but asymmetric effective gene copy migration rates, with higher migration from Formentera to Ibiza populations. Our findings suggest that much of the present-day diversity may have originated from a late Pleistocene colonization of one island group from the other, followed by allopatric divergence of these populations. Subsequent gene flow between these insular groups seems likely to be explained by recent human introductions. Two evolutionary significant units can be defined for P. pityusensis but these units would need to exclude the populations that have been the subjects of recent admixture. PMID:23962158

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

    PubMed

    Torres-Carvajal, Omar; Lobos, Simón E

    2014-01-01

    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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

    2016-06-10

    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.

  5. 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

    2013-01-21

    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.

  6. 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

  7. Endoparasites infecting the semiaquatic coral snake Micrurus surinamensis (Squamata: Elapidae) in the southern Amazonian region, Mato Grosso state, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Ávila, R W; Morais, D H; Anjos, L A; Almeida, W O; Silva, R J

    2013-08-01

    A parasitological survey was conducted in specimens of the semiaquatic coral snake Micrurus surinamensis, a poorly known South American elapid. Four specimens collected at the southern Amazon region in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso were analyzed for endoparasites. Three parasite species were recovered from the snake hosts: the pentastomid Sebekia oxycephala, the nematode Physaloptera sp. and the trematode Opisthogonimus lecithonotus. This represents new locality and host record for S. oxycephala and O. lecithonotus.

  8. 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

  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

    2016-07-20

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

    2016-01-21

    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.

  12. 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

    2016-02-10

    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.

  13. 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

    2015-08-21

    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.

  14. Bony skull development in the Argus monitor (Squamata, Varanidae, Varanus panoptes) with comments on developmental timing and adult anatomy.

    PubMed

    Werneburg, Ingmar; Polachowski, Katja M; Hutchinson, Mark N

    2015-08-01

    Varanids represent one of the most charismatic squamate clades and include the largest living lizards; however, little is known about their embryonic development and what it might reveal about the origin of their derived anatomy. In the present study, we describe external organogenesis and skull formation of Varanus panoptes in great detail. We compared timing of ossification with the patterns seen in other squamates, using three major hypotheses of squamate interrelationship as phylogenetic templates, and were able to detect heterochronic patterns in ossification that are associated with adult anatomy in each phylogeny. However, we refrain from preferring one topology given the current lack of congruence between molecular and morphological data sets. The rule of thumb that early appearance of developmental characters is correlated to larger prominence in adults is critically discussed and we conclude that such simple correlations are the exception rather than the rule. The entanglement of developmental processes detected herein highlights the non-independent formation of adult characters that are usually treated as independent in phylogenetic studies, which may bias the output of such studies. Our comprehensive descriptions of embryonic development may serve as a resource for future studies integrating the complex processes of embryogenesis into broad-scale phylogenetic analyses that are likely to show that change in embryonic timing is one of the major sources of morphological diversification.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Acanthocephala in amphibians (Anura) and reptiles (Squamata) from Brazil and Paraguay with description of a new species.

    PubMed

    Smales, Lesley R

    2007-04-01

    In a survey of 1,732 amphibians and reptiles collected across São Paulo Province, Brazil, and 7 provinces in Paraguay, 26 species were found infected with acanthocephalans. Of 1,510 anurans, 14 anurans, representing 11 species, were infected with cystacanths of Centrorhynchus spp. and 1 anuran with cystacanths of Oligacanthorhynchus sp. Of 107 lizards, 1 lizard was infected with cystacanths of Centrorhynchus sp. and 1 lizard with cystacanths of Oligacanthorhynchus sp. Acanthocephalus caspanensis was found in 3 anurans (3 species) and Acanthocephalus lutzi in 3 anurans (2 species) and 2 snakes (2 species). The systematic position of A. lutzi cannot be resolved using presently available morphological data. Acanthocephalus saopaulensis n. sp. was found in a single individual of Bufo ictericus. The new species can be differentiated from all its congeners except A. caspanensis in having a sigmoid-shaped male posterior end and from A. caspanensis in having a proboscis armature of 16 rows of 5-7 hooks rather than 18-19 rows of 6-7 hooks and larger eggs. The status of Acanthocephalus and Pseudoacanthocephalus continues to be problematic.

  18. 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.

  19. [Home range of Aspidoscelis cozumela (Squamata: Teiidae): a parthenogenetic lizard microendemic to Cozumel Island, México].

    PubMed

    Hernández-Gallegos, Oswaldo; López-Moreno, Ana Esthela; Méndez-Sánchez, José Fernando; Rheubert, Justin Lloyd; Méndez-de la Cruz, Fausto Roberto

    2015-09-01

    Home range is defined as the area within which an individual moves to acquire resources necessary to increase their fitness and may vary inter and intra-specifically with biotic and abiotic factors. This study details the home range of the parthenogenic lizard, Aspidoscelis cozumela, an active forager microendemic to Cozumel Island, México, with high preference for open sand beaches. The home range of A. cozumela was compared with other species of Aspidoscelis (gonochoric and parthenogenetic) and other lizards that occupy coastal habitats. Furthermore, the biotic and abiotic factors that may influence home range were analyzed. This study was conducted in the beach located on the East side of the island (area of 4,000 M2) that is composed primarily of halophyte vegetation with high levels of sunlight. From 1999 to 2001, nine samples were taken which included the dry, rainy, "nortes", and breeding seasons. During each sampling, capture-mark-recapture techniques were conducted and the date, time of day, and snout-vent length (SVL) were recorded to the nearest millimeter. Individuals were located in the study area using a bi-coordinate reference using 10 x 10 m subdivisions of the habitat. Home range and home range overlap were calculated using the convex polygon method in McPaal and home range/SVL correlation was tested using Pearson's correlation. To calculate females home range, three or more recaptures were considered. A total of 20 home ranges that averaged 45.1 ± 14.0 m2 were obtained and no correlation between SVL and home range size was detected (p = 0.9229, n = 20). However, removing individuals with outlier home ranges (females with home ranges > 100 m2, n = 2) resulted in a positive correlation with SVL (r = 0.61, p = 0.0072, n = 18). A 22.9 ± 5.7% overlap in home range was also detected. The small home range of A. cozumela represents the smallest home range within the Aspidoscelis genus recorded to date (including both parthenogenetic and gonochoric species) and contrasts the theoretical predictions of broad home ranges for widely foraging species. Thermoregulatory benefits and a high population density may explain the small home range of A. cozumela. Although this species is highly adapted to the environmental conditions present on the open sand beaches, anthropogenic effects on these habitats by the development of tourism infrastructure may jeopardize their existence on Cozumel Island. PMID:26666132

  20. Infestation of the southern alligator lizard (Squamata: Anguidae) by Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) and its susceptibility to Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Wright, S A; Lane, R S; Clover, J R

    1998-11-01

    To investigate the reservoir potential of the southern alligator lizard, Elgaria multicarinata (Blainville), for the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt & Brenner, 14 lizards were collected from 1 county on each side of the northern Central Valley of California. Seven animals were collected from a Placer County site (Drivers Flat) and a Yolo County site (Cache Creek) where B. burgdorferi had been isolated previously from Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls. Overall, the mean abundance of I. pacificus on all 14 lizards was 34.1 (range, 3-63) for larvae and 11.0 (range, 1-28) for nymphs. In captivity, field-attached I. pacificus larvae and nymphs required, on average, 12.6 (range, 1-37) and 14.4 (range, 5-44) d to feed to repletion, respectively. The prevalence of B. burgdorferi infection in host-seeking I. pacificus nymphs was 1.4% in Cache Creek Canyon and 9.9% in Drivers Flat. Attempts to isolate spirochetes from lizard blood or ticks that had fed on lizards and subsequently molted were unsuccessful as were efforts to cultivate spirochetes in lizard sera. These data suggest that the southern alligator lizard is not a competent reservoir for B. burgdorferi, although it is an important host for I. pacificus subadults. PMID:9835700

  1. 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

  2. Endoparasites infecting the semiaquatic coral snake Micrurus surinamensis (Squamata: Elapidae) in the southern Amazonian region, Mato Grosso state, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Ávila, R W; Morais, D H; Anjos, L A; Almeida, W O; Silva, R J

    2013-08-01

    A parasitological survey was conducted in specimens of the semiaquatic coral snake Micrurus surinamensis, a poorly known South American elapid. Four specimens collected at the southern Amazon region in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso were analyzed for endoparasites. Three parasite species were recovered from the snake hosts: the pentastomid Sebekia oxycephala, the nematode Physaloptera sp. and the trematode Opisthogonimus lecithonotus. This represents new locality and host record for S. oxycephala and O. lecithonotus. PMID:24212707

  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. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Out of the deep: cryptic speciation in a Neotropical gecko (Squamata, Phyllodactylidae) revealed by species delimitation methods.

    PubMed

    Domingos, Fabricius M C B; Bosque, Renan J; Cassimiro, José; Colli, Guarino R; Rodrigues, Miguel T; Santos, Marcella G; Beheregaray, Luciano B

    2014-11-01

    Levels of biodiversity in the Neotropics are largely underestimated despite centuries of research interest in this region. This is particularly true for the Cerrado, the largest Neotropical savanna and a formally recognized biodiversity hotspot. Molecular species delimitation methods have become essential tools to uncover cryptic species and can be notably robust when coupled with morphological information. We present the first evaluation of the monophyly and cryptic speciation of a widespread Cerrado endemic lizard, Gymnodactylus amarali, using phylogenetic and species-trees methods, as well as a coalescent-based Bayesian species delimitation method. We tested whether lineages resulting from the analyses of molecular data are morphologically diagnosed by traditional meristic scale characters. We recovered eight deeply divergent molecular clades within G. amarali, and two additional ones from seasonally dry tropical forest enclaves between the Cerrado and the Caatinga biomes. Analysis of morphological data statistically corroborated the molecular delimitation for all groups, in a pioneering example of the use of support vector machines to investigate morphological differences in animals. The eight G. amarali clades appear monophyletic and endemic to the Cerrado. They display several different properties used by biologists to delineate species and are therefore considered here as candidates for formal taxonomic description. We also present a preliminary account of the biogeographic history of these lineages in the Cerrado, evidence for speciation of sister lineages in the Cerrado-Caatinga contact, and highlight the need for further morphological and genetic studies to assess cryptic diversity in this biodiversity hotspot. PMID:25109652

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Sex determination in Madagascar geckos of the genus Paroedura (Squamata: Gekkonidae): are differentiated sex chromosomes indeed so evolutionary stable?

    PubMed

    Koubová, Martina; Johnson Pokorná, Martina; Rovatsos, Michail; Farkačová, Klára; Altmanová, Marie; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2014-12-01

    Among amniote vertebrates, geckos represent a clade with exceptional variability in sex determination; however, only a minority of species of this highly diverse group has been studied in this respect. Here, we describe for the first time a female heterogamety in the genus Paroedura, the group radiated in Madagascar and adjacent islands. We identified homomorphic ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes with a highly heterochromatic W chromosome in Paroedura masobe, Paroedura oviceps, Paroedura karstophila, Paroedura stumpffi, and Paroedura lohatsara. Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) revealed that female-specific sequences are greatly amplified in the W chromosome of P. lohatsara and that P. gracilis seems to possess a derived system of multiple sex chromosomes. Contrastingly, neither CGH nor heterochromatin visualization revealed differentiated sex chromosomes in the members of the Paroedura picta-Paroedura bastardi-Paroedura ibityensis clade, which is phylogenetically nested within lineages with a heterochromatic W chromosome. As a sex ratio consistent with genotypic sex determination has been reported in P. picta, it appears that the members of the P. picta-P. bastardi-P. ibityensis clade possess homomorphic, poorly differentiated sex chromosomes and may represent a rare example of evolutionary loss of highly differentiated sex chromosomes. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with a telomeric probe revealed a telomere-typical pattern in all species and an accumulation of telomeric sequences in the centromeric region of autosomes in P. stumpffi and P. bastardi. Our study adds important information for the greater understanding of the variability and evolution of sex determination in geckos and demonstrates how the geckos of the genus Paroedura provide an interesting model for studying the evolution of the sex chromosomes.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

    2014-04-22

    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.

  14. A new species of pine anole from the Sierra Madre del Sur in Oaxaca, Mexico (Reptilia, Squamata, Dactyloidae: Anolis).

    PubMed

    Köhler, Gunther; Pérez, Raúl Gómez Trejo; Petersen, Claus Bo P; de La Cruz, Fausto R Mendez

    2014-01-09

    We describe the new species Anolis peucephilus sp. nov. from the Pacific versant of southern Mexico. Anolis peucephilus differs from all congeners by having a combination of (1) smooth ventral scales; (2) usually a patch of three greatly enlarged supraocular scales; (3) extremely short hind legs, longest toe of adpressed hind leg reaching to a point between levels of axilla and ear opening, ratio shank length/snout-vent length 0.18-0.21; (4) circumnasal usually in contact with first supralabial; and (5) a large yellowish orange dewlap in males and a very small to small white dewlap in females. In external morphology, A. peucephilus is most similar to A. omiltemanus from which it differs by having even shorter hind legs with the longest toe of adpressed hind leg reaching to a point between levels of axilla and ear opening (versus usually to ear opening, occasionally to slightly beyond ear opening or to a point between shoulder and ear opening in A. omiltemanus), a slightly larger dewlap in females, to 64 mm2 (versus to 41 mm2 in A. omiltemanus), the circumnasal usually in contact with the first supralabial (versus those scales separated by the presence of a subnasal in A. omiltemanus), and 4-6 internasal scales in the new species (versus usually 6-7 in A. omiltemanus). Furthermore, A. peucephilus differs from A. omiltemanus in hemipenial morphology (no finger-like processus on asulcate side in A. peucephilus versus such a processus present in A. omiltemanus). Also, in a preliminary molecular genetic analysis of the mitochondrial CO1 gene fragment, A. peucephilus has a genetic distance of 11.5% from A. omiltemanus. Anolis peucephilus was collected at night while the lizards were sleeping in pine trees, 2-10 m above the ground.

  15. Bony skull development in the Argus monitor (Squamata, Varanidae, Varanus panoptes) with comments on developmental timing and adult anatomy.

    PubMed

    Werneburg, Ingmar; Polachowski, Katja M; Hutchinson, Mark N

    2015-08-01

    Varanids represent one of the most charismatic squamate clades and include the largest living lizards; however, little is known about their embryonic development and what it might reveal about the origin of their derived anatomy. In the present study, we describe external organogenesis and skull formation of Varanus panoptes in great detail. We compared timing of ossification with the patterns seen in other squamates, using three major hypotheses of squamate interrelationship as phylogenetic templates, and were able to detect heterochronic patterns in ossification that are associated with adult anatomy in each phylogeny. However, we refrain from preferring one topology given the current lack of congruence between molecular and morphological data sets. The rule of thumb that early appearance of developmental characters is correlated to larger prominence in adults is critically discussed and we conclude that such simple correlations are the exception rather than the rule. The entanglement of developmental processes detected herein highlights the non-independent formation of adult characters that are usually treated as independent in phylogenetic studies, which may bias the output of such studies. Our comprehensive descriptions of embryonic development may serve as a resource for future studies integrating the complex processes of embryogenesis into broad-scale phylogenetic analyses that are likely to show that change in embryonic timing is one of the major sources of morphological diversification. PMID:26051699

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  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. Effect of Mikania glomerata (Asteraceae) leaf extract combined with anti-venom serum on experimental Crotalus durissus (Squamata: Viperidae) envenomation in rats.

    PubMed

    Floriano, Rafael Stuani; Nogueira, Rosa Maria Barilli; Sakate, Michiko; Laposy, Cecília Braga; da Motta, Yudney Pereira; Sangiorgio, Fabíola; David, Heloísa Costa; Nabas, João Marcelo

    2009-12-01

    Crotalic envenomation represents the highest number of deaths when compared to other snakebite envenomations of medical interest. Crotalic venom has important characteristics such as neurotoxicity, myotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, and clotting and hemolytic action. We evaluated the clinical and laboratory aspects of Crotalus durissus terrificus experimental envenomation in Wistar rats treated with antivenom and the aqueous extract of the plant Mikania glomerata. The animals were divided into three groups: Group C (control); Group VS-venom and antivenom; Group VSM-venom, antivenom and aqueous extract of M. glomerata. Crotalic poison caused clinical and laboratory alterations in Wistar mice. Significant clinical alterations were: temperature decrease, edema in the venom inoculated member, sedation and a locomotion decrease in groups VS and VSM when compared with group C. A faster recovery from sedation was observed only for animals of group VSM when compared to VS. There was an increase in the number of leukocytes, neutrophils and creatine kinase in the VS and VSM groups, compared to group C. Wistar rats showed a high resistance to crotalic venom. Additional studies with different doses, time of treatment, different administration methods and histopathological and immunological studies are necessary to understand the action of M. glomerata in crotalic accidents.

  12. 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

  13. 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

    2016-08-17

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Aguilar, César; Wood, 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, Jack W

    2013-12-18

    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

  15. 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

  16. Histology of tooth attachment tissues and plicidentine in Varanus (Reptilia: Squamata), and a discussion of the evolution of amniote tooth attachment.

    PubMed

    Maxwell, Erin E; Caldwell, Michael W; Lamoureux, Denis O; Budney, Lisa A

    2011-10-01

    Few recent studies have examined the histological basis for tooth attachment in squamates. In the past few years, a surge of interest in this topic has led to the intriguing suggestion that the major tissues derived from the tooth germ (enamel, dentine, cementum and alveolar bone), are conservative and are present in all amniotes. In this study, we describe the histology and development of the tooth attachment complex in Varanus rudicollis, the rough-neck monitor. We provide the first published evidence for the role of cementum and alveolar bone in tooth attachment in varanoid lizards. In Varanus, cementum is deposited on the external surface of the tooth root as well as at the base of the tooth, where it plays a role in the attachment of the tooth to the jawbone. Alveolar bone is also involved in tooth ankylosis. Our results support the hypothesis that the major tooth germ tissues are found in all amniotes. We provide insights into the structure and development of plicidentine, defined as infolding of the dentine around the tooth base. This feature is unique to varanoids among extant tetrapods and is the third tissue implicated in tooth attachment in Varanus. Plicidentine develops asymmetrically along the labial-lingual axis of a tooth. Varanus is characterized by the presence of both primary and higher-order lamellae, which anastomose to form a honeycomb-like surface that then interacts with the more basal attachment tissues.

  17. Pygmy chameleons of the Rhampholeon platyceps compex (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae): description of four new species from isolated 'sky islands' of northern Mozambique.

    PubMed

    Branch, William R; Bayliss, Julian; Tolley, Krystal A

    2014-06-06

    The taxonomic status of recently discovered populations of pygmy chameleons (Rhampholeon) from the northern Mozambique montane isolates of Mt. Chiperone, Mt. Mabu, Mt. Inago and Mt. Namuli are assessed, and compared with the closest geographical congeners, including Rhampholeon platyceps Günther 1893 from Mt. Mulanje, and Rh. chapmanorum Tilbury 1992 from the Malawi Hills, both in southern Malawi. Relationships were examined using morphological features and a phylogenetic analysis incorporating two mitochondrial and one nuclear marker. The phylogeny showed that each montane isolate contained a distinct, well-supported clade of chameleons. Chameleons from the Mozambican montane isolates are within a monophyletic clade inclusive of species from southern Malawi (Rh. platyceps and Rh. chapmanorum). Although some relationships are unresolved, the southern Malawi and Mozambican isolates appear to share their most recent common ancestor with species from the Eastern Arc Mountains and Southern Highlands of Tanzania and Malawi (Rh. moyeri, Rh. uluguruesis, Rh. nchisiensis). Along with Rh. beraduccii and Rh. acuminatus, all are included in the subgenus Rhinodigitum. Sister to this larger clade are species from west/central Africa (Rh. temporalis, Rh. spectrum) and the Rh. marshalli-gorongosae complex from southwest Mozambique and adjacent Zimbabwe. Morphological and molecular results confirm that Brookesia platyceps carri Loveridge 1953 is a junior subjective synonym of Rhampholeon platyceps Günther 1892. Historical records of Rh. platyceps from the Shire Highlands (Chiromo) and the Zomba Plateau, are incorrect and the species is now considered endemic to the Mulanje massif. All of the four newly discovered, isolated populations are genetically and morphologically distinct, and we take the opportunity to describe each as a new species. Rhampholeon (Rhinodigitum) maspictus sp. nov. is restricted to Mt. Mabu and distinguished by its large size, well-developed dorsal crenulations, and bright male breeding coloration; Rhampholeon (Rhinodigitum) nebulauctor sp. nov. is restricted to Mt. Chiperone and distinguished by its small size, weakly-developed dorsal crenulations, and a large rostral process in males; Rhampholeon (Rhinodigitum) tilburyi sp. nov. is restricted to Mt. Namuli and distinguished by its small size, weakly-developed dorsal crenulations, and prominent flexure of the snout in males; and Rhampholeon (Rhinodigitum) bruessoworum sp. nov. is restricted to Mt. Inago and distinguished by its small size, weakly-developed dorsal crenulations, large rostral process in males, and relatively long tail in both sexes. 

  18. Influences of sex, ontogeny and body size on the thermal ecology of Liolaemus lutzae (Squamata, Liolaemidae) in a restinga remnant in Southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Maia-Carneiro, Thiago; Rocha, Carlos Frederico Duarte

    2013-01-01

    Variations in body temperature (Tb) of lizards can be partially explained by intrinsic factors such as sex, ontogeny and body size. Liolaemus lutzae is a lizard species restricted to restingas in the Brazilian coast in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Herein, we studied sexual dimorphism and influences of sex, ontogeny, and body size to the Tb of L. lutzae. Adult males were larger than adult females, probably due to both intersexual selection and intra-sexual selection. There was intersexual difference in lizards' Tb (males hotter than females), but Tb did not differ after factored out for the effects of body size. The mean Tb of juvenile lizards was higher than that of adults after factored out for the effect of body mass. It is possible that adults may have excluded juveniles from microhabitats with better thermal regimes. Also, this might have occurred due to requirements of juveniles to maintain high growth rates. Forage searching for prey by juveniles also exposes them to high environmental temperatures. Juveniles also may have higher Tb than co-specific adults (relative to body mass) to favor prey capture. In absolute values, adult lizards tended to use microhabitats with lower temperatures than that used by juveniles, possibly to avoid risks of overheating and death. Body temperature and snout-vent length were positively related, as well as body temperature and body mass, presumably caused by the thermal inertia of the bodies (trend of a body to resist to changes in its temperature). Intrinsic factors such as sex, ontogeny and body size can affect the thermal ecology of L. lutzae, despite coastal habitat features to which they are exposed also influences the body temperature of active lizards in restinga habitats. PMID:24229803

  19. Activation of a P2Y4-like purinoceptor triggers an increase in cytosolic [Ca2+] in the red blood cells of the lizard Ameiva ameiva (Squamata, Teiidae).

    PubMed

    Sartorello, R; Garcia, C R S

    2005-01-01

    An increasing number of pathophysiological roles for purinoceptors are emerging, some of which have therapeutic potential. Erythrocytes are an important source of purines, which can be released under physiological and physiopathological conditions, acting on purinergic receptors associated with the same cell or with neighboring cells. Few studies have been conducted on lizards, and have been limited to ATP agonist itself. We have previously shown that the red blood cells (RBCs) of the lizard Ameiva ameiva store Ca2+ in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and that the purinergic agonist ATP triggers a rapid and transient increase of [Ca2+]c by mobilization of the cation from internal stores. We also reported the ability of the second messenger IP3 to discharge the ER calcium pool of the ER. Here we characterize the purinoceptor present in the cytoplasmic membrane of the RBCs of the lizard Ameiva ameiva by the selective use of ATP analogues and pyrimidine nucleotides. The nucleotides UTP, UDP, GTP, and ATPgammaS triggered a dose-dependent response, while interestingly 2MeSATP, 2ClATP, alpha, ss-ATP, and ADP failed to do so in a 1- to 200-microm con- centration. The EC50 obtained for the compounds tested was 41.77 microM for UTP, 48.11 microM for GTP, 53.11 microM for UDP, and 30.78 microM for ATPgammaS. The present data indicate that the receptor within the RBCs of Ameiva ameiva is a P2Y4-like receptor due to its pharmacological similarity to the mammalian P2Y4 receptor. PMID:15665982

  20. A comparative ultrastructural study of spermatozoa of the teiid lizards Cnemidophorus gularis gularis, Cnemidophorus ocellifer, and Kentropyx altamazonica (Reptilia, Squamata, Teiidae).

    PubMed

    Teixeira, R D; Scheltinga, D M; Trauth, S E; Colli, G R; Báo, S N

    2002-06-01

    The ultrastructure of the spermatozoa of Cnemidophorus gularis gularis, Cnemidophorus ocellifer, and Kentropyx altamazonica is described for the first time. Mature spermatozoa of Cnemidophorus spp. and K. altamazonica differ in the occurrence of a perforatorial base plate, the enlargement of axonemal fibers 3 and 8, and shape of mitochondria. The comparisons of the ultrastructure sperm of Cnemidophorus spp. and K. altamazonica with Ameiva ameiva [J. Morphol. (2002) in press] suggest that Ameiva and Cnemidophorus are more similar to each other than either is to Kentropyx. Statistical analyses reveal that sperm of all three species studied are significantly different in the following dimensions: head, acrosome, distal centriole length, and nuclear shoulders width. There was no variable statistically different between the Cnemidophorus spp. only. The length of the tail, midpiece, entire sperm, and nuclear rostrum are significantly different between K. altamazonica and Cnemidophorus spp. Our results indicate that sperm ultrastructure presents intra and intergeneric variability. PMID:12182806

  1. Two new endemic species of Ameiva (Squamata: Teiidae) from the dry forest of northwestern Peru and additional information on Ameiva concolor Ruthven, 1924.

    PubMed

    Koch, Claudia; Venegas, Pablo J; Rödder, Dennis; Flecks, Morris; Böhme, Wolfgang

    2013-01-01

    We describe two new species of Ameiva Meyer, 1795 from the dry forest of the Northern Peruvian Andes. The new species Ameiva nodam sp. nov. and Ameiva aggerecusans sp. nov. share a divided frontal plate and are differentiated from each other and from their congeners based on genetic (12S and 16S rRNA genes) and morphological characteristics. A. nodam sp. nov. has dilated postbrachials, a maximum known snout-vent length of 101 mm, 10 longitudinal rows of ventral plates, 86-113 midbody granules, 25-35 lamellae under the fourth toe, and a color pattern with 5 longitudinal yellow stripes on the dorsum. Ameiva aggerecusans sp. nov. has not or only hardly dilated postbrachials, a maximum known snout-vent length of 99.3 mm, 10-12 longitudinal rows of ventral plates, 73-92 midbody granules, 31-39 lamellae under the fourth toe, and the females and juveniles of the species normally exhibit a cream-colored vertebral stripe on a dark dorsum ground color. We provide information on the intraspecific variation and distribution of A. concolor. Furthermore, we provide information on the environmental niches of the taxa and test for niche conservatism.  PMID:25113348

  2. Urotrema shirleyae n. sp. (Trematoda: Digenea: Urotrematidae) in Norops oxylophus and N. cupreus (Squamata: Iguania: Polychrotidae) from the Area de Conservación Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Zamparo, David; Brooks, Daniel R; Tkach, Vasyl

    2005-06-01

    A new species of Urotrema inhabits Norops oxylophus and Norops cupreus from the Area de Conservación Guanacaste, Costa Rica. The new species is most similar to Urotrema scabridum but differs by having a relatively longer esophagus, at least 10% of the total body length versus 4-8% in U. scabridum; an oral sucker width: ventral sucker width ratio less than 1 : 1 (averaging 1 : 0.76) versus 1 : 1 or greater; an oral sucker width : pharyngeal width ratio less than 1 : 0.5 (averaging 1 : 0.42) versus greater than 1 :0.5; and by having many transversely oriented posttesticular uterine loops versus a few vertically oriented posttesticular uterine loops.

  3. Species on the rocks: Systematics and biogeography of the rock-dwelling Ptyodactylus geckos (Squamata: Phyllodactylidae) in North Africa and Arabia.

    PubMed

    Metallinou, Margarita; Červenka, Jan; Crochet, Pierre-André; Kratochvíl, Lukáš; Wilms, Thomas; Geniez, Philippe; Shobrak, Mohammed Y; Brito, José C; Carranza, Salvador

    2015-04-01

    The understanding of the diversity of species in the Palearctic and the processes that have generated it is still weak for large parts of the arid areas of North Africa and Arabia. Reptiles are among their most remarkable representatives, with numerous groups well adapted to the diverse environments. The Ptyodactylus geckos are a strictly rock-dwelling genus with homogeneous morphology distributed across mountain formations and rocky plateaus from the western African ranges in Mauritania and the Maghreb to the eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, with an isolated species in southern Pakistan. Here, we use a broad sampling of 378 specimens, two mitochondrial (12S and cytb) and four nuclear (c-mos, MC1R, ACM4, RAG2) markers in order to obtain the first time-calibrated molecular phylogeny of the genus and place its diversification in a temporal framework. The results reveal high levels of intraspecific variability, indicative of undescribed diversity, and they do not support the monophyly of one species (P. ragazzii). Ptyodactylus species are allopatric across most of their range, which may relate to their high preference for the same type of structural habitat. The onset of their diversification is estimated to have occurred in the Late Oligocene, while that of several deep clades in the phylogeny took place during the Late Miocene, a period when an increase in aridification in North Africa and Arabia initiated.

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

    PubMed

    Aguilar, César; Wood, 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, Jack W

    2013-12-18

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Body location and tail regeneration effects on osteoderms morphology-are they useful tools for systematic, paleontology, and skeletochronology in diploglossine lizards (squamata, anguidae)?

    PubMed

    Bochaton, Corentin; De Buffrenil, Vivian; Lemoine, Michel; Bailon, Salvador; Ineich, Ivan

    2015-11-01

    Although diploglossine osteoderms were mentioned in several systematic and paleontological studies, their morphological variability in single specimens or within species remains paradoxically undescribed. This is mainly the effect of the lack of attention paid hitherto to the morphological and histological characteristics of the tail osteoderms. This study demonstrated that a previously undescribed morphological variability exists in these osteoderms, especially in those resulting from tail regeneration. Indeed, regenerated osteoderms display a plesiomorphic anguid morphology that was previously considered to be absent in Diploglossinae. We also provide the first histological description of diploglossine osteoderms and new information about the obvious differences in growth dynamic between regenerated and nonregenerated osteoderms. These new data raise questions about the usefulness of diploglossine osteoderms in systematic, paleontological, and skeletochronological studies. Our study shows that the exact position on the trunk or on a regenerated or nonregenerated tail of each studied osteoderm must be known in order to avoid mistakes related to their important interspecies and intraspecies variability.

  8. A New Iranian Phrynocephalus (Reptilia: Squamata: Agamidae) from the hottest place on earth and a key to the genus Phrynocephalus in southwestern Asia and Arabia.

    PubMed

    Kamali, Kamran; Anderson, Steven C

    2015-01-01

    A new species of agamid lizard, Phrynocephalus lutensis sp. nov., is described from the Lut Desert in Iran. It is a species adapted to wind-blown sand in this semi-isolated basin. It appears to be most closely similar to P. luteoguttatus and P. euptilopus on the basis of external morphology. A key to the 19 known Phrynocephalus species of southwestern Asia and Arabia is presented for the first time. PMID:25660782

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. [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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    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.

  14. A new species of karst-adapted Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from a threatened karst region in Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Grismer, L Lee; Wood, Perry L; Mohamed, Maketab; Chan, Kin Onn; Heinz, Heather M; Sumarli, Alex S-I; Chan, Jacob A; Loredo, Ariel I

    2013-12-12

    A new species of karst-adapted gekkonid lizard of the genus Cnemaspis Strauch is described from Gua Gunting and Gua Goyang in a karst region of Merapoh, Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia whose unique limestone formations are in immediate danger of being quarried. The new species differs from all other species of Cnemaspis based on its unique suite of morphological and color pattern characters. Its discovery underscores the unique biodiversity endemic to karst regions and adds to a growing list of karst-adapted reptiles from Peninsular Malaysia. We posit that new karst-adapted species endemic to limestone forests will continue to be discovered and these regions will harbor a significant percentage of Peninsular Malaysia's biodiversity and thusly should be conserved rather than quarried.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

    Zug, George R.; Fisher, Robert N.

    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.

  3. 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

    2014-12-24

    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. 

  4. Cyrtodactylus rosichonariefi sp. nov. (Squamata: Gekkonidae), a new swamp-dwelling bent-toed gecko from Bunguran Island (Great Natuna), Indonesia.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-29

    Cyrtodactylus rosichonariefi sp. nov. is the second newly described species of Bent-toed gecko from Bunguran Island (Great Natuna), Indonesia. This species occurs in the Sekunyam Forest and is differentiated from all other species of the C. semenanjungensis species group of the Thai-Malay Peninsula by having the following unique combination of characteristics: intermediate size (SVL of adult male holotype 54.6 mm); enlarged femoral scales, no femoral pores, no precloacal groove, enlarged precloacal scales, no precloacal pores; subcaudals not enlarged; and dorsal pattern blotched but lacking paired, dark, semilunar-shaped blotches on upper nape. The new species is the sister species of C. majulah Grismer, Wood & Lim. [Corrected

  5. A reassessment of Melanophidium Günther, 1864 (Squamata: Serpentes:
    Uropeltidae) from the Western Ghats of peninsular India, with the description of a new species.

    PubMed

    Gower, David J; Giri, Varad; Captain, Ashok; Wilkinson, Mark

    2016-01-01

    A new species of the uropeltid snake genus, Melanophidium Günther, 1864 is described based on a series of eight specimens. Melanophidium khairei sp. nov. is the fourth species described in the genus, and the first for 144 years. Superficially M. khairei sp. nov. resembles M. punctatum Beddome, 1871 in being piebald and punctate (and it was previously misidentified as M. punctatum), but in many scalation characters it more closely resembles M. wynaudense (Beddome, 1863). The new species occurs in southern Maharashtra, Goa, and northern Karnataka, in the Western Ghats region of peninsula India. It is the most northerly member of its genus. Lectotypes and paralectotypes are designated for M. wynaudense, M. bilineatum Beddome, 1870, and M. punctatum. A new key to the species of Melanophidium is presented. Aspects of the morphology, taxonomy and distribution of the three previously described species of Melanophidium are reviewed and revised. PMID:27394315

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. The first cytogenetic description of Euleptes europaea (Gené, 1839) from Northern Sardinia reveals the highest diploid chromosome number among sphaerodactylid geckos (Sphaerodactylidae, Squamata).

    PubMed

    Gornung, Ekaterina; Mosconi, Fabio; Annesi, Flavia; Castiglia, Riccardo

    2013-01-01

    The karyotype of a sphaerodactylid gecko Euleptes europaea (Gené, 1839) was assembled for the first time in this species. It is made of 2n = 42 gradually decreasing in size chromosomes, the highest chromosome number so far acknowledged in the family Sphaerodactylidae. The second chromosome pair of the karyotype appears slightly heteromorphic in the male individual. Accordingly, FISH with a telomeric probe revealed an uneven distribution of telomeric repeats on the two homologues of this pair, which may be indicative of an XY sex-determination system in the species, to be further investigated.

  9. A molecular and morphological characterization of Oliver's parrot snake, Leptophis coeruleodorsus (Squamata: Serpentes: Colubridae) with the description of a new species from Tobago.

    PubMed

    Murphy, John C; Charles, Stevland P; Lehtinen, Richard M; Koeller, Krista L

    2013-01-01

    Currently, two snake species of the genus Leptophis occur in Trinidad and Tobago. One, L. stimsoni, is endemic to Trinidad's Northern Range and known from relatively few specimens. The second is the diurnal, arboreal, brightly colored parrot snake Leptophis coeruleodorsus Oliver. It was originally described based on 23 specimens from Trinidad, Tobago, and four locations in northern Venezuela but remains poorly known. It was later assigned as a subspecies of Leptophis ahaetulla; a widespread, polytypic species. Here we compare 11 specimens of the L. ahaetulla Group using DNA sequences from two mitochondrial genes (cytochrome b and 16S, 1,383 bp total) from island and mainland populations, report on the variation in the morphology of 54 museum specimens of Leptophis a. coeruleodorsus; describe the previously undescribed holotype of L. coeruleodorsus Oliver, and restrict its type locality. Additionally, we describe a new species of Leptophis from the island of Tobago that can be distinguished from L. coeruleodorsus on the basis of snout shape, upper labial architecture, elongated prefrontal scales, and ventral scale counts. The new Leptophis raises the number of endemic Tobago amphibians and reptiles to 11 taxa.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Integrating early detection with DNA barcoding: species identification of a non-native monitor lizard (Squamata: Varanidae) carcass in Mississippi, U.S.A.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reed, Robert N.; Hopken, Matthew W.; Steen, David A.; Falk, Bryan G.; Piaggio, Antoinette J.

    2016-01-01

    Early detection of invasive species is critical to increasing the probability of successful management. At the primary stage of an invasion, invasive species are easier to control as the population is likely represented by just a few individuals. Detection of these first few individuals can be challenging, particularly if they are cryptic or otherwise characterized by low detectability. The engagement of members of the public may be critical to early detection as there are far more citizen s on the landscape than trained biologists. However, it can be difficult to assess the credibility of public reporting, especially when a diagnostic digital image or a physical specimen in good condition are lacking. DNA barcoding can be used for verification when morphological identification of a specimen is not possible or uncertain (i.e., degraded or partial specimen). DNA barcoding relies on obtaining a DNA sequence from a relatively small fragment of mitochondrial DNA and comparing it to a database of sequences containing a variety of expertly identified species. He rein we report the successful identification of a degraded specimen of a non-native, potentially invasive reptile species (Varanus niloticus) via DNA barcoding, after discovery and reporting by a member of the public.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Cool Season Paleotemperatures at Tree Line in Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, W. E.; Chan, M.

    2011-12-01

    Taiwan has over 200 mountains whose peaks exceed 3,000 meters in elevation. Despite straddling the Tropic of Cancer, the higher peaks have snow and freezing temperatures every winter. Trees growing above 3,500 meters show clear temperature variation, even producing frost rings. Yet unlike temperate tree-line species, with their warm season temperature signal, trees growing at Taiwan's tree line show sensitivity to cool season temperatures. Juniperus squamata growing above 3,500 meters in central Taiwan have ring width time series that commonly exceed 600 years. Presented are the first dendroclimatological analyses from Taiwanese Juniperus squamata.

  2. Chromosomal localization of the 18S-28S and 5S rRNA genes and (TTAGGG)n sequences of butterfly lizards (Leiolepis belliana belliana and Leiolepis boehmei, Agamidae, Squamata).

    PubMed

    Srikulnath, Kornsorn; Uno, Yoshinobu; Matsubara, Kazumi; Thongpan, Amara; Suputtitada, Saowanee; Apisitwanich, Somsak; Nishida, Chizuko; Matsuda, Yoichi

    2011-10-01

    Chromosomal mapping of the butterfly lizards Leiolepis belliana belliana and L. boehmei was done using the 18S-28S and 5S rRNA genes and telomeric (TTAGGG)n sequences. The karyotype of L. b. belliana was 2n = 36, whereas that of L. boehmei was 2n = 34. The 18S-28S rRNA genes were located at the secondary constriction of the long arm of chromosome 1, while the 5S rRNA genes were found in the pericentromeric region of chromosome 6 in both species. Hybridization signals for the (TTAGGG)n sequence were observed at the telomeric ends of all chromosomes, as well as interstitially at the same position as the 18S-28S rRNA genes in L. boehmei. This finding suggests that in L. boehmei telomere-to-telomere fusion probably occurred between chromosome 1 and a microchromosome where the 18S-28S rRNA genes were located or, alternatively, at the secondary constriction of chromosome 1. The absence of telomeric sequence signals in chromosome 1 of L. b. belliana suggested that its chromosomes may have only a few copies of the (TTAGGG)n sequence or that there may have been a gradual loss of the repeat sequences during chromosomal evolution.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

    2016-04-29

    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.

  6. Chemosensory recognition of the marbled whiptail lizard, Aspidoscelis marmorata (Squamata: Teiidae) to odors of sympatric lizards (Crotophytus collaris, Coleonyx brevis, Eumeces obsoletus and Uta stansburiana) that represent different predation risks.

    PubMed

    Punzo, F

    2008-01-01

    The ability of the whiptail lizard Aspidoscelis marmorata (Teiidae) to detect and discriminate chemical stimuli associated with the integument of a sympatric saurophagous lizard (Crotaphytus collaris) was tested. Females of A. marmorata were presented with cotton swabs containing chemical cues from C. collaris and three species of nonsaurophagous lizards, as well as water and cologne (pungency control), and total number of tongue-flick (TF) recorded. Other responses were assessed including directed TF rate, time from initial presentation of the stimulus to first TF (latency), time spent fleeing from the stimulus, and number of flight bouts. The number of TFs, directed TF rate, and number of attempts at fleeing exhibited by were significantly greater when females were presented with swabs containing cues from C. collaris as compared to nonsaurophagous lizards and both control treatments. A. marmorata required significantly less time to elicit their first TF when presented with cues from C. collaris as compared to all other treatments. Most previous studies have focused on the responses of lizards to cues associated with snake predators. This study provides the first available data on responses of a teiid to cues associated with a saurophagous lizard.

  7. Parallopharynxs pp. (Trematoda: Digenea: Plagiorchioidea) in iguanian lizards from the Area de Conservación Guanacaste, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, including Parallopharynx matternae n. sp. in Chaetodon basiliscus (Squamata: Iguania: Corytophanidae).

    PubMed

    Zamparo, David; Brooks, Daniel R; Tkach, Vasyl; Rodriguez, Beatriz

    2004-04-01

    We report 3 species of the digenean genus Parallopharynx, 1 previously undescribed, from the Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG) in northwestern Costa Rica. Parallopharynx gonzalezi, which was originally described in Basiliscus sp. and Ctenosoura similis from central Costa Rica, inhabits C. quinquecarinata; P. jonesi, originally described in Anolis lionotus (syn. Norops oxylophus) from Nicaragua, inhabits N. oxylophus, N. biporcatus, and Basiliscus basiliscus; and the new species, which inhabits B. basiliscus. Parallopharynx matternae n. sp. differs from all other members of the genus by having a metraterm extending posteriad from the genital pore to the posterior margin of the ventral sucker, whereas in P. arctus and P. gonzalezi, the metraterm never surpasses the midlevel of the ventral sucker and in P. jonesi it never passes the anterior margin of the ventral sucker, and by having an oral sucker that does not exceed 150 microm in diameter with a subsequent greater oral-ventral sucker width ratio ranging from 1:0.88-1.12 (averaging 1:1), whereas values range from 1:0.71-0.83 for P. gonzalezi and P. arctus, and from 1:0.59-0.68 for P. jonesi. Parallopharynx spp. possesses Y-shaped excretory vesicles with a long central stem and short arms bifurcating immediately posterior to the ovary; similar to those found in members of the Telorchiidae. Additional similarities in the relative positions of the gonads and the structure of the cirrus sac and metraterm indicate a close relationship between Parallopharynx and members of the Telorchiidae.

  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 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

  10. 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

  11. Cryptic speciation within Asthenodipsas vertebralis (Boulenger, 1900) (Squamata: Pareatidae), the description of a new species from Peninsular Malaysia, and the resurrection of A. tropidonotus (Lidth de Jude, 1923) from Sumatra: an integrative taxonomic analysis.

    PubMed

    Loredo, Ariel I; Wood, Perry L; Quah, Evan S H; Anuar, Shahrul; Greer, Lee F; Ahmad, Norhayati; Grismer, L Lee

    2013-01-01

    A review of the taxonomic status of the Asian Slug Snake, Asthenodipsas vertebralis (Boulenger, 1900) based on an integrative taxonomic approach using molecular, morphological, color pattern, and ecological data indicate it is composed of three well supported monophyletic lineages: (1) Pulau Tioman and Fraser's Hill, Pahang and Bukit Larut, Perak; Peninsular Malaysia; (2) its sister lineage from Northern Sumatra; and (3) the remaining basal lineage from Peninsular Malaysia. Furthermore, we consider the high sequence divergence (6.3%-10.2%) between these lineages (especially in areas of sympatry) and discrete differences in their morphology, color pattern, and microhabitat preference as evidence they are not conspecific. As such, we resurrect the name A. tropidonotus (Lidth de Jeude, 1923) for the Sumatra populations, restrict the name A. vertebralis to the populations from Pulau Tioman, Genting Highlands, Fraser's Hill, Gunung Benom, and Bukit Larut that contain terrestrial, banded adults; and consider A. lasgalenensis sp. nov. to be restricted to the populations from Fraser's Hill, Cameron Highlands, and Bukit Larut that contain arboreal, unbanded adults.

  12. A revision of the Mexican Anolis (Reptilia, Squamata, Dactyloidae) from the Pacific versant west of the Isthmus de Tehuantepec in the states of Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Puebla, with the description of six new species .

    PubMed

    Köhler, Gunther; Pérez, Raúl Gómez Trejo; Petersen, Claus Bo P; De La Cruz, Fausto R Méndez

    2014-01-01

    We revise the species of anoles occurring along the Pacific versant of Mexico west of the Isthmus de Tehuantepec in the states of Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Puebla. Based on our analyses of morphological and molecular genetic data, we recognize 21 species, six of which we describe as new (i.e., Anolis carlliebi sp. nov., A. immaculogularis sp. nov., A. nietoi sp. nov., A. sacamecatensis sp. nov., A. stevepoei sp. nov., and A. zapotecorum sp. nov.). Furthermore, we synonymize Anolis forbesi Smith & Van Gelder 1955 with Anolis microlepidotus Davis 1954. Of the recognized species, six have smooth ventral scales (i.e., Anolis dunni, A. gadovii, A. liogaster, A. omiltemanus, A. peucephilus, and A. taylori) and 14 have keeled ventral scales (i.e., A. boulengerianus, A. carlliebi, A. immaculogularis, A. megapholidotus, A. microlepidotus, A. nebuloides, A. nebulosus, A. nietoi, A. quercorum, A. sacamecatensis, A. stevepoei, A. subocularis, A. unilobatus, and A. zapotecorum). In one species, A. macrinii, the ventral scales vary from smooth to weakly keeled. For each species we provide color descriptions in life, color photographs in life, descriptions and illustration of hemipenis morphology (if available), description of external morphology, distribution maps based on the specimensexamined, comments on the conservation status, and natural history notes. Finally, we provide a dichotomous key for the identification of the 21 species of anoles occurring along the Pacific versant of Mexico west of the Isthmus de Tehuantepec in the states of Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Puebla. 

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. The transfer of two clades of Malaysian Sphenomorphus Fitzinger (Squamata: Scincidae) into the genus Tytthoscincus Linkem, Diesmos, & Brown and the description of a new Malaysian swamp-dwelling species.

    PubMed

    Grismer, L Lee; Muin, Mohd Abdul; Wood, Perry L Jr; Anuar, Shahrul; Linkem, Charles W

    2016-01-01

    Phylogenetic analyses based on the mitochondrial gene ND2 and its flanking tRNAs indicate the diminutive upland and insular species Sphenomorphus bukitensis, S. butleri, S. langkawiensis, S. perhentianensis, and S. temengorensis form a monophyletic group that is phylogenetically embedded within the Southeast Asian genus Tytthoscincus. The analyses also indicate that a new swamp-dwelling skink from the Bukit Panchor State Park, Pulau Pinang, Peninsular Malaysia is the sister species to the swamp-dwelling species S. sibuensis from Pulau Sibu, Johor and Singapore and that these two are also embedded in the genus Tytthoscincus. By transferring the two Peninsular Malaysian clades of Sphenomorphus into the genus Tytthoscincus, the monophyly of the latter is maintained. The new species T. panchorensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from all other species of Tytthoscincus by having a unique combination of morphological and color pattern characteristics. PMID:27394452

  18. 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

    2016-01-26

    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.

  19. 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

    2016-03-20

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

    2016-09-02

    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.

  3. 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

  4. Effect of beta-adrenergic antagonists on bioluminescence control in three species of brittlestars (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea).

    PubMed

    Dupont, S; Mallefet, J; Vanderlinden, C

    2004-05-01

    The role of adrenaline in the nervous control of bioluminescence in three brittlestar species, Amphiura filiformis, Amphipholis squamata, and Ophiopsila aranea, was assessed by testing two different beta-adrenergic antagonists (propranolol and labetalol) over a wide concentration range (10(-10)-10(-3)M). We compared the effects of analogues (active vs. inactive) of the same substance (L- and D-enantiomers of propranolol). Propranolol presented both specific and nonspecific effects: (i) nonspecific effects were observed at the higher concentrations tested (10(-4) and 10(-3)M) in all three species; (ii) specific effects were detected only at the lower concentrations tested (10(-6)-10(-5)M). In A. squamata, the involvement of adrenaline in the nervous control of luminescence is supported by propranolol and labetolol specific inhibition. The neuropharmacological implications of nonspecific effects, the involvement of adrenaline and the interspecific differences in the brittlestar nervous control of bioluminescence are discussed.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Genomic V exons from whole genome shotgun data in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Olivieri, D N; von Haeften, B; Sánchez-Espinel, C; Faro, J; Gambón-Deza, F

    2014-08-01

    Reptiles and mammals diverged over 300 million years ago, creating two parallel evolutionary lineages amongst terrestrial vertebrates. In reptiles, two main evolutionary lines emerged: one gave rise to Squamata, while the other gave rise to Testudines, Crocodylia, and Aves. In this study, we determined the genomic variable (V) exons from whole genome shotgun sequencing (WGS) data in reptiles corresponding to the three main immunoglobulin (IG) loci and the four main T cell receptor (TR) loci. We show that Squamata lack the TRG and TRD genes, and snakes lack the IGKV genes. In representative species of Testudines and Crocodylia, the seven major IG and TR loci are maintained. As in mammals, genes of the IG loci can be grouped into well-defined IMGT clans through a multi-species phylogenetic analysis. We show that the reptilian IGHV and IGLV genes are distributed amongst the established mammalian clans, while their IGKV genes are found within a single clan, nearly exclusive from the mammalian sequences. The reptilian and mammalian TRAV genes cluster into six common evolutionary clades (since IMGT clans have not been defined for TR). In contrast, the reptilian TRBV genes cluster into three clades, which have few mammalian members. In this locus, the V exon sequences from mammals appear to have undergone different evolutionary diversification processes that occurred outside these shared reptilian clans. These sequences can be obtained in a freely available public repository (http://vgenerepertoire.org).

  13. 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.

  14. Is nematode colonisation in the presence of Scolelepis in tropical sandy-beach sediment similar to the colonisation process in temperate sandy beaches?

    PubMed

    Maria, T F; Esteves, A M; Vanaverbeke, J; Vanreusel, A

    2013-02-01

    The role of a dominant macrobenthic polychaete, Scolelepis squamata, in the colonisation of defaunated tropical sediments by sandy-beach nematodes was investigated and compared with a previous colonisation experiment carried out on a temperate sandy beach. Experimental cylinders, equipped with lateral windows allowing infaunal colonisation, were filled with defaunated sediment containing two treatments, with and without S. squamata. These cylinders were inserted into microcosms containing sediment with indigenous meiofauna collected from the field. The treatments were incubated in the laboratory at ambient temperature and salinity for 7, 14 and 21 days. The nematode assemblages in both treatments did not differ in composition between treatments and from the natural assemblages, suggesting that all the species were equally able to colonise the experimental cores. The presence of the polychaete did not affect the development of the nematode community composition, in contrast to the results from a previous temperate-beach experiment. However, our results did not indicate whether the difference in results was caused by the different behaviour of the polychaete specimens, or by the different composition and response of the present nematode community. PMID:23644785

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  20. On the evolution of arterial vascular patterns of tetrapods.

    PubMed

    Farmer, C G

    2011-11-01

    The factors that explain the diverse arrangement of the major arteries of tetrapods are not known. Here, I aim to illuminate some of the underpinnings of these patterns. I review the variation in the sauropsid left, right, and dorsal aortae regarding the origin of the gastrointestinal blood vessels and the relative diameters of left and right aortae where they join together to form the dorsal aorta. I focus on these features because the quality of blood that flows through these aortae can vary depending on the state of cardiac shunting and the size of the vessel can provide insight into the quantity of blood borne by the vessels. I then place the information in a phyletic, historical, and ecological context. The plesiomorphic pattern is for the gastrointestinal vessels to arise as segmental arteries from the dorsal aorta, which is formed from the confluence of left and right aortae with similar diameters. The pattern is well conserved with only two major variations. First, in several clades of reptiles (testudines, crocodilians, lizards of the genera Varanus and Hydrosaurus) a substantial portion of the gastrointestinal arteries arises from the left aorta, leaving the diameter of the left aorta smaller than the right at their confluence. I hypothesize that this vascular arrangement facilitates growth by allowing more alkaline blood to flow to the somatic (body wall) and appendicular circulations, which may promote bone deposition and inhibit resorption, whereas hypercapnic, acidic blood flows to the digestive viscera, which may provide CO(2) as a substrate for the synthesis of gastric acid, bicarbonate, fatty acids, glutamine, purine rings, as well as glucose from lactate. Second, in some snakes and lizards with snake-like body forms, such as Amphisbaenidae, the diameters of left and right aortae are asymmetrical at their confluence with the left aorta exceeding the right, but in members of the amphibian order Gymnophiona the right generally exceeds the left. This

  1. Three new species of the genus Pterygosoma Peters, 1849 (Acariformes: Pterygosomatidae) from agamid lizards (Sauria: Agaminae) with DNA barcode data.

    PubMed

    Fajfer, Monika; Melnikov, Daniel; Dabert, Mirosława

    2016-10-01

    Three new species of the genus Pterygosoma Peters, 1849 parasitising lizards of the subfamily Agaminae (Squamata: Agamidae) are described: P. pallidum n. sp. from Trapelus pallidus (Merrem) and P. parasiniatum n. sp. from Pseudotrapelus cf. sinaitus (Heyden) (both from Jordan); and P. theobaldi n. sp. from Phrynocephalus theobaldi Blyth from North India. We extend the standard morphological description of the new species by using DNA barcode markers, partial sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (cox1) gene and the hypervariable region D2 of the nuclear 28S rRNA gene. A key to the species group inermis is constructed based on female morphology. The agamid genus Phrynocephalus Kaup, 1825 is recorded as a host of Pterygosoma for the first time. PMID:27638734

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

    2011-09-12

    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.

  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. 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

  7. 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

  8. Reptiles.

    PubMed

    Shine, Richard

    2013-03-18

    Most small children can tell you that 'reptiles' are the snakes, lizards, crocodiles, and turtles (perhaps with the dinosaurs thrown in) - suggesting that it's easy to tell the difference between reptiles and other animals. Unfortunately, evolutionary biologists struggle with the same task, because phylogenetic analysis tells us loud and clear that these different types of what we loosely call 'reptiles' are not particularly closely related to each other (Figure 1). On the evolutionary tree, some of them (dinosaurs, crocodiles) are much more closely related to birds than to the other animals that we call reptiles. Other reptiles are the descendants of very ancient lineages; for example, turtles separated from the other reptiles, including the now-dominant Squamata (lizards and snakes), at least 200 million years ago. And another 200-million-year-old lineage has left just a single survivor, a lizard-like creature (the tuatara), on a few islands in New Zealand.

  9. Nasal mites of the subfamily Speleognathinae (Ereynetidae) from birds in Texas.

    PubMed

    Pence, D B; Casto, S D

    1976-06-01

    Nasal mites of the subfamily Speleognathinae were recovered from several species of birds in Texas. New host records include Ophthalmophagus striatus (Crossley) 1952 from Columbigallina passerina, Boydaia clarki Fain 1963 from Callipepla squamata, Boydaia falconis Fain 1956 from Falco sparverius, and Boydaia tyrannus Ford 1959 from Myiarchus cinerascens. Also recovered was Astrida coccyzae Pence 1972 from Coccyzus americanus. Boydaia pheucticola sp. n. from Pheucticus melanocephalus is described. It differs from similar species in the adult female by having the coxal setae formula 2-1-2-0, sensillae clavate but not globose or subglobose, and interior seta on coxa I reduced in size but not vestigial. The larva is differentiated by the modified legs II with one long recurved hooklike claw and a shorter curved claw. PMID:932921

  10. Preliminary disease surveillance in west Texas quail (galliformes: odontophoridae) populations.

    PubMed

    Urban, Kristyn N; Gibson, Anna G; Dabbert, C Brad; Presley, Steven M

    2013-04-01

    Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata) occur throughout northwestern Texas and overall population numbers have been declining for the past 30 yr. This decline has been attributed to habitat loss associated with intensive agricultural practices. We propose that disease may be a contributing factor to decline. Our findings suggest that West Nile virus (WNV) infection may be common in wild quail populations on the Rolling Plains of northwestern Texas. Serum samples (n=301) from wild-caught Northern Bobwhite and Scaled Quail were collected during 2008-10 from seven private properties across the Rolling Plains Region; 5.3% had detectable antibodies against WNV using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. To our knowledge, this is the first report of antibodies to WNV in Scaled Quail and wild-caught Northern Bobwhite from the Rolling Plains of Texas.

  11. A new species of insular Rock Gecko (Genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887) from the Bidong Archipelago, Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Grismer, L Lee; Wood, Perry L; Ahmad, Amirrudin B; Sumarli, Alexandra S-I; Vazquez, Jessika J; Ismail, Lukman H B; Nance, Ronald; Mohd-Amin, Muhammad Afif B; Othman, Mohamad N A B; Rizaijessika, Syed A; Kuss, Maria; Murdoch, Matthew; Cobos, Anthony

    2014-01-24

    A new insular species Cnemaspis bidongensis sp. nov. (Squamata: Gekkonidae), is described from Pulau Bidong, Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia and bears a unique suite of morphological and color pattern characters that differentiate it from all other congeners. Cnemaspis bidongensis sp. nov. is the sister species to C. kendallii (Gray) and represents the fifth insular endemic species of Cnemaspis on archipelagos along the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. This species survived massive deforestation of the small island of Bidong (260 ha) from the mid 1970s to the early 1990s when the island served as a Vietnamese refugee camp and harbored as many as 40,000 people at one time. We hypothesize that this species' generalized lifestyle contributed to its survival, allowing it to seek refuge in rocky microhabitats.

  12. 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.

  13. Synergic effects of tryptamine and octopamine on ophiuroid luminescence (Echinodermata).

    PubMed

    Vanderlinden, C; Mallefet, J

    2004-10-01

    In ophiuroids, bioluminescence is under nervous control. Previous studies have shown that acetylcholine is the main neurotransmitter triggering light emission in Amphipholis squamata and Amphiura filiformis. By contrast, none of the neurotransmitters tested so far induced luminescence in two other ophiuroid species, Ophiopsila aranea and Ophiopsila californica. The aim of this work was thus to investigate the putative involvement of two biogenic amines, tryptamine and octopamine, in light emission of three ophiuroid species. A. filiformis responds to both tryptamine and octopamine, mainly on its arm segments, while O. californica only responds to tryptamine stimulation. By contrast, tryptamine and octopamine do not seem to be involved in O. aranea luminescence control since none of these substances induced light emission in this species. The synergic effects of several other drugs with tryptamine and octopamine were also tested.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-26

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. First record of metacestodes of Mesocestoides sp. in the common starling (Sturnus vulgaris) in Europe, with an 18S rDNA characterisation of the isolate.

    PubMed

    Literák, Ivan; Olson, Peter D; Georgiev, Boyko B; Spakulová, Marta

    2004-03-01

    Metacestodes of Mesocestoides sp. were recorded from Sturnus vulgaris (Passeriformes: Stumidae) in the Czech Republic in April 2002. They were found in a cutaneous cyst and in the thoracic region of the body cavity of the bird. This is the first record of metacestodes of Mesocestoides sp. in this host species in Europe as well as the first finding of the formation of a cutaneous cyst provoked by this parasite. Additional specimens from Apodemus agrarius (Mammalia: Rodentia) from Bulgaria and Lacerta agilis (Reptilia: Squamata) from the Czech Republic were compared with that from S. vulgaris. Sequence data from the V4 variable region (18S rDNA) were used to compare genetic variability among these and previously characterized isolates of Mesocestoides spp. A number of distinct clades were recognized, with metacestodes from L. agilis showing the highest degree of relative divergence. PMID:15139376

  19. 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

  20. Population trends of quails in North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Church, K.E.; Sauer, J.R.; Droege, S.; Church, K.E.; Daley, T.V.

    1993-01-01

    We used North American Breeding Bird Survey data (1966-91) to estimate distribution, relative abundance, and populatiori trends of quails. Population trends in grassland/shrub birds sympatric with northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) were also examined. Northern bobwhite and scaled quail (Callipepla squamata) populations have declined since 1966. Rates of decline for these quails have increased during the past decade. California quail (C. californica), Gambel's quail (C. gambeliI), and mountain quail (Oreortyx pictus) populations have been stable over the long-term (1966-91). However, the short-term (1982-91) trend for California quail is positive, whereas Gambel's quail appear to be declining. Patterns in trends indicate similar factors may be negatively affecting breeding populations of grassland/shrub birds throughout the bobwhite's range. We discuss plausible hypotheses to explain population trends and recommend future action.

  1. 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

  2. Short interspersed elements (SINEs) of squamate reptiles (Squam1 and Squam2): structure and phylogenetic significance.

    PubMed

    Grechko, Vernata V; Kosushkin, Sergei A; Borodulina, Olga R; Butaeva, Fatima G; Darevsky, Ilya S

    2011-05-15

    Short interspersed elements (SINEs) are important nuclear molecular markers of the evolution of many eukaryotes. However, the SINEs of squamate reptile genomes have been little studied. We first identified two families of SINEs, termed Squam1 and Squam2, in the DNA of meadow lizard Darevskia praticola (Lacertidae) by performing DNA hybridization and PCR. Later, the same families of retrotransposons were found using the same methods in members of another 25 lizard families (from Iguania, Scincomorpha, Gekkota, Varanoidea, and Diploglossa infraorders) and two snake families, but their abundances in these taxa varied greatly. Both SINEs were Squamata-specific and were absent from mammals, birds, crocodiles, turtles, amphibians, and fish. Squam1 possessed some characteristics common to tRNA-related SINEs from fish and mammals, while Squam2 belonged to the tRNA(Ala) group of SINEs and had a more unusual and divergent structure. Squam2-related sequences were found in several unannotated GenBank sequences of squamate reptiles. Squam1 abundance in the Polychrotidae, Agamidae, Leiolepididae, Chamaeleonidae, Scincidae, Lacertidae, Gekkonidae, Varanidae, Helodermatidae, and two snake families were 10(2) -10(4) times higher than those in other taxa (Corytophanidae, Iguanidae, Anguidae, Cordylidae, Gerrhosauridae, Pygopodidae, and Eublepharidae). A less dramatic degree of copy number variation was observed for Squam2 in different taxa. Several Squam1 copies from Lacertidae, Chamaeleonidae, Gekkonidae, Varanidae, and Colubridae were sequenced and found to have evident orthologous features, as well as taxa-specific autapomorphies. Squam1 from Lacertidae and Chamaeleonidae could be divided into several subgroups based on sequence differences. Possible applications of these SINEs as Squamata phylogeny markers are discussed. PMID:21462315

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. A meta-analysis of predation risk effects on pollinator behaviour.

    PubMed

    Romero, Gustavo Q; Antiqueira, Pablo A P; Koricheva, Julia

    2011-01-01

    Flower-visiting animals are constantly under predation risk when foraging and hence might be expected to evolve behavioural adaptations to avoid predators. We reviewed the available published and unpublished data to assess the overall effects of predators on pollinator behaviour and to examine sources of variation in these effects. The results of our meta-analysis showed that predation risk significantly decreased flower visitation rates (by 36%) and time spent on flowers (by 51%) by pollinators. The strength of the predator effects depended neither on predator taxa and foraging mode (sit-and-wait or active hunters) nor on pollinator lifestyle (social vs. solitary). However, predator effects differed among pollinator taxa: predator presence reduced flower visitation rates and time spent on flowers by Squamata, Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera, but not by Diptera. Furthermore, larger pollinators showed weaker responses to predation risk, probably because they are more difficult to capture. Presence of live crab spiders on flowers had weaker effects on pollinator behaviour than presence of dead or artificial crab spiders or other objects (e.g. dead bees, spheres), suggesting that predator crypsis may be effective to some extent. These results add to a growing consensus on the importance of considering both predator and pollinator characteristics from a community perspective.

  8. The origin of land plants: phylogenetic relationships among charophytes, bryophytes, and vascular plants inferred from complete small-subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences.

    PubMed

    Kranz, H D; Miks, D; Siegler, M L; Capesius, I; Sensen, C W; Huss, V A

    1995-07-01

    Complete nuclear-encoded small-subunit 18S rRNA (= SSU rRNA) gene sequences were determined for the prasinophyte green alga Mantoniella squamata; the charophycean green algae Chara foetida, Coleochaete scutata, Klebsormidium flaccidum, and Mougeotia scalaris; the bryophytes Marchantia polymorpha, Fossombronia pusilla, and Funaria hygrometrica; and the lycopod Selaginella galleottii to get a better insight into the sequential evolution from green algae to land plants. The sequences were aligned with several previously published SSU rRNA sequences from chlorophytic and charophytic algae as well as from land plants to infer the evolutionary relationships for major evolutionary lineages within the Chlorobionta by distance matrix, maximum parsimony, and maximum likelihood analyses. Phylogenetic trees created by the different methods consistently placed the Charophyceae on the branch leading to the land plants. The Charophyceae were shown to be polyphyletic with the Charales ("charalean" algae) diverging earlier than the Coleochaetales, Klebsormidiales, Chlorokybales, and Zygnematales ("charophycean" algae) which branch from a point closer to the land plants in most analyses. Maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood analyses imply a successive evolution from "charophycean" algae, particularly Coleochaetales, to bryophytes, lycopods, and seed plants. In contrast, distance matrix methods group the bryophytes together with the "charophycean" algae, suggesting a separate evolution of these organisms compared with the club moss and the seed plants.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Huehuecuetzpalli mixtecus gen. et sp. nov: a basal squamate (Reptilia) from the Early Cretaceous of Tepexi de Rodríguez, Central México

    PubMed Central

    Reynoso, V.-H.

    1998-01-01

    Huehuecuetzpalli mixtecus gen. et sp. nov. is characterized by a combination of characters unlike those of any of the previously described Late Jurassic or Early Cretaceous lizards. It has most of the synapomorphies common to modern squamates, but still retains primitive features rare in living taxa. Autapomorphic characters include an anteroposteriorly elongated premaxilla that results in the elongation of the snout and the apparent retraction of the external nares. A small rounded postfrontal and a parietal foramen on the frontoparietal suture suggest affinities with iguanians, but the retention of divided premaxillae, amphicoelous vertebrae, thoracolumbar intercentra, entepicondylar foramen, and a second distal tarsal supports the hypothesis that Huehuecuetzpalli has a more basal position relative to the extant squamates. Although its appearance is late in the fossil record of lizards, Huehuecuetzpalli is the first report of a basal squamate. It provides important information on early transformation of characters in lizard evolution. Many primitive characters present in some modern squamates are usually explained by paedomorphosis; however, these characters are common in early lizards suggesting that derived states may have been fixed later in lizard evolution. If Huehuecuetzpalli is an iguanian, then it would be the earliest known representative of this lineage and extends their fossil record into the Albian. This paper presents an extensive review of the characters and character states used in previously published cladistic analyses of the Squamata.

  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. 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

  14. Diversification in the Mexican horned lizard Phrynosoma orbiculare across a dynamic landscape.

    PubMed

    Bryson, Robert W; García-Vázquez, Uri Omar; Riddle, Brett R

    2012-01-01

    The widespread montane Mexican horned lizard Phrynosoma orbiculare (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae) represents an ideal species to investigate the relative impacts of Neogene vicariance and Quaternary climate change on lineage diversification across the Mexican highlands. We used mitochondrial DNA to examine the maternal history of P. orbiculare and estimate the timing and tempo of lineage diversification. Based on our results, we inferred 11 geographically structured, well supported mitochondrial lineages within this species, suggesting P. orbiculare represents a species complex. Six divergences between lineages likely occurred during the Late Miocene and Pliocene, and four splits probably happened during the Pleistocene. Diversification rate appeared relatively constant through time. Spatial and temporal divergences between lineages of P. orbiculare and co-distributed taxa suggest that a distinct period of uplifting of the Transvolcanic Belt around 7.5-3 million years ago broadly impacted diversification in taxa associated with this mountain range. To the north, several river drainages acting as filter barriers differentially subdivided co-distributed highland taxa through time. Diversification patterns observed in P. orbiculare provide additional insight into the mechanisms that impacted differentiation of highland taxa across the complex Mexican highlands.

  15. A Meta-Analysis of Predation Risk Effects on Pollinator Behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Romero, Gustavo Q.; Antiqueira, Pablo A. P.; Koricheva, Julia

    2011-01-01

    Flower-visiting animals are constantly under predation risk when foraging and hence might be expected to evolve behavioural adaptations to avoid predators. We reviewed the available published and unpublished data to assess the overall effects of predators on pollinator behaviour and to examine sources of variation in these effects. The results of our meta-analysis showed that predation risk significantly decreased flower visitation rates (by 36%) and time spent on flowers (by 51%) by pollinators. The strength of the predator effects depended neither on predator taxa and foraging mode (sit-and-wait or active hunters) nor on pollinator lifestyle (social vs. solitary). However, predator effects differed among pollinator taxa: predator presence reduced flower visitation rates and time spent on flowers by Squamata, Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera, but not by Diptera. Furthermore, larger pollinators showed weaker responses to predation risk, probably because they are more difficult to capture. Presence of live crab spiders on flowers had weaker effects on pollinator behaviour than presence of dead or artificial crab spiders or other objects (e.g. dead bees, spheres), suggesting that predator crypsis may be effective to some extent. These results add to a growing consensus on the importance of considering both predator and pollinator characteristics from a community perspective. PMID:21695187

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Observations on the sexual segment of the kidney of snakes with emphasis on ultrastructure in the yellow-bellied sea snake, Pelamis platurus.

    PubMed

    Sever, David M; Rheubert, Justin L; Gautreaux, Jillian; Hill, Toren G; Freeborn, Layla R

    2012-05-01

    The sexual segment of the kidney (SSK) is an accessory sex structure in male lizards and snakes (Squamata). We describe histology of the SSK in 12 species of snakes, including one from the basal Scolecophidia, Leptotyphlops dulcis, and from the more advanced Alethinophidia, species from the Acrochordidae (Acrochordus granulatus), Homalopsidae (Cerberus rynchops), Uropeltidae (Teretrurus sanguineus), and eight species from the Elapidae, including six species of sea snakes. We also describe the ultrastructure of the SSK of the sea snake, Pelamis platurus. The SSK of L. dulcis does not include the ureter but does include distal convoluted tubules (DCTs) and collecting ducts. In all other snakes examined, the SSK is limited to the DCTs and does not differ in histology by any consistent character. We found apparently mature individuals of several species with inactive SSKs. Hypertrophied SSKs give positive reactions for protein secretions but variable reactions for carbohydrates. Ultrastructure of the SSK of P. platurus reveals nuclei situated medially in the epithelium and mature electron dense secretory vacuoles in other areas of the cytoplasm. Product release is apocrine. Junctional complexes only occur at the luminal border, and intercellular canaliculi become widened and are open basally. No cytologically unique characters occur in the SSK of P. platurus. The ancestral condition of the SSK in squamates is the presence of simple columnar epithelium specialized for secretion of a protein + carbohydrate product that matures and is released seasonally.

  20. Diversity and chemical defense role of culturable non-actinobacterial bacteria isolated from the South China Sea gorgonians.

    PubMed

    Peng, Jiang; Zhang, Xiaoyong; Xu, Xinya; He, Fei; Qi, Shuhua

    2013-04-01

    The diversity of culturable non-actinobacterial (NA) bacteria associated with four species of South China Sea gorgonians was investigated using culture-dependent methods followed by analysis of the bacterial 16S rDNA sequence. A total of 76 bacterial isolates were recovered and identified, which belonged to 21 species of 7 genera, and Bacillus was the most diverse genus. Fifty-one percent of the 76 isolates displayed antibacterial activities, and most of them belonged to the Bacillus genus. From the culture broth of gorgonian-associated Bacillus methylotrophicus SCSGAB0092 isolated from gorgonian Melitodes squamata, 11 antimicrobial lipopeptides including seven surfactins and four iturins were obtained. These results imply that Bacillus strains associated with gorgonians play roles in coral defense mechanisms through producing antimicrobial substances. This study, for the first time, compares the diversity of culturable NA bacterial communities among four species of South China Sea gorgonians and investigates the secondary metabolites of gorgonian-associated B. methylotrophicus SCSGAB0092.

  1. 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

  2. Two New Genera of Jumping Spiders from Hainan Island, China (Araneae, Salticidae).

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yuanye; Li, Shuqiang

    2013-01-01

    Two new genera of the spider family Salticidae, Corusca gen. nov. and Insula gen. nov., are described. Nine new species of the genus Corusca gen. nov. and 11 new species of the genus Insula gen. nov. are reported from Hainan, Southern China: Corusca acris sp. nov. (male), C. bawangensis sp. nov. (male), C. falcata sp. nov. (male), C. gracilis sp. nov. (male and female), C. jianfengensis sp. nov. (male and female), C. sanyaensis sp. nov. (male and female), C. setifera sp. nov. (male and female), C. viriosa sp. nov. (male and female), C. wuzhishanensis sp. nov. (male and female), Insula curva sp. nov. (male and female), I. hebetata sp. nov. (male and female), I. limuensis sp. nov. (male and female), I. longa sp. nov. (male and female), I. minuta sp. nov. (male and female), I. nigricula sp. nov. (male and female), I. ramosa sp. nov. (male and female), I. scutata sp. nov. (male and female), I. squamata sp. nov. (male and female), I. tumida sp. nov. (male and female), I. uncinata sp. nov. (male and female). The males of two known species, Corusca liaoi (Peng & Li, 2006) and Insula maculata (Peng & Kim, 1997), which are transferred from Eupoa, are reported for the first time. PMID:25320769

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Identification of echinoderms (Echinodermata) from an anchialine cave in Cozumel Island, Mexico, using DNA barcodes.

    PubMed

    Bribiesca-Contreras, Guadalupe; Solís-Marín, Francisco A; Laguarda-Figueras, Alfredo; Zaldívar-Riverón, Alejandro

    2013-11-01

    The echinoderm species richness of the Aerolito de Paraiso anchialine cave, on Cozumel Island, in the Mexican Caribbean, is assessed on the basis of morphological and DNA barcoding data. We included specimens from this cave system and from different open sea areas, and employed two different approaches for species delineation based on DNA barcoding data: a 2% cox1 divergence and the general mixed Yule-coalescent (GMYC) approaches. We subsequently compared the results derived from these approaches with our morphospecies discrimination. A total of 188 cox1 sequences belonging to specimens of four echinoderm classes were examined. The 2% cox1 divergence and GMYC approaches recovered 78 and 70 putative species, respectively, 24 and 22 of which corresponded to specimens from the anchialine system. Of 26 echinoderm species identified in the cave system, seven appear to be endemic to it. Among these are Copidaster carvenicola Solís-Marín & Laguarda-Figueras, 2010, two morphologically distinctive, undescribed species belonging to Asterinides and Ophionereis and four probably cryptic undescribed species originally assigned to Amphipholis squamata (Delle Chiaje, 1839), Astropecten duplicatus Gray, 1840, Copidaster lymani (AH Clark, 1948) and Ophiothrix angulata (Say, 1825). Further research and protection of this particularly fragile ecosystem becomes urgent because construction of tourism developments is planned nearby.

  8. 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

    2014-09-30

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Helminth parasitism in the Neotropical cormorant, Phalacrocorax brasilianus, in southern Brazil: effect of host size, weight, sex, and maturity state.

    PubMed

    Monteiro, Cassandra M; Amato, José F R; Amato, Suzana B

    2011-09-01

    Forty-seven specimens of Neotropical cormorants, Phalacrocorax brasilianus, from Lago Guaíba, Guaíba, State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (30° 00' S, 51°15' W), were examined for helminth parasites between 1999 and 2003. Twenty species of helminth parasites were found: ten digeneans: Austrodiplostomum mordax, Austrodiplostomum compactum, Clinostomum sp., Drepanocephalus olivaceus, Drepanocephalus spathans, Hysteromorpha triloba, Ignavia olivacei, Paryphostomum segregatum, Prosthogonimus ovatus, and Ribeiroia ondatrae; one cestode: Paradilepis caballeroi; eight nematodes: Contracaecum rudolphii, Eucoleus contortus, Eustrongylides sp., Ornithocapillaria appendiculata, Syngamus sp., Syncuaria squamata, Tetrameres (Gynaecophila) sp., and one undetermined capillariid (genus and species); and one acanthocephalan: Andracantha tandemtesticulata. The length and weight of male and female birds, as well as their sexual maturity (juvenile or adult), did not show significant difference regarding the helminth fauna; the standard length did not influence the helminth parasite indices. The prevalence of I. olivacei was higher in larger birds while the intensity of infection by this digenean species was higher in females. The abundance of P. caballeroi was higher in male birds. A. mordax and H. triloba showed higher prevalence and abundance in juvenile hosts, while O. appendiculata was more abundant in juveniles. The remaining species did not have their parasite indices influenced by the host parameters studied. The present work records the richest helminth fauna for any bird of the genus Phalacrocorax and is the first study to evaluate the influence of length, weight, sex, and maturity state on parasitism. PMID:21431903

  12. Diversity and antibacterial activity of culturable actinobacteria isolated from five species of the South China Sea gorgonian corals.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao-Yong; He, Fei; Wang, Guang-Hua; Bao, Jie; Xu, Xin-Ya; Qi, Shu-Hua

    2013-06-01

    This study describes the diversity and antibacterial activity of culturable actinobacteria isolated from five species of gorgonian corals (Echinogorgia aurantiaca, Melitodes squamata, Muricella flexuosa, Subergorgia suberosa, and Verrucella umbraculum) collected in shallow water of the South China Sea. A total of 123 actinobacterial isolates were recovered using ten different isolation media, and assigned to 11 genera, including Streptomyces and Micromonospora as the dominant genera, followed by Nocardia, Verrucosispora, Nocardiopsis, Rhodococcus, Pseudonocardia, Agrococcus, Saccharomonospora, Saccharopolyspora and Dietzia. Comparable analysis indicated that the numbers of actinobacterial genera and isolates from the five gorgonian coral species varied significantly. It was found that 72 isolates displayed antibacterial activity against at least one indicator bacterium, and the antibacterial strains isolated from different gorgonians had almost the same proportion (~50 %). These results provide direct evidence for the hypotheses that gorgonian coral species contain large and diverse communities of actinobacteria, and suggest that many gorgonian-associated actinobacteria could produce some antibacterial agents to protect their hosts against pathogens. To our knowledge, this is the first report about the diversity of culturable actinobacteria isolated from gorgonian corals.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Understanding interaction effects of climate change and fire management on bird distributions through combined process and habitat models.

    PubMed

    White, Joseph D; Gutzwiller, Kevin J; Barrow, Wylie C; Johnson-Randall, Lori; Zygo, Lisa; Swint, Pamela

    2011-06-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. The evolution of chemoreception in squamate reptiles: a phylogenetic approach.

    PubMed

    Schwenk, K

    1993-01-01

    Recent advances in the field of squamate reptile chemoreception have been paralleled by the growth and preeminence of cladistics in the field of systematics, but for the most part, workers in the former have failed to incorporate the conceptual and informational advances of the latter. In this paper, I attempt a preliminary rapprochement by combining the methods of phylogenetic systematics and current hypotheses of squamate relationships with an overview of squamate chemosensory biology. This purely phylogenetic approach leads to a number of falsifiable generalizations about the evolution of chemoreception in squamates: 1) Evolution of this system is conservative rather than plastic, reflecting to a large extent suprafamilial attributes rather than adaptation to local conditions; 2) Anguimorphs are highly chemosensory and teiids show convergence with this group; 3) Tongue-flicking, a bifurcated tongue tip, a vomeronasal (VNO) mushroom body, and a complete circular muscle system in the tongue are a correlated character complex associated with the attainment, in squamates, of a direct VNO-oral connection and the loss of a VNO-nasal connection; 4) There is little support for a visual-chemosensory dichotomy within Squamata; 5) Gekkotans are allied with Autarchoglossa, both phylogenetically and in terms of chemosensory biology; 6) Iguania are highly variable in chemosensory development; iguanids represent the primitive iguanian condition, while agamids and chamaeleonids have secondarily reduced or lost their chemosensory abilities; 7) Apparent contradictions in chemosensory behavior among iguanids probably represent intrafamilial divergence; 8) Ecological correlates within Iguanidae and other taxa might be spurious, resulting from historical factors unrelated to the adaptations in question; 9) The mechanical demands of lingual food prehension have constrained chemosensory evolution in Iguania; chemosensory evolution within Scleroglossa was permitted by the liberation of

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Phylogeography of the prehensile-tailed skink Corucia zebrata on the Solomon Archipelago

    PubMed Central

    Hagen, Ingerid J; Donnellan, Stephen C; Bull, C Michael

    2012-01-01

    The biogeography of islands is often strongly influenced by prior geological events. Corucia zebrata (Squamata: Scincidae) is endemic to the geologically complex Solomon Archipelago in Northern Melanesia. We examined the level of divergence for different island populations of C. zebrata and discussed these patterns in light of Pleistocene land bridges, island isolation, and island age. Corucia zebrata was sampled from 14 locations across the Solomon Archipelago and sequenced at two mitochondrial genes (ND2 and ND4; 1697 bp in total) and four nuclear loci (rhodopsin, an unknown intron, AKAP9, and PTPN12). Measures of genetic divergence, analyses of genetic variation, and Bayesian phylogenetic inference were used and the data assessed in light of geological information. Populations of C. zebrata on separate islands were found to be genetically different from each other, with reciprocal monophyly on mitochondrial DNA. Populations on islands previously connected by Pleistocene land bridges were marginally less divergent from each other than from populations on other nearby but isolated islands. There are indications that C. zebrata has radiated across the eastern islands of the archipelago within the last 1–4 million years. Nuclear loci were not sufficiently informative to yield further information about the phylogeography of C. zebrata on the Solomon Archipelago. Analyses of the mitochondrial data suggest that dispersal between islands has been very limited and that there are barriers to gene flow within the major islands. Islands that have been isolated during the Pleistocene glacial cycles are somewhat divergent in their mitochondrial genotypes, however, isolation by distance (IBD) and recent colonization of isolated but geologically younger islands appear to have had stronger effects on the phylogeography of C. zebrata than the Pleistocene glacial cycles. This contrasts with patterns reported for avian taxa, and highlights the fact that biogeographic regions for

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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