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Sample records for amphisbaenidae squamata amphisbaenia

  1. The homology of the pelvic elements of Zygaspis quadrifrons (Squamata: Amphisbaenia).

    PubMed

    Urben, Carling C; Daza, Juan D; Cadena, Cristhian; Lewis, Patrick J; Thies, Monte L

    2014-08-01

    Limb attenuation with element loss has occurred multiple times among the Squamata (lizards, snakes, and amphisbaenians). Although most of the attention has been focused on the appendicular bones, we found that the pelvic rudiments have been studied less thoroughly and recurring disagreement is common among different authors studying the same species. We studied the osteology of the pelvic region of female and male Zygaspis quadrifrons with high-resolution X-ray computed tomography data. We report an osteological landmark (acetabulum) not previously detected in this taxon, the presence of which has repercussions that call for a reconsideration of the primary homology hypothesis for the identity of these bones in amphisbaenians and other squamates. Finally, we observed that the acetabulum and limb rudiments in amphisbaenians (i.e., the stylopodium when present) are situated medial to the pelvic girdle, contrasting with the large majority of tetrapods where these structures are laterally oriented.

  2. A new species of Leposternon Wagler, 1824 (Squamata, Amphisbaenia) from northeastern Argentina.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Siria; Santos-Jr, Alfredo P; Zaher, Hussam

    2015-10-29

    A new species of Leposternon is described from the Humid Chaco biome in Argentina. The species is known only from its type locality, at El Bagual Ecological Reserve, a conservation unit located in the province of Formosa. The new species can be distinguished from all its congeners by the presence of rostral processes in the maxillae and nasals that contact each other on the facial portion of the skull. Additionally, we present a key for the species of Leposternon.

  3. Diagnostic clarification, new morphological data and phylogenetic placement of Amphisbaena arenaria Vanzolini, 1991 (Amphisbaenia, Amphisbaenidae).

    PubMed

    Teixeira, Mauro Junior; Vechio, Francisco Dal; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut

    2016-12-06

    Several decades ago, Vanzolini (1991) described Amphisbaena arenaria Vanzolini, 1991 based on a single individual (MZUSP 65817) collected at Raso da Catarina, a large flat sandy deposit at the southern bank of São Francisco River. In the same paper he described A. frontalis Vanzolini, 1991 based on specimens collected at another sandy area, at the northern bank of São Francisco River, both in Bahia state, Brazil. As conflicting values are presented throughout his paper, the diagnosis of A. arenaria still needs clarification. We here comment on these differences and re-diagnose A. arenaria including new topotypic material, providing its phylogenetic placement and a new state record.

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Laguna, Marcia Maria; Amaro, Renata Cecília; Mott, Tamí; Yonenaga-Yassuda, Yatiyo; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Cranial anatomy of the extinct amphisbaenian Rhineura hatcherii (Squamata, Amphisbaenia) based on high-resolution X-ray computed tomography.

    PubMed

    Kearney, Maureen; Maisano, Jessica Anderson; Rowe, Timothy

    2005-04-01

    The fossilized skull of a small extinct amphisbaenian referable to Rhineura hatcherii Baur is described from high-resolution X-ray computed tomographic (HRXCT) imagery of a well-preserved mature specimen from the Brule Formation of Badlands National Park, South Dakota. Marked density contrast between bones and surrounding matrix and at bone-to-bone sutures enabled the digital disarticulation of individual skull elements. These novel visualizations provide insight into the otherwise inaccessible three-dimensionally complex structure of the bones of the skull and their relationships to one another, and to the internal cavities and passageways that they enclose. This study corrects several previous misidentifications of elements in the rhineurid skull and sheds light on skull construction generally in "shovel-headed" amphisbaenians. The orbitosphenoids in R. hatcherii are paired and entirely enclosed within the braincase by the frontals; this is in contrast to the condition in many extant amphisbaenians, in which a large azygous orbitosphenoid occupies a topologically distinct area of the skull, closing the anterolateral braincase wall. Rhineura hatcherii retains a vestigial jugal and a partially fused squamosal, both of which are absent in many extant species. Sculpturing on the snout of R. hatcherii represents perforating canals conveying sensory innervation; thus, the face of R. hatcherii receives cutaneous innervation to an unprecedented degree. The HRXCT data (available at www.digimorph.org) corroborate and extend previous hypotheses that the mechanical organization of the head in Rhineura is organized to a large degree around its burrowing lifestyle. Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    Hipsley, Christy A; Müller, Johannes

    2014-03-01

    Rhineurid amphisbaenians are represented by a rich Cenozoic fossil record in North America, but today conisist of a single living species restricted to the Florida Peninsula. Such relict endemism may be the result of phylogenetic niche conservatism (PNC), the retention of ancestral traits preventing expansion into new environments. Most tests of PNC derive ancestral niche preferences from species' extant ecologies, while ignoring valuable paleontological information. To test if PNC contributes to the restricted distribution of modern Rhineura floridana, we compare the species' current environmental preferences (temperature, precipitation and soil) to paleoenvironmental data from the rhineurid fossil record. We find no evidence of PNC in modern R. floridana, as it also occurred in Florida during drier glacial periods. Ancient rhineurids also exhibit tolerance to changing climates, having undergone a shift from subtropical-humid to semi-arid savanna conditions during the Eocene-Oligocene transition. However, rhineurids nearly disappear from North America after the middle Miocene, potentially due to the onset of prolonged freezing temperatures following the mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum. This physiological limit of environmental tolerances could be interpreted as PNC for the entire family, but also characterizes much of Amphisbaenia, emphasizing the relevance of the temporal as well as phylogenetic scale at which PNC is investigated. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. 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

    2015-05-07

    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. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  10. Genomic structure and expression of immunoglobulins in Squamata.

    PubMed

    Olivieri, David N; Garet, Elina; Estevez, Olivia; Sánchez-Espinel, Christian; Gambón-Deza, Francisco

    2016-04-01

    The Squamata order represents a major evolutionary reptile lineage, yet the structure and expression of immunoglobulins in this order has been scarcely studied in detail. From the genome sequences of four Squamata species (Gekko japonicus, Ophisaurus gracilis, Pogona vitticeps and Ophiophagus hannah) and RNA-seq datasets from 18 other Squamata species, we identified the immunoglobulins present in these animals as well as the tissues in which they are found. All Squamata have at least three immunoglobulin classes; namely, the immunoglobulins M, D, and Y. Unlike mammals, however, we provide evidence that some Squamata lineages possess more than one Cμ gene which is located downstream from the Cδ gene. The existence of two evolutionary lineages of immunoglobulin Y is shown. Additionally, it is demonstrated that while all Squamata species possess the λ light chain, only Iguanidae species possess the κ light chain.

  11. 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

    2016-08-03

    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.

  12. Morphological similarities between Amphisbaena mitchelli Procter, 1923 and A. miringoera Vanzolini, 1971 (Squamata: Amphisbaenidae): phylogenetic relatedness or morphological convergence?

    PubMed

    Almeida, João Paulo Felix Augusto De; Vechio, Francisco Dal; Teixeira, Mauro Jr; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut; Mott, Tamí

    2016-09-16

    To date, 22 species of amphisbaenids have been recorded at Brazilian Amazon (Ribeiro et al. 2008), six of them are small and have two pre-cloacal pores (Hoogmoed & Ávila-Pires 1991; Teixeira Jr. et al. 2014). Most of these species have narrow distributions, and its biology and phylogenetic relationships are poorly understood (Hoogmoed & Ávila-Pires 1991). Amphisbaena mitchelli Procter, 1923 and A. miringoera Vanzolini, 1971 share several morphological similarities that could reflect phylogenetic relatedness (Vanzolini 1971). Both have two pre-cloacal pores and a similar pattern of head scutelation, but whereas the first has 193-220 and 26-29 body and tail annuli, respectively, the latter has 250-264 and 22-24 (Vanzolini 1971).

  13. Aplectana nordestina n. sp. (Nematoda: Cosmocercidae) parasitizing Leposternon polystegum (Squamata: Amphisbaenidae) from Northeastern, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Amorim, Darciane Maria DE; Silva, Lidiane Aparecida Firmino DA; Morais, Drausio Honorio; Silva, Reinaldo José DA; Ávila, Robson Waldemar

    2017-03-23

    There are currently 760 reptile species known in Brazil, from which about 70 are amphisbaenians with 25 species recorded in the Brazilian northeast (Vanzolini 2002; Gomes & Maciel 2012; Costa & Bérnils, 2014; Roberto et al., 2014). Leposternon polystegum Duméril, is a widespread species distributed in the Amazon, Atlantic Forest, Cerrado, and Caatinga biomes (Porto et al., 2000; Ribeiro et al., 2011). The diet is composed mainly by ants, termites, and coleopteran larvae (Barros-Filho & Valverde, 1996; Gomes et al., 2009).

  14. [Specific organization of ribosomal DNA arrays in Squamata].

    PubMed

    Voronov, A S; Shibalev, D V; Kupriianova, N S

    2008-11-01

    A first report on structural organization of ribosomal DNA arrays in some members of the order Squamata is presented. The data obtained point to unusually small (for vertebrates) size of the rDNA repetitive unit (approximately, 10 to 15 kb) in the lizard species examined. Analysis of BAC library of Uta stansburiana (Iguania) showed that haploid genome of this lizard contained a single cluster, consisting of about ten rDNA repeats. Determination of the extent of rDNA unit repetition in some other representatives of the order Squamata, using the method of comparative real-time PCR, showed that the number of rDNA units varied from one or several dozens in Iguanina to several hundred repeats in Scincomorpha and Varonoidea. The results are discussed in terms of an ambiguous position of the family Iguania on the evolutionary trees constructed based on morphological and molecular data.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. The complete mitochondrial genome of Acanthosaura lepidogaster (Squamata: Agamidae).

    PubMed

    Yu, Xiu-Li; Du, Yu; Yao, Yun-Tao; Lin, Chi-Xian; Lin, Long-Hui

    2017-03-01

    In this paper, we report the complete mitochondrial genome of Acanthosaura lepidogaster (Squamata, Agamidae), which is a circular molecule of 16 899 bp in size and consists of 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNAs, 22 transfer RNAs, and a control region. The overall base composition is as follows: T (22.8%), C (30.5%), A (32.3%), and G (14.4%). We constructed a phylogeny that included for 10 species of Leiolepidinae lizards and one outgroup Leiocephalus personatus constructed in BEAST, based on 15 mitochondrial genes (12S, 16S, ND1, ND2, COI, COII, ATP8, ATP6, COIII, ND3, ND4L, ND4, ND5, ND6, and cytochrome b). The topology of the phylogenetic tree is broadly similar to that mentioned by Pyron et al.

  18. A new species of Falcaustra (Nematoda: Kathlaniidae) in Nactus pelagicus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Tanna Island, Vanuatu.

    PubMed

    Bursey, Charles R; Goldberg, Stephen R; Hamilton, Alison M; Austin, Christopher C

    2010-10-01

    Falcaustra tannaensis n. sp. (Ascaridida: Kathlaniidae) from the large intestine of Nactus pelagicus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) is described and illustrated. Falcaustra tannaensis represents the first species from Oceanica to be assigned to the genus and is distinguished from other species of Falcaustra by the distribution pattern of caudal papillae (8 precloacal, 2 adcloacal, 10 postcloacal, and 1 median), length of spicules (2.43-2.68 mm), and presence of a pseudosucker.

  19. Molecular evolutionary rates are not correlated with temperature and latitude in Squamata: an exception to the metabolic theory of ecology?

    PubMed

    Rolland, Jonathan; Loiseau, Oriane; Romiguier, Jonathan; Salamin, Nicolas

    2016-05-20

    The metabolic theory of ecology stipulates that molecular evolutionary rates should correlate with temperature and latitude in ectothermic organisms. Previous studies have shown that most groups of vertebrates, such as amphibians, turtles and even endothermic mammals, have higher molecular evolutionary rates in regions where temperature is high. However, the association between molecular evolutionary rates and temperature or latitude has never been tested in Squamata. We used a large dataset including the spatial distributions and environmental variables for 1,651 species of Squamata and compared the contrast of the rates of molecular evolution with the contrast of temperature and latitude between sister species. Using major axis regressions and a new algorithm to choose independent sister species pairs, we found that temperature and absolute latitude were not associated with molecular evolutionary rates. This absence of association in such a diverse ectothermic group questions the mechanisms explaining current pattern of species diversity in Squamata and challenges the presupposed universality of the metabolic theory of ecology.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Substrate specificity of the violaxanthin de-epoxidase of the primitive green alga Mantoniella squamata (Prasinophyceae).

    PubMed

    Goss, Reimund

    2003-09-01

    The substrate specificity of the enzyme violaxanthin de-epoxidase (VDE) of the primitive green alga Mantoniella squamata (Prasinophyceae) was tested in in vitro enzyme assays employing the following xanthophyll mono-epoxides: antheraxanthin (Ax), diadinoxanthin (Ddx), lutein-epoxide (LE), cryptoxanthin-epoxide (CxE), 9- cis neoxanthin (cNx), all- trans neoxanthin (Nx), and xanthophyll di-epoxides: 9- cis violaxanthin (cVx), all- trans violaxanthin (Vx), cryptoxanthin-di-epoxide (CxDE). The data presented in this study show that the VDE of M. squamata not only exhibits a low affinity for the mono-epoxide Ax, as has been reported by R. Frommolt et al. (2001, Planta 213:446-456), but has a reduced substrate affinity for the mono-epoxides Ddx, LE, CxE, and Nx as well. On the other hand, xanthophylls with a second epoxy-group (Vx, CxDE) can be de-epoxidized with a higher efficiency. Such a preference for xanthophyll di-epoxides cannot be observed for the higher-plant VDE, where, in general, no marked differences in the pigment de-epoxidation rates between xanthophyll mono- and di-epoxides are visible. Despite this substantial difference between the VDEs of M. squamata and S. oleracea there are also features common to both enzymes. Neither VDE is able to convert xanthophylls with a 9- cis configuration in the acyclic polyene chain and both rely on substrates in the all- trans configuration. Both enzymes furthermore exhibit a dependence of enzyme activity on the polarity of the substrate. Highly polar (Nx) or non-polar (CxE) xanthophylls are de-epoxidized with greatly reduced rates in comparison to substrates with an intermediate polarity (Vx, Ax, LE, Ddx). This dependence on substrate polarity becomes more obvious when the higher-plant VDE is examined, as the substrate affinity of the VDE of M. squamata is more strongly influenced by the existence or absence of a second epoxy-group. In summary, the data presented in this study underline the fact that different VDEs

  3. 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.

  4. The effect of the dominant polychaete Scolelepis squamata on nematode colonisation in sandy beach sediments: An experimental approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maria, Tatiana F.; Esteves, André M.; Vanaverbeke, Jan; Vanreusel, Ann

    2011-09-01

    The effect of an abundant sandy beach polychaete, Scolelepis squamata, on the colonisation of defaunated sediments by marine nematodes indicates that sandy beach fauna can be partially controlled by biological interactions within and across size groups. Experimental cores, equipped with windows allowing infaunal colonisation, were filled with defaunated sandy beach sediment containing two different treatments with and without S. squamata. These cores were inserted into microcosms filled with sediment with indigenous meiofauna collected from the field. The treatments were incubated in the laboratory at ambient temperature and salinity for 2, 7, 14 and 21 days, in order to follow the colonisation process of the defaunated sediments by the indigenous nematode fauna over time. Nematodes initially colonised both treatments, with abundances of up to 10% of the densities in the control; after 2 weeks, nematode densities in the cores without S. squamata surpassed the control densities. Nematode assemblages in both treatments were not species rich, and also differed in composition from the natural assemblages. The most successful colonising species, Enoplolaimus litoralis, was rare in the surrounding sediment, suggesting that colonisation was determined by species-specific characteristics such as body size, motility and feeding strategy. Initially the presence of macrofauna did not affect the nematode community composition, but after 2 weeks of the experiment, the presence of the polychaete seemed to facilitate the earlier establishment of non-opportunistic species.

  5. New species of Stenodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Sharqiyah Sands in northeastern Oman.

    PubMed

    Metallinou, Margarita; Carranza, Salvador

    2013-12-06

    A new species of gecko of the genus Stenodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) is described from the dune desert of Al Sharqiyah Sands in northeastern Oman. Stenodactylus sharqiyahensis sp. nov. is characterized morphologically by its small size, snout shape, webbing between fingers not very extended, relatively short limbs, and scalation. It is genetically distinct in the mitochondrial DNA and the nuclear MC1R gene from Stenodactylus arabicus to which it has previously been referred. The new species seems to have a restricted distribution confined to the Sharqiyah Sands, which remain isolated from other sand deserts in Arabia. In addition, the data presented herein confirm new locality records for Stenodactylus arabicus in the easternmost limit of its distribution range in western central Oman. 

  6. The complete mitochondrial genome of the Madagascar ground gecko Paroedura picta (Squamata: Gekkonidae).

    PubMed

    Starostová, Zuzana; Musilová, Zuzana

    2016-11-01

    We sequenced the complete mitochondrial genome of the Madagascar ground gecko Paroedura picta (Squamata: Gekkonidae). The mitogenome is 17 220 base pairs long and conforms to the typical vertebrate gene composition and arrangement, i.e. 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes and 1919 bp long control region. We reconstructed phylogenetic relationships of P. picta and representatives of nine other genera from the family Gekkonidae and calculated mean p-distances for all 13 protein-coding mitochondrial genes. The lowest mean p-distances were found in cytochrome oxidase subunit I and III genes (COI and COIII) indicating their usefulness for elucidating deeper phylogenetic relationships.

  7. The complete mitochondrial genome of the common lizard Zootoca vivipara (Squamata: Lacertidae).

    PubMed

    Liu, Peng; Zhu, Dan; Zhao, Wen-Ge; Ji, Xiang

    2016-05-01

    The mitochondrial genome of Zootoca vivipara (Squamata: Lacertidae) is a circular molecule of 17,046 bp in size and consists of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNAs, 2 ribosomal RNAs and a control region. The A + T content of the overall base composition of H-strand is 63.43% (T: 30.95%, C: 24.03%, A: 32.48%, G: 12.54%). Protein-coding genes begin with ATG as start codon except COII with GTG. ND1, ATP8, ATP6, ND4L, ND5 and Cyt b genes are terminated with TAA as stop codon, ND2 ends with TAG, COI and ND6 end with AGG, and the other four protein-coding genes end with an incomplete stop codon (a single stop nucleotide T).

  8. Rate heterogeneity across Squamata, misleading ancestral state reconstruction and the importance of proper null model specification.

    PubMed

    Harrington, S; Reeder, T W

    2017-02-01

    The binary-state speciation and extinction (BiSSE) model has been used in many instances to identify state-dependent diversification and reconstruct ancestral states. However, recent studies have shown that the standard procedure of comparing the fit of the BiSSE model to constant-rate birth-death models often inappropriately favours the BiSSE model when diversification rates vary in a state-independent fashion. The newly developed HiSSE model enables researchers to identify state-dependent diversification rates while accounting for state-independent diversification at the same time. The HiSSE model also allows researchers to test state-dependent models against appropriate state-independent null models that have the same number of parameters as the state-dependent models being tested. We reanalyse two data sets that originally used BiSSE to reconstruct ancestral states within squamate reptiles and reached surprising conclusions regarding the evolution of toepads within Gekkota and viviparity across Squamata. We used this new method to demonstrate that there are many shifts in diversification rates across squamates. We then fit various HiSSE submodels and null models to the state and phylogenetic data and reconstructed states under these models. We found that there is no single, consistent signal for state-dependent diversification associated with toepads in gekkotans or viviparity across all squamates. Our reconstructions show limited support for the recently proposed hypotheses that toepads evolved multiple times independently in Gekkota and that transitions from viviparity to oviparity are common in Squamata. Our results highlight the importance of considering an adequate pool of models and null models when estimating diversification rate parameters and reconstructing ancestral states. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  9. 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.

  10. Embryology of the VNO and associated structures in the grass snake Natrix natrix (Squamata: Naticinae): a 3D perspective.

    PubMed

    Kaczmarek, Paweł; Hermyt, Mateusz; Rupik, Weronika

    2017-01-01

    Snakes are considered to be vomerolfaction specialists. They are members of one of the most diverse groups of vertebrates, Squamata. The vomeronasal organ and the associated structures (such as the lacrimal duct, choanal groove, lamina transversalis anterior and cupola Jacobsoni) of adult lizards and snakes have received much anatomical, histological, physiological and behavioural attention. However, only limited embryological investigation into these structures, constrained to some anatomical or cellular studies and brief surveys, has been carried out thus far. The purpose of this study was, first, to examine the embryonic development of the vomeronasal organ and the associated structures in the grass snake (Natrix natrix), using three-dimensional reconstructions based on histological studies, and, second, to compare the obtained results with those presented in known publications on other snakes and lizards. Five major developmental processes were taken into consideration in this study: separation of the vomeronasal organ from the nasal cavity and its specialization, development of the mushroom body, formation of the lacrimal duct, development of the cupola Jacobsoni and its relation to the vomeronasal nerve, and specialization of the sensory epithelium. Our visualizations showed the VNO in relation to the nasal cavity, choanal groove, lacrimal duct and cupola Jacobsoni at different embryonic stages. We confirmed that the choanal groove disappears gradually, which indicates that this structure is absent in adult grass snakes. On our histological sections, we observed a gradual growth in the height of the columns of the vomeronasal sensory epithelium and widening of the spaces between them. The main ophidian taxa (Scolecophidia, Henophidia and Caenophidia), just like other squamate clades, seem to be evolutionarily conservative at some levels with respect to the VNO and associated structures morphology. Thus, it was possible to homologize certain embryonic levels

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Pyron, R Alexander; Burbrink, Frank T; Wiens, John J

    2013-04-29

    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. 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. 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.

  13. 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

    2015-08-19

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. A reevaluation of the unusual abdominal musculature of squamate reptiles (Reptilia: Squamata).

    PubMed

    Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S

    2009-08-01

    The abdominal muscles of lizards and snakes (Squamata) have been the subject of periodic attention from anatomists, embryologists, and systematists. Until now, the presence of a superficial portion of the m. rectus abdominis, named the m. rectus abdominis lateralis, has been considered a key synapomorphy of the clade Autarchoglossa, which includes all extant squamates save Gekkota and Iguania. However, the precise anatomical relations of the m. rectus abdominis lateralis have never been fully investigated. Here, I show that the m. rectus abdominis lateralis is present in Iguania. Its absence in Gekkota represents rare gross anatomical support for recent molecular-structure-based hypotheses of squamate relationships placing geckoes as sister to the remaining squamates. Where present, it is the most superficial trunk muscle, exterior to the m. obliquus externus. The separation of the m. rectus abdominis lateralis from the m. rectus abdominis occurs as the m. obliquus externus aponeurosis and part of the m. obliquus internus aponeurosis emerge superficially to form the outer portion of the rectus sheath. In Autarchoglossa, the contralateral mm. recti abdomines laterales meet at the midline and are attached to the imbricae of the transverse scale rows characteristic of the clade, suggesting developmental, functional, and evolutionary association. Because the m. rectus abdominis lateralis is sometimes continuous with the pectoralis, its exclusive association with the m. rectus abdominis is questionable. It may be a neomorphic layer that is part of the abaxial developmental system, comprising those muscles whose connective tissue is largely derived from lateral plate as opposed to somatic mesoderm.

  16. 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.

  17. Cytochemical study of spermiogenesis and mature spermatozoa in the lizard Tropidurus itambere (Reptilia, Squamata).

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Adelina; Dolder, Heidi

    2003-01-01

    The present study was undertaken to detect essential components of spermatozoa by ultrastructural and cytochemical analyses of testis and epididymis of the lizard Tropidurus itambere at different points of its annual reproductive cycle. Cytochemical investigations of spermiogenesis have not been performed so far in Squamata and are scarce for lower vertebrates. Essential components are: 1) polysaccharides, identified by PAS staining, abundantly present in Sertoli cell elongations, acrosomal vesicles and the acrosome of sperm cells; 2) glycoconjugate variations, labeled by different lectins and used to investigate cell modifications during spermiogenesis and found in mature spermatozoa in the female's seminal receptacle; 3) basic proteins, present in large quantities in spermatozoa in the subacrosomal cone, the pericentriolar material, the midpiece dense bodies, the peripheral fibers of the axoneme, and the fibrous sheath of the flagellum; 4) the final reaction product of acid phosphatase activity in several stages of acrosome development, specifically in the clear zone and epinuclear electron-lucent region of spermatozoal acrosomes, as well as in very active lysosomes found during the quiescent period of the reproductive cycle; 5) lipids, abundantly present in the cytoplasm of Leydig cells during the quiescent period. The cytochemical methods show that the ultrastructurally complex acrosome is also biochemically heterogeneous, with specific layers rich in glycoproteins, basic proteins or acid phosphatase. These different components may play a role during sperm penetration into the ovule. Basic proteins are largely responsible for structures surrounding the axoneme to provide resistance to the flagellum. In the quiescent period, acid phosphatase activity is involved in the elimination of superfluous sperm cells, whereas lipids in Leydig cells are used for hormone synthesis which starts at this time point to initiate a new reproductive cycle. Variations in lectin

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. [Interpretation of the organization of the aortic arch in the Dibamus (Reptilia, Squamates) using findings obtained from various groups of Squamates serpentiformes].

    PubMed

    Renous, S

    1985-01-01

    The comparative study of the aortic trunks of Dibamus (subterranean limbless Squamate) and of the other Squamata shows the presence of an original vascular organization in the serpentiform animals submitted to the subterranean life constraints as Scolecophidia, Amphisbaenia, Dibamidae, Anniellidae, Feyliniidae, and some Scincidae (genus Acontias and Typhlosaurus). Nevertheless, the morphology of the systemic and carotidian trunks supplies only few informations on the phylogenetical status of Dibamus.

  1. A new species of Hepatozoon Miller, 1908 (Apicomplexa: Adelerina) from the snake Philodryas nattereri Steindachner (Squamata: Dipsadidae) in northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Borges-Nojosa, Diva M; Borges-Leite, M Juliana; Maia, João P; Zanchi-Silva, Djan; da Rocha Braga, Roberta; Harris, D James

    2017-01-01

    Based on both unique morphological characteristics of the gamont, distinct changes caused to the host erythrocyte and analysis of partial 18S rRNA gene sequences, a new parasite of the genus Hepatozoon Miller, 1908 is described from the snake Philodryas nattereri Steindachner (Squamata: Dipsadidae) in northeastern Brazil. The new species, Hepatozoon musa n. sp., is characterized by large and curved mature gamonts (18.9 ± 0.9 μm in length and 3.8 ± 0.3 μm in width) that considerably engorge infected host erythrocytes and displace the nucleus laterally, which become longer and thinner. Phylogenetic estimates indicate the new species is more closely related to the recently described Hepatozoon cuestensis O'Dwyer, Moço, Paduan, Spenassatto, Silva & Ribolla, 2013, from Brazilian rattlesnakes. These recent findings highlight the need for further studies of Hepatozoon to better determine the biodiversity of this common but poorly-studied parasite group.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    The limited availability of test organisms that represent tropical and deeper water environments is a significant concern when assessing the risk of contaminants in these environments. Amphipholis squamata (Delle Chiaje 1828) is a widely distributed brittle star with many phylogenetic clades reported from different latitudes, and it also occurs from the intertidal zone to a depth of ∼1300 m. In the present study, the effect of copper on four behavioural responses and mortality of A. squamata were quantified at four different temperatures including 25, 20, 15 and 10°C. At 25°C the four behavioural responses and mortality were relatively sensitive to copper, with 96 h EC50 values of 25 (confidence interval 18-44), 24 (7-26), 32 (24-41), 29 (9-41) μg L(-1) for the measured ability to turn from the oral surface up to oral surface down, curling behaviour, tube foot movement, and tube foot retraction respectively. The average 96-h LC50 value for copper at 25°C was 46 μg L(-1). Some endpoints investigated showed significant effects of reduced temperature compared to the optimal temperature. These effects were enhanced with increasing copper concentrations and significant differences in copper toxicity between temperature treatments were most notable when measuring the ability to turn from the oral surface up to oral surface down where the EC50 changed from 25 (18 to 44) to 6 (-18 to 14) μg L(-1) with a reduction of temperature from 25 to 15°C. The results showed that A. squamata is relatively sensitive to copper and that further investigation into the effects of other stressors on these endpoints is warranted. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. © 2015 SETAC.

  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.

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

    PubMed

    Handrigan, Gregory R; Richman, Joy M

    2010-01-01

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

  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. Static osteogenesis does not precede dynamic osteogenesis in periosteal ossification of Pleurodeles (Caudata, Amphibia) and Pogona (Squamata, Lepidosauria).

    PubMed

    Cubo, Jorge; Hui, Mylaine; Clarac, François; Quilhac, Alexandra

    2017-02-01

    Two successive mechanisms have been described in perichondral ossification: (1) in static osteogenesis, mesenchymal cells differentiate into stationary osteoblasts oriented randomly, which differentiate into osteocytes in the same site; (2) in dynamic osteogenesis, mesenchymal cells differentiate into osteoblasts that are all oriented in the same direction and move back as they secrete collagen fibers. This study is aimed at testing the hypothesis that the ontogenetic sequence static then dynamic osteogenesis observed in the chicken and in the rabbit is homologous and was acquired by the last common ancestor of amniotes or at a more inclusive node. For this we analyze the developmental patterns of Pleurodeles (Caudata, Amphibia) and those of the lizard Pogona (Squamata, Lepidosauria). We processed Pleurodeles larvae and Pogona embryos, prepared thin and ultrathin sections of appendicular bones, and analyzed them using light and transmission electron microscopy. We show that static osteogenesis does not precede dynamic osteogenesis in periosteal ossification of Pleurodeles and Pogona. Therefore, the null hypothesis is rejected and according to the parsimony method the ontogenetic sequence observed in the chicken and in the rabbit are convergent. In Pleurodeles and Pogona dynamic osteogenesis occur without a previous rigid mineralized framework, whereas in the chicken and in the rabbit dynamic osteogenesis seems to take place over a mineralized support whether bone (in perichondral ossification) or calcified cartilage (in endochondral ossification). Interestingly, in typical dynamic osteogenesis, osteoblasts show an axis (basal nucleus-distal endoplasmic reticulum) perpendicular to the front of secreted unmineralized bone matrix, whereas in Pleurodeles and Pogona this axis is parallel to the bone matrix.

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

    PubMed

    Vasconcelos, Raquel; Carranza, Salvador

    2014-07-14

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

  12. 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. © 2015 SETAC.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

  15. Physaloptera bainae n. sp. (Nematoda: Physalopteridae) parasitic in Salvator merianae (Squamata: Teiidae), with a key to Physaloptera species parasitizing reptiles from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Felipe B; Alves, Philippe V; Rocha, Bárbara M; de Souza Lima, Sueli; Luque, José L

    2014-04-01

    Physaloptera bainae n. sp. (Nematoda: Physalopteridae) from stomach of the large "tegú" lizard Salvator merianae (Squamata: Teiidae), collected in an ecological park that is part of the Atlantic Rainforest biome in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil, is described. The new species which has females with didelphic uterus, is the only species of the genus exhibiting external teeth in the form of 4 spines that are organized in a cross-shaped pattern at the anterior apical end, with 2 minute adcloacal papillae on the anterior part of cloacal aperture in males and a large cuticular expansion at the anterior end of females. Moreover, P. bainae n. sp. can be differentiated from the other congeners by the combination of other features, e.g., number (23) and pattern of caudal papillae, spicule size (left 554-600; right 589-617) and vulval position (on the first third of body), and because the specimens are particularly large and robust. Physaloptera monodens is considered a junior synonym of P. obtusissima. In addition, a key to Physaloptera species parasitizing reptiles from Brazil is provided.

  16. Defining reproductively isolated units in a cryptic and syntopic species complex using mitochondrial and nuclear markers: the brooding brittle star, Amphipholis squamata (Ophiuroidea).

    PubMed

    Boissin, E; Féral, J P; Chenuil, A

    2008-04-01

    At a time when biodiversity is threatened, we are still discovering new species, and particularly in the marine realm. Delimiting species boundaries is the first step to get a precise idea of diversity. For sympatric species which are morphologically undistinguishable, using a combination of independent molecular markers is a necessary step to define separate species. Amphipholis squamata, a cosmopolitan brittle star, includes several very divergent mitochondrial lineages. These lineages appear totally intermixed in the field and studies on morphology and colour polymorphism failed to find any diagnostic character. Therefore, these mitochondrial lineages may be totally interbreeding presently. To test this hypothesis, we characterized the genetic structure of the complex in the French Mediterranean coast using sequences of mitochondrial DNA (16S) and for the first time, several nuclear DNA markers (introns and microsatellites). The data revealed six phylogenetic lineages corresponding to at least four biological species. These sibling species seem to live in syntopy. However, they seem to display contrasted levels of genetic diversity, suggesting they have distinct demographic histories and/or life-history traits. Genetic differentiation and isolation-by-distance within the French Mediterranean coasts are revealed in three lineages, as expected for a species without a free larval phase. Finally, although recombinant nuclear genotypes are common within mitochondrial lineages, the data set displays a total lack of heterozygotes, suggesting a very high selfing rate, a feature likely to have favoured the formation of the species complex.

  17. 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

  18. Annotated Draft Genome Assemblies for the Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and the Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata) Reveal Disparate Estimates of Modern Genome Diversity and Historic Effective Population Size

    PubMed Central

    Oldeschulte, David L.; Halley, Yvette A.; Wilson, Miranda L.; Bhattarai, Eric K.; Brashear, Wesley; Hill, Joshua; Metz, Richard P.; Johnson, Charles D.; Rollins, Dale; Peterson, Markus J.; Bickhart, Derek M.; Decker, Jared E.; Sewell, John F.; Seabury, Christopher M.

    2017-01-01

    Northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhite) and scaled quail (Callipepla squamata) populations have suffered precipitous declines across most of their US ranges. Illumina-based first- (v1.0) and second- (v2.0) generation draft genome assemblies for the scaled quail and the bobwhite produced N50 scaffold sizes of 1.035 and 2.042 Mb, thereby producing a 45-fold improvement in contiguity over the existing bobwhite assembly, and ≥90% of the assembled genomes were captured within 1313 and 8990 scaffolds, respectively. The scaled quail assembly (v1.0 = 1.045 Gb) was ∼20% smaller than the bobwhite (v2.0 = 1.254 Gb), which was supported by kmer-based estimates of genome size. Nevertheless, estimates of GC content (41.72%; 42.66%), genome-wide repetitive content (10.40%; 10.43%), and MAKER-predicted protein coding genes (17,131; 17,165) were similar for the scaled quail (v1.0) and bobwhite (v2.0) assemblies, respectively. BUSCO analyses utilizing 3023 single-copy orthologs revealed a high level of assembly completeness for the scaled quail (v1.0; 84.8%) and the bobwhite (v2.0; 82.5%), as verified by comparison with well-established avian genomes. We also detected 273 putative segmental duplications in the scaled quail genome (v1.0), and 711 in the bobwhite genome (v2.0), including some that were shared among both species. Autosomal variant prediction revealed ∼2.48 and 4.17 heterozygous variants per kilobase within the scaled quail (v1.0) and bobwhite (v2.0) genomes, respectively, and estimates of historic effective population size were uniformly higher for the bobwhite across all time points in a coalescent model. However, large-scale declines were predicted for both species beginning ∼15–20 KYA. PMID:28717047

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Phylogeographical and speciation patterns in subterranean worm lizards of the genus Blanus (Amphisbaenia: Blanidae).

    PubMed

    Albert, E M; Zardoya, R; García-París, M

    2007-04-01

    The peculiar lifestyle of subterranean reptiles must determine their modes of speciation and diversification. To further understand the evolutionary biology of subterranean reptiles, we studied the phylogeny of worm lizards of the genus Blanus and the phylogeography of its Iberian representatives. We used mitochondrial (ND4 and 16S rRNA) and nuclear (anonymous) partial gene sequences to resolve phylogenetic relationships within Blanus. The Eastern Mediterranean Blanus strauchi was recovered as sister group of Western Mediterranean species. Iberian and North African Blanus were recovered as reciprocally monophyletic groups. The same genes were used to determine phylogeography of 47 populations of Blanus cinereus. Mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data recovered two highly supported Iberian clades. Parapatry and high sequence divergences between them suggest that these clades may represent independent taxonomic units. A molecular clock was calibrated considering that the split between Iberian and North African Blanus was due to the re-opening of the Betic Strait in the Upper Tortonian (8-9 million years ago). Differentiation between the two Iberian clades was estimated to date back to 5.2 million years ago. The Central Iberian clade included five mitochondrial haplotype lineages (A-E). Geographical ranges of two of them broadly overlap in the central Iberian plateau. After testing alternative hypotheses, the most likely explanation for this striking phylogeographical pattern involves recent dispersal of one of the lineages (C) over the geographical range of the other (B). The inferred recent dispersal of this fossorial reptile is explained in terms of demographic advantages associated to underground lifestyle.

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

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

    .

    PubMed

    Surugiu, Victor

    2016-09-05

    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.

  3. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Selected emerging infectious diseases of squamata.

    PubMed

    Latney, La'toya V; Wellehan, James

    2013-05-01

    It is important that reptile clinicians have an appreciation for the epidemiology, clinical signs, pathology, diagnostic options, and prognostic parameters for novel and emerging infectious diseases in squamates. This article provides an update on emerging squamate diseases reported in the primary literature within the past decade. Updates on adenovirus, iridovirus, rhabdovirus, arenavirus, and paramyxovirus epidemiology, divergence, and host fidelity are presented. A new emerging bacterial disease of Uromastyx species, Devriesea agamarum, is reviewed. Chrysosporium ophiodiicola-associated mortality in North American snakes is discussed. Cryptosporidium and pentastomid infections in squamates are highlighted among emerging parasitic infections. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Cytogenetic studies on Gonatodes (Reptilia, Squamata, Sphaerodactylidae).

    PubMed

    Schmid, Michael; Steinlein, Claus; Feichtinger, Wolfgang; Haaf, Thomas; Mijares-Urrutia, Abraham; Schargel, Walter E; Hedges, S Blair

    2014-01-01

    Mitotic and meiotic chromosomes of 5 species of the reptile genus Gonatodes are described by means of conventional staining, banding analyses and in situ hybridization using a synthetic telomeric DNA probe. The amount, location and fluorochrome affinities of constitutive heterochromatin, the number and positions of nucleolus organizer regions, and the patterns of telomeric DNA sequences were determined for most of the species. The karyotypes of G. falconensis and G. taniae from northern Venezuela are distinguished by their extraordinarily reduced diploid chromosome number of 2n = 16, which is the lowest value found so far in reptiles. In contrast to most other reptiles, both species have exclusively large biarmed (meta- and submetacentric) chromosomes. Comparison of the karyotypes of G. falconensis and G. taniae with those of other Gonatodes species indicates that the exceptional 2n = 16 karyotype originated by a series of 8 centric fusions. The karyotypes of G. falconensis and G. taniae are further characterized by the presence of considerable amounts of (TTAGGG)n telomeric sequences in the centromeric regions of all chromosomes. These are probably not only relics of the centric fusion events, but a component of the highly repetitive DNA in the constitutive heterochromatin of the chromosomes. The genome sizes of 4 Gonatodes species were determined using flow cytometry. For comparative purposes, all previously published cytogenetic data on Gonatodes and other sphaerodactylids are included and discussed.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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; Santos, Jeannie Nascimento Dos

    2016-03-11

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. A Review of Sex Determining Mechanisms in Geckos (Gekkota: Squamata)

    PubMed Central

    Gamble, T.

    2010-01-01

    Geckos are a species-rich clade of reptiles possessing diverse sex determining mechanisms. Some species possess genetic sex determination, with both male and female heterogamety, while other species have temperature-dependent sex determination. I compiled information from the literature on the taxonomic distribution of these sex determining mechanisms in geckos. Using phylogenetic data from the literature, I reconstructed the minimum number of transitions among these sex determining mechanisms with parsimony-based ancestral state reconstruction. While only a small number of gecko species have been characterized, numerous changes among sex determining mechanisms were inferred. This diversity, coupled with the high frequency of transitions, makes geckos excellent candidates as a model clade for the study of vertebrate sex determination and evolution. PMID:20234154

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Skull anatomy of the miniaturized gecko Sphaerodactylus roosevelti (Squamata: Gekkota).

    PubMed

    Daza, Juan D; Abdala, Virginia; Thomas, Richard; Bauer, Aaron M

    2008-11-01

    A detailed description of the skull and jaw of the gecko Sphaerodactylus roosevelti is presented. The bones are described articulated and isolated with special consideration given to the type of suture among joining elements. S. roosevelti was compared with 109 gekkotan species to evaluate the osteological variation and to find characters for cladistic analysis. Changes in the skull associated with the miniaturization process are discussed within the sphaerodactylid geckos. A noticeable increase of overlapping sutures was observed in the snout of the smallest sphaerodactylids compared to other gekkotans. This pattern is convergent with that in miniaturized pygopodids and may be attributed to adaptations for decreasing mechanical resistance of the cranium during feeding or burrowing. New cranial characters support Sphaerodactylinae as a monophyletic group and should be useful for resolving questions such as their relationship with other gekkotans.

  20. Complete mitochondrial genome of Goniurosaurus luii (Squamata, Eublepharidae).

    PubMed

    Li, Hui-Min; Hou, Li-Xia; Zhang, Yu; Guo, Dan-Ni; Liu, Yu-Jie; Qin, Xin-Min

    2016-05-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Goniurosaurus luii has been determined in the present paper. The genome was 16,519 bp in length and contained 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA genes, 22 tRNA genes and 1 control region (CR). Its gene composition and order was similar to most other Squamate reptiles. The overall base composition of the genome in descending order was 34.11% A, 26. 01% C, 27.43% T, and 12.45% G, with a slight AT bias of 61.54%. CR was located between the tRNA-Pro and tRNA-Phe genes and was 1147 bp in length, some tandem repeat sequences and conserved elements (CSB2-3) were found in the control region.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-27

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

  3. Dentition and tooth replacement pattern in Chalcides (Squamata; Scincidae).

    PubMed

    Delgado, Sidney; Davit-Beal, Tiphaine; Sire, Jean-Yves

    2003-05-01

    This study was undertaken as a prerequisite to investigations on tooth differentiation in a squamate, the Canarian scincid Chalcides. Our main goal was to determine whether the pattern of tooth replacement, known to be regular in lizards, could be helpful to predict accurately any stage of tooth development. A growth series of 20 laboratory-reared specimens, aged from 0.5 month after birth to about 6 years, was used. The dentition (functional and replacement teeth) was studied from radiographs of jaw quadrants. The number of tooth positions, the tooth number in relation to age and to seasons, and the size of the replacement teeth were recorded. In Chalcides, a single row of pleurodont functional teeth lies at the labial margin of the dentary, premaxillary, and maxillary. Whatever the age of the specimens, 16 tooth positions were recorded, on average, in each quadrant, suggesting that positions are maintained throughout life. Replacement teeth were numerous whatever the age and season, while the number of functional teeth was subject to variation. Symmetry of tooth development was evaluated by comparing teeth two by two from the opposite side in the four jaw quadrants of several specimens. Although the relative size of some replacement teeth fitted perfectly, the symmetry criterion was not reliable to predict the developmental stage of the opposite tooth, whether the pair of teeth compared was left-right or upper-lower. The best fit was found when comparing the size of successive replacement teeth from the front to the back of the jaw. Every replacement tooth that is 40-80% of its definitive size is followed, in the next position on the arcade, by a tooth that is, on average, 20% less developed. Considering teeth in alternate positions (even and odd series), each replacement tooth was a little more developed than the previous, more anterior, one (0.5-20% when the teeth are from 10-40% of their final size). The latter pattern showed that tooth replacement occurred in alternate positions from back to front, forming more or less regular rows (i.e., "Zahnreihen"). In Chalcides, the developmental stage of a replacement tooth in a position p can be accurately predicted provided the developmental stage of the replacement tooth in position p-1 or, to a lesser degree, in position p-2 is known. This finding will be particularly helpful when starting our structural and ultrastructural studies of tooth differentiation in this lizard.

  4. 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

  5. Earliest example of a giant monitor lizard (Varanus, Varanidae, Squamata).

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    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. 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. 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.

  6. The circumorbital bones of the Gekkota (Reptilia: Squamata).

    PubMed

    Daza, Juan Diego; Bauer, Aaron Matthew

    2010-03-01

    The enormous variation of the orbit in lepidosaurs is better conceptualized in terms of composition and configuration. Broadly, the orbit varies from having totally closed rim to being open posteriorly. Two processes are responsible for changes in the components of the circumorbital series, element loss and fusion. The resulting contacts among elements are the main factors determining orbital configuration. Here, we present a revision of the gekkotan circumorbital bones in the general context of the Lepidosauria. From observations of a sample of 105 species of gekkotans prepared using different techniques, we describe the main changes in the orbit and corroborate the presence or absence of some of the ambiguous elements such as the lacrimal and the jugal. The supraorbital bones of squamates are reviewed and some problems of homology are evaluated using recent phylogenenetic hypothesis.

  7. Comparative study of sperm ultrastructure of five species of teiid lizards (Teiidae, Squamata), and Cercosaura ocellata (Gymnophthalmidae, Squamata).

    PubMed

    Colli, G R; Teixeira, R D; Scheltinga, D M; Mesquita, D O; Wiederhecker, H C; Báo, S N

    2007-02-01

    Sperm ultrastructure of five teiid lizards (Callopistes flavipunctatus, Crocodilurus amazonicus, Dicrodon guttulatum, Dracaena guianensis, and Teius oculatus), and the gymnophthalmid Cercosaura ocellata is described for the first time. Comparisons of sperm ultrastructure among these species and with those of previously examined teiids and gymnophthalmids revealed that the two groups of Teiioidea (Gymnophthalmidae and Teiidae), and the two subfamilies of Teiidae (Teiinae and Tupinambinae) could be distinguished on the basis of sperm ultrastructure data. Significant differences in sperm dimensions between Cnemidophorus and Aspidoscelis support the recent splitting of these two lineages into different genera. Our results revealed high levels of inter-generic variability in sperm ultrastructure within Teiidae, which produces a data set useful in analyzing relationships between genera and families. In phylogenetic analyses, however, sampling multiple species within teiid genera is essential and recording sperm measurements may profitably complement qualitative ultrastructural characters, maximizing the information content of these structures.

  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

    2016-03-16

    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.

  9. [The problems of molecular phylogenetics on the example of squamata reptiles. Mitochondrial DNA markers].

    PubMed

    Grechko, V V

    2013-01-01

    The review is devoted to the recent problems of molecular phylogenetics based on the mitochondrial and chromosomal DNA sequences. The main subjects of the paper are the most widely used mtDNA markers though their application is not well enough (of critically considered) supported from the point of physiology and biochemistry of these organelles. Besides some well known aspects embarrassing the mt-markers phylogeny interpretations (hybridization and introgression events, ancestral polymorphism and nuclear paralogs of mtDNA) the attention is concentrated on non-neutrality and disproportional mutability of mt-genes and their fragments, on uniparental inheritance violations, recombinational events and heteroplasmy. These factors may influence the congruence of phylogenetic inferences and trees based on different mt-markers and when they compared with nuclear markers. Many authors suppose that the sequence comparisons of mt-genes and their fragments alone are not adequate to the studies of evolution. The notion is put forward that the influence of external conditions on metabolism and physiology of mitochondria could not be fully taken into account and modelled to be applied for phylogenetic tasks. The values of mt-markers could be revealed by the comparison of the whole mtDNA sequences of different taxa and searching the informative syn- and apomorphic properties and nuclear paralogs.

  10. Catalogue of distribution of lizards (Reptilia: Squamata) from the Brazilian Amazonia. IV. Alopoglossidae, Gymnophthalmidae.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro-Júnior, Marco A; Amaral, Silvana

    2017-05-22

    We present distribution data of all Alopoglossidae and Gymnophthalmidae lizards known from the Brazilian Amazonia, totaling 54 species-level taxa, belonging to 17 genera and two families. This represents 22 more species-level taxa than previously reported. Data were based on 17,431 specimens deposited in three North American and eight Brazilian museums, including the main collections harboring Amazonian material. Most species (~80%) are endemic to Amazonia; non-endemic species are mainly associated with open vegetation (savanna) enclaves or open dry (semideciduous) forest in Amazonia, with a few exceptions. As a whole, seven taxa (including one species complex) are widespread in Amazonia, six are restricted to eastern Amazonia, seven to western Amazonia, two to southwestern Amazonia, 11 to southern Amazonia, 11 to northern Amazonia (either in part of it or widespread in the Guiana region), and six to the southern peripheral portion of Amazonia. Besides, four species present unique distributions. Considering this study and the other three catalogues of distribution of lizards already published, the total number of lizard species from Brazilian Amazonia increased from 97 to 142 species-level tava. It represents an increase of 45 species from the region since the last revision.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    Nearly 50% of the diversity of the speciose Neotropical lizard clade Gymnophthalmidae is nested within the subclade Cercosaurinae. The taxonomy of Cercosaurinae lizards has been historically confusing because many diagnostic characters of those clades traditionally ranked as genera do not represent true diagnostic apomorphies. Even though molecular phylogenies of several 'genera' have been presented in the last few years, some of them remain poorly sampled (e.g., Anadia, Echinosaura, Potamites, Riama). In this paper we present a more comprehensive phylogeny of Cercosaurinae lizards with emphasis on Andean taxa from Ecuador and Peru, as well as a time-calibrated phylogeny with reconstruction of ancestral areas. Our analysis includes 52% of all recognized species of Cercosaurinae (67 species) and 1914 characters including three mitochondrial and one nuclear gene. We find that Anadia, Echinosaura, Euspondylus, Potamites, Proctoporus, and Riama are not monophyletic: the Tepuian Anadia mcdiarmidi is not sister to Andean species of Anadia; Echinosaura sulcarostrum is not included in the same clade formed by other species of Echinosaura and their more recent common ancestor; Teuchocercus is nested within Echinosaura; species of Euspondylus included in this study are nested within Proctoporus; Riama laudahnae is included in Proctoporus; and Potamites is paraphyletic and split in two separate clades, one of which we name Gelanesaurus, also a new genus-group name. Within Potamites, P. ecpleopus is paraphyletic, and P. strangulatus strangulatus and P. strangulatus trachodus are recognized as two distinct species. We also identify three unnamed clades (i.e., not nested within any of the recognized 'genera') from Andean populations in Ecuador and Peru. The estimated age of the clade Cercosaurinae (∼60Ma) corresponds to the early stages of the northern Andes. Even though the distribution of the most recent common ancestor of Cercosaurinae remains equivocal, our analysis shows that these lizards colonized and radiated along the northern Andes before reaching the central Andes in Peru. Finally, we present phylogenetic definitions for some of the recovered clades to promote a clear and precise classification of Cercosaurinae lizards. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. [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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-07

    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.

  16. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. The complete mitochondrial genome of the black-tailed brush lizard Urosaurus nigricaudus (Reptilia, Squamata, Phrynosomatidae).

    PubMed

    Bernardo, Pedro Henrique; Aguilera-Miller, Eduardo Felipe; Álvarez-Castañeda, Sergio Ticul; Cruz, Fausto Roberto Méndez-de la; Murphy, Robert W

    2016-11-01

    Previous studies using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genes suggest the black-tailed brush lizard, Urosaurus nigricaudus, which is a small-sized lizard from the peninsula of Baja California, Mexico, has 4 deeply isolated mtDNA lineages with sequence divergence ranging from 4% to 11.2%. We present its complete mitochondrial genome. This genome is 17,298 bp long and comprises 2 rRNAs, 22 tRNAs, 13 protein-coding genes, 1 L-strand origin of replication and 1 control region. The overall nucleotide content is A = 34.2%; C = 26.8%; G = 13.5%; T = 25.5%. The gene organization and features agree with the general vertebrate organization and that found in other lizards. The control region is 1909 bp long and is located between tRNA(Pro) and tRNA(Phe).

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-09

    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.

  19. Ultrastructure of spermiogenesis in the Cottonmouth, Agkistrodon piscivorus (Squamata: Viperidae: Crotalinae).

    PubMed

    Gribbins, Kevin M; Rheubert, Justin L; Anzalone, Marla L; Siegel, Dustin S; Sever, David M

    2010-03-01

    To date multiple studies exist that examine the morphology of spermatozoa. However, there are limited numbers of data detailing the ontogenic characters of spermiogenesis within squamates. Testicular tissues were collected from Cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorus) and tissues from spermiogenically active months were analyzed ultrastructurally to detail the cellular changes that occur during spermiogenesis. The major events of spermiogenesis (acrosome formation, nuclear elongation/DNA condensation, and flagellar development) resemble that of other squamates; however, specific ultrastructural differences can be observed between Cottonmouths and other squamates studied to date. During acrosome formation vesicles from the Golgi apparatus fuse at the apical surface of the nuclear membrane prior to making nuclear contact. At this stage, the acrosome granule can be observed in a centralized location within the vesicle. As elongation commences the acrosome complex becomes highly compartmentalized and migrates laterally along the nucleus. Parallel and circum-cylindrical microtubules (components of the manchette) are observed with parallel microtubules outnumbering the circum-cylindrical microtubules. Flagella, displaying the conserved 9 + 2 microtubule arrangement, sit in nuclear fossae that have electron lucent shoulders juxtaposed on either side of the spermatids basal plates. This study aims to provide developmental characters for squamates in the subfamily Crotalinae, family Viperidae, which may be useful for histopathological studies on spermatogenesis in semi-aquatic species exposed to pesticides. Furthermore, these data in the near future may provide morphological characters for spermiogenesis that can be added to morphological data matrices that may be used in phylogenetic analyses.

  20. Renal sexual segment of the ground skink, Scincella laterale (Reptilia, Squamata, Scincidae).

    PubMed

    Sever, David M; Hopkins, William A

    2005-10-01

    Mature squamates possess hypertrophied regions of the distal urinary ducts, the renal sexual segment (RSS). The RSS is believed to provide seminal fluid that mixes with sperm and is released into the female cloaca during coitus. This study is the first to describe ultrastructure of the RSS in a lizard collected throughout the active season. The species examined, Scincella laterale, represents the largest family (Scincidae: 1,200 species) of lizards. Although sperm are present in the posterior ductus deferens of male S. laterale throughout the year, an annual spermatogenic cycle occurs that results in spermiation in spring, coinciding with maximum development of the RSS. Female S. laterale may possess stored sperm in vaginal crypts from March-May and large oviductal eggs April-June. Thus, the correlation between mating and RSS activity observed in other squamates is also found in S. laterale. Cytologically, the active RSS consists of columnar cells with numerous apical, electron-dense secretory vacuoles which are released by an apocrine process. The granules stain positively for proteins with bromphenol blue and react with PAS for neutral carbohydrates. After the mating season the RSS undergoes recrudescence and the electron-dense granules are replaced by a mucoid secretion that characterizes more proximal portions of the nephric tubules throughout the year. Little variation in ultrastructure of the RSS occurs between S. laterale and Cnemidophorus lemniscatus (Teiidae), the only other lizard in which seasonal variation of the RSS has been studied using similar methods. Females exhibit differentiation similar to that of males in the distal urinary tubules, but to a lesser degree. This is only the second such report for female squamates, and the differentiation of the region in females is proposed to result from adrenal androgens.

  1. Temporal germ cell development strategy during continuous spermatogenesis within the montane lizard, Sceloporus bicanthalis (Squamata; Phrynosomatidae).

    PubMed

    Gribbins, Kevin; Anzalone, Marla; Collier, Matthew; Granados-González, Gisela; Villagrán-Santa Cruz, Maricela; Hernández-Gallegos, Oswaldo

    2011-10-01

    Sceloporus bicanthalis is a viviparous lizard that lives at higher elevations in Mexico. Adult male S. bicanthalis were collected (n = 36) from the Nevado de Toluca, Mexico (elevation is 4200 m) during August to December, 2007 and January to July, 2008. Testes were extracted, fixed in Trumps, and dehydrated in a graded series of ethanol. Tissues were embedded, sectioned (2 μm), stained, and examined via a light microscope to determine the spermatogenic developmental strategy of S. bicanthalis. In all months examined, the testes were spermiogenically active; based on this, plus the presence of sperm in the lumina of seminiferous tubules, we inferred that S. bicanthalis had year-round or continuous spermatogenesis, unlike most reptiles that occupy a temperate or montane habitat. It was recently reported that seasonally breeding reptiles had a temporal germ cell development strategy similar to amphibians, where germ cells progress through spermatogenesis as a single population, which leads to a single spermiation event. This was much different than spatial development within the testis of other derived amniotes. We hypothesized that germ cell development was temporal in S. bicanthalis. Therefore, we wanted to determine whether reptiles that practice continuous spermatogenesis have a mammalian-like spatial germ cell development, which is different than the typical temperate reptile exhibiting a temporal development. In the present study, S. bicanthalis had a temporal development strategy, despite its continuous spermatogenic cycle, making them similar to tropical anoles.

  2. Seasonal spermatogenic cycle and morphology of germ cells in the viviparous lizard Mabuya brachypoda (Squamata, Scincidae).

    PubMed

    Hernández-Franyutti, Arlette; Uribe, Mari Carmen

    2012-11-01

    We describe seasonal variations of the histology of the seminiferous tubules and efferent ducts of the tropical, viviparous skink, Mabuya brachypoda, throughout the year. The specimens were collected monthly, in Nacajuca, Tabasco state, Mexico. The results revealed strong annual variations in testicular volume, stages of the germ cells, and diameter and height of the epithelia of seminiferous tubules and efferent ducts. Recrudescence was detected from November to December, when initial mitotic activity of spermatogonia in the seminiferous tubules were observed, coinciding with the decrease of temperature, photoperiod and rainy season. From January to February, early spermatogenesis continued and early primary and secondary spermatocytes were developing within the seminiferous epithelium. From March through April, numerous spermatids in metamorphosis were observed. Spermiogenesis was completed from May through July, which coincided with an increase in temperature, photoperiod, and rainfall. Regression occurred from August through September when testicular volume and spermatogenic activity decreased. During this time, the seminiferous epithelium decreased in thickness, and germ cell recruitment ceased, only Sertoli cells and spermatogonia were present in the epithelium. Throughout testicular regression spermatocytes and spermatids disappeared and the presence of cellular debris, and scattered spermatozoa were observed in the lumen. The regressed testes presented the total suspension of spermatogenesis. During October, the seminiferous tubules contained only spermatogonia and Sertoli cells, and the size of the lumen was reduced, giving the appearance that it was occluded. In concert with testis development, the efferent ducts were packed with spermatozoa from May through August. The epididymis was devoid of spermatozoa by September. M. brachypoda exhibited a prenuptial pattern, in which spermatogenesis preceded the mating season. The seasonal cycle variations of spermatogenesis in M. brachypoda are the result of a single extended spermiation event, which is characteristic of reptilian species.

  3. Ultrastructural analysis of spermiogenesis in the Eastern Fence Lizard, Sceloporus undulatus (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae).

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    Studies on reptilian sperm morphology have shown that variation exists at various taxonomic levels but studies on the ontogeny of variation are rare. Sperm development follows a generalized bauplan that includes acrosome development, nuclear condensation and elongation, and flagellar development. However, minute differences can be observed such as the presence/absence of manchette microtubules, structural organization during nuclear condensation, and presence/absence of a nuclear lacuna. The purpose of this investigation was to examine sperm development within the Sceloporus genus. The process begins with the development of an acrosomal complex from Golgi vesicles followed by nuclear condensation and elongation, which results in the presence of a nuclear lacuna. As the acrosomal complex differentiates, flagellar development commences with elongation of the distal centriole. Spermatid development culminates in a mature spermatid with a highly differentiated acrosomal complex, a condensed nucleus with a nuclear lacuna, and a differentiated flagellum. Although the overall developmental pattern is consistent with other squamate species, minute differences are observed, even within the same genus. For example there is variation in the presence/absence of an endoplasmic reticulum complex during acrosome development, presence/absence of a nuclear lacuna, and presence/absence of manchette microtubules within the three species of Sceloporus studied to date. Future studies concerning sperm morphology in closely related species will aid in our understanding of variation in sperm development and may prove to be useful in testing phylogenetic and evolutionary hypotheses.

  4. The ultrastructure of spermatid development during spermiogenesis within the rosebelly lizard, Sceloporus variabilis (Reptilia, Squamata, Phrynosomatidae).

    PubMed

    Gribbins, Kevin M; Matchett, Caroline L; DelBello, Kathryn A; Rheubert, Justin; Villagrán-SantaCruz, Maricela; Granados-González, Gisela; Hernández-Gallegos, Oswaldo

    2014-03-01

    Several recent studies have mapped out the characters of spermiogenesis within several species of squamates. Many of these data have shown both conserved and possibly apomorphic morphological traits that could be important in future phylogenetic analysis within Reptilia. There, however, has not been a recent study that compares spermiogenesis and its similarities or differences between two species of reptile that reside in the same genus. Thus, the present analysis details the changes to spermiogenesis in Sceloporus variabilis and then compares spermatid morphologies to that of Sceloporus bicanthalis. Many of the morphological changes that the spermatids undergo in these two species are similar or conserved, which is similar to what has been reported in other squamates. There are six main character differences that can be observed during the development of the spermatids between these two sceloporid lizards. They include the presence (S. variabilis) or absence (S. bicanthalis) of a mitochondrial/endoplasmic reticulum complex near the Golgi apparatus during acrosome development, a shallow (S. variabilis) or deep (S. bicanthalis) nuclear indentation that accommodates the acrosomal vesicle, filamentous (S. variabilis) or granular (S. bicanthalis) chromatin condensation, no spiraling (S. variabilis) or spiraling (S. bicanthalis) of chromatin during condensation, absence (S. variabilis) or presence (S. bicanthalis) of the longitudinal manchette microtubules, and the lack of (S. variabilis) or presence (S. bicanthalis) of nuclear lacunae. This is the first study that compares spermiogenic ultrastructural characters between species within the same genus. The significance of the six character differences between two distantly related species within Sceloporus is still unknown, but these data do suggest that spermiogenesis might be a good model to study the hypothesis that spermatid ontogeny is species specific.

  5. Ultrastructural examination of spermiogenesis within the testis of the ground skink, Scincella laterale (Squamata, Sauria, Scincidae).

    PubMed

    Gribbins, Kevin M; Mills, Erin M; Sever, David M

    2007-02-01

    Although the events of spermiogenesis are commonly studied in amniotes, the amount of research available for lizards (Sauria) is lacking. Many studies have described the morphological characteristics of mature spermatozoa in lizards, but few detail the ultrastructural changes that occur during spermiogenesis. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of the subcellular events of spermiogenesis within the temperate ground skink (Scincella laterale). The morphological data presented here represent the first complete ultrastructural study of spermiogenesis within the Scincidae clade. Samples of testes from 20 specimens were prepared using standard techniques for transmission electron microscopy. Many of the ultrastructural changes occurring during spermiogenesis within the ground skink are similar to that of other saurians. However, there were a few unique characteristics that to date have not been described during spermiogenesis in other lizards. For example, during early round spermatid development within the ground skink testis, proacrosomal granules begin to form within the acrosomal vesicle before making contact with the apex of the nucleus. Also, a prominent microtubular manchette develops during spermiogenesis; however, the circular component of the manchete is absent in this species of skink. This developmental difference in manchette formation may lead to the more robust and straight mature spermatozoa that are common within the Scincidae family. These anatomical character differences may be valuable nontraditional sources that along with more traditional sources (i.e., mitochondrial DNA) may help elucidate phylogenetic relationships, which are historically considered controversial at best, among species within Scincidae and Sauria.

  6. 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.

  7. Differential staining and microchromosomal variation in karyotypes of four Brazilian species of Tupinambinae lizards (Squamata: Teiidae).

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-01

    Kayotypes of four neotropical teiid lizard species (Tupinambinae) were herein studied after conventional as well as silver staining and CBG-banding: Crocodilurus amazonicus (2n = 34), Tupinambis teguixin (2n = 36), Tupinambis merianae and Tupinambis quadrilineatus (2n = 38). The karyological data for T. quadrilineatus as well as those obtained using differential staining for all species were unknown until now. The karyotypes of all species presented 12 macrochromosomes identical in morphology, but differed in the number of microchromosomes: 22 in C. amazonicus, 24 in T. teguixin and 26 in T. quadrilineatus and T. merianae. The Ag-NOR located at the secondary constriction at the distal end of pair 2 is shared by all species, contrasting with the variability observed for this character in species of the related Teiinae. CBG-banding revealed a species-specific pattern in T. quadrilineatus with conspicuous interstitial C-blocks at the proximal region of the long arm of pair 4 and the whole heterochromatic short arm of pair 6. The karyological data reported here corroborates the relationship hypothesis obtained for Tupinambis based on molecular characters. T. teguixin presents the putative ancestral karyotype for the genus with 2n = 36 whereas T. merianae and T. quadrilineatus exhibit 2n = 38, due to an additional pair of microchromosomes.

  8. Resurrection of Bronchocela burmana Blanford, 1878 for the Green Crested Lizard (Squamata, Agamidae) of southern Myanmar

    PubMed Central

    Zug, George R.; Mulcahy, Daniel G.; Vindum, Jens V.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Recent fieldwork in southern Tanintharyi revealed the presence of a small Green Crested Lizard in the wet evergreen forest. We generated mtDNA sequence data (ND2) that demonstrates that this population’s nearest relative is Bronchocela rayaensis Grismer et al., 2015 of Pulau Langkawi, northwestern Peninsular Malaysia and Phuket Island. Morphologically the Burmese Bronchocela shares many features with Bronchocela rayaensis, which potentially would make this recently described Thai-Malay species a synonym of Bronchocela burmana Blanford, 1878; however, we interpret the genetic and morphological differences to reflect evolutionary divergence and recommend the recognition of both species. PMID:28331413

  9. Two new Liolaemus lizards from the Andean highlands of Southern Chile (Squamata, Iguania, Liolaemidae).

    PubMed

    Troncoso-Palacios, Jaime; Diaz, Hugo A; Puas, German I; Riveros-Riffo, Edvin; Elorza, Alvaro A

    2016-01-01

    Liolaemus is a diverse genus of lizards, subdivided into two subgenera: Liolaemus (sensu stricto) and Eulaemus, distributed mainly in Chile and Argentina. The Liolaemus elongatus-kriegi complex is the most diverse group within Liolaemus (sensu stricto), especially the species closely related to Liolaemus elongatus, which form a clade currently comprising nine species. Several Chilean species of this group have been recently described, mainly from volcanoes and poorly explored mountains. Here molecular and morphological evidence are provided for a new species of the Liolaemus elongatus clade, which is characterized by its small size and lack of dorsal pattern, unusual features for the species of this group of lizards. Additionally, the lack of precloacal pores in males of Liolaemus (sensu stricto) is a trait found in few species, which do not constitute a monophyletic group. A second new southern Chilean species is also described, without precloacal pores and supported by molecular phylogenetics to be related to Liolaemus villaricensis. Both new species were found in the same locality, near a lake located in a pre-Andean zone with Araucaria and Nothofagus forest. The two species are dedicated to prominent Lonkos (tribal chiefs) of the Mapuche and Pehuenche people: Janequeo and Leftraru. Additionally, the phylogenetic results suggest that Liolaemus lonquimayensis is a synonym of Liolaemus elongatus.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Species-specific evolution of class I MHC genes in iguanas (order: Squamata; subfamily: Iguaninae).

    PubMed

    Glaberman, Scott; Caccone, Adalgisa

    2008-07-01

    Over the last few decades, the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) has emerged as a model for understanding the influence of natural selection on genetic diversity in populations as well as for investigating the genetic basis of host resistance to pathogens. However, many vertebrate taxa remain underrepresented in the field of MHC research, preventing its application to studies of disease, evolution, and conservation genetics in these groups. This is particularly true for squamates, which are by far the most diversified order of non-avian reptiles but have not been the subject of any recent MHC studies. In this paper, we present MHC class I complementary DNA data from three squamate species in the subfamily Iguaninae (iguanas): the Galápagos marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), the Galápagos land iguana (Conolophus subcristatus), and the green iguana (Iguana iguana). All sequences obtained are related to the few published class I genes from other squamates. There is evidence for multiple loci in each species, and the conserved alpha-3 domain appears to be evolving in a species-specific manner. Conversely, there is some indication of shared polymorphism between species in the peptide-binding alpha-1 and alpha-2 domains, suggesting that these two regions have different phylogenetic histories. The great similarity between alpha-3 sequences in marine iguanas in particular suggests that concerted evolution is acting to homogenize class I loci within species. However, while less likely, the data are also compatible with a birth and death model of evolution.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  20. Cyrtodactylus dati, a new forest dwelling Bent-toed Gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from southern Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Van Tri, Ngo

    2013-02-19

    A new species of Bent-toed Gecko, Cyrtodactylus dati sp. nov. is described from the secondary evergreen forests of Bu Dop District, Binh Phuoc Province, Vietnam. It differs from all other species of Indochinese and Thai-Malay Cyrtodactylus by having a maximum SVL of 70.1 mm (n=6); no distinct dark blotches on the head in adults; no continuous nuchal loop; a blotched dorsal pattern; 17-19 interorbital scales across the frontal bone; 23-26 scales in a straight line between eye and nostril; 42-48 rows of ventral scales between ventrolateral folds; 20-22 irregular, longitudinal rows of keeled tubercles at midbody between the ventrolateral folds; a series of five or six precloacal pores medially interrupted by one poreless scale in males; three or four femoral pores on each thigh in males; 4-7 enlarged scales beneath thighs; 12-13 subdigital lamellae on first toe; 18-19 subdigital lamellae on fourth toe; and small subcaudal scales.

  1. Microchromosome polymorphism in the sand lizard, Lacerta agilis Linnaeus, 1758 (Reptilia, Squamata)

    PubMed Central

    Lisachov, Artem P.; Borodin, Pavel M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Most true lizards (Lacertidae) share a conservative karyotype, consisting of 18 pairs of macrochromosomes and one microchromosome pair. Homeologues of the microchromosome are present in other squamates and even in chickens. No structural autosomal microchromosome polymorphisms have been described previously in lizards. We found homozygous and heterozygous carriers of a microchromosome variant in a Siberian population of the sand lizard, Lacerta agilis Linnaeus, 1758. The variant microchromosome was almost twice as long as the standard one. In heterozygotes at pachytene, the microchromosomes firstly pair in proximal regions and the central part of the longer axial element undergoes foldback synapsis, then its distal region pairs with the distal region of the standard partner. At metaphase-I, the heteromorphic microchromosome bivalents have a proximal chiasma. The content of the additional segment was Ag-NOR, C-like DAPI, CMA3 negative. FISH with telomere PNA probe did not detect interstitial (TTAGGG)n sequences in the heteromorphic and any other bivalents. Both homo- and heterozygous carriers were phenotypically normal. The presence of homozygotes shows that heterozygotes are fertile. Reduction in the number of microchromosomes is a clear trend in squamate evolution, as a result of microchromosomes fusing together or with macrochromosomes. Our findings indicate that gaining additional DNA may lead to a transformation of microchromosomes into small macrochromosomes without fusion. PMID:27830048

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Proteomic Profile of Mabuya sp. (Squamata: Scincidae) Ovary and Placenta During Gestation.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Díaz, Nathaly; Torres, Rodrigo; Ramírez-Pinilla, Martha Patricia

    2017-06-01

    Reptiles are one of the most diverse groups of vertebrates, providing an integrated system for comparative studies on metabolic, animal physiology, and developmental biology. However, the molecular data available are limited and only recently have started to call attention in the "omics" sciences. Mabuya sp. is a viviparous placentrotrophic skink with particular reproductive features, including microlecithal eggs, early luteolysis, prolonged gestation, and development of a highly specialized placenta. This placenta is responsible for respiratory exchange and the transference of all nutrients necessary for embryonic development. Our aim was to identify differentially expressed proteins in the ovary and placenta of Mabuya sp. during early, mid, and late gestation; their possible metabolic pathways; and biological processes. We carried out a comparative proteomic analysis during gestation in both tissues by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization. Differential protein expression in both tissues (Student's t-test P < 0.05) was related to several processes such as cell structure, cell movement, and energy. Proteins found in ovary are mainly associated with follicular development and its regulation. In the placenta, particularly during mid and late gestation, protein expression is involved in nutrient metabolism, transport, protein synthesis, and embryonic development. This work provides new insights about the proteins expressed and their physiological mechanisms in Mabuya sp. placenta and ovary during gestation. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Deep Divergences within Liolaemus nigroviridis (Squamata, Liolaemidae) Lineages Associated with Sky Islands in Central Chile.

    PubMed

    Cianferoni, Franco; Yáñez, Romina P; Eduardo, R Eduardo; Garin, Carlos F; Torres-Pérez, Fernando

    2013-01-01

    Evolution of montane species may be strongly influenced by climate oscillations, particularly species distributed in isolated high-elevation areas (sky islands). Chilean topography is exemplified by montane environments including the Andes and Coastal Mountains. To test hypotheses related to genetic divergence associated with sky islands, we explored population genetics and phylogenetic signatures in the montane lizard Liolaemus nigroviridis Müller and Hellmich 1932. We sequenced the mitochondrial cytochrome b for samples collected from six montane areas in central Chile. We found high genetic divergence among populations, congruent with well-supported clades from phylogeny reconstructions. The most recent common ancestor of all samples of L. nigroviridis was dated around the limit of Pliocene-Pleistocene (2.7 Mya), congruent with early vicariance of Andean and coastal populations. Deep lineage divergences suggest that allopatric populations accumulated high nucleotide differences and maintained long periods without gene exchange. We discuss potential taxonomic revisions considering relative genetic divergence.

  6. Adaptive seasonal shifts in the thermal preferences of the lizard Iberolacerta galani (Squamata, Lacertidae).

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

    The León rock lizard, Iberolacerta galani, lives in isolated mountains of Spain. We studied the seasonal changes in the thermal biology of I. galani between spring and summer. We calculated precision, accuracy and effectiveness of thermoregulation and the habitat thermal quality for spring, and compared with the values of summer. In addition, we studied how the shift in the thermal preferences of lizards would contribute to achieve a higher effectiveness of thermoregulation. Thermal preferences of León rock lizards are among the lowest in lacertids, and are also very narrow, maintaining the narrowness among seasons. As for summer (27.90-29.70°C, mean value =28.76°C), the thermal preferences of I. galani are also low in spring (29.60-31.10°C, mean value =30.38°C), supporting the idea that this species is adapted to cold environments. The habitat thermal quality is lower in spring (10.99°C) than in summer (9.36°C), while the effectiveness of thermoregulation is higher in spring (0.92) than in summer (0.80). We found that the seasonal shift in thermal preferences contributes significantly to enhance the effectiveness of thermoregulation in both seasons, more in spring (0.45°C) than in summer (0.16°C). Because I. galani inhabits isolated mountains, where the activity period is reduced from April to October, we hypothesize that the observed adaptation of the thermal preferences, which enhance thermoregulation to a larger extent in spring, may evolved to maximize performance during the reproductive season. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Two new Liolaemus lizards from the Andean highlands of Southern Chile (Squamata, Iguania, Liolaemidae)

    PubMed Central

    Troncoso-Palacios, Jaime; Diaz, Hugo A.; Puas, German I.; Riveros-Riffo, Edvin; Elorza, Alvaro A.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Liolaemus is a diverse genus of lizards, subdivided into two subgenera: Liolaemus (sensu stricto) and Eulaemus, distributed mainly in Chile and Argentina. The Liolaemus elongatus-kriegi complex is the most diverse group within Liolaemus (sensu stricto), especially the species closely related to Liolaemus elongatus, which form a clade currently comprising nine species. Several Chilean species of this group have been recently described, mainly from volcanoes and poorly explored mountains. Here molecular and morphological evidence are provided for a new species of the Liolaemus elongatus clade, which is characterized by its small size and lack of dorsal pattern, unusual features for the species of this group of lizards. Additionally, the lack of precloacal pores in males of Liolaemus (sensu stricto) is a trait found in few species, which do not constitute a monophyletic group. A second new southern Chilean species is also described, without precloacal pores and supported by molecular phylogenetics to be related to Liolaemus villaricensis. Both new species were found in the same locality, near a lake located in a pre-Andean zone with Araucaria and Nothofagus forest. The two species are dedicated to prominent Lonkos (tribal chiefs) of the Mapuche and Pehuenche people: Janequeo and Leftraru. Additionally, the phylogenetic results suggest that Liolaemus lonquimayensis is a synonym of Liolaemus elongatus. PMID:27920609

  8. An integrated Assessment of a group with complex systematics: the Iberomaghrebian lizard genus Podarcis (Squamata, Lacertidae).

    PubMed

    Carretero, Miguel A

    2008-12-01

    A critical review of the evolutionary biology of Iberian and North African lizard members of the genus Podarcis (Lacertidae) based on phylogeny, phylogeography, morphometrics, behavior, ecology and physiology is presented. The Iberomaghrebian region is inhabited by at least 12 different evolutionary lineages that group into a monophyletic clade (except Podarcis muralis). In contrast to the current taxonomy, the saxicolous 'Podarcis hispanica' is paraphyletic with respect to Podarcis bocagei and Podarcis carbonelli, two currently recognized species. Nodes in the phylogenetic tree are deep, resulting from old divergences, clearly preceding the Pleistocene. Nevertheless, more recent range changes as a result of glaciations are also evident. The most plausible evolutionary scenario for this group indicates both vicariant and dispersal events. Although parapatry between lineages is the rule, sympatry and even syntopy are frequent, but usually between ground-dwelling and saxicolous forms. Contacts between forms with similar habitat use are rare and local. Morphological distinctiveness between lineages has been demonstrated, indicating historical constraints. However, other characters have repeatedly evolved under similar environmental pressures independently of the evolutionary lineage. Strong sexual dimorphism derives from sexual selection and is attained before sexual maturity, although developmental restrictions exist. Variation between populations is also important and derives from local variation in both natural (habitat, climate) and sexual (density) selective pressures. Evidence for short-term changes has already been found, particularly in insular populations. Reproductive isolation between syntopic forms and partner recognition are based on male-male competition and on visual and chemical recognition of females by conspecific males. Despite this ancient diversification, most forms maintain a degree of reproductive compatibility. Hybridisation may occur, but is limited, and there is evidence of selection against hybrids. The ecological analysis presented here does not support exploitative competition, but rather behavioral interference between forms. Ecomorph classification of lineages suggests character displacement between those with extensive range overlap. Finally, a critical assessment of the specific status of all lineages is provided and directions for further research are suggested. © 2008 ISZS, Blackwell Publishing and IOZ/CAS.

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

    PubMed

    Montanucci, Richard R

    2015-09-11

    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.

  10. Baseline values of immunologic parameters in the lizard Salvator merianae (Teiidae, Squamata).

    PubMed

    Mestre, Ana Paula; Amavet, Patricia Susana; Siroski, Pablo Ariel

    2017-01-01

    The genus Salvator is widely distributed throughout South America. In Argentina, the species most abundant widely distributed is Salvator merianae. Particularly in Santa Fe province, the area occupied by populations of these lizards overlaps with areas where agriculture was extended. With the aim of established baseline values for four immunologic biomarkers widely used, 36 tegu lizards were evaluated tacking into account different age classes and both sexes. Total leukocyte counts were not different between age classes. Of the leucocytes count, eosinophils levels were higher in neonates compared with juvenile and adults; nevertheless, the heterophils group was the most prevalent leukocyte in the peripheral blood in all age classes. Lymphocytes, monocytes, heterophils, azurophils and basophils levels did not differ with age. Natural antibodies titres were higher in the adults compared with neonates and juveniles lizards. Lastly, complement system activity was low in neonates compared with juveniles and adults. Statistical analysis within each age group showed that gender was not a factor in the outcomes. Based on the results, we concluded that S. merianae demonstrated age (but not gender) related differences in the immune parameters analyzed. Having established baseline values for these four widely-used immunologic biomarkers, ongoing studies will seek to optimize the use of the S. merianae model in future research.

  11. A new species of the genus Calotes Cuvier, 1817 (Squamata: Agamidae) from southern Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Hartmann, Timo; Geissler, Peter; Poyarkov, Nikolay A; Ihlow, Flora; Galoyan, Eduard A; Rödder, Dennis; Böhme, Wolfgang

    2013-01-07

    We describe a new species of the agamid genus Calotes Cuvier, 1817 from southern Vietnam, which is most similar to Calotes mystaceus Duméril & Bibron, 1837, but can be distinguished from the latter and its other congeners by genetic and morphological differences. We discuss the current distribution of the new species and its sister species C. mystaceus in Mainland Southeast Asia.

  12. 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

    2016-07-20

    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.

  13. An ancient lineage of slow worms, genus Anguis (Squamata: Anguidae), survived in the Italian Peninsula.

    PubMed

    Gvoždík, Václav; Benkovský, Norbert; Crottini, Angelica; Bellati, Adriana; Moravec, Jiří; Romano, Antonio; Sacchi, Roberto; Jandzik, David

    2013-12-01

    Four species of legless anguid lizard genus Anguis have been currently recognized: A. fragilis from western and central Europe, A. colchica from eastern Europe and western Asia, A. graeca from southern Balkans, and A. cephallonica from the Peloponnese. Slow worms from the Italian Peninsula have been considered conspecific with A. fragilis, despite the fact that the region served as an important speciation center for European flora and fauna, and included some Pleistocene glacial refugia. We used mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences to investigate the systematic and phylogenetic position of the Italian slow-worm populations and morphological analyses to test for phenotypic differentiation from A. fragilis from other parts of Europe. Our phylogenetic analyses revealed that Italian slow worms form a distinct deeply differentiated mtDNA clade, which presumably diverged during or shortly after the basal radiation within the genus Anguis. In addition, the specimens assigned to this clade bear distinct haplotypes in nuclear PRLR gene and show morphological differentiation from A. fragilis. Based on the differentiation in all three independent markers, we propose to assign the Italian clade species level under the name Anguis veronensisPollini, 1818. The newly recognized species is distributed throughout the Italian Peninsula to the Southern Alps and south-eastern France. We hypothesize that the Tertiary Alpine orogeny with subsequent vicariance might have played a role in differentiation of this species. The current genetic variability was later presumably shaped in multiple glacial refugia within the Italian Peninsula, with the first splitting event separating populations from the region of the Dolomite Mountains.

  14. A preliminary phylogeny of the Palearctic naked-toed geckos (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae) with taxonomic implications.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Aaron M; Masroor, Rafaqat; Titus-McQuillan, James; Heinicke, Matthew P; Daza, Juan D; Jackman, Todd R

    2013-01-08

    Palearctic naked-toed geckos are a group of gekkonid geckos that range from North Africa to northern India and western China, with their greatest diversity in Iran and Pakistan. Relationships among the constituent genera remain incompletely resolved and the monophyly of key genera remains unverified. Further, competing classifications are in current use and many species have been allocated to different genera by different authors. We used both mitochondrial (ND2) and nuclear genes (RAG1, PDC) to explore relationships among representatives of all but one genus in the group (Rhinogecko), including four genera not previously included in phylogenetic analyses (Asiocolotes, Altigekko, Indogekko, and Siwaligekko). Siwaligekko (and presumably other Tibeto-Himalayan species often referred to Cyrtopodion) are more closely related to tropical Asian Cyrtodactylus than to Palearctic naked-toed geckos. Sampled species of Asiocolotes and Altigekko are sister taxa, but both genera are here considered junior subjective synonyms of Altiphylax. Cyrtopodion sensu lato is non-monophyletic; Mediodactylus and Tenuidactylus, which have variably been considered as subgenera or synonyms of Cyrtopodion are both valid genera. Indogekko is embedded within Cyrtopodion and is here treated as a subgenus. Bunopus and Crossobamon are closely related to one-another, and with Agamura are interdigitated among taxa previously assigned to Cyrtopodion. Our data confirm the previous identification of a Saharo-Arabian Stenodactylus/Tropiocolotes/Pseudoceramodactylus clade and verify that Microgecko and Alsophylax are not members of the main clade of Palearctic naked-toed geckos. Osteological differences between Tropiocolotes and Microgecko, formerly treated as congeneric, are discussed and illustrated. The divergence between Cyrtodactylus and the Palearctic naked-toed clade predates the initial collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates, but deeper divergences within both groups are consistent with mountain building in the Himalayas and adjacent ranges as promoting cladogenic events. Miocene divergences within Tenuidactylus are consistent with vicariant speciation caused by uplift events in the Iranian and Transcaspian regions. Taxonomic implications of our phylogenetic results are discussed and a preliminary allocation of all species of padless Palearctic gekkonids to genus is provided.

  15. Catalogue of distribution of lizards (Reptilia: Squamata) from the Brazilian Amazonia. II. Gekkonidae, Phyllodactylidae, Sphaerodactylidae.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro-Júnior, Marco A

    2015-07-02

    I present distribution data of all geckos (Gekkonidae, Phyllodactylidae and Sphaerodactylidae) known from the Brazilian Amazonia, totaling 19 species, belonging to nine genera. This represents six more taxa than previously reported for these families. Data were based on the direct examination of 23,094 specimens deposited in three North American and eight Brazilian museums. Most species (68.4%) are endemic to the Amazonia; non-endemic species are mainly associated with open dry (semideciduous) forest or open vegetation (savanna) enclaves in Amazonia. As a whole, three taxa are widespread in Amazonia, two are restricted to eastern Amazonia, two to western Amazonia, three to northern Amazonia (either widespread or restriced to parts of the Guiana region), one to southern Amazonia, one to southwestern Amazonia, and three to the southern peripheral portion of Amazonia. Additionally, four species have unique distributions and four species have a distribution that is congruent with one of the areas of endemism recognized for other organisms (birds and primates), of which two occur in the area of endemism of Guiana, one in Inambari, and one in Tapajós.

  16. Catalogue of distribution of lizards (Reptilia: Squamata) from the Brazilian Amazonia. III. Anguidae, Scincidae, Teiidae.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro-Júnior, Marco A; Amaral, Silvana

    2016-12-09

    We present distribution data of all Anguidae, Scincidae, and Teiidae lizards known from the Brazilian Amazonia, totaling 29 species-level taxa, belonging to 14 genera. This represents 11 more species-level taxa than previously reported for these families in this area. Data were based on literature and 46,806 specimens deposited in three North American and eight Brazilian museums, including the main collections harboring Amazonian material. Most species (~55%) are endemic to Amazonia. Except for Ameiva ameiva, that is present in several environments and domains, non-endemic species are either associated with open dry (semideciduous) forest or open vegetation (savanna) enclaves in Amazonia, occupying similar environments outside Amazonia, gallery forests within the Cerrado, or present disjunct populations in the Atlantic Forest. As a whole, six taxa are widespread in Amazonia, four are restricted to eastern Amazonia, four to western Amazonia, three to southwestern Amazonia, one to northern Amazonia, and seven to the southern peripheral portion of Amazonia. Besides, two species present apparently more restricted, unique distributions. Only three species have a distribution that is congruent with one of the areas of endemism (AE) recognized for other organisms (birds and primates), of which two occur in AE Guiana and one in AE Inambari.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-30

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

  1. 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.

  2. A revised key to the lizards of Iran (Reptilia: Squamata: Lacertilia).

    PubMed

    Nasrabadi, Reza; Rastegar-Pouyani, Nasrullah; Rastegar-Pouyani, Eskandar; Gharzi, Ahmad

    2017-02-03

    During recent years several lizard taxa have been added to the faunal list of Iran. Descriptions and new records are scattered in different publications in the herpetological literature. We here present species accounts for 152 species belonging to 43 genera and 10 families up to July 2016. The most diverse family is Lacertidae with 9 genera, 49 species and 2 subspecies, followed by Gekkonidae with 13 genera and 43 species, Agamidae with 5 genera, 18 species and 4 subspecies, Scincidae with 7 genera, 18 species and 2 subspecies, Phyllodactylidae with 1 genus and 10 species, Sphaerodactylidae with 2 genera and 4 species, Varanidae with 1 genus, 3 species and 2 subspecies, Uromastycidae with 2 genera and 3 species, Eublepharidae with 1 genus and 3 species, and Anguidae with 2 genera and 2 species. The current paper provides a dichotomous key including all of the currently recognized lizards of Iran.

  3. Baseline values of immunologic parameters in the lizard Salvator merianae (Teiidae, Squamata)

    PubMed Central

    Mestre, Ana Paula; Amavet, Patricia Susana; Siroski, Pablo Ariel

    2017-01-01

    The genus Salvator is widely distributed throughout South America. In Argentina, the species most abundant widely distributed is Salvator merianae. Particularly in Santa Fe province, the area occupied by populations of these lizards overlaps with areas where agriculture was extended. With the aim of established baseline values for four immunologic biomarkers widely used, 36 tegu lizards were evaluated tacking into account different age classes and both sexes. Total leukocyte counts were not different between age classes. Of the leucocytes count, eosinophils levels were higher in neonates compared with juvenile and adults; nevertheless, the heterophils group was the most prevalent leukocyte in the peripheral blood in all age classes. Lymphocytes, monocytes, heterophils, azurophils and basophils levels did not differ with age. Natural antibodies titres were higher in the adults compared with neonates and juveniles lizards. Lastly, complement system activity was low in neonates compared with juveniles and adults. Statistical analysis within each age group showed that gender was not a factor in the outcomes. Based on the results, we concluded that S. merianae demonstrated age (but not gender) related differences in the immune parameters analyzed. Having established baseline values for these four widely-used immunologic biomarkers, ongoing studies will seek to optimize the use of the S. merianae model in future research. PMID:28652981

  4. Resurrection of Anolis ustus Cope, 1864 from synonymy with Anolis sericeus Hallowell, 1856 (Squamata, Dactyloidae)

    PubMed Central

    Lara-Tufiño, José Daniel; de Oca, Adrián Nieto-Montes; Ramírez-Bautista, Aurelio; Gray, Levi N.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract In this study, based on a morphological analysis, the resurrection of the name Anolis ustus Cope 1864, is proposed for populations from the Yucatán Peninsula (Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo, Mexico, and Belize), formerly referred as Anolis sericeus Hallowell, 1856. Anolis ustus differs from Anolis sericeus by its mean snout-vent length and number of gorgetal scales in males, in tibia length and head width in females, and dorsal and ventral scales for both sexes. In addition, Anolis ustus has a small dewlap of similar size between males and females, whereas in Anolis sericeus males have a dewlap much larger than that of the females. These characteristics allow Anolis ustus to be identified within the Anolis sericeus complex. In this study, a description of the characteristics of the hemipenis is also provided, and its importance in the taxonomy of Anolis is discussed. PMID:27829791

  5. Resurrection of Bronchocela burmana Blanford, 1878 for the Green Crested Lizard (Squamata, Agamidae) of southern Myanmar.

    PubMed

    Zug, George R; Mulcahy, Daniel G; Vindum, Jens V

    2017-01-01

    Recent fieldwork in southern Tanintharyi revealed the presence of a small Green Crested Lizard in the wet evergreen forest. We generated mtDNA sequence data (ND2) that demonstrates that this population's nearest relative is Bronchocela rayaensis Grismer et al., 2015 of Pulau Langkawi, northwestern Peninsular Malaysia and Phuket Island. Morphologically the Burmese Bronchocela shares many features with Bronchocela rayaensis, which potentially would make this recently described Thai-Malay species a synonym of Bronchocela burmana Blanford, 1878; however, we interpret the genetic and morphological differences to reflect evolutionary divergence and recommend the recognition of both species.

  6. Resurrection of Anolis ustus Cope, 1864 from synonymy with Anolis sericeus Hallowell, 1856 (Squamata, Dactyloidae).

    PubMed

    Lara-Tufiño, José Daniel; de Oca, Adrián Nieto-Montes; Ramírez-Bautista, Aurelio; Gray, Levi N

    2016-01-01

    In this study, based on a morphological analysis, the resurrection of the name Anolis ustus Cope 1864, is proposed for populations from the Yucatán Peninsula (Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo, Mexico, and Belize), formerly referred as Anolis sericeus Hallowell, 1856. Anolis ustus differs from Anolis sericeus by its mean snout-vent length and number of gorgetal scales in males, in tibia length and head width in females, and dorsal and ventral scales for both sexes. In addition, Anolis ustus has a small dewlap of similar size between males and females, whereas in Anolis sericeus males have a dewlap much larger than that of the females. These characteristics allow Anolis ustus to be identified within the Anolis sericeus complex. In this study, a description of the characteristics of the hemipenis is also provided, and its importance in the taxonomy of Anolis is discussed.

  7. 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

  8. 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

    2016-05-04

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  15. Comparative morphology of snake (Squamata) endocasts: evidence of phylogenetic and ecological signals.

    PubMed

    Allemand, Rémi; Boistel, Renaud; Daghfous, Gheylen; Blanchet, Zoé; Cornette, Raphaël; Bardet, Nathalie; Vincent, Peggy; Houssaye, Alexandra

    2017-09-28

    Brain endocasts obtained from computed tomography (CT) are now widely used in the field of comparative neuroanatomy. They provide an overview of the morphology of the brain and associated tissues located in the cranial cavity. Through anatomical comparisons between species, insights on the senses, the behavior, and the lifestyle can be gained. Although there are many studies dealing with mammal and bird endocasts, those performed on the brain endocasts of squamates are comparatively rare, thus limiting our understanding of their morphological variability and interpretations. Here, we provide the first comparative study of snake brain endocasts in order to bring new information about the morphology of these structures. Additionally, we test if the snake brain endocast encompasses a phylogenetic and/or an ecological signal. For this purpose, the digital endocasts of 45 snake specimens, including a wide diversity in terms of phylogeny and ecology, were digitized using CT, and compared both qualitatively and quantitatively. Snake endocasts exhibit a great variability. The different methods performed from descriptive characters, linear measurements and the outline curves provided complementary information. All these methods have shown that the shape of the snake brain endocast contains, as in mammals and birds, a phylogenetic signal but also an ecological one. Although phylogenetically related taxa share several similarities between each other, the brain endocast morphology reflects some notable ecological trends: e.g. (i) fossorial species possess both reduced optic tectum and pituitary gland; (ii) both fossorial and marine species have cerebral hemispheres poorly developed laterally; (iii) cerebral hemispheres and optic tectum are more developed in arboreal and terrestrial species. © 2017 Anatomical Society.

  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. 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Molecular phylogenetic relationships among species of the Malagasy-Comoran gecko genus Paroedura (Squamata: Gekkonidae).

    PubMed

    Jackman, Todd R; Bauer, Aaron M; Greenbaum, Eli; Glaw, Frank; Vences, Miguel

    2008-01-01

    We use approximately 3100bp of mitochondrial (ND2, ND4) and nuclear (RAG1, phosducin) DNA sequence data to recover phylogenetic relationships among 14 of the 16 recognized taxa of the lizard genus Paroedura as well as two undescribed forms. These geckos are endemic to Madagascar and the Comores and are popularly kept and bred by herpetoculturalists. The closest relative of Paroedura is another Indian Ocean leaf-toed gecko, Ebenavia. Both Bayesian inference and maximum parsimony strongly support the monophyly of two major clades within Paroedura that conflict with existing species group assignments based on scale characteristics. Our well-resolved tree elucidates a biogeographic pattern in which eastern Paroedura are most basal and western and south-western species form a monophyletic group. Our data demonstrate the phylogenetic utility of phosducin, a novel marker in squamate phylogenetics, at the intrageneric level.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-03

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Pauwels, Olivier S G; Sumontha, Montri

    2016-05-02

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-17

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  12. Microgeographic body size variation in a high elevation Andean anole (Anolis mariarum; Squamata, Polychrotidae).

    PubMed

    Bock, Brian C; Ortega, Angela M; Zapata, Ana María; Páez, Vivian P

    2009-12-01

    Intra-specific body size variation is common and often is assumed to be adaptive. Studies of body size variation among sites should include or consider environmental and ecological variables in their designs. Additionally, reciprocal transplant or common garden studies will support which variables are really contributing to the observed body size variation. This study analyzed the microgeographic body size variation in Anolis mariarum, a small lizard endemic to Antioquia, Colombia. Parameters such as body size, shape, and lepidosis variation were quantified in 217 adult A. mariarum, belonging to six populations separated by less than 80km. Results showed that significant body size variation was not related to differences among sites in mean annual temperature, but covaried with mean annual precipitation, with the largest individuals occurring in dryer sites. Mark-recapture data obtained from 115 individuals from both the wettest and dryest sites from October 2004 to April 2005 showed that growth rates were higher at the latter. Eight males from each site were captured at the end of the mark-recapture study and reared for two months under identical conditions in a common garden study. Individuals from both sites grew faster when reared in the laboratory with food provided ad libitum. Although growth rates of males from the two populations did not differ significantly in the laboratory, males from the dryest site still maintained a significantly larger asymptotic body size in their growth trajectories. Multivariate analyses also demonstrated that both males and females from the six populations differed in terms of body shape and lepidosis. However, only female body size was found to covary significantly with an environmental gradient (precipitation). A. mariarum does not conform to Bergmann's rule, but the relationship found between mean body size and asympotic growth with mean annual precipitation at these sites needs further analysis. Generally, studies of intra-specific body size variation should consider a number of additional phenotypic traits to provide stronger baseline information on the degree of overall divergence among populations, including those likely to be selectively neutral, before interpreting results of analyses on the body size differences.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. Helminths of the Lizard Salvator merianae (Squamata, Teiidae) in the Caatinga, Northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Teixeira, A A M; Brito, S V; Teles, D A; Ribeiro, S C; Araujo-Filho, J A; Lima, V F; Pereira, A M A; Almeida, W O

    2017-01-01

    The lizard Salvator merianae is a widely distributed species in South America, occurring from southern Amazonia to the eastern Andes and northern Patagonia. Studies on the parasitic fauna of this lizard have revealed that it is a host for helminths in various Brazilian biomes. The present work provides new parasitological data on the gastrointestinal nematodes associated with the lizard S. merianae. Sixteen specimens were analyzed from nine different locations in a semi-arid region in northeastern Brazil. Five species of nematodes were identified. Oswaldofilaria petersi was first recorded as a parasite of the S. merianae, thus increasing the knowledge of the fauna of parasites that infect large Neotropical lizards.

  16. 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.

  17. Phylogenetic relationships and limb loss in sub-Saharan African scincine lizards (Squamata: Scincidae).

    PubMed

    Whiting, Alison S; Bauer, Aaron M; Sites, Jack W

    2003-12-01

    Skinks are the largest family of lizards and are found worldwide in a diversity of habitats. One of the larger and more poorly studied groups of skinks includes members of the subfamily Scincinae distributed in sub-Saharan Africa. Sub-Saharan African scincines are one of the many groups of lizards that show limb reduction and loss, and the genus Scelotes offers an excellent opportunity to look at limb loss in a phylogenetic context. Phylogenetic relationships were reconstructed for a total of 52 taxa representing all subfamilies of skinks as well as other Autarchoglossan families using sequence from six gene regions including; 12S, 16S, and cytochrome b (mitochondrial), as well as alpha-Enolase, 18S, and C-mos (nuclear). The family Scincidae is recovered as monophyletic and is the sister taxon to a (Cordylidae+Xantusiidae) clade. Within skinks the subfamily Acontinae is monophyletic and sister group to all remaining skinks. There is no support for the monophyly of the subfamilies Lygosominae and Scincinae, but sub-Saharan African scincines+Feylinia form a well supported monophyletic group. The monophyly of Scelotes is confirmed, and support is found for two geographic groups within the genus. Reconstructions of ancestral states for limb and digital characters show limited support for the reversal or gain of both digits and limbs, but conservative interpretation of the results suggest that limb loss is common, occurring multiple times throughout evolutionary history, and is most likely not reversible.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Two new species of the genus Goniurosaurus (Squamata: Sauria: Eublepharidae) from southern China.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jian-Huan; Chan, Bosco Pui-Lok

    2015-06-26

    Two new species of large geckos in the genus Goniurosaurus are described based on specimens collected from karst areas of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, southern China: Goniurosaurus kadoorieorum sp. nov. and Goniurosaurus kwangsiensis sp. nov. Data on natural history of the new species are provided, as well as discussions on the current conservation status of Goniurosaurus species in southern China. Due to the popularity of this genus as novelty pets, and recurring cases of scientific descriptions driving herpetofauna to near-extinction by commercial collectors, we do not disclose the collecting localities of these restricted-range species in this publication. However, such information has been presented to relevant government agencies, and is available upon request by fellow scientists.

  1. Tertiary climate change and the diversification of the Amazonian gecko genus Gonatodes (Sphaerodactylidae, Squamata).

    PubMed

    Gamble, Tony; Simons, Andrew M; Colli, Guarino R; Vitt, Laurie J

    2008-01-01

    The genus Gonatodes is a monophyletic group of small-bodied, diurnal geckos distributed across northern South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. We used fragments of three nuclear genes (RAG2, ACM4, and c-mos) and one mitochondrial gene (16S) to estimate phylogenetic relationships among Amazonian species of Gonatodes. We used Penalized Likelihood to estimate timing of diversification in the genus. Most cladogenesis occurred in the Oligocene and early Miocene and coincided with a burst of diversification in other South American animal groups including mollusks, birds, and mammals. The Oligocene and early Miocene were periods dominated by dramatic climate change and Andean orogeny and we suggest that these factors drove the burst of cladogenesis in Gonatodes geckos as well as other taxa. A common pattern in Amazonian taxa is a biogeographic split between the eastern and western Amazon basin. We observed two clades with this spatial distribution, although large differences in timing of divergence between the east-west taxon pairs indicate that these divergences were not the result of a common vicariant event.

  2. A new species of Bachia Gray, 1845 (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from the western Brazilian Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Teixeira, Mauro; Dal Vechio, Francisco; Nunes, Pedro M Sales; Mollo Neto, Antonio; Lobo, Luciana Moreira; Storti, Luis Fernando; Junqueira, Renato Augusto; Dias, Pedro Henrique Freire; Rodorigues, Miguel Trefaut

    2013-01-01

    A new species of Bachia of the B. dorbignyi group, Bachia scaea sp. nov., is described from the left bank of the upper Madeira River, at Rondônia state, at the western Brazilian Amazonia. The new species resembles morphologically B. dorbignyi and B. peruana, and seems to be related with the former species based on molecular data (16S and c-mos sequences). Nonetheless the presence of a first temporal separating parietal and supralabial scales and the absence of clawed fingers in the new species, can promptly distinguish it from their close relatives. This description ends with several-decades of stasis in the taxonomy of the Bachia dorbignyi group from Amazonian lowlands, and also presents new evidence that supports the Madeira River as a vicariant barrier.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Phylogeny, biogeography, and display evolution in the tree and brush lizard genus Urosaurus (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae).

    PubMed

    Feldman, Chris R; Flores-Villela, Oscar; Papenfuss, Theodore J

    2011-12-01

    The brush and tree lizards (Urosaurus) are a small clade of phrynosomatid lizards native to western North America. Though not as well known as their diverse sister clade, the spiny lizards (Sceloporus), some Urosaurus have nonetheless become model organisms in integrative biology. In particular, dramatic phenotypic and behavioral differences associated with specific mating strategies have been exploited to address a range of ecological and evolutionary questions. However, only two phylogenies have been proposed for the group, one of which is pre-cladistic and both based principally on morphological characters that might not provide robust support for relationships within the group. To help provide investigators working on Urosaurus with a robust phylogeny in which to frame ecological and evolutionary questions, we establish a molecular phylogeny for the group. We sampled three mitochondrial and three nuclear loci, and estimated phylogenetic relationships within Urosaurus using both maximum parsimony (MP) and Bayesian inference (BI), as well as a coalescent-based species tree approach. Finally, we used two methods of ancestral state reconstruction (ASR) to gain insight into the evolution of microhabitat preference and male display signals, traits that have been the focus of studies on Urosaurus. All reconstruction methods yield nearly the same ingroup topology that is concordant in most respects with the previous cladistic analysis of the group but with some significant differences; our data suggest the primary divergence in Urosaurus occurs between a clade endemic to the Pacific versant of Mexico and the lineages of Baja California and the southwestern US, rather than placing Urosaurus graciosus as the basal taxon and linking the Baja and Mexican endemics. We find support for a single transition to a saxicolous lifestyle within the group, and either the independent gain or loss of arboreality. The evolution of throat color patterns (i.e. dewlaps) appears complex, with multiple color morphs likely involving orange reconstructed as ancestral to the group and to most lineages, followed by a single transition to a fixed blue-throated morph in one clade. These results should provide a useful framework for additional comparative work with Urosaurus, and establish the phylogenetic context in which Urosaurus diversity arose.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-07

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

  9. Elucidating the global elapid (Squamata) richness pattern under metabolic theory of ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braga, Rosana Talita; Oliveira de Grande, Thallita; de Souza Barreto, Bruno; Felizola Diniz-Filho, José Alexandre; Terribile, Levi Carina

    2014-04-01

    Environmental determinants of global patterns in species richness are still uncertain. The Metabolic Theory of Ecology (MTE) proposes that species richness patterns can be explained by environmental temperature acting on the metabolism of ectothermic organisms. However, the generality of this theory has been questioned due to its low fit to the geographic variation in species richness of different taxonomic groups. Here, we investigated whether the MTE drives elapid richness, testing the non-stationarity of the relationship between the natural logarithm of species richness (ln S) and the inverse function of temperature (1/kT) using a geographically weighted regression (GWR). The relationship between ln S and 1/kT varied systematically over space and showed non-stationarity. Few tropical locations were consistent with MTE predictions, whereas other regions fitted differently. Although the slope of the GWR model ranged from low to high, the temperature did not predict species richness strongly on average and did not limit the upper values of richness. The response of richness to temperature in some areas might reflect a recent history of colonization and diversification of species across tropical and subtropical regions. In regions not affected by temperature, species richness should be structured by other biotic and abiotic interactions. This scenario reveals that the non-stationarity of the relationship would be linked to idiosyncrasies in the sample sites, which can drift the magnitude or change the relationship between species richness and temperature throughout space.

  10. A new species of spectacularly coloured flat lizard Platysaurus (Squamata: Cordylidae: Platysaurinae) from southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Whiting, Martin J; Branch, William R; Pepper, Mitzy; Keogh, J Scott

    2015-07-16

    We describe a new species of flat lizard (Platysaurus attenboroughi sp. nov.) from the Richtersveld of the Northern Cape Province of South Africa and the Fish River Canyon region of southern Namibia. This species was formerly confused with P. capensis from the Kamiesberg region of Namaqualand, South Africa. Genetic analysis based on one mtDNA and two nDNA loci found Platysaurus attenboroughi sp. nov. to be genetically divergent from P. capensis and these species can also be differentiated by a number of scalation characters, coloration and their allopatric distributions. To stabilize the taxonomy the type locality of Platysaurus capensis A. Smith 1844 is restricted to the Kamiesberg region, Namaqualand, Northern Cape Province, South Africa.

  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. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Tooth development in a scincid lizard, Chalcides viridanus (Squamata), with particular attention to enamel formation.

    PubMed

    Delgado, Sidney; Davit-Béal, Tiphaine; Allizard, Françoise; Sire, Jean-Yves

    2005-01-01

    Comparative analysis of tooth development in the main vertebrate lineages is needed to determine the various evolutionary routes leading to current dentition in living vertebrates. We have used light, scanning and transmission electron microscopy to study tooth morphology and the main stages of tooth development in the scincid lizard, Chalcides viridanus, viz., from late embryos to 6-year-old specimens of a laboratory-bred colony, and from early initiation stages to complete differentiation and attachment, including resorption and enamel formation. In C. viridanus, all teeth of a jaw have a similar morphology but tooth shape, size and orientation change during ontogeny, with a constant number of tooth positions. Tooth morphology changes from a simple smooth cone in the late embryo to the typical adult aspect of two cusps and several ridges via successive tooth replacement at every position. First-generation teeth are initiated by interaction between the oral epithelium and subjacent mesenchyme. The dental lamina of these teeth directly branches from the basal layer of the oral epithelium. On replacement-tooth initiation, the dental lamina spreads from the enamel organ of the previous tooth. The epithelial cell population, at the dental lamina extremity and near the bone support surface, proliferates and differentiates into the enamel organ, the inner (IDE) and outer dental epithelium being separated by stellate reticulum. IDE differentiates into ameloblasts, which produce enamel matrix components. In the region facing differentiating IDE, mesenchymal cells differentiate into dental papilla and give rise to odontoblasts, which first deposit a layer of predentin matrix. The first elements of the enamel matrix are then synthesised by ameloblasts. Matrix mineralisation starts in the upper region of the tooth (dentin then enamel). Enamel maturation begins once the enamel matrix layer is complete. Concomitantly, dental matrices are deposited towards the base of the dentin cone. Maturation of the enamel matrix progresses from top to base; dentin mineralisation proceeds centripetally from the dentin-enamel junction towards the pulp cavity. Tooth attachment is pleurodont and tooth replacement occurs from the lingual side from which the dentin cone of the functional teeth is resorbed. Resorption starts from a deeper region in adults than in juveniles. Our results lead us to conclude that tooth morphogenesis and differentiation in this lizard are similar to those described for mammalian teeth. However, Tomes' processes and enamel prisms are absent.

  13. A new lizard of the Phymaturus genus (Squamata: Liolaemidae) from Sierra Grande, northeastern Patagonia, Argentina.

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-28

    A new species of lizard of the saxicolous and viviparous genus Phymaturus from Patagonia is described. The new species is a member of the Phymaturus patagonicus species group distributed on volcanic plateaus, mountains or rocky outcrops of southern Argentina. Phymaturus yachanana sp. nov. differs from the other members of the patagonicus group by a dorsal pattern of small and medium-sized white spots on a brown background, the number of scales around the midbody, genetic differences in mitochondrial and nuclear markers, and allopatric geographic distribution in an isolated group of hills. As other species of the group, the new species is viviparous and herbivorous. 

  14. Scanning electron microscopy of the placental interface in the viviparous lizard Sceloporus jarrovi (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae).

    PubMed

    Anderson, Kristie E; Blackburn, Daniel G; Dunlap, Kent D

    2011-04-01

    Placental membranes mediate maternal-fetal exchange in all viviparous reptilian sauropsids. We used scanning electron microscopy to examine the placental interface in the mountain spiny lizard, Sceloporus jarrovi (Phrynosomatidae). From the late limb bud stage until birth, the conceptus is surrounded by placental membranes formed from the chorioallantois and yolk sac omphalopleure. The chorioallantois lies directly apposed to the uterine lining with no intervening shell membrane. Both fetal and maternal sides of the chorioallantoic placenta are lined by continuous layers of flattened epithelial cells that overlie dense capillary networks. The chorioallantoic placenta shows specializations that enhance respiratory exchange, as well as ultrastructural evidence of maternal secretion and fetal absorption. The yolk sac placenta contains enlarged fetal and maternal epithelia with specializations for histotrophic nutrient transfer. This placenta lacks intrinsic vascularity, although the vascular allantois lies against its inner face, contributing to an omphallantoic placenta. In a specialized region at the abembryonic pole, uterine and fetal tissues are separated by a compact mass of shed shell membrane, yolk droplets, and cellular debris. The omphalopleure in this region develops elongate folds that may contribute to sequestration and absorption of this material. Fetal membrane morphogenesis and composition in S. jarrovi are consistent with those of typical squamates. However, this species exhibits unusual placental specializations characteristic of highly placentotrophic lizards. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  15. Interembryonic regions of the uterus of the viviparous lizard Mabuya brachypoda (Squamata: Scincidae).

    PubMed

    Uribe-Aranzábal, Mari Carmen; Hernández-Franyutti, Arlette; Guillette, Louis J

    2006-04-01

    Analysis of the structure and physiology of the uterine incubation chambers of viviparous squamates has provided insight concerning adaptations for gestation. However, the literature addressing the biology of the interembryonic regions of the uterus is very limited, presumably because it has been assumed that this area has little role in the development and support of embryos in viviparous squamates. This study was undertaken to examine the histology of the interembryonic regions of Mabuya brachypoda, a viviparous lizard with microlecithal ova and consequently substantial matrotrophic activity. The incubation chambers are oval, distended zones of the uterus, adjacent to the interembryonic regions. The wall of the interembryonic regions includes: mucosa, formed by a cuboidal or columnar epithelium with ciliated and nonciliated cells, and a lamina propria of vascularized connective tissue containing abundant acinar glands; myometrial smooth muscle consisting of inner circular and outer longitudinal layers; and serosa. The segment of the interembryonic region adjacent to the incubation chamber forms a transitional segment that displays folds of the mucosa that protrude into the uterine lumen. The limit of the incubation chamber is well defined by the long mucosal folds of the transitional segment. Long and thin extensions of extraembryonic membranes are present in the lumen of the transitional segment, outside of the incubation chamber region. The presence of abundant uterine glands and extraembryonic membranes in the interembryonic regions during gestation suggests uterine secretory activity and histotrophic transfer of nutrients to embryos in these regions.

  16. Spatial ecology of the coachwhip, Masticophis flagellum (Squamata: Colubridae), in eastern Texas

    Treesearch

    Richard W. Johnson; Robert R. Fleet; Michael B. Keck; D. Craig Rudolph

    2007-01-01

    We radio-tracked nine Masticophis flagellum (Coachwhips) to determine home range, habitat use, and movements in eastern Texas from April to October 2000. Home ranges of Coachwhips contained more oak savanna macrohabitat than early-successional pine plantation or forested seep, based on the availability of these three macrohabitats in the study area....

  17. Are hemipenial spines related to limb reduction? A spiny discussion focused on gymnophthalmid lizards (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae).

    PubMed

    Sales Nunes, Pedro M; Curcio, Felipe F; Roscito, Juliana G; Rodrigues, Miguel T

    2014-03-01

    Calcified spines in the hemipenial surface occur convergently in several gymnophthalmid lizard species and in advanced snakes. Based on the pronounced degrees of limb reduction in these distantly related lineages, such hemipenial structures were suggested to play a functional role in couple-anchoring during copulation, partly assuming the function of the limbs during mating. Herein, we assessed the hemipenial morphology of virtually all the valid genera of the family Gymnophthalmidae to test for a phylogenetic correlation between limb reduction and the presence of calcified hemipenial spines. The occurrence of calcified structures was mapped on the two most comprehensive phylogenies of the family. We concluded that spiny hemipenes are by no means necessarily associated with reduction of limbs. Conversely, the presence of well-developed hemipenial spines in specific limb-reduced taxa does not allow one to disregard the possibility that in some instances such structures might indeed be functionally associated with couple-anchoring, improving the success of mating.

  18. 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. 

  19. Wound Myiasis due to Musca domestica (Diptera: Muscidae) in Persian Horned Viper, Pseudocerastes persicus (Squamata: Viperidae)

    PubMed Central

    Dehghani, R; Sedaghat, MM; Bidgoli, M Sabahi

    2012-01-01

    A case of myiasis due to Musca domestica describes in Pseudocerastes persicus for the first time. The snake was found in Bari Karafs, Kashan, Iran, with a lesion on its body. Fourteen live larvae of M. domestica removed from its wound. This is the first report of a new larval habitat of M. domestica. PMID:23293783

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-25

    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.

  1. Biogeography and evolution of a widespread Central American lizard species complex: Norops humilis, (Squamata: Dactyloidae).

    PubMed

    Phillips, John G; Deitloff, Jennifer; Guyer, Craig; Huetteman, Sara; Nicholson, Kirsten E

    2015-07-19

    Caribbean anole lizards (Dactyloidae) have frequently been used as models to study questions regarding biogeography and adaptive radiations, but the evolutionary history of Central American anoles (particularly those of the genus Norops) has not been well studied. Previous work has hypothesized a north-to-south dispersal pattern of Central American Norops, but no studies have examined dispersal within any Norops lineages. Here we test two major hypotheses for the dispersal of the N. humilis/quaggulus complex (defined herein, forming a subset within Savage and Guyer's N. humilis group). Specimens of the N. humilis group were collected in Central America, from eastern Mexico to the Canal Zone of Panama. Major nodes were dated for comparison to the geologic history of Central America, and ancestral ranges were estimated for the N. humilis/quaggulus complex to test hypothesized dispersal patterns. These lineages displayed a northward dispersal pattern. We also demonstrate that the N. humilis/quaggulus complex consists of a series of highly differentiated mitochondrial lineages, with more conserved nuclear evolution. The paraphyly of the N. humilis species group is confirmed. A spatial analysis of molecular variance suggests that current populations are genetically distinct from one another, with limited mitochondrial gene flow occurring among sites. The observed south-to-north colonization route within the Norops humilis/quaggulus complex represents the first evidence of a Norops lineage colonizing in a south-to-north pattern, (opposite to the previously held hypothesis for mainland Norops). One previously described taxon (N. quaggulus) was nested within N. humilis, demonstrating the paraphyly of this species; while our analyses also reject the monophyly of the Norops humilis species group (sensu Savage and Guyer), with N. tropidonotus, N. uniformis, and N. marsupialis being distantly related to/highly divergent from the N. humilis/quaggulus complex. Our work sheds light on mainland anole biogeography and past dispersal events, providing a pattern to test against other groups of mainland anoles.

  2. A Phylogenetic, Biogeographic, and Taxonomic study of all Extant Species of Anolis (Squamata; Iguanidae).

    PubMed

    Poe, Steven; Nieto-Montes de Oca, Adrián; Torres-Carvajal, Omar; De Queiroz, Kevin; Velasco, Julián A; Truett, Brad; Gray, Levi N; Ryan, Mason J; Köhler, Gunther; Ayala-Varela, Fernando; Latella, Ian

    2017-09-01

    Anolis lizards (anoles) are textbook study organisms in evolution and ecology. Although several topics in evolutionary biology have been elucidated by the study of anoles, progress in some areas has been hampered by limited phylogenetic information on this group. Here, we present a phylogenetic analysis of all 379 extant species of Anolis, with new phylogenetic data for 139 species including new DNA data for 101 species. We use the resulting estimates as a basis for defining anole clade names under the principles of phylogenetic nomenclature and to examine the biogeographic history of anoles. Our new taxonomic treatment achieves the supposed advantages of recent subdivisions of anoles that employed ranked Linnaean-based nomenclature while avoiding the pitfalls of those approaches regarding artificial constraints imposed by ranks. Our biogeographic analyses demonstrate complexity in the dispersal history of anoles, including multiple crossings of the Isthmus of Panama, two invasions of the Caribbean, single invasions to Jamaica and Cuba, and a single evolutionary dispersal from the Caribbean to the mainland that resulted in substantial anole diversity. Our comprehensive phylogenetic estimate of anoles should prove useful for rigorous testing of many comparative evolutionary hypotheses. [Anoles; biogeography; lizards; Neotropics; phylogeny; taxonomy]. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Society of Systematic Biologists. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Habitat use in eight populations of Sceloporus grammicus (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae) from the Mexican Plateau.

    PubMed

    Leyte-Manrique, A; Hernández-Salinas, U; Ramírez-Bautista, A; Mata-Silva, V; Marshall, J C

    2016-10-13

    Studies on habitat use have often helped explain observed variation in morphology, behavior, and reproductive characteristics among populations within a single species. Here we analyze morphological and ecological characteristics of individuals from the Sceloporus grammicus species complex from seven different localities (El Cerezo: CER, Pachuca: PAC, Huichapan: HUI, Emiliano Zapata: EZA, San Miguel Regla: SMR, La Mojonera: LMJ, and La Manzana: LMZ) in the state of Hidalgo, and one locality (Cahuacán) in the State of México. A canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) showed that females from PAC, EZA, LMZ, HUI, SMR, and CAH populations use similar microhabitats characterized mostly by bare soil; while females from LMJ and CER use microhabitats characterized primarily by vegetation and rocks. Females were observed through twelve different types of perches. With regard to perch height use, the CCA showed that females from PAC, LMJ, LMZ, SMR, CER, and CAH populations were correlated with height to nearest perch (HNP), while the rest of the females were not related to any perch use variable. On the other hand, the CCA showed that males from PAC, LMJ and CAH were characterized by microhabitats with higher vegetal coverage, while males from LMZ and CER used microhabitats composed of bare soil, but males from HUI and SMR populations used microhabitats composed chiefly of bare soil and rocks. With respect to perch height use, the CCA showed that males from PAC, LMJ, EZA, and LMZ were correlated with DNP, but the rest of the males were not correlated with any perch use variables. Males were observed in nine different perch types. Morphologically the males were larger than the females in all morphological variables analyzed. Moreover, in both sexes the SVL is positively correlated with all morphological variables, and although slopes and ordinate of the origin of all morphological variables were larger in males than females, the ANCOVAs indicated that there is no increase in the morphological variables with increasing SVL between sexes. Our results suggest that variation in habitat use and morphology among populations is an adaptive response (phenotypic plasticity) to the environmental conditions where these populations of S. grammicus occur. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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).

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Bone vascular supply in monitor lizards (Squamata: Varanidae): influence of size, growth, and phylogeny.

    PubMed

    de Buffrénil, Vivian; Houssaye, Alexandra; Böhme, Wolfgang

    2008-05-01

    Bone vascular canals occur irregularly in tetrapods; however, the reason why a species has or lacks bone canals remains poorly understood. Basically, this feature could depend on phylogenetic history, or result from diverse causes, especially cortical accretion rate. The Varanidae, a monophyletic clade that includes species with impressive size differences but similar morphologies, is an excellent model for this question. Cortical vascularization was studied in 20 monitor species, on three bones (femur, fibula, and tibia) that differ in their shaft diameters, and in the absolute growth speed of their diaphyseal cortices. In all species smaller than 398 mm SVL (133-397 mm in sample), bone cortices lack vascular canals, whereas all larger species (460-1,170 mm in sample) display canals. The size 398-460 mm SVL is thus a threshold for the appearance of the canals. The distribution of vascular and avascular bone tissues among species does not precisely reflect phylogenetic relationships. When present, vascular canals always occur in the femur and tibia, but are less frequent, sparser, and thinner in the fibula. Vascular density increases linearly with specific size but decreases exponentially during individual growth. In most species, canal orientation varies between individuals and is diverse in a single section. No clear relationship exists between canal orientation and vascular density. These results suggest that: a) the occurrence and density of bone vascular canals are basically dependant on specific size, not phylogenetic relationships; b) vascular density reflects the absolute growth rates of bone cortices; c) the orientation of vascular canals is a variable feature independent of phylogeny or growth rate. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  9. 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.

  10. 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. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. 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.

  12. Examining the utility of categorical models and alleviating artifacts in phylogenetic reconstruction of the Squamata (Reptilia).

    PubMed

    Douglas, D A; Arnason, U

    2009-09-01

    Reconstruction artifacts are a serious hindrance to the elucidation of phylogenetic relationships and a number of methods have been devised to alleviate them. Previous studies have demonstrated a striking disparity in the evolutionary rates of the mitochondrial (mt) genomes of squamate reptiles (lizards, worm lizards and snakes) and the reconstruction artifacts that may arise from this. Here, to examine basal squamate relationships, we have added the mt genome of the blind skink Dibamus novaeguineae to the mitogenomic dataset and applied different models for resolving the squamate tree. Categorical models were found to be less susceptible to artifacts than were the commonly used noncategorical phylogenetic models GTR and mtREV. The application of different treatments to the data showed that the removal of the fastest evolving sites in snakes improved phylogenetic signal in the dataset. Basal divergences remained, nevertheless, poorly resolved. The proportion of both fast-evolving and conserved sites in the squamate mt genomes relative to sites with intermediate rates of evolution suggests rapid early divergences among squamate taxa and at least partly explains the short internal relative to external branches in the squamate tree. Thus, mt and nuclear trees may never reach full agreement because of the short branches characterizing these divergences.

  13. Immunocytological analysis of meiotic recombination in two anole lizards (Squamata, Dactyloidae)

    PubMed Central

    Lisachov, Artem P.; Trifonov, Vladimir A.; Giovannotti, Massimo; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A.; Borodin, Pavel M.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Although the evolutionary importance of meiotic recombination is not disputed, the significance of interspecies differences in the recombination rates and recombination landscapes remains under-appreciated. Recombination rates and distribution of chiasmata have been examined cytologically in many mammalian species, whereas data on other vertebrates are scarce. Immunolocalization of the protein of the synaptonemal complex (SYCP3), centromere proteins and the mismatch-repair protein MLH1 was used, which is associated with the most common type of recombination nodules, to analyze the pattern of meiotic recombination in the male of two species of iguanian lizards, Anolis carolinensis Voigt, 1832 and Deiroptyx coelestinus (Cope, 1862). These species are separated by a relatively long evolutionary history although they retain the ancestral iguanian karyotype. In both species similar and extremely uneven distributions of MLH1 foci along the macrochromosome bivalents were detected: approximately 90% of crossovers were located at the distal 20% of the chromosome arm length. Almost total suppression of recombination in the intermediate and proximal regions of the chromosome arms contradicts the hypothesis that “homogenous recombination” is responsible for the low variation in GC content across the anole genome. It also leads to strong linkage disequilibrium between the genes located in these regions, which may benefit conservation of co-adaptive gene arrays responsible for the ecological adaptations of the anoles.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-13

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

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

    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.

  17. 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. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. New species of Allopharynx (Digenea: Plagiorchiidae) and other helminths in Uranoscodon superciliosus (Squamata: Tropiduridae) from Amazonian Brazil.

    PubMed

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

    2005-12-01

    Allopharynx daileyi n. sp. (Digenea: Plagiorchiidae) from the small intestine of the tropidurid lizard Uranoscodon superciliosus from Amazonian Brazil is described and illustrated. Of the 11 currently recognized species of Allopharynx, we consider Allopharynx megorchis Simha, 1961 a synonym of Allopharynx mehrai (Gogate, 1935) Price 1938 and Allopharynx puertoricensis Acholonu, 1976 a synonym of Allopharynx riopedrensis Garcia-Diaz; thus, A. daileyi becomes the 10th species assigned to the genus. The trematode species Mesocoelium monas and 2 species of Nematoda, Africana chabaudi and Cosmocerca vrcibradici, were also present.

  19. Two new species of Pharyngodonidae (Nematoda: Oxyuroidea) and other nematodes in Agama caudospina (Squamata: Agamidae) from Kenya, Africa.

    PubMed

    Bursey, Charles R; Goldberg, Stephen R

    2005-06-01

    Parapharyngodon kenyaensis n. sp. and Thelandros samburuensis n. sp. (Nematoda: Pharyngodonidae) from the large intestine of the agamid lizard (Agama caudospina) are described and illustrated. Parapharyngodon kenyaensis n. sp. is the 41st species assigned to the genus, and it differs from other species in that genus by possessing 3 pairs of caudal papillae, cloacal lip adornment, and spicules of 112-120 microm in length. Thelandros samburuensis n. sp. is the 31st species assigned to the genus, and it differs from other species in that genus by possessing swollen posterior annulations, 6 caudal papillae, a smooth anterior cloacal lip, and spicules of 43-52 microm in length. In addition to the 2 new nematode species, Abbreviata ortleppi (Nematoda: Physalopteridae) and Strongyluris ornata (Nematoda: Heterakidae) were found.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, John C.; Jowers, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

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

  2. A large and unusually colored new snake species of the genus Tantilla (Squamata; Colubridae) from the Peruvian Andes

    PubMed Central

    Venegas, Pablo J.

    2016-01-01

    A new colubrid species of the genus Tantilla from the dry forest of the northern Peruvian Andes is described on the basis of two specimens, which exhibit a conspicuous sexual dimorphism. Tantilla tjiasmantoi sp. nov. represents the third species of the genus in Peru. The new species is easily distinguished from its congeners by the combination of scalation characteristics and the unusual transversely-banded color pattern on the dorsum. A detailed description of the skull morphology of the new species is given based on micro-computed tomography images. The habitat of this new species is gravely threatened due to human interventions. Conservation efforts are urgently needed in the inter-Andean valley of the Maranon River. PMID:27994975

  3. [Displacements of the green iguana (Iguana iguana) (Squamata: Iguanidae) during the dry season in La Palma, Veracruz, Mexico].

    PubMed

    Morales-Mávil, Jorge E; Vogt, Richard C; Gadsden-Esparza, Héctor

    2007-06-01

    The green iguana (Iguana iguana) is said to be primarily sedentary, although the females travel long distances to nest. Displacement patterns must be known to help predict the effects of environmental disturbance on iguanas' survival. We studied nesting season (February-July) movements in La Palma, Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz, Mexico (18 degrees 33' N, 95 degrees 03' W). Individual movements and activity were monitored by radio tracking. The transmitters were implanted surgically in eight adult iguanas (four males and four females). Snout vent length (SVL) was used to determine the relationship between size of the body and size of home range. To estimate the size of home range, three or more points were used. Minimum convex polygons estimates of home range were calculated with McPAAL. The iguanas were radio-located between 23 and 30 occasions, mainly in trees (56% between 3-9 m); only 4% were localized under a height of 3 m (forest floor). The occupation area mean was larger for males (9,158.06+/-3,025.3 m2 vs. 6,591.24+/-4,001.1 m2) although the differences were not significant (t= 0.51, p>0.05). SVL was correlated with home range (r= 0.76; gl= 7; p<0.05). Breeding males defended their home range vigorously against other adult males. We observed one separate male home range and large portions of overlap between the sexes. The home range generally formed a conglomerate of polygons and only two had linear shapes along the river: apparently iguanas use the riparian vegetation for foraging. The females display two strategies for nesting: 1) moving to the sandy area near the sea or, 2) laying eggs near the river, in loam. Iguanas responded to habitat fragmentation and reduction by modifying their nesting strategy.

  4. 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.

  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. Character congruence and phylogenetic signal in molecular and morphological data sets: a case study in the living Iguanas (Squamata, Iguanidae).

    PubMed

    Sites, J W; Davis, S K; Guerra, T; Iverson, J B; Snell, H L

    1996-10-01

    The lizard family Iguanidae comprises eight living genera distributed throughout the New and Old World, and includes several island endemics. We reconstruct phylogenetic relationships among these genera using 90 previously published morphological characters, to which we add a molecular (mtDNA sequence) data set that includes 742 nucleotides of the ND4 gene and the complete sequences of the histidine, serine, and leucine tRNAs (217 nucleotides). Trees were initially constructed separately from these three data sets, and then tested for significant conflict in topologies that would suggest the influence of different evolutionary processes. The three data sets were then combined, and a single tree was obtained from the total evidence that permitted identification of potential sources of character incongruence. Several additional analyses of the combined data sets were repeated with sequential deletion of successive classes of homoplastic characters, and we show that the same single tree topology is recovered in most cases. However, part of the tree structure collapses when the matrix of combined characters is completely purged of all homoplastic characters. We argue that this extreme results in an unacceptable loss of phylogenetic information, and we present a single phylogenetic hypothesis for all living genera of iguanas. We show that this hypothesis is significantly more parsimonious than either of two previously published trees, and we discuss the evolution and biogeography of the Iguanidae based on the preferred hypothesis.

  7. A new species of Tropidophorus Duméril & Bibron, 1839 (Squamata: Sauria: Scincidae) from Sarawak, East Malaysia (Borneo).

    PubMed

    Pui, Yong Min; Karin, Benjamin R; Bauer, Aaron M; Das, Indraneil

    2017-05-03

    A new species of the genus Tropidophorus is described from Putai, upper Baleh, Kapit districts, Sarawak, East Malaysia (Borneo). Tropidophorus sebi sp. nov. is diagnosable from congeners from Borneo by the combination of the following characters: head shields present, dorsal and lateral scales smooth; parietal scales in two pairs; supraciliaries eight; supraoculars four; supralabials seven; infralabials four; postmental undivided; longitudinal scale rows 58; ventrals 53; transverse scale rows at midbody 34; subcaudals 98; preanals enlarged, single; and subdigital lamellae of Toe IV 19. In addition, we determine the phylogenetic position of this species within the Tropidophorus group based on mitochondrial markers, and present a key to identification of the known Bornean species in the genus.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-09

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. [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.

  13. 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.

  14. Biogeography of the lizard genus Tropidurus Wied-Neuwied, 1825 (Squamata: Tropiduridae): distribution, endemism, and area relationships in South America.

    PubMed

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. Description of a new species of Cnemaspis (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Knuckles Range of Sri Lanka.

    PubMed

    Batuwita, Sudesh; Udugampala, Sampath

    2017-04-12

    A new species of Cnemaspis Strauch is described from Knuckles Range of Sri Lanka. This new species had been previously confused with Cnemaspis podihuna Deraniyagala. Cnemaspis kandambyi sp. nov. closely resembles C. podihuna and C. molligodai Wickramasinghe & Munindradasa. Cnemaspis kandambyi sp. nov. differs from C. podihuna by having 7-8 (versus 3-6) unpored scales in each side of the precloacal-femoral pores row, lacking (versus having) an internasal scale, body (axilla to groin) relatively long 47.7-48.3 (versus 38.1-38.7)% of SVL and dorsum dark brown (versus bright yellow). Cnemaspis kandambyi sp. nov. also distinguished from C. molligodai by having 4 (versus 5) precloacal pores, 5-6 (versus 7-9) femoral pores on each side, precloacal pores not in an inverted V-shaped arrangement (versus in inverted V-shaped arrangement), lacking (versus having) a distinct black marking on nape and a black lateral stripe begins behind eye extends laterally beyond the origin of forearm (versus not extending beyond the origin of forearm). Additionally, Cnemaspis kandambyi sp. nov. and C. molligodai show discrete distribution: former restricted to Knuckles Range and the latter confined to Lowland wet zone of Sri Lanka. We confirm that, no type material of Cnemaspis podihuna survive in the current collection of the National Museum of Sri Lanka.

  17. In the shadows: Phylogenomics and coalescent species delimitation unveil cryptic diversity in a Cerrado endemic lizard (Squamata: Tropidurus).

    PubMed

    Domingos, Fabricius M C B; Colli, Guarino R; Lemmon, Alan; Lemmon, Emily Moriarty; Beheregaray, Luciano B

    2017-02-01

    The recognition of cryptic diversity within geographically widespread species is gradually becoming a trend in the highly speciose Neotropical biomes. The statistical methods to recognise such cryptic lineages are rapidly advancing, but have rarely been applied to genomic-scale datasets. Herein, we used phylogenomic data to investigate phylogenetic history and cryptic diversity within Tropidurus itambere, a lizard endemic to the Cerrado biodiversity hotspot. We applied a series of phylogenetic methods to reconstruct evolutionary relationships and a coalescent Bayesian species delimitation approach (BPP) to clarify species limits. The BPP results suggest that the widespread nominal taxon comprises a complex of 5 highly supported and geographically structured cryptic species. We highlight and discuss the different topological patterns recovered by concatenated and coalescent species tree methods for these closely related lineages. Finally, we suggest that the existence of cryptic lineages in the Cerrado is much more common than traditionally thought, highlighting the value of using NGS data and coalescent techniques to investigate patterns of species diversity.

  18. 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.

  19. Catalogue of distribution of lizards (Reptilia: Squamata) from the Brazilian Amazonia. I. Dactyloidae, Hoplocercidae, Iguanidae, Leiosauridae, Polychrotidae, Tropiduridae.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro-Júnior, Marco A

    2015-07-08

    I present distribution data of all Dactyloidae, Hoplocercidae, Iguanidae, Leiosauridae, Polychrotidae and Tropiduridae lizards known from the Brazilian Amazonia, totaling 40 species-level taxa, belonging to 11 genera. This represents four more species-level taxa than previously reported for these families. Data were based on the direct examination of 41,243 specimens deposited in three North American and eight Brazilian musea, including the main collections harboring Amazonian material. Most species (62.5%) are endemic to the Amazonia; non-endemic species are mainly associated with open dry (semideciduous) forest or open vegetation (savanna) enclaves in Amazonia, with a few exceptions. As a whole, seven taxa are widespread in Amazonia, one is restricted to eastern Amazonia, three to western Amazonia, five to northern Amazonia (either in part of it or widespread in the Guiana region), two to northwestern Amazonia, one to southern Amazonia, nine to southwestern Amazonia, and seven to the southern peripheral portion of Amazonia. Five species have unique distributions and five species have a distribution that is congruent with one of the areas of endemism (AE) recognized for other organisms (birds and primates). The first herpetological gazetteer for the Brazilian Amazonia with about 3,600 georeferenced localities was also produced.

  20. 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.

  1. Arrival and diversification of mabuyine skinks (Squamata: Scincidae) in the Neotropics based on a fossil-calibrated timetree

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Anieli Guirro

    2017-01-01

    Background The evolution of South American Mabuyinae skinks holds significant biogeographic interest because its sister lineage is distributed across the African continent and adjacent islands. Moreover, at least one insular species, Trachylepis atlantica, has independently reached the New World through transoceanic dispersal. To clarify the evolutionary history of both Neotropical lineages, this study aimed to infer an updated timescale using the largest species and gene sampling dataset ever assembled for this group. By extending the analysis to the Scincidae family, we could employ fossil information to estimate mabuyinae divergence times and carried out a formal statistical biogeography analysis. To unveil macroevolutionary patterns, we also inferred diversification rates for this lineage and evaluated whether the colonization of South American continent significantly altered the mode of Mabuyinae evolution. Methods A time-calibrated phylogeny was inferred under the Bayesian framework employing fossil information. This timetree was used to (i) evaluate the historical biogeography of mabuiyines using the statistical approach implemented in BioGeoBEARS; (ii) estimate macroevolutionary diversification rates of the South American Mabuyinae lineages and the patterns of evolution of selected traits, namely, the mode of reproduction, body mass and snout–vent length; (iii) test the hypothesis of differential macroevolutionary patterns in South American lineages in BAMM and GeoSSE; and (iv) re-evaluate the ancestral state of the mode of reproduction of mabuyines. Results Our results corroborated the hypothesis that the occupation of the South American continent by Mabuyinae consisted of two independent dispersion events that occurred between the Oligocene and the Miocene. We found significant differences in speciation rates between the New World and the remaining Mabuyinae clades only in GeoSSE. The influence of phenotypic traits on diversification rates was not supported by any method. Ancestral state reconstruction suggested that the ancestor of South American mabuyine was likely viviparous. Discussion Our analyses further corroborated the existence of a transoceanic connection between Africa and South America in the Eocene/Oligocene period (Atlantogea). Following colonization of the isolated South America and subsequent dispersal through the continent by the ancestral mabuyine stock, we detected no difference in macroevolutionary regimes of New World clades. This finding argued against the ecological opportunity model as an explanation for the diversity of living mabuyines. PMID:28439466

  2. 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

    2015-04-10

    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.

  3. A new species of iguanid lizard, genus Stenocercus (Squamata, Iguania), from the Central Andes in Peru.

    PubMed

    Venegas, Pablo J; Echevarría, Lourdes Y; García-Burneo, Karla; Koch, Claudia

    2016-12-04

    We describe a new species of Stenocercus from the montane forest of the right margin of the Marañón river in the northern portion of the Central Andes in northern Peru (Amazonas and La Libertad departments), at elevations ranging from 2300 to 3035 m. Stenocercus omari sp. nov. differs from other Stenocercus species, with the exception of S. amydrorhytus, S. chrysopygus, S. cupreus, S. johaberfellneri, S. latebrosus, S. melanopygus, S. modestus, S. ornatissimus, S. orientalis, and S. stigmosus, by having granular scales on the posterior surfaces of thighs, a conspicuous antehumeral fold and by lacking a vertebral crest. However, Stenocercus omari sp. nov. is easily distinguished from the aforementioned species, except S. orientalis, by the presence of prominently keeled dorsal head scales. The new species differs from S. orientalis by lacking a prominent oblique neck fold and by having a distinct deep postfemoral mite pocket.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  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.

  8. 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.

  9. A large and unusually colored new snake species of the genus Tantilla (Squamata; Colubridae) from the Peruvian Andes.

    PubMed

    Koch, Claudia; Venegas, Pablo J

    2016-01-01

    A new colubrid species of the genus Tantilla from the dry forest of the northern Peruvian Andes is described on the basis of two specimens, which exhibit a conspicuous sexual dimorphism. Tantilla tjiasmantoi sp. nov. represents the third species of the genus in Peru. The new species is easily distinguished from its congeners by the combination of scalation characteristics and the unusual transversely-banded color pattern on the dorsum. A detailed description of the skull morphology of the new species is given based on micro-computed tomography images. The habitat of this new species is gravely threatened due to human interventions. Conservation efforts are urgently needed in the inter-Andean valley of the Maranon River.

  10. A new color pattern of the Bungarus candidus complex (Squamata: Elapidae) from Vietnam based on morphological and molecular data.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Sang Ngoc; Nguyen, Vu Dang Hoang; Nguyen, Thang Quoc; Le, Ngan Thanh Thi; Nguyen, Luan Thanh; Vo, Ba Dinh; Vindum, Jens V; Murphy, Robert W; Che, Jing; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2017-05-18

    Kraits with black and white bands from Nui Chua National Park, central Vietnam are morphologically similar to the Burmese Krait, Bungarus magnimaculatus, however, analysis of molecular data finds them to be nested within the B. candidus complex.

  11. 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. 

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

    PubMed

    Malonza, Patrick K; Bauer, Aaron M

    2014-04-09

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

    2015-09-22

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Ultrastructure of spermatid development within the testis of the Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake, Pelamis platurus (Squamata: Elapidae).

    PubMed

    Gribbins, Kevin M; Freeborn, Layla R; Sever, David M

    2016-01-01

    Little is known about spermatid development during spermiogenesis in snakes, as there is only one complete study in ophidians, which details the spermatid ultrastructure within the viperid, Agkistrodon piscivorus. Thus, the following study will add to our understanding of the ontogenic steps of spermiogenesis in snakes by examining spermatid maturation in the elapid, Pelamis platurus, which were collected in Costa Rica in 2009. The spermatids of P. platurus share many similar ultrastructural characteristics to that described for other squamates during spermiogenesis. Three notable differences between the spermatids of P. platurus and those of other snakes is a round and shorter epinuclear lucent zone, enlarged caudal nuclear shoulders, and more prominent 3 and 8 peripheral fibers in the principal and endpieces. Also, the midpiece is much longer in P. platurus and is similar to that reported for all snakes studied to date. Other features of chromatin condensation and morphology of the acrosome complex are similar to what has been observed in A. piscivorus and other squamates. Though the spermatids in P. platurus appear to be quite similar to other snakes and lizards studied to date, some differences in subcellular details are still observed. Analysis of developing spermatids in P. platurus and other snakes could reveals morphologically conserved traits between different species along with subtle changes that could help determine phylogenetic relationships once a suitable number of species have been examined for ophidians and other squamates.

  20. 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. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-29

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

  2. Hidden diversity within the lizard genus Liolaemus: Genetic vs morphological divergence in the L. rothi complex (Squamata:Liolaeminae).

    PubMed

    Olave, Melisa; Avila, Luciano J; Sites, Jack W; Morando, Mariana

    2017-02-01

    Currently, Liolaemus is the second most species-rich reptile genus in the world (257 species), and predictions of its real diversity suggest that it may be the most diverse genus. Originally, Liolaemus species were described as widely distributed and morphologically variable taxa, but extensive sampling in previously unexplored geographic areas, coupled with molecular and more extensive morphological studies, have discovered an unexpectedly high number of previously undetected species. Here, we study the level of molecular vs. morphological divergence within the L. rothi complex, combining a total of 14 loci (2 mitochondrial and 12 nuclear loci) for 97 individuals, as well as morphological data (nine morphometric and 15 color pattern variables), that represent all six described species of the L. rothi complex, plus two candidate species. We use the multi-coalescent species delimitation program iBPP and resolve strong differences in molecular divergence; and each species is inferred as an independent lineage supported by high posterior probabilities. However, morphological differences are not that clear, and our modeling of morphological characters suggests differential selection pressures implying some level of morphological stasis. We discuss the role of natural selection on phenotypic traits, which may be an important factor in "hiding" the real diversity of the genus. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  3. 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

  4. Overlap of female reproductive cycles explains shortened interclutch interval in a lizard with invariant clutch size (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Paroedura picta).

    PubMed

    Weiser, Hana; Starostová, Zuzana; Kubička, Lukáš; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2012-01-01

    Variable clutch size is unambiguously an ancestral state in reptiles. Only several lizard lineages have evolved so-called invariant clutch size, where all females lay just one or two eggs per clutch. This mode of reproduction is characteristic for geckos. In some gecko lineages, decreased fecundity in a single clutch is compensated by conspicuous shortening of interclutch intervals. The proximate mechanism of high clutch frequency in these geckos is not known. Here, we document that three subsequently laid clutches develop simultaneously in females of the Madagascar ground gecko (Paroedura picta). The extremely short interclutch intervals in this species-even as short as a week-thus could be attributed to the overlap of female reproductive cycles. Such overlap should be associated with altered female hormonal cycles. Based on measurements of hormonal levels, we suggest that cycles of estradiol and progesterone during reproductive cycles of females in P. picta are largely independent. Thus, in contrast to the presumable ancestral reptile state, higher levels of progesterone do not seem to interfere with vitellogenesis in this species. We discuss potential consequences of this derived mode of reproduction, such as possible simultaneous maternal transfer of nutrients and other yolk components to several subsequent clutches.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    2015-07-31

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

    We describe an unusual squamate fossil from the Green River Formation (Uintan, Eocene) from the Piceance Creek Basin, Colorado, USA. The new specimen, USNM PAL 540708, is a small fossil squamate skin lacking skeletal elements. It is preserved as a part and counterpart in fine-grained limestone. Recovery of a fossil organism's skin (not a shed, but a true skin) is unusual and is most often accompanied by bone preservation. Phylogenetic analysis of a combined morphology (phenotype) and genetic data set reveals that USNM PAL 540708 is a shinisaur and reaffirms that shinisaurs are more closely related to varanids than to Xenosaurus. Shinisaur fossils are very rare, with only three species having been described (Dalinghosaurus longidigitus, Bahndwivici ammoskius, and Merkurosaurus ornatus). Despite differences in the relative size of scales, the new fossil demonstrates that shinisaurs have remained unchanged in the distribution of scales and patterns of scale size during the Cenozoic. This, paired with the osteological similarity between another Green River fossil (Bahndwivici ammoskius) demonstrates considerable overall conservatism within shinisaurs over the past 50 million years. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. 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.

  10. Lizard Wears Shades. A Spectacled Sphenomorphus (Squamata: Scincidae), from the Sacred Forests of Mawphlang, Meghalaya, North-east India.

    PubMed

    Datta-Roy, Aniruddha; Das, Indraneil; Bauer, Aaron M; Tron, Ronald K Lyngdoh; Karanth, Praveen

    2013-01-01

    A new species of lygosomatine scincid lizard is described from the sacred forests of Mawphlang, in Meghalaya, northeastern India. Sphenomorphus apalpebratus sp. nov. possesses a spectacle or brille, an unusual feature within the Scincidae, and a first for the paraphyletic genus Sphenomorphus. The new species is compared with other members of the genus to which it is here assigned, as well as to members of the lygosomatine genera Lipinia and Scincella from mainland India, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and southeast Asia, to which it also bears resemblance. The new taxon is diagnosable in exhibiting the following combination of characters: small body size (SVL to 42.0 mm); moveable eyelids absent; auricular opening scaleless, situated in a shallow depression; dorsal scales show a line of demarcation along posterior edge of ventral pes; midbody scale rows 27-28; longitudinal scale rows between parietals and base of tail 62-64; lamellae under toe IV 8-9; supraoculars five; supralabials 5-6; infralabials 4-5; subcaudals 92; and dorsum golden brown, except at dorsal margin of lateral line, which is lighter, with four faintly spotted lines, two along each side of vertebral row of scales, that extend to tail base. The new species differs from its congeners in the lack of moveable eyelids, a character shared with several distantly related scincid genera.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Does the grass snake (Natrix natrix) (Squamata: Serpentes: Natricinae) fit the amniotes-specific model of myogenesis?

    PubMed

    Lewandowski, Damian; Dubińska-Magiera, Magda; Posyniak, Ewelina; Rupik, Weronika; Daczewska, Małgorzata

    2017-07-01

    In the grass snake (Natrix natrix), the newly developed somites form vesicles that are located on both sides of the neural tube. The walls of the vesicles are composed of tightly connected epithelial cells surrounding the cavity (the somitocoel). Also, in the newly formed somites, the Pax3 protein can be observed in the somite wall cells. Subsequently, the somite splits into three compartments: the sclerotome, dermomyotome (with the dorsomedial [DM] and the ventrolateral [VL] lips) and the myotome. At this stage, the Pax3 protein is detected in both the DM and VL lips of the dermomyotome and in the mononucleated cells of the myotome, whereas the Pax7 protein is observed in the medial part of the dermomyotome and in some of the mononucleated cells of the myotome. The mononucleated cells then become elongated and form myotubes. As myogenesis proceeds, the myotome is filled with multinucleated myotubes accompanied by mononucleated, Pax7-positive cells (satellite cells) that are involved in muscle growth. The Pax3-positive progenitor muscle cells are no longer observed. Moreover, we have observed unique features in the differentiation of the muscles in these snakes. Specifically, our studies have revealed the presence of two classes of muscles in the myotomes. The first class is characterised by fast muscle fibres, with myofibrils equally distributed throughout the sarcoplasm. In the second class, composed of slow muscle fibres, the sarcoplasm is filled with lipid droplets. We assume that their storage could play a crucial role during hibernation in the adult snakes. We suggest that the model of myotomal myogenesis in reptiles, birds and mammals shows the same morphological and molecular character. We therefore believe that the grass snake, in spite of the unique features of its myogenesis, fits into the amniotes-specific model of trunk muscle development.

  14. 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.

  15. Parapharyngodon riojensis n. sp. (Nematoda: Pharyngodonidae) from the lizard Phymaturus punae (Squamata: Iguania: Liolaemidae) from northwestern Argentina.

    PubMed

    Ramallo, Geraldine; Bursey, Charles R; Goldberg, Stephen R

    2002-10-01

    Two hundred and forty-four specimens of Parapharyngodon riojensis n. sp. were found in the large intestines of 2 adult lizards Phymaturus punae collected from Quebrada del Leoncito, Province of La Rioja, Argentina. Parapharyngodon riojensis n. sp. represents the ninth species of the genus from the Neotropical Realm and the first species to be described from Argentina. It can be distinguished from all species of Parapharyngodon on the basis of the morphology of the anterior cloacal lip, the location of the ovary, and geographical distribution. Parapharyngodon riojensis n. sp. is most similar to P. senisfaciecaudus in that the ovary does coil around the esophagus and the number and location of caudal papillae in the males are the same. These 2 species differ in that the eggs of P. senisfaciecaudus are slightly asymmetrical, with a smooth, thin shell, whereas the eggs of P. riojensis are oval, with a punctate thick shell. In addition, the cloacal lip of males of P. senisfaciecaudus is smooth, whereas the cloacal lip of males of P. riojensis is echinate. A key to the species of Parapharyngodon in the Neotropical Realm is provided.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. The role of microhabitat in predation on females with alternative dorsal patterns in a small Costa Rican anole (Squamata: Dactyloidae).

    PubMed

    Paemelaere, Evi A D; Guyer, Craig; Dobson, F Stephen

    2013-06-01

    Predation is one of the major selective agents influencing evolution of color patterns. Cryptic color patterns decrease detection probability by predators, but their concealing function depends on the background against which patterns are seen; therefore, habitat use and color patterns are tightly linked. In many anole species, females exhibit variation in dorsal color patterns; the drab and perhaps cryptic colors of the patterns suggest a predator avoidance function behind this polymorphism. We tested whether these different color patterns experience different predation rates depending on their microhabitat. We expected each pattern to form at least one optimal combination with a typically used micro-habitat that would result in lower predation compared to other morphs in the same micro-habitat. We tested this hypothesis for anoles at La Selva, Costa Rica, using clay models resembling a common species at this site: Norops humilis. The first experiment tested for variation in predation on various substrates. We included leaf litter, live leaves, and two size classes of woody stems, using 44 models for each pattern substrate combination. A second experiment tested effects of perch height (10 and 60cm) and diameter (< 2 cm and > 5 cm), with 50 models for each pattern perch combination. We found differences in predation rates between the morphs depending on their micro-habitat. Specifically, the striped morph had a significant advantage over the others on green leaves. In the second experiment, striped morphs showed significantly lower predation on low than on high perches, irrespective of perch diameter. Reticulated models had an advantage over other morphs on thin stems for the first experiment, where models were placed about 60cm high. Diameter did not have a significant effect on predation for reticulated morphs when height classes were combined. Dotted models did not experience an advantage over the other morphs in any of the treatments. In leaf litter and on thick perches no morph had any advantage over another, and leaf litter predation rates were generally low. These results support a role for predation in maintaining multiple female morphs within small Costa Rican anoles, such as N. humilis.

  18. Off the scale: a new species of fish-scale gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Geckolepis) with exceptionally large scales.

    PubMed

    Scherz, Mark D; Daza, Juan D; Köhler, Jörn; Vences, Miguel; Glaw, Frank

    2017-01-01

    The gecko genus Geckolepis, endemic to Madagascar and the Comoro archipelago, is taxonomically challenging. One reason is its members ability to autotomize a large portion of their scales when grasped or touched, most likely to escape predation. Based on an integrative taxonomic approach including external morphology, morphometrics, genetics, pholidosis, and osteology, we here describe the first new species from this genus in 75 years: Geckolepis megalepissp. nov. from the limestone karst of Ankarana in northern Madagascar. The new species has the largest known body scales of any gecko (both relatively and absolutely), which come off with exceptional ease. We provide a detailed description of the skeleton of the genus Geckolepis based on micro-Computed Tomography (micro-CT) analysis of the new species, the holotype of G. maculata, the recently resurrected G. humbloti, and a specimen belonging to an operational taxonomic unit (OTU) recently suggested to represent G. maculata. Geckolepis is characterized by highly mineralized, imbricated scales, paired frontals, and unfused subolfactory processes of the frontals, among other features. We identify diagnostic characters in the osteology of these geckos that help define our new species and show that the OTU assigned to G. maculata is probably not conspecific with it, leaving the taxonomic identity of this species unclear. We discuss possible reasons for the extremely enlarged scales of G. megalepis in the context of an anti-predator defence mechanism, and the future of Geckolepis taxonomy.

  19. Off the scale: a new species of fish-scale gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Geckolepis) with exceptionally large scales

    PubMed Central

    Daza, Juan D.; Köhler, Jörn; Vences, Miguel; Glaw, Frank

    2017-01-01

    The gecko genus Geckolepis, endemic to Madagascar and the Comoro archipelago, is taxonomically challenging. One reason is its members ability to autotomize a large portion of their scales when grasped or touched, most likely to escape predation. Based on an integrative taxonomic approach including external morphology, morphometrics, genetics, pholidosis, and osteology, we here describe the first new species from this genus in 75 years: Geckolepis megalepis sp. nov. from the limestone karst of Ankarana in northern Madagascar. The new species has the largest known body scales of any gecko (both relatively and absolutely), which come off with exceptional ease. We provide a detailed description of the skeleton of the genus Geckolepis based on micro-Computed Tomography (micro-CT) analysis of the new species, the holotype of G. maculata, the recently resurrected G. humbloti, and a specimen belonging to an operational taxonomic unit (OTU) recently suggested to represent G. maculata. Geckolepis is characterized by highly mineralized, imbricated scales, paired frontals, and unfused subolfactory processes of the frontals, among other features. We identify diagnostic characters in the osteology of these geckos that help define our new species and show that the OTU assigned to G. maculata is probably not conspecific with it, leaving the taxonomic identity of this species unclear. We discuss possible reasons for the extremely enlarged scales of G. megalepis in the context of an anti-predator defence mechanism, and the future of Geckolepis taxonomy. PMID:28194313

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

    PubMed

    Rittmeyer, Eric N; Austin, Christopher C

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Gamble, Tony

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

    The Liolaemus lineomaculatus section is a geographically widely distributed group of lizards from the Patagonian region of southern South America, and includes 18 described species representing the most southerly distributed Liolaemus taxa (the genus includes 228 species and extends from Tierra del Fuego north to south-central Peru). Despite high species diversity, the phylogenetic relationships of this section are unknown. In the present work we sampled all described species in the L. lineomaculatus section as well as currently undescribed candidate species to reconstruct the first complete phylogenetic hypothesis for the clade. Our data set included four anonymous nuclear loci, three nuclear protein-coding loci, and two mitochondrial genes. We compared results obtained with three different phylogenetic methods for the concatenated data set (Maximum Parsimony, Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian Inference) with a coalescent-based species tree approach (BEST), and recovered congruent, strongly-supported topological arrangements across all methods. We identified four main clades within the L. lineomaculatus section: the lineomaculatus, magellanicus, somuncurae, and kingii+archeforus groups, for which we estimated divergence times. We discuss the taxonomic implications of these results and how the future integration of phylogeographic, niche modeling and morphological approaches will allow testing biogeographical hypotheses in this clade. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. A new species of Plestiodon (Squamata: Scincidae) from the Senkaku Group, Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan.

    PubMed

    Kurita, Kazuki; Ota, Hidetoshi; Hikida, Tsutomu

    2017-04-20

    A new scincid lizard, Plestiodon takarai sp. nov., is described from the Senkaku Group, Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan. The Plestiodon lizards in this island group have previously been identified as P. elegans because they all exhibit a patch of enlarged and irregularly arranged scales on the posterior surface of their femurs. However, detailed molecular analyses revealed that the Senkaku population, although closely related to P. elegans and other species in the P. latiscutatus species group, is substantially diverged from all other recognized species. Furthermore, although the Senkaku population largely exhibits the characteristic morphological features of this species group, it can be differentiated from all recognized species by the scutellation and hatchling tail coloration. The biogeographical and conservation implications of these findings are briefly discussed.

  4. The atlas-axis complex in chamaeleonids (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae), with description of a new anatomical structure of the skull.

    PubMed

    Čerňanský, Andrej; Boistel, Renaud; Fernandez, Vincent; Tafforeau, Paul; Nicolas, Le Noir; Herrel, Anthony

    2014-03-01

    The comparative vertebral morphology of different chamaeleonid genera has been generally neglected and some aspects such as the comparative anatomy of the neck region remain poorly known. The atlas and axis of all chamaeleonid genera (Brookesia, Rieppeleon, Archaius, Rhampholeon, Nadzikambia, Bradypodion, Chamaeleo, Calumma, Furcifer, Kinyongia, and Trioceros) are studied here. Considerable morphological differences are revealed. Additionally, some taxa exhibit sexual dimorphism in the atlas and axis. An extremely long, divided posterodorsal process is present in males of the Trioceros johnstoni + Trioceros jacksonii clade. The solid and well-developed morphology of the posterodorsal process in males of this taxon could reflect its competitive behavior-males fight with their horns and attempt to dislodge one another from branches during encounters. An additional area of insertion for the cervical musculature may indicate an incremental cervical musculature mass and cross sectional area that can add extra support and stability to the head and assist during combat involving lateral pushing. This character is not present in females. Heterochronic processes have played a role in the evolution of chamaeleonids, as evidenced in many characters of the atlas-axis complex. A new hypothesis of an anterior shifting of synapophyses of the axis is erected and a new derived anatomical structure of the parietal of Chamaeleo calyptratus is described (the processus parietalis inferior). The presence of the processus parietalis inferior is associated with the evolution of the dorsally elevated parietal crest. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. 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.

  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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-14

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

  8. 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.

  9. The interplay between natural and sexual selection in the evolution of sexual size dimorphism in Sceloporus lizards (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae).

    PubMed

    Jiménez-Arcos, Víctor H; Sanabria-Urbán, Salomón; Cueva Del Castillo, Raúl

    2017-02-01

    Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) evolves because body size is usually related to reproductive success through different pathways in females and males. Female body size is strongly correlated with fecundity, while in males, body size is correlated with mating success. In many lizard species, males are larger than females, whereas in others, females are the larger sex, suggesting that selection on fecundity has been stronger than sexual selection on males. As placental development or egg retention requires more space within the abdominal cavity, it has been suggested that females of viviparous lizards have larger abdomens or body size than their oviparous relatives. Thus, it would be expected that females of viviparous species attain larger sizes than their oviparous relatives, generating more biased patterns of SSD. We test these predictions using lizards of the genus Sceloporus. After controlling for phylogenetic effects, our results confirm a strong relationship between female body size and fecundity, suggesting that selection for higher fecundity has had a main role in the evolution of female body size. However, oviparous and viviparous females exhibit similar sizes and allometric relationships. Even though there is a strong effect of body size on female fecundity, once phylogenetic effects are considered, we find that the slope of male on female body size is significantly larger than one, providing evidence of greater evolutionary divergence of male body size. These results suggest that the relative impact of sexual selection acting on males has been stronger than fecundity selection acting on females within Sceloporus lizards.

  10. Uterine epithelial morphology and progesterone receptors in a mifepristone-treated viviparous lizard Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii (Squamata: Scincidae) during gestation.

    PubMed

    Biazik, Joanna M; Parker, Scott L; Murphy, Christopher R; Thompson, Michael B

    2012-03-01

    Structural and functional changes to the uterus associated with maintenance of pregnancy are controlled primarily by steroid hormones such as progesterone. We tested the hypothesis that progesterone regulates uterine structural changes during pregnancy in the viviparous skink, Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii, by treating pregnant females with the progesterone receptor antagonist mifepristone at different stages of pregnancy. Expression and distribution of progesterone receptor was determined using Western blot and immunohistochemistry. During early pregnancy, mifepristone treatment resulted in altered uterine epithelial cell surface morphology and high embryo mortality, but did not affect females at mid and late stages of pregnancy. Females treated with mifepristone in early pregnancy exhibited abnormal uterine epithelial cell morphology such as lateral blebbing and presence of wide gaps between cells indicating loss of intercellular attachment. Chorioallantoic membranes of the embryo were not affected by mifepristone treatment. Two isoforms (55 kDa and 100 kDa) of progesterone receptor were identified using immunoblots and both isoforms were localized to the nucleus of uterine epithelial cells. The 55 kDa isoform was expressed throughout pregnancy, whereas the 100 kDa isoform was expressed during mid and especially late pregnancy. In P. entrecasteauxii, mifepristone may prevent successful embryo attachment in early pregnancy through its effects on uterine epithelial cells but may have little effect on pregnancy once the maternal-embryo structural relationship is established. © 2011 WILEY PERIODICALS, INC.

  11. Uterine and chorioallantoic angiogenesis and changes in the uterine epithelium during gestation in the viviparous lizard, niveoscincus conventryi (Squamata: Scincidae).

    PubMed

    Ramírez-Pinilla, Martha Patricia; Parker, Scott L; Murphy, Christopher R; Thompson, Michael B

    2012-01-01

    We used immunofluorescent confocal microscopy and scanning electron microscopy to quantify uterine vascularity and to describe uterine surface morphology during gestation in pregnant females of the lecithotrophic lizard Niveoscincus coventryi. As uterine angiogenesis and epithelial cell morphology are thought to be under progesterone control, we studied the effect of a progesterone receptor antagonist (mifepristone) on uterine and chorioallantoic microvasculature and features of the uterine epithelial surfaces. Although intussuceptive angiogenesis was observed in both, uterine and chorioallantoic, vascular beds during gestation, the only significant increases were in the diameters of the uterine vessels. An ellipsoid vessel-dense area grows in the mesometrial hemisphere of the developing conceptus, which parallels the expansion of the allantois to form the chorioallantoic placenta. Uterine surface topography changed during gestation. In particular, uterine blood vessels bulge over the luminal surface to form marked ridges on the uterine embryonic hemisphere, especially during the last stage of pregnancy, and ciliated cells are maintained in the embryonic and abembryonic hemispheres but disappear in both the mesometrial and antimesometrial poles. This distinct regionalization of uterine ridges and ciliated cells in the uterine surface and in the shape of the epithelial component of the chorion might be related to the function of both chorioallantoic and yolk sac placentae during gestation. There was no significant difference between females treated with or without mifepristone, which may be related to the partial function of mifepristone as a progestin antagonist and/or with the function and time of action of progesterone in the uterus during gestation in N. coventryi. Differences in the pattern of angiogenesis and uterine surface morphology during gestation among squamates may be related to the functional diversity of the uterine component of the different placentae and probably reflect its diverse evolutionary history. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Fundamentals of viviparity: comparison of seasonal changes in the uterine epithelium of oviparous and viviparous Lerista bougainvillii (Squamata: Scincidae).

    PubMed

    Adams, Susan M; Biazik, Joanna; Stewart, Rebecca L; Murphy, Christopher R; Thompson, Michael B

    2007-07-01

    Distinct differences in epithelial response between oviparous and viviparous species of skinks led us to investigate morphological differences in the uterus of a species that exhibits bi-modal reproduction and that may indicate specialities for the different requirements of viviparity and oviparity. The uteri of females from oviparous and viviparous populations of the Australian scincid lizard, Lerista bougainvillii, are described in detail to determine whether the occurrence of uterodomes and the plasma membrane transformation, found in other viviparous species but not oviparous species, are indeed features characteristic of viviparity. Oviductal tissue was dissected at three different stages of reproduction from lizards from both populations: 1) vitellogenic, 2) gravid or pregnant, and 3) non-reproductive or quiescent. Tissue was observed using both scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Lerista bougainvillii has a simple placental morphology with simple squamous epithelium. In contrast to mammals and other viviparous skinks, L. bougainvillii does not undergo a plasma membrane transformation, but early signs of placentation in viviparous individuals are indicated by changes in the uterine surface that occur largely after embryonic stage 30. There are no obvious cellular differences between the uteri of oviparous and viviparous L. bougainvillii at the non-reproductive and vitellogenic phase of the reproductive cycle but throughout gestation/gravidity, the cellular differences that could be related to the changing functional requirements with the retention of the viviparous embryo, became apparent. A plasma membrane transformation with ensuing uterodome formation does not occur, which suggests that these more sophisticated changes are a feature of advanced placental development in reptiles.

  13. 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. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. 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. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. 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

    2014-04-02

    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.

  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. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Lack of satellite DNA species-specific homogenization and relationship to chromosomal rearrangements in monitor lizards (Varanidae, Squamata).

    PubMed

    Prakhongcheep, Ornjira; Thapana, Watcharaporn; Suntronpong, Aorarat; Singchat, Worapong; Pattanatanang, Khampee; Phatcharakullawarawat, Rattanin; Muangmai, Narongrit; Peyachoknagul, Surin; Matsubara, Kazumi; Ezaz, Tariq; Srikulnath, Kornsorn

    2017-08-16

    Satellite DNAs (stDNAs) are highly repeated sequences that constitute large portions of any genome. The evolutionary dynamics of stDNA (e.g. copy number, nucleotide sequence, location) can, therefore, provide an insight into genome organization and evolution. We investigated the evolutionary origin of VSAREP stDNA in 17 monitor lizards (seven Asian, five Australian, and five African) at molecular and cytogenetic level. Results revealed that VSAREP is conserved in the genome of Asian and Australian varanids, but not in African varanids, suggesting that these sequences are either differentiated or lost in the African varanids. Phylogenetic and arrangement network analyses revealed the existence of at least four VSAREP subfamilies. The similarity of each sequence unit within the same VSAREP subfamily from different species was higher than those of other VSAREP subfamilies belonging to the same species. Additionally, all VSAREP subfamilies isolated from the three Australian species (Varanus rosenbergi, V. gouldii, and V. acanthurus) were co-localized near the centromeric or pericentromeric regions of the macrochromosomes, except for chromosomes 3 and 4 in each Australian varanid. However, their chromosomal arrangements were different among species. The VSAREP stDNA family lack homogenized species-specific nucleotide positions in varanid lineage. Most VSAREP sequences were shared among varanids within the four VSAREP subfamilies. This suggests that nucleotide substitutions in each varanid species accumulated more slowly than homogenization rates in each VSAREP subfamily, resulting in non-species-specific evolution of stDNA profiles. Moreover, changes in location of VSAREP stDNA in each Australian varanid suggests a correlation with chromosomal rearrangements, leading to karyotypic differences among these species.

  20. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

    2016-06-28

    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.

  3. [A family of short retroposons (Squaml) from squamate reptiles (Reptilia: Squamata): structure, evolution and correlation with phylogeny].

    PubMed

    Kosushkin, S A; Borodulina, O R; Solov'eva, E N; Grechko, V V

    2008-01-01

    We have isolated and characterised sequences of a SINE family specific for squamate reptiles from a genome of lacertid lizard that we called Squam1. Copies are 360-390 bp in length and share a significant similarity with tRNA gene sequence on its 5'-end. This family was also detected by us in DNA of representatives of varanids, iguanids (anolis), gekkonids, and snakes. No signs of it were found in DNA of mammals, birds, amphibians, and crocodiles. Detailed analysis of primary structure of the retroposons obtained by us from genomic libraries or GenBank sequences was carried out. Most taxa possess 2-3 subfamilies of the SINE in their genomes with specific diagnostic features in their primary structure. Individual variability of copies in different families is about 85% and is just slightly lower on the genera level. Comparison of consensus sequences on family level reveals a high degree of structural similarity with a number of specific apomorphic features which makes it a useful marker of phylogeny for this group of reptiles. Snakes do not show specific affinity to varanids when compared to other lizards, as it was suggested earlier.

  4. 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.

  5. Antifungal and Insecticidal Activity from Two Juniperus Essential Oils

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Phylogenomics and species delimitation in the knob-scaled lizards of the genus Xenosaurus (Squamata: Xenosauridae) using ddRADseq data reveal a substantial underestimation of diversity.

    PubMed

    Nieto-Montes de Oca, Adrián; Barley, Anthony J; Meza-Lázaro, Rubi N; García-Vázquez, Uri O; Zamora-Abrego, Joan G; Thomson, Robert C; Leaché, Adam D

    2017-01-01

    Middle American knob-scaled lizards of the genus Xenosaurus are a unique radiation of viviparous species that are generally characterized by a flattened body shape and a crevice-dwelling ecology. Only eight species of Xenosaurus, one of them with five subspecies (X. grandis), have been formally described. However, species limits within Xenosaurus have never been examined using molecular data, and no complete phylogeny of the genus has been published. Here, we used ddRADseq data from all of the described and potentially undescribed taxa of Xenosaurus to investigate species limits, and to obtain a phylogenetic hypothesis for the genus. We analyzed the data using a variety of phylogenetic models, and were able to reconstruct a well-resolved and generally well-supported phylogeny for this group. We found Xenosaurus to be composed of four major, allopatric clades concordant with geography. The first and second clades that branch off the tree are distributed on the Atlantic slopes of the Sierra Madre Oriental and are composed of X. mendozai, X. platyceps, and X. newmanorum, and X. tzacualtipantecus and an undescribed species from Puebla, respectively. The third clade is distributed from the Atlantic slopes of the Mexican Transvolcanic Belt in west-central Veracruz south to the Pacific slopes of the Sierra Madre del Sur in Guerrero and Oaxaca, and is composed of X. g. grandis, X. rectocollaris, X. phalaroanthereon, X. g. agrenon, X. penai, and four undescribed species from Oaxaca. The last clade is composed of the four taxa that are geographically closest to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (X. g. arboreus, X. g. rackhami, X. g. sanmartinensis, and an undescribed species from Oaxaca). We also utilized a variety of molecular species delimitation approaches, including analyses with GMYC, PTP, BPP, and BFD(∗), which suggested that species diversity in Xenosaurus is at least 30% higher than currently estimated. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. 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

    2016-06-28

    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.

  11. 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

  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 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

  14. Revision of the phylogeny and chorology of the tribe Iphisini with the revalidation of Colobosaura kraepelini Werner, 1910 (Reptilia, Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae)

    PubMed Central

    Cacciali, Pier; Martínez, Nicolás; Köhler, Gunther

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The family Gymnophthalmidae contains nearly 235 species with a distribution range from southern Mexico to central Argentina as well as in the Antilles. Among gymnophthalmids, the genus Colobosaura is a member of the tribe Iphisini, and currently is considered monotypic (C. modesta). The diversity of the tribe was studied recently, with the erection of several new genera. In this work genetic and morphological data of specimens of Colobosaura recently collected in Paraguay were analyzed. Genetic (16S barcode) data indicate that these samples are not conspecific with C. modesta and they are allocated to the nominal species C. kraepelini. Because the original primary type of the latter taxon is considered to be lost, a neotype (SMF 101370) is designated for this species and a redescription provided based on our material. Colobosaura kraepelini is distributed in the Humid Chaco, being the only member of the whole tribe in this ecoregion. PMID:28769654

  15. Nuclear markers support the mitochondrial phylogeny of Vipera ursinii-renardi complex (Squamata: Viperidae) and species status for the Greek meadow viper.

    PubMed

    Mizsei, Edvárd; Jablonski, Daniel; Roussos, Stephanos A; Dimaki, Maria; Ioannidis, Yannis; Nilson, Göran; Nagy, Zoltán T

    2017-01-31

    Meadow vipers (Vipera ursinii-renardi complex) are small-bodied snakes that live in either lowland grasslands or montane subalpine-alpine meadows spanning a distribution from France to western China. This complex has previously been the focus of several taxonomic studies which were based mainly on morphological, allozyme or immunological characters and did not clearly resolve the relationships between the various taxa. Recent mitochondrial DNA analyses found unexpected relationships within the complex which had taxonomical consequences for the detected lineages. The most surprising was the basal phylogenetic position of Vipera ursinii graeca, a taxon described almost 30 years ago from the mountains of Greece. We present here new analyses of three nuclear markers (BDNF, NT3, PRLR; a first for studies of meadow and steppe vipers) as well as analyses of newly obtained mitochondrial DNA sequences (CYT B, ND4).Our Bayesian analyses of nuclear sequences are concordant with previous studies of mitochondrial DNA, in that the phylogenetic position of the graeca clade is a clearly distinguished and distinct lineage separated from all other taxa in the complex. These phylogenetic results are also supported by a distinct morphology, ecology and isolated distribution of this unique taxon. Based on several data sets and an integrative species concept we recommend to elevate this taxon to species level: Vipera graeca Nilson & Andrén, 1988 stat. nov.

  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. 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.

  18. Sampling strategies for delimiting species: genes, individuals, and populations in the Liolaemus elongatus-kriegi complex (Squamata: Liolaemidae) in Andean-Patagonian South America.

    PubMed

    Morando, Mariana; Avila, Luciano J; Sites, Jack W

    2003-04-01

    Recovery of evolutionary history and delimiting species boundaries in widely distributed, poorly known groups requires extensive geographic sampling, but sampling regimes are difficult to design a priori because evolutionary diversity is often "hidden" by inadequate taxonomy. Large data sets are needed, and these provide unique challenges for analysis when they span intra- and interspecific levels of divergence. However, protocols have been designed to combine methods of analysis for DNA sequences that exhibit both very shallow and relatively deeper divergences. In this study, we combined several tree-based phylogeny reconstruction methods with nested-clade analysis to extract maximum historical signal at various levels in the poorly known Liolaemus elongatus-kriegi lizard complex in temperate South America. We implemented a recently descrirbed tree-based protocol for DNA sequences to test for species boundaries, and we propose modifications to accommodate large data sets and gene regions with heterogeneous substitution rates. Combining haplotype trees with nested-clade analyses allowed testing of species boundaries on the basis of a priori defined criteria. The results obtained suggest that the number of putative species in the L. elongatus-kriegi complex could be doubled. We discuss these findings in the context of the advantages and limitations of a combined approach for retrieval of maximum historical information in large data sets and with reference to the yet formidable unresolved issues of sampling strategies.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  20. 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

    2016-03-22

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. Three new karst-dwelling Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Squamata; Gekkoniade) from Peninsular Thailand and the phylogenetic placement of C. punctatonuchalis and C. vandeventeri.

    PubMed

    Wood, Perry Lee; Grismer, L Lee; Aowphol, Anchalee; Aguilar, César A; Cota, Micheal; Grismer, Marta S; Murdoch, Matthew L; Sites, Jack W

    2017-01-01

    Three new species of Rock Geckos Cnemaspis lineogularis sp. nov., C. phangngaensis sp. nov., and C. thachanaensis sp. nov. of the chanthaburiensis and siamensis groups are described from the Thai portion of the Thai-Malay Peninsula. These new species are distinguished from all other species in their two respective groups based on a unique combination of morphological characteristics, which is further supported by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 gene (ND2). Cnemaspis lineogularis sp. nov. is differentiated from all other species in the chanthaburiensis group by having a smaller maximum SVL 38 mm, 13 paravertebral tubercles, enlarged femoral scales, no caudal bands, and a 19.5-23.0% pairwise sequence divergence (ND2). Cnemaspis phangngaensis sp. nov. is differentiated from all other species in the siamensis group by having the unique combination of 10 infralabial scales, four continuous pore-bearing precloacal scales, paravertebral tubercles linearly arranged, lacking tubercles on the lower flanks, having ventrolateral caudal tubercles anteriorly present, caudal tubercles restricted to a single paraveterbral row on each side, a single median row of keeled subcaudals, and a 8.8-25.2% pairwise sequence divergence (ND2). Cnemaspis thachanaensis sp. nov. is distinguished from all other species in the siamensis group by having 10 or 11 supralabial scales 9-11 infralabial scales, paravertebral tubercles linearly arranged, ventrolateral caudal tubercles anteriorly, caudal tubercles restricted to a single paravertebral row on each side, a single median row of keeled subcaudal scales, lacking a single enlarged subcaudal scale row, lacking postcloaclal tubercles in males, the presence of an enlarged submetatarsal scale at the base if the 1st toe, and a 13.4-28.8% pairwise sequence divergence (ND2). The new phylogenetic analyses place C. punctatonuchalis and C. vandeventeri in the siamensis group with C. punctatonuchalis as the sister species to C. huaseesom and C. vandeventeri as the sister species to C. siamensis, corroborating previous hypotheses based on morphology. The discovery of three new karst-dwelling endemics brings the total number of nominal Thai Cnemaspis species to 15 and underscores the need for continued field research in poorly known areas of the Thai-Malay Peninsula, especially those that are threatened and often overlooked as biodiversity hot spots.

  3. 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

  4. Taxonomic revision of the Australian arid zone lizards Gehyra variegata and G. montium (Squamata, Gekkonidae) with description of three new species.

    PubMed

    Hutchinson, Mark N; Sistrom, Mark J; Donnellan, Stephen C; Hutchinson, Rhonda G

    2014-06-09

    The taxonomy of central Australian populations of geckos of the genus Gehyra has been uncertain since chromosomal studies carried out in the 1970s and 1980s revealed considerable heterogeneity and apparently independent patterns of morphological and karyotypic diversity. Following detailed molecular genetic studies, species boundaries in this complex have become clearer and we here re-set the boundaries of the three named species involved, G. variegata (Duméril & Bibron, 1836), G. montium Storr, 1982, and G. nana King, 1982, and describe three new species. Two of the new species, G. moritzi and G. pulingka, include populations formerly assigned to either G. montium or G. nana Storr, 1982, while the third, G. versicolor, includes all of the eastern Australian populations formerly assigned to G. variegata.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-01

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

  6. 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. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  7. Skull osteology of the Eocene amphisbaenian Spathorhynchus fossorium (Reptilia, Squamata) suggests convergent evolution and reversals of fossorial adaptations in worm lizards.

    PubMed

    Müller, Johannes; Hipsley, Christy A; Maisano, Jessica A

    2016-11-01

    The fossorial amphisbaenians, or worm lizards, are characterized by a suite of specialized characters in the skull and postcranium, however fossil evidence suggests that at least some of these shared derived traits evolved convergently. Unfortunately the lack of detailed knowledge of many fossil taxa has rendered a more precise interpretation difficult. Here we describe the cranial anatomy of the oldest-known well-preserved amphisbaenian, Spathorhynchus fossorium, from the Eocene Green River Formation, Wyoming, USA, using high-resolution X-ray computed tomography (HRXCT). This taxon possesses one of the most strongly reinforced crania known among amphisbaenians, with many dermal bones overlapping each other internally. In contrast to modern taxa, S. fossorium has a paired orbitosphenoid, lacks a true compound bone in the mandible, and possesses a fully enclosed orbital rim. The last feature represents a highly derived structure in that the jugal establishes contact with the frontal internally, reinforcing the posterior orbital margin. S. fossorium also possesses a strongly modified Vidian canal with a previously unknown connection to the ventral surface of the parabasisphenoid. Comparison with the closely related fossil taxon Dyticonastis rensbergeri reveals that these derived traits are also shared by the latter species and potentially represent synapopmorphies of an extinct Paleogene clade of amphisbaenians. The presence of a reinforced orbital rim suggests selection against the loss of a functional eye and indicates an ecology potentially different from modern taxa. Given the currently accepted phylogenetic position of Spathorhynchus and Dyticonastis, we predict that supposedly 'unique' cranial traits traditionally linked to fossoriality such as a fused orbitosphenoid and the reduction of the eye show a more complex character history than previously assumed, including both parallel evolution and reversals to superficially primitive conditions. © 2016 Anatomical Society.

  8. 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

  9. 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. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. 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. 

  11. 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.

  12. Molecular phylogeny, species limits, and biogeography of the Brazilian endemic lizard genus Enyalius (Squamata: Leiosauridae): an example of the historical relationship between Atlantic Forests and Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut; Bertolotto, Carolina Elena Viña; Amaro, Renata Cecília; Yonenaga-Yassuda, Yatiyo; Freire, Eliza Maria Xavier; Pellegrino, Katia Cristina Machado

    2014-12-01

    The endemic Brazilian Enyalius encompasses a diverse group of forest lizards with most species restricted to the Atlantic Forest (AF). Their taxonomy is problematic due to extensive variation in color pattern and external morphology. We present the first phylogenetic hypothesis for the genus based on 2102 bp of the mtDNA (cyt-b, ND4, and 16S) and nuclear (c-mos) regions, uncovering all previously admitted taxa (9 spp). Different methods of tree reconstruction were explored with Urostrophus vautieri, Anisolepis grilli and A. longicauda as outgroups. The monophyly of Enyalius and its split into two deeply divergent clades (late Oligocene and early Miocene) is strongly supported. Clade A assembles most lineages restricted to south and southeastern Brazil, and within it Enyalius brasiliensis is polyphyletic; herein full species status of E. brasiliensis and E. boulengeri is resurrected. Clade B unites the Amazonian E. leechii as sister-group to a major clade containing E. bilineatus as sister-group to all remaining species from northeastern Brazil. We detected unrecognized diversity in several populations suggesting putative species. Biogeographical analyses indicate that Enyalius keeps fidelity to shadowed forests, with few cases of dispersal into open regions. Ancient dispersal into the Amazon from an AF ancestor may have occurred through northeastern Brazil.

  13. 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

    2015-08-18

    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.

  14. 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

    2013-12-04

    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. 

  15. How does a viviparous semifossorial lizard reproduce? Ophiodes intermedius (Squamata: Anguidae) from subtropical climate in the Wet Chaco region of Argentina.

    PubMed

    Ortiz, Martín A; Boretto, Jorgelina M; Ibargüengoytía, Nora R

    2017-01-16

    The best predictors of reproductive patterns are commonly associated with climate factors, but evolutionary history also plays an important role. The semifossorial and viviparous lizard Ophiodes intermedius from the Wet Chaco region of Argentina showed an annual cycle with asynchrony between males and females and an unusual pattern for subtropical climates, with vitellogenesis beginning in autumn, ovulation and copulation in spring, and births occurring in summer. Males exhibited annual variation of testicular size associated with spermatogenic activity, reaching their maximum gonadal activity in late summer (March), but sperm storage in the epididymis and/or deferent duct occurred throughout the year. Females showed an extended reproductive cycle beginning in mid-autumn (May) with vitellogenesis and finishing with births from late spring to mid-summer (December to February). Litter size varied from 4 to 9 offspring. Females reached sexual maturity at a larger snout-vent length and, overall, showed greater body size than males, while males exhibited larger heads than females. Fat body cycles indicated that females use lipid reserves to support vitellogenesis and embryo development, while males allocate lipid resources to the search for females, courtship and copulation rather than to gametogenesis. Ophiodes intermedius differed from other species of the genus in litter size, gestation period, timing of birth and the minimum size at sexual maturity, probably as a result of the influence of ecological, historical and phylogenetic factors.

  16. A new species of lizard Placosoma Tschudi, 1847 (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from the relictual forest mountains of the State of Ceará, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Borges-Nojosa, Diva Maria; Caramaschi, Ulisses; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut

    2016-09-19

    A new species of Placosoma Tschudi, 1847, until now restricted to the Atlantic Forest areas of southeastern Brazil is        described based on specimens obtained about 1700 km north to the current distribution of the genus. Placosoma limaverdorum spec. nov. is apparently endemic to three "brejos-de-altitude", relictual forest mountains surrounded by dry Caatingas, in the State of Ceará, northeastern Brazil. It differs from their congeners by the presence of an undivided transparent palpebral disk, a divided nasal scale with a central nostril, a deep tympanic recess, a distinctive and thin light vertebral stripe on the dorsal surface of the head, body and tail, femoral pores present only in males (21-26), preanal pores absent and additionally by having 21-24 rows of transverse ventral scales, 34-38 dorsals, dorsal, lateral and ventral scales smooth, dorsal scales quadrangular, longer than wide, except in the neck region, where they are wider than long.

  17. Back from the dead! Resurrection and revalidation of the Indian endemic snake genus Wallophis Werner, 1929 (Squamata: Colubridae) insights from molecular data.

    PubMed

    Mirza, Zeeshan A; Patel, Harshil

    2017-01-27

    The monotypic colubrid snake genus Wallophis is revalidated and rediagnosed. Partial sequence for nuclear gene Oocyte maturation factor Mos (c-mos), mitochondrial Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide dehydrogenase subunit 4 (ND4) and cytochrome b (cyt b) were used to assess phylogenetic relationship. Wallophis brachyura type species for the genus was found to be a member of the Western Palearctic clade of Colubrinae and is recovered as a sister taxa to Wallaceophis gujaratensis. Wallophis differs from Wallaceophis in an uncorrected pairwise p-distance of 17% for mitochondrial ND4 gene. Wallaceophis gujaratensis was described in three different spellings in the literature hence we here propose Wallaceophis gujaratensis as the correct spelling for the species based on provisions in the article 24.2.3. of the International Code for Zoological Nomenclature.

  18. 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

    2016-01-07

    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.

  19. A ZZ/ZW sex chromosome system in the thick-tailed Gecko ( Underwoodisaurus milii; Squamata: Gekkota: Carphodactylidae), a member of the ancient gecko lineage.

    PubMed

    Pokorná, M; Rens, W; Rovatsos, M; Kratochvíl, L

    2014-01-01

    Geckos (Gekkota) are a highly diversified group of lizards with an exceptional diversity in sex-determining systems. Despite this intriguing documented variability, data on sex determination in many lineages is still scarce. Here, we document the previously overlooked heteromorphic ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes in the thick-tailed gecko, Underwoodisaurus milii, a member of the ancient lineage of pygopodoid geckos. The finding of female heterogamety within pygopodoid geckos was unexpected, as until now only male heterogamety and environmental sex determination have been reported in this group, and female heterogamety was known only in distantly related gecko families separated from the pygopodoid geckos around 150 million years ago. The W chromosome in U. milii is highly heterochromatic and contains a large number of telomeric-like repeats comparable to around 50% of all telomeric-like sequences present in male genomes. The accumulation of these repeats might have been responsible for the considerable size expansion of the W chromosome in comparison to the Z chromosome. The heteromorphic ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes with accumulated telomeric-like repeats in the thick-tailed geckos further illustrate the exceptional diversity of sex-determining systems in geckos and add important information to our understanding of the evolution and phylogeny of sex-determining systems in reptiles.

  20. 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

  1. 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. 

  2. 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

    Carranza, Salvador; Simó-Riudalbas, Marc; Jayasinghe, Sithum; Wilms, Thomas; Els, Johannes

    2016-01-01

    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. 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. 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. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Differentiation of sex chromosomes and karyotypic evolution in the eye-lid geckos (Squamata: Gekkota: Eublepharidae), a group with different modes of sex determination.

    PubMed

    Pokorná, Martina; Rábová, Marie; Ráb, Petr; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Rens, Willem; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2010-11-01

    The eyelid geckos (family Eublepharidae) include both species with temperature-dependent sex determination and species where genotypic sex determination (GSD) was suggested based on the observation of equal sex ratios at several incubation temperatures. In this study, we present data on karyotypes and chromosomal characteristics in 12 species (Aeluroscalabotes felinus, Coleonyx brevis, Coleonyx elegans, Coleonyx variegatus, Eublepharis angramainyu, Eublepharis macularius, Goniurosaurus araneus, Goniurosaurus lichtenfelderi, Goniurosaurus luii, Goniurosaurus splendens, Hemitheconyx caudicinctus, and Holodactylus africanus) covering all genera of the family, and search for the presence of heteromorphic sex chromosomes. Phylogenetic mapping of chromosomal changes showed a long evolutionary stasis of karyotypes with all acrocentric chromosomes followed by numerous chromosomal rearrangements in the ancestors of two lineages. We have found heteromorphic sex chromosomes in only one species, which suggests that sex chromosomes in most GSD species of the eyelid geckos are not morphologically differentiated. The sexual difference in karyotype was detected only in C. elegans which has a multiple sex chromosome system (X(1)X(2)Y). The metacentric Y chromosome evolved most likely via centric fusion of two acrocentric chromosomes involving loss of interstitial telomeric sequences. We conclude that the eyelid geckos exhibit diversity in sex determination ranging from the absence of any sexual differences to heteromorphic sex chromosomes, which makes them an interesting system for exploring the evolutionary origin of sexually dimorphic genomes.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. [The first case of Ophionyssus natricis (Gervais, 1844) on a sea snake (Natrix tessellata, Laurente 1768) (Reptilia: Squamata: Colubridae) in Turkey].

    PubMed

    Dik, Bilal

    2012-01-01

    This study was carried out to increase information about Ophionyssus natricis (Gervais, 1844) detected on the sea snake (Natrix tessellata). The mite individuals collected from the cage of a sea snake were brought to our laboratory by the owner of the snake. They werepreserved in 70% alcohol, and then the mites were mounted on slides in Canada balsam, after making them transparent in lacto phenol for a few days. They were identified to species in respect of their morphological characters under the light microscope. A total of nine mite individuals were collected from the cage of a sea snake, and all of them were identified as Ophionyssus natricis as the result of microscopical examination. Ophionyssus natricis was recorded from the sea snake for the first time in Turkey. knowledge about this mite is provided in this paper.

  9. A new small bent-toed gecko of the genus Cyrtodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the lower slopes of Mount Tambora, Sumbawa Island, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Riyanto, Awal; Mulyadi, Mulyadi; McGuire, Jimmy A; Kusrini, Mirza D; Febylasmia, Febylasmia; Basyir, Irfan Haidar; Kaiser, Hinrich

    2017-03-13

    We describe the sixth species of bent-toed gecko from the Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia. This species was first collected on the banks of the Oi Marai River on the low northern slopes of Gunung (Mount) Tambora on Sumbawa Island. The new species is differentiated from Greater Sunda Islands (including Sulawesi) and Lesser Sunda Islands congeners by having the following unique combination of characters: (1) two scales between the second pair of postmentals in contact with the first pair; (2) dorsal surface of antebrachium tuberculate; (3) no tubercles on dorsal surface of brachium; (4) dorsal surfaces of thigh and crus tuberculate; (5) 18 irregularly aligned, longitudinal rows of keeled tubercles at midbody; (6) 26-27 paravertebral tubercles; (7) 40 ventral scales between indistinct ventrolateral folds; (8) 16-17 fourth-toe subdigital scales; (9) a continuous enlarged precloacal and femoral scales present, with the enlarged femoral scales arranged in three rows; (10) males with five to six precloacal pores, with four larger pores situated in a short groove; (11) femoral pores absent in both sexes; (12) lack of transversely enlarged subcaudal scales; and (13) 7-9 irregular, paired black blotches on the body.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. A new species of the genus Eremias Fitzinger, 1834 (Squamata: Lacertidae) from Central Iran, supported by mtDNA sequences and morphology.

    PubMed

    Rastegar-Pouyani, Eskandar; Hosseinian, Saeed; Rafiee, Soolmaz; Kami, Haji Gholi; Rajabizadeh, Mehdi; Wink, Michael

    2016-06-29

    A new species of the lacertid genus Eremias Fitzinger, 1834 is described from northwest of Isfahan province, Central Iran. Two mitochondrial genes (cyt b and 12S DNA) were sequenced and analyzed as reliable molecular markers for the separation of this newly discovered species from closely related species within the genus Eremias: E. velox, E. persica, E. papenfussi, E. lalezharica, E. montana, E. strauchi, E. kopetdaghica and E. suphani. Genetic distances (K2-p) between any of these species with the newly described species are relatively high (27.5-32.8% for cyt b and 5.2-10.4% for 12S DNA). Phylogenetic analyses (MP, ML and BI) generated trees with very similar topologies. According to molecular and morphological data, Eremias isfahanica sp. nov. belongs to the subgenus Aspidorhinus, and is closely related to E. papenfussi. Because several new Eremias species have recently been described from the Iranian Plateau, we additionally provide an updated identification key.

  13. Three new karst-dwelling Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Squamata; Gekkoniade) from Peninsular Thailand and the phylogenetic placement of C. punctatonuchalis and C. vandeventeri

    PubMed Central

    Grismer, L. Lee; Aowphol, Anchalee; Aguilar, César A.; Cota, Micheal; Grismer, Marta S.; Murdoch, Matthew L.; Sites Jr, Jack W.

    2017-01-01

    Three new species of Rock Geckos Cnemaspis lineogularis sp. nov., C. phangngaensis sp. nov., and C. thachanaensis sp. nov. of the chanthaburiensis and siamensis groups are described from the Thai portion of the Thai-Malay Peninsula. These new species are distinguished from all other species in their two respective groups based on a unique combination of morphological characteristics, which is further supported by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 gene (ND2). Cnemaspis lineogularis sp. nov. is differentiated from all other species in the chanthaburiensis group by having a smaller maximum SVL 38 mm, 13 paravertebral tubercles, enlarged femoral scales, no caudal bands, and a 19.5–23.0% pairwise sequence divergence (ND2). Cnemaspis phangngaensis sp. nov. is differentiated from all other species in the siamensis group by having the unique combination of 10 infralabial scales, four continuous pore-bearing precloacal scales, paravertebral tubercles linearly arranged, lacking tubercles on the lower flanks, having ventrolateral caudal tubercles anteriorly present, caudal tubercles restricted to a single paraveterbral row on each side, a single median row of keeled subcaudals, and a 8.8–25.2% pairwise sequence divergence (ND2). Cnemaspis thachanaensis sp. nov. is distinguished from all other species in the siamensis group by having 10 or 11 supralabial scales 9–11 infralabial scales, paravertebral tubercles linearly arranged, ventrolateral caudal tubercles anteriorly, caudal tubercles restricted to a single paravertebral row on each side, a single median row of keeled subcaudal scales, lacking a single enlarged subcaudal scale row, lacking postcloaclal tubercles in males, the presence of an enlarged submetatarsal scale at the base if the 1st toe, and a 13.4–28.8% pairwise sequence divergence (ND2). The new phylogenetic analyses place C. punctatonuchalis and C. vandeventeri in the siamensis group with C. punctatonuchalis as the sister species to C. huaseesom and C. vandeventeri as the sister species to C. siamensis, corroborating previous hypotheses based on morphology. The discovery of three new karst-dwelling endemics brings the total number of nominal Thai Cnemaspis species to 15 and underscores the need for continued field research in poorly known areas of the Thai-Malay Peninsula, especially those that are threatened and often overlooked as biodiversity hot spots. PMID:28149678

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  16. Karyotypic analysis and FISH mapping of microsatellite motifs reveal highly differentiated XX/XY sex chromosomes in the pink-tailed worm-lizard (Aprasia parapulchella, Pygopodidae, Squamata)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The infraorder Gekkota is intriguing because it contains multiple chromosomal and environmental sex determination systems that vary even among closely related taxa. Here, we compare male and females karyotypes of the pink-tailed worm-lizard (Aprasia parapulchella), a small legless lizard belonging to the endemic Australian family Pygopodidae. Results We applied comparative genomic hybridization to reveal an XX/XY sex chromosome system in which the Y chromosome is highly differentiated from the X in both gross morphology and DNA sequence. In addition, FISH mapping has revealed that two microsatellite repeat motifs, (AGAT)n and (AC)n, have been amplified multiple times on the Y chromosome. Conclusion XY karyotypes are found in other pygopodids (Delma inornata and Lialis burtonis), suggesting that the common ancestor of Pygopodidae also had XY sex chromosomes. However, the morphology and size of the Y chromosomes are different among the three species, suggesting that the processes underlying the evolution of sex chromosomes in the Pygopodidae involved chromosome rearrangements and accumulation and amplification of repeats. PMID:24344753

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Revision of the phylogeny and chorology of the tribe Iphisini with the revalidation of Colobosaura kraepelini Werner, 1910 (Reptilia, Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae).

    PubMed

    Cacciali, Pier; Martínez, Nicolás; Köhler, Gunther

    2017-01-01

    The family Gymnophthalmidae contains nearly 235 species with a distribution range from southern Mexico to central Argentina as well as in the Antilles. Among gymnophthalmids, the genus Colobosaura is a member of the tribe Iphisini, and currently is considered monotypic (C. modesta). The diversity of the tribe was studied recently, with the erection of several new genera. In this work genetic and morphological data of specimens of Colobosaura recently collected in Paraguay were analyzed. Genetic (16S barcode) data indicate that these samples are not conspecific with C. modesta and they are allocated to the nominal species C. kraepelini. Because the original primary type of the latter taxon is considered to be lost, a neotype (SMF 101370) is designated for this species and a redescription provided based on our material. Colobosaura kraepelini is distributed in the Humid Chaco, being the only member of the whole tribe in this ecoregion.

  1. 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

    2016-05-10

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-19

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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Agarwal, Ishan; Karanth, K Praveen

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Conservation assessments in climate change scenarios: spatial perspectives for present and future in two Pristidactylus (Squamata: Leiosauridae) lizards from Argentina.

    PubMed

    Minoli, Ignacio; Avila, Luciano Javier

    2017-02-26

    The consequences of global climate change can already be seen in many physical and biological systems and these effects could change the distribution of suitable areas for a wide variety of organisms to the middle of this century. We analyzed the current habitat use and we projected the suitable area of present conditions into the geographical space of future scenarios (2050), to assess and quantify whether future climate change would affect the distribution and size of suitable environments in two Pristidactylus lizard species. Comparing the habitat use and future forecasts of the two studied species, P. achalensis showed a more restricted use of available resource units (RUs) and a moderate reduction of the potential future area. On the contrary, P. nigroiugulus uses more available RUs and has a considerable area decrease for both future scenarios. These results suggest that both species have a moderately different trend towards reducing available area of suitable habitats, the persistent localities for both 2050 CO2 concentration models, and in the available RUs used. We discussed the relation between size and use of the current habitat, changes in future projections along with the protected areas from present-future and the usefulness of these results in conservation plans. This work illustrates how ectothermic organisms might have to face major changes in their availability suitable areas as a consequence of the effect of future climate change.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    2016-03-04

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. A new species of Bachia Gray, 1845 (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from the Eastern Brazilian Cerrado, and data on its ecology, physiology and behavior.

    PubMed

    Teixeira, Mauro; Recoder, Renato Sousa; Camacho, Agustín; De Sena, Marco Aurélio; Navas, Carlos Arturo; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut

    2013-02-19

    A new species of Bachia of the bresslaui group, Bachia geralista sp. nov., is described from Planalto dos Gerais, an old and partially dissected plateau extending along the Cerrados of Bahia, Minas Gerais and Tocantins states, Brazil. The new species is morphologically similar to B. bresslaui, with which it has been confused; however head scalation resembles other species from sandy spots within the Cerrado (B. psamophila and B. oxyrhina). Like in B. psamophila and B. oxyrhina, the shovel-shaped snout of the new species is highly prominent, a typical trait of psammophilous habits in other gymnophthalmids. The examination of specimens of B. bresslaui from several populations within the Cerrado revealed great variation among localities, leading to the reidentification of a specimen from Utiariti, Mato Grosso, previously referred to in the literature as the second record of B. bresslaui, as the recently described B. didactyla, suggesting that cryptic diversity might remain still undiscovered within this genus in the Cerrado. Despite occurring in a relatively open Cerrado, thermal physiology of Bachia geralista sp. nov. restricts its occurrence to shaded microhabitats within this habitat.

  10. A molecular phylogeny of the lizard genus Phymaturus (Squamata, Liolaemini): implications for species diversity and historical biogeography of southern South America.

    PubMed

    Morando, Mariana; Avila, Luciano J; Perez, Cristian H F; Hawkins, Monty A; Sites, Jack W

    2013-03-01

    The lizard genus Phymaturus is widely distributed in Argentina and along the eastern edge of Chile between 25° and 45° south. We sampled 27 of the 38 currently recognized species plus 22 candidate species using two mitochondrial genes (cytb and 12S), four protein coding nuclear genes and seven anonymous nuclear loci, and present the first comprehensive molecular phylogenetic hypothesis for the clade. We recovered two large clades (the palluma or northern group and patagonicus or southern group) previously recognized on the basis of morphological and mitochondrial sequence evidence, and compared results obtained from concatenated-gene analyses with results of a coalescent-based species-tree approach (BEST). With both methods we identified four main clades within the palluma group (mallimaccii, roigorum, verdugo, and vociferator) and five main clades within the patagonicus group (calcogaster, indistinctus, payuniae, somuncurensis, and spurcus). We found several instances of non-monophyly with cytb and cases of incongruence between mitochondrial vs nuclear data for which we discuss alternative hypotheses. Although with lower support values, combined BEST results are more congruent with concatenated nuclear data than with combined concatenated analyses, suggesting that BEST is less influenced by demographic processes than combined concatenated analyses. We discuss the taxonomic, biogeographic and conservation implications of these results and how the future integration of phylogeographic and morphological approaches will allow the further testing of demographic and biogeographic hypotheses. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. The complete mitochondrial genome of the subspecies, Phrynocephalus erythrurus parva (Reptilia, Squamata, Agamidae), a toad-headed lizard dwell at highest elevations of any reptile in the world.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Liufang; Liao, Pinghu; Tong, Haojie; Jin, Yuanting

    2016-01-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome was sequenced from the toad-headed viviparous lizard subspecies, Phrynocephalus erythrurus parva, which occupies the highest regions of any reptile on the earth. The mitogenome sequence was 16,431 bp in size, with the overall base composition of H-strand is T: 26.06%, C: 25.14%, A: 36.45%, G: 12.35%. It consists of 13 protein coding, 22 tRNA, 2 rRNA genes and 3 control regions, and its gene order and gene content were identical with the published congeneric mitogenomes of other Phrynocephalus, except for the small protion between tRNA-Pro and tRNA-Phe.

  12. 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. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Microanatomical and histological features in the long bones of Mosasaurine mosasaurs (Reptilia, Squamata)--implications for aquatic adaptation and growth rates.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    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. 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. 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.

  14. Molecular phylogeny, biogeography and insights into the origin of parthenogenesis in the Neotropical genus Leposoma (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae): Ancient links between the Atlantic Forest and Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Pellegrino, Katia C M; Rodrigues, Miguel T; Harris, D James; Yonenaga-Yassuda, Yatiyo; Sites, Jack W

    2011-11-01

    Leposoma is a conspicuous component of leaf litter herpetofauna of South and Central American rainforests. The 15 bisexual and one parthenogenetic species are allocated to the parietale and scincoides groups based on morphology. Phylogenetic analyses of 1830 bp (mtDNA+nuclear) were performed on 63 specimens of four species from Amazonian and Panamanian rainforests, and six species and one undescribed form from the Atlantic Forest. Different methods of tree reconstruction were explored, with Anotosaura vanzolinia and Colobosauroides cearensis as outgroups. The monophyly of the parietale and scincoides groups is strongly supported. Contrary to previous hypotheses suggesting a recent contact between Atlantic and Amazon forests, our estimates point to an initial split in Miocene. The position of Leposoma baturitensis, endemic to relictual forests in the semiarid Caatingas northeastern Brazil, and its divergence from the remaining species of the Atlantic Forest, suggests an ancient isolation with no indication of a secondary contact with forests of the eastern coast. Our data do not permit unambiguous assignment of parental species of the unisexual Leposoma percarinatum or the mechanism involved in the origin of parthenogenesis, but revealed two highly divergent diploid and triploid lineages within L. percarinatum, indicating that the unisexuals represent a species complex.

  15. 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

    2015-01-06

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. The Nile monitor (Varanus niloticus; Squamata: Varanidae) as a sentinel species for lead and cadmium contamination in sub-Saharan wetlands.

    PubMed

    Ciliberti, Alexandre; Berny, Philippe; Delignette-Muller, Marie-Laure; de Buffrénil, Vivian

    2011-10-15

    Wetland pollution is a matter of concern in sub-Saharan Africa. Though regularly exploited, the Nile monitor (Varanus niloticus), a large amphibious lizard, is not threatened. This work aims at assessing the value of this varanid as a sentinel species in surveys of environmental contamination by metals. Lead and cadmium quantifications were performed by graphite furnace-atomic absorption spectrophotometry in bone, intestine, kidney, liver and muscle in 71 monitors from three unevenly polluted sites in Mali and Niger, plus a reference site. The effects of sex, size and fat reserves as well as factors related to the sampling strategy (tissue sampled, sampling site) were studied with a mixed linear model. Metal contamination is moderate at the four sites but clear differences nevertheless occur. Lead levels are generally maximal in bone, with a gender-independent median value 320ng.g(-1). Median cadmium concentrations never exceed 70.2ng.g(-1) in females (kidney) and 57.5ng.g(-1) in males (intestine). Such levels should have no detrimental effects on the monitors. Lead and cadmium levels in muscles are generally below 200 and 20ng.g(-1), respectively, and should provoke no health hazard to occasional consumers of monitor meat. Metal organotropisms are consistent with those observed in other studies about Squamates: for lead: bone>[kidney, intestine, liver]>muscle in males and [bone, kidney]>[intestine, liver]>muscle in females; for cadmium: [liver, intestine, kidney]>[bone, muscle] for both genders. Females are more contaminated, especially in their kidneys. In this tissue, median values in ng.g(-1) are 129.7 and 344.0 for lead and 43.0 and 70.2 for cadmium, for males and females, respectively. Nile monitors can reveal subtle differences in local pollution by metals; moreover, the spatial resolution of the pollution indication that they give seems to be very sharp. The practical relevance of this new tool is thus validated. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Rickettsia sp. closely related to Rickettsia raoultii (Rickettsiales: Rickettsiaceae) in an Amblyomma helvolum (Acarina: Ixodidae) tick from a Varanus salvator (Squamata: Varanidae) in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Doornbos, Kathryn; Sumrandee, Chalao; Ruang-Areerate, Toon; Baimai, Visut; Trinachartvanit, Wachareeporn; Ahantarig, Arunee

    2013-01-01

    An engorged female Amblyomma helvolum Koch tick was removed from an adult Varanus salvator Laurenti lizard during field collection in Thailand. After using polymerase chain reaction to amplify three genes (16S rDNA, gltA, and OmpA), we discovered the presence of a Rickettsia sp. of the Spotted Fever Group. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that this Rickettsia sp. is closely related to Rickettsia raoultii Mediannikov. Therefore, we report herein for the first time the detection of a novel Spotted Fever Group Rickettsia in an Amblyomma helvolum from a Varanus salvator in Thailand.

  1. Molecular and morphological assessment of Varanus pilbarensis (Squamata: Varanidae), with a description of a new species from the southern Pilbara, Western Australia.

    PubMed

    Maryan, Brad; Oliver, Paul M; Fitch, Alison J; O'Connell, Morgan

    2014-02-25

    Varanus pilbarensis Storr, 1980 is a specialised saxicolous varanid endemic to the Pilbara region of Western Australia. We present genetic and morphological evidence confirming the existence of a divergent southern lineage, here described as V. hamersleyensis sp. nov.. The new species differs noticeably in having a darker colouration and a reduced pattern of small whitish ocelli on the dorsal surface of the limbs only with a largely unbanded tail. By contrast, V. pilbarensis which is redescribed and restricted to the northern lineage, is paler and more boldly patterned with large greyish ocelli on the dorsal and lateral surfaces of the body and a strongly banded tail. The two species have discrete distributions centred on the Chichester and Hamersley Ranges to the north and south of the Fortescue River Basin. This pattern of intraregional genetic structuring is similar to that found in a number of other saxicolous lizard lineages from the Pilbara.

  2. 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

  3. Complete mitochondrial genome of the desert toad-headed agama, Phrynocephalus przewalskii (Reptilia, Squamata, Agamidae), a novel gene organization in vertebrate mtDNA.

    PubMed

    Li, Donghai; Song, Sen; Chen, Tao; Zhang, Caihong; Chang, Cheng

    2015-01-01

    The mitogenome of the desert toad-headed agama, Phrynocephalus przewalskii, was amplified using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), long-and-accurate PCR and directly sequenced by primer walking. The complete mitogenome was 16,892 bp in size and contained 13 protein-coding, 23 tRNA, and 2 rRNA genes, and 1 control region. The mitogenome of the P. przewalskii was similar to those of other Phrynocephalus sand lizards in gene arrangement and composition, except that tRNA-Phe and tRNA-Pro were exchanged and tRNA-Phe had two copies. The control region comprised three parts, one between tRNA-Thr and tRNA-Phe, a second between the two tRNA-Phe copies, and a third between tRNA-Pro and 12S RNA. The overall nucleotide composition of the H-strand was 36.3% A, 26.7% T, 12.5% G, 24.6% C. The complete mitogenome of P. przewalskii will contribute to understanding the evolution of the genus Phrynocephalus and the family Agamidae.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  5. Comparative skull anatomy of terrestrial and crevice-dwelling Trachylepis skinks (Squamata: Scincidae) with a survey of resources in scincid cranial osteology

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, Aaron M.

    2017-01-01

    Skinks account for more than 25% of all lizard species; however, representatives of fewer than a quarter of all species have been characterized osteologically. All but a few of the available cranial descriptions concentrate solely on characters that can be seen externally on the intact skull. Mabuyid skinks of the genus Trachylepis are the dominant, fully limbed skinks in Sub-Saharan Africa, and nearly all species have the same generalized body plan. Although a few rock crevice-dwelling species possess slight body depression, extreme dorsoventral depression is observed only in Trachylepis laevis. We investigated the detailed skull anatomy of three Trachylepis skinks (T. laevis, T. sulcata, and T. gonwouoi, a recently described species allied to T. affinis) using high-resolution X-ray micro-computed tomography. Our goals were to review the scincid cranial osteology literature in a phylogenetic context, provide a detailed anatomical atlas for the mabuyid lineage, and investigate the morphological adaptations of the highly modified T. laevis. Our results demonstrate that there is significant morphological variation between these three taxa, including the loss and fusion of structures, as well as changes in the shape, scale, and relationship between individual elements. Trachylepis laevis possesses several osteological modifications that have produced a reducton in head depth that are likely functional consequences of extreme rupicolous habits, including a flat skull roof, many strongly recumbent elements, and a depressed neurocranium.We hypothesize these modifications may correspond to descreased bite force and increased capabilities of cranial kinesis. Our study is the first element-by-element description of a skink using computed tomography technology. PMID:28902864

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Kordis, Dusan; Gubensek, Franc

    1998-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  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.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Ceríaco, Luis M P

    2015-06-18

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

    2014-09-19

    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. 

  15. A lost species or the loss of stripes? The case of Contomastix lizards from Cabo Polonio, Uruguay, with observations on C. lacertoides (Duméril & Bibron) and Cnemidophorus grandensis Cope (Squamata, Teiidae).

    PubMed

    Borteiro, Claudio; Kolenc, Francisco; Prigioni, Carlos; Lyra, Mariana L; Baldo, Diego

    2013-01-01

    The main goal of this manuscript is the reevaluation of the taxonomic status of the teiid lizard Contomastix charrua, known only from Cabo Polonio, a small coastal rocky outcrop in southeastern Uruguay. This species was erected on the basis of the presence of a second pair of ceratobranchials and longer cornua in the hyoid bone, in addition to a reduced expression of the pattern of coloration as compared with C. lacertoides. Nevertheless, we found that both species have indistinguishable hyoid morphology, bearing C. lacertoides a noticeable second pair of ceratobranchials. Besides, we realized that the pattern of coloration in this species is more variable than previously considered. As a result of the present work, C. charrua is included in the synonymy of C. lacertoides. In addition, we provide some observations on the holotype of Cnemidophorus grandensis, a junior synonym of C. lacertoides.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

    2014-06-17

    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. 

  20. Taxonomic analysis of Paraguayan samples of Homonota fasciata Duméril & Bibron (1836) with the revalidation of Homonota horrida Burmeister (1861) (Reptilia: Squamata: Phyllodactylidae) and the description of a new species

    PubMed Central

    Morando, Mariana; Medina, Cintia D.; Köhler, Gunther; Motte, Martha; Avila, Luciano J.

    2017-01-01

    Homonota is a Neotropical genus of nocturnal lizards characterized by the following combination of characters: absence of femoral pores, infradigital lamellae not dilated, claws without sheath, inferior lamellae laterally not denticulate, and presence of a ceratobranchial groove. Currently the genus is composed of 10 species assembled in three groups: two groups with four species, and the fasciata group with only two species. Here, we analyzed genetic and morphologic data of samples of Homonota fasciata from Paraguay; according to Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian inference analyses, the Paraguay population represents an undescribed species. Additionally, morphological analysis of the holotype of H. fasciata (MNHN 6756) shows that it is morphologically different from the banded, large-scaled Homonota commonly referred to as “H. fasciata”. Given the inconsistency between morphological characters of the name-bearing type of H. fasciata and the species commonly referred to as H. fasciata, we consider them as different taxa. Thus, H. fasciata is a species inquirenda which needs further studies, and we resurrect the name H. horrida for the banded, large-scaled Homonota. The undescribed species from Paraguay is similar to H. horrida, but can be differentiated by the high position of the auditory meatus relative to the mouth commissure (vs. low position in H. horrida); and less developed tubercles on the sides of the head, including a narrow area between the orbit and the auditory meatus covered with small granular scales with or without few tubercles (vs. several big tubercles on the sides of the head even in the area between the orbit and the auditory meatus). The new species is distributed in the Dry Chaco in South America. With the formal description of this species, the actual diversity of the genus Homonota is increased to 12 species. Furthermore, we infer phylogenetic relationships for 11 of the 12 described species of the genus, based on 11 molecular markers (two mitochondrial and nine nuclear genes), with concatenated and species tree approaches. PMID:28828231

  1. Taxonomic analysis of Paraguayan samples of Homonota fasciata Duméril & Bibron (1836) with the revalidation of Homonota horrida Burmeister (1861) (Reptilia: Squamata: Phyllodactylidae) and the description of a new species.

    PubMed

    Cacciali, Pier; Morando, Mariana; Medina, Cintia D; Köhler, Gunther; Motte, Martha; Avila, Luciano J

    2017-01-01

    Homonota is a Neotropical genus of nocturnal lizards characterized by the following combination of characters: absence of femoral pores, infradigital lamellae not dilated, claws without sheath, inferior lamellae laterally not denticulate, and presence of a ceratobranchial groove. Currently the genus is composed of 10 species assembled in three groups: two groups with four species, and the fasciata group with only two species. Here, we analyzed genetic and morphologic data of samples of Homonota fasciata from Paraguay; according to Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian inference analyses, the Paraguay population represents an undescribed species. Additionally, morphological analysis of the holotype of H. fasciata (MNHN 6756) shows that it is morphologically different from the banded, large-scaled Homonota commonly referred to as "H. fasciata". Given the inconsistency between morphological characters of the name-bearing type of H. fasciata and the species commonly referred to as H. fasciata, we consider them as different taxa. Thus, H. fasciata is a species inquirenda which needs further studies, and we resurrect the name H. horrida for the banded, large-scaled Homonota. The undescribed species from Paraguay is similar to H. horrida, but can be differentiated by the high position of the auditory meatus relative to the mouth commissure (vs. low position in H. horrida); and less developed tubercles on the sides of the head, including a narrow area between the orbit and the auditory meatus covered with small granular scales with or without few tubercles (vs. several big tubercles on the sides of the head even in the area between the orbit and the auditory meatus). The new species is distributed in the Dry Chaco in South America. With the formal description of this species, the actual diversity of the genus Homonota is increased to 12 species. Furthermore, we infer phylogenetic relationships for 11 of the 12 described species of the genus, based on 11 molecular markers (two mitochondrial and nine nuclear genes), with concatenated and species tree approaches.

  2. Mixed-Up Sex Chromosomes: Identification of Sex Chromosomes in the X1X1X2X2/X1X2Y System of the Legless Lizards of the Genus Lialis (Squamata: Gekkota: Pygopodidae).

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Geckos in general show extensive variability in sex determining systems, but only male heterogamety has been demonstrated in the members of their legless family Pygopodidae. In the pioneering study published more than 45 years ago, multiple sex chromosomes of the type X1X1X2X2/X1X2Y were described in Burton's legless lizard (Lialisburtonis) based on conventional cytogenetic techniques. We conducted cytogenetic analyses including comparative genomic hybridization and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with selected cytogenetic markers in this species and the previously cytogenetically unstudied Papua snake lizard (Lialis jicari) to better understand the nature of these sex chromosomes and their differentiation. Both species possess male heterogamety with an X1X1X2X2/X1X2Y sex chromosome system; however, the Y and one of the X chromosomes are not small chromosomes as previously reported in L. burtonis, but the largest macrochromosomal pair in the karyotype. The Y chromosomes in both species have large heterochromatic blocks with extensive accumulations of GATA and AC microsatellite motifs. FISH with telomeric probe revealed an exclusively terminal position of telomeric sequences in L. jicari (2n = 42 chromosomes in females), but extensive interstitial signals, potentially remnants of chromosomal fusions, in L.burtonis (2n = 34 in females). Our study shows that even largely differentiated and heteromorphic sex chromosomes might be misidentified by conventional cytogenetic analyses and that the application of more sensitive cytogenetic techniques for the identification of sex chromosomes is beneficial even in the classical examples of multiple sex chromosomes.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    2016-03-15

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. [Genomic structure and sex determination in squamate reptiles].

    PubMed

    Kichigin, I G; Trifonov, V A

    2013-01-01

    Squamata is the largest reptilian order including snakes and lizards which occupies a key position in phylogeny of amniotes. A variety of sex determination modes in lizards is one of the most interesting parts of the biology of this order. These mechanisms are genomic sex determination (both XY and ZW systems) and temperature-dependent sex determination. Studies of squamata sex chromosomes are pivotal for understanding evolution of other vertebrate sex chromosomes. Unfortunately, this clade has long been neglected by molecular geneticists. In this paper, we describe recent data on molecular cytogenetics and genomics of squamates, evolution of their sex chromosomes and sex determination mechanisms.

  8. Sesamoid bones in tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) investigated with X-ray microtomography, and implications for sesamoid evolution in Lepidosauria.

    PubMed

    Regnault, Sophie; Hutchinson, John R; Jones, Marc E H

    2017-01-01

    Sesamoids bones are small intra-tendinous (or ligamentous) ossifications found near joints and are often variable between individuals. Related bones, lunulae, are found within the menisci of certain joints. Several studies have described sesamoids and lunulae in lizards and their close relatives (Squamata) as potentially useful characters in phylogenetic analysis, but their status in the extant outgroup to Squamata, tuatara (Sphenodon), remains unclear. Sphenodon is the only living rhynchocephalian, but museum specimens are valuable and difficult to replace. Here, we use non-destructive X-ray microtomography to investigate the distribution of sesamoids and lunulae in 19 Sphenodon specimens and trace the evolution of these bones in Lepidosauria (Rhynchocephalia + Squamata). We find adult Sphenodon to possess a sesamoid and lunula complement different from any known squamate, but also some variation within Sphenodon specimens. The penultimate phalangeal sesamoids and tibial lunula appear to mineralize prior to skeletal maturity, followed by mineralization of a sesamoid between metatarsal I and the astragalocalcaneum (MTI-AC), the palmar sesamoids, and tibiofemoral lunulae around attainment of skeletal maturity. The tibial patella, ulnar, and plantar sesamoids mineralize late in maturity or variably. Ancestral state reconstruction indicates that the ulnar patella and tibiofemoral lunulae are synapomophies of Squamata, and the palmar sesamoid, tibial patella, tibial lunula, and MTI-AC may be synapomorphies of Lepidosauria. J. Morphol. 278:62-72, 2017. ©© 2016 Wiley Periodicals,Inc. © 2016 The Authors Journal of Morphology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Predicting habitat suitability for wildlife in southeastern Arizona using Geographic Information Systems: scaled quail, a case study

    Treesearch

    Kirby D. Bristow; Susan R. Boe; Richard A. Ockenfels

    2005-01-01

    Studies have used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to evaluate habitat suitability for wildlife on a landscape scale, yet few have established the accuracy of these models. Based on documented habitat selection patterns of scaled quail (Callipepla squamata pallida), we produced GIS covers for several habitat parameters to create a map of...

  10. Gambel and scaled quail diets on the Santa Rita Experimental Range

    Treesearch

    Alvin L. Medina

    2003-01-01

    Diets of Gambel (Lophortyx gambelii Gambel) and scaled quail (Callipepla squamata Vigors) from 1982 to 1984 were examined on the Santa Rita Experimental Range in southern Arizona. Quail selected some foods yearlong and others on a seasonal basis, but exhibited a preference for the seeds and leaves of forbs and insects. Seeds of bristlegrasses were selected primarily...

  11. 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.

  12. [Finding of Bov-B LINE retroelement in parthenogenetic and bisexual lizard species of the genus Darevskia (Lacertidae)].

    PubMed

    Martirosian, I A; Korchagin, V I; Tokarskaia, O N; Darevskiĭ, I S; Ryskov, A P

    2006-07-01

    The Bov-B LINE retrotransposon was first discovered in Ruminantia and was long considered to be specific for this order. Later, this mobile element was described in snakes and some lizard species. Analysis of phylogenetic relationships of Bov-B LINE elements from different ruminants, snakes, and lizard species led to the suggestion on horizontal transfer of this retrotransposon from Squamata to Ruminantia. In the Squamata group, Bov-B LINE element was found in all snakes and some lizard species examined. The element was not detected in the genomes of some species of the genera Lacerta and Podarcis. In the present study, using PCR amplification and sequencing of PCR products, Bov-B LINE element was identified in the genomes of parthenogenetic and bisexual species of the genus Darevskia (Lacertidae), as well as in such species as Lacerta agilis and Zootoca vivipara, where this retrotransposon had not been not detected before.

  13. The macroinfauna of the Galician sandy beaches (NW Spain) affected by the Prestige oil-spill.

    PubMed

    Junoy, J; Castellanos, C; Viéitez, J M; de la Huz, M R; Lastra, M

    2005-05-01

    Eighteen sandy beaches were sampled along the 1659 km of the Galician coast (NW Spain) six months after the Prestige oil-spill to study the impact of the fuel and the clean-up activities on the macroinfauna community. A transect was extended at each beach, from above the drift line to below the swash line at five sampled levels; at each level six 0.05 m2 replicates were taken to a depth of 30 cm and sieved through a 1mm mesh, and the organisms collected and preserved. Results were compared with previous data obtained using the same procedures. The macroinfauna was numerically dominated by the amphipod Pontocrates arenarius, the isopod genus Eurydice, the polychaete Scolelepis squamata, and the amphipod Talitrus saltator. As a result of the Prestige oil-spill and the clean-up activities, beach populations were reduced, with Eurydice and S. squamata as the most affected taxa.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Antifungal and insecticidal activity of two Juniperus essential oils.

    PubMed

    Wedge, David E; Tabanca, Nurhayat; Sampson, Blair J; Werle, Christopher; Demirci, Betul; Baser, K Husnu Can; Nan, Peng; Duan, Jia; Liu, Zhijun

    2009-01-01

    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 from J. squamata var. fargesii were identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Both essential oils contained similar ratios of four abundant monoterpenoids: 44 and 35% sabinene, 13 and 9% elemol, 8 and 7% terpinen-4-ol, and 4 and 17% alpha-pinene, respectively. These oils had antifungal activity based on a direct bioautography assay of Colletotrichum acutatum, C. fragariae, and C. gloeosporioides, and insecticidal activity based on serial-time mortality bioassay of azalea lace bugs, Stephanitis pyrioides. Antifungal activity of Juniperus oils was weak when compared with commercial fungicides such as benomyl and captan. Whole Juniperus oils at quarter the dosage used against Colletotrichum species were more insecticidal than 10 mg/mL malathion, killing > or =70-90% adult lace bugs after 4 hours of exposure. Rf values of 0.18 for J. saltuaria oil and 0.19 for J. squamata oil indicated lipophilic monoterpenes which were the putative sources of biological activity.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Acetylcholine receptors at neuromuscular synapses: phylogenetic differences detected by snake alpha-neurotoxins.

    PubMed Central

    Burden, S J; Hartzell, H C; Yoshikami, D

    1975-01-01

    Phylogenetic differences in acetylcholine receptors from skeletal neuromuscular synapses of various species of snakes and lizards have been investigated, using the snake venom alpha-neurotoxins alpha-atratoxin (cobrotoxin) and alpha-bungarotoxin. The acetylcholine receptors of the phylogenetically primitive lizards, like those from all other vertebrates previously tested, are blocked by these alpha-neurotoxins. In contrast, receptors from snakes and advanced lizards are insensitive to one or both of the toxins. It is suggested that toxin-resistant acetylcholine receptors appeared early in the evolution of Squamata and preceded the appearance of alpha-neurotoxins. Images PMID:1081230

  19. Complete mitochondrial genome of the red-spotted tokay gecko (Gekko gecko, Reptilia: Gekkonidae): comparison of red- and black-spotted tokay geckos.

    PubMed

    Qin, Xin-Min; Qian, Fang; Zeng, De-Long; Liu, Xiao-Can; Li, Hui-Min

    2011-10-01

    Here, we sequenced the complete mitochondrial genome of the red-spotted tokay gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae). The genome is 16,590 bp in size. Its gene arrangement pattern was identical with that of black-spotted tokay gecko. We compared the mitochondrial genome of red-spotted tokay gecko with that of the black-spotted tokay gecko. Nucleotide sequence of the two whole mitochondrial genomes was 97.99% similar, and the relatively high similarity seems to indicate that they may be separated at the subspecies level. The information of mitochondrial genome comparison of the two morphological types of tokay gecko is discussed in detail.

  20. 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

  1. First report of the male of Amblyomma rotundatum (Acari: Ixodidae) from a field-collected host.

    PubMed

    Labruna, Marcelo B; Terrassini, Flávio A; Camargo, Luís Marcelo A

    2005-11-01

    An adult male of the tick Amblyomma rotundatum Koch was collected on a naturally infested lizard, Tropidurus sp. (Squamata: Tropiduridae), at Monte Negro, State of Rondonia, Brazil. The tick's identity was confirmed morphologically and by analysis of the second internal transcribed spacer of the ribosomal DNA. This is the third known male specimen of A. rotundatum, a species that has been shown to reproduce exclusively by parthenogenesis. The two previously reported male specimens seemed to be partially teratological or gynandromorphic, whereas the present specimen shows no visible genetic or developmental anomaly.

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

    PubMed

    Jones, Marc E H; Anderson, Cajsa Lisa; Hipsley, Christy A; Müller, Johannes; Evans, Susan E; Schoch, Rainer R

    2013-09-25

    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. 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). 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 Vellberg fossil locality is expected

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Eocene lizard from Germany reveals amphisbaenian origins.

    PubMed

    Müller, Johannes; Hipsley, Christy A; Head, Jason J; Kardjilov, Nikolay; Hilger, André; Wuttke, Michael; Reisz, Robert R

    2011-05-19

    Amphisbaenia is a speciose clade of fossorial lizards characterized by a snake-like body and a strongly reinforced skull adapted for head-first burrowing. The evolutionary origins of amphisbaenians are controversial, with molecular data uniting them with lacertids, a clade of Old World terrestrial lizards, whereas morphology supports a grouping with snakes and other limbless squamates. Reports of fossil stem amphisbaenians have been falsified, and no fossils have previously tested these competing phylogenetic hypotheses or shed light on ancestral amphisbaenian ecology. Here we report the discovery of a new lacertid-like lizard from the Eocene Messel locality of Germany that provides the first morphological evidence for lacertid-amphisbaenian monophyly on the basis of a reinforced, akinetic skull roof and braincase, supporting the view that body elongation and limblessness in amphisbaenians and snakes evolved independently. Morphometric analysis of body shape and ecology in squamates indicates that the postcranial anatomy of the new taxon is most consistent with opportunistically burrowing habits, which in combination with cranial reinforcement indicates that head-first burrowing evolved before body elongation and may have been a crucial first step in the evolution of amphisbaenian fossoriality.

  7. An amphisbaenian skull from the European miocene and the evolution of Mediterranean worm lizards.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. 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

  9. Intra- and interspecific density-dependent effects on growth in helminth parasites of the cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis.

    PubMed

    Dezfuli, B S; Volponi, S; Beltrami, I; Poulin, R

    2002-05-01

    The action of intra- and interspecific competition, mediated by density-dependent effects on growth, was investigated among the 3 helminth species found in the alimentary tract of 104 cormorants, Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis. Intraspecific density-dependent effects on worm sizes were observed in the abundant nematode Contracaecum rudolphii, as shown by a negative correlation between mean worm size and intensity of infection. Higher intensities of infection by C. rudolphii were also associated with more variable worm sizes in the nematode Syncuaria squamata, suggesting a one-sided and density-dependent interspecific effect. There was also clear evidence of some form of negative interaction between the nematode S. squamata and the acanthocephalan Southwellina hispida from two fronts. First, there was a strong negative correlation between the intensities of infection of the 2 species across hosts. Second, sizes of worms of 1 species became more variable as the number of worms of the other species per host increased, and vice versa. This interspecific density-dependent effect on growth was thus apparently symmetrical. We also found evidence that worm size is a predictor of egg output in the 3 helminth species, indicating that intra- and interspecific density-dependent effects on growth can affect population dynamics in these worms. These results illustrate the complex nature of density dependence in helminth growth, and how its effects can act both within and among species.

  10. 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).

  11. Conservation of chromosomes syntenic with avian autosomes in squamate reptiles revealed by comparative chromosome painting.

    PubMed

    Pokorná, Martina; Giovannotti, Massimo; Kratochvíl, Lukáš; Caputo, Vincenzo; Olmo, Ettore; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Rens, Willem

    2012-08-01

    In contrast to mammals, birds exhibit a slow rate of chromosomal evolution. It is not clear whether high chromosome conservation is an evolutionary novelty of birds or was inherited from an earlier avian ancestor. The evolutionary conservatism of macrochromosomes between birds and turtles supports the latter possibility; however, the rate of chromosomal evolution is largely unknown in other sauropsids. In squamates, we previously reported strong conservatism of the chromosomes syntenic with the avian Z, which could reflect a peculiarity of this part of the genome. The chromosome 1 of iguanians and snakes is largely syntenic with chromosomes 3, 5 and 7 of the avian ancestral karyotype. In this project, we used comparative chromosome painting to determine how widely this synteny is conserved across nine families covering most of the main lineages of Squamata. The results suggest that the association of the avian ancestral chromosomes 3, 5 and 7 can be dated back to at least the early Jurassic and could be an ancestral characteristic for Unidentata (Serpentes, Iguania, Anguimorpha, Laterata and Scinciformata). In Squamata chromosome conservatism therefore also holds for the parts of the genome which are homologous to bird autosomes, and following on from this, a slow rate of chromosomal evolution could be a common characteristic of all sauropsids. The large evolutionary stasis in chromosome organization in birds therefore seems to be inherited from their ancestors, and it is particularly striking in comparison with mammals, probably the only major tetrapod lineage with an increased rate of chromosomal rearrangements as a whole.

  12. 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

    2015-05-29

    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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-06-01

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

  15. Snakes antibodies.

    PubMed

    Gambón-Deza, Francisco; Sánchez-Espinel, Christian; Mirete-Bachiller, Serafín; Magadán-Mompó, Susana

    2012-09-01

    Immunoglobulins are basic molecules of the immune system of vertebrates. In previous studies we described the immunoglobulins found in two squamata reptiles, Anolis carolinensis and Eublepharis macularius. Snakes are squamata reptiles too but they have undergone an extreme evolutionary process. We therefore wanted to know how these changes affected their immunoglobulin coding genes. To perform this analysis we studied five snake transcriptomes and two genome draft sequences. Sequences coding for immunoglobulin M (IgM), immunoglobulin D (IgD) and two classes of immunoglobulin Y (IgY - named IgYa and IgYb-) were found in all of them. Moreover, the Thamnophis elegans transcriptome and Python molurus genome draft sequences showed a third class of IgY, the IgYc, whose constant region only presents three domains and lacks the CH2. All data suggest that the IgYb is the evolutionary origin of this IgYc. An exhaustive search of the light chains were carried out, being lambda the only light chain found in snakes. The results provide a clear picture of the immunoglobulins present in the suborder Serpentes. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Macrobenthos of sandy beach and nearshore environments at Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, U.S.A.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knott, David M.; Calder, Dale R.; Van Dolah, Robert F.

    1983-05-01

    Quantitative samples of benthic macrofauna were collected seasonally from sandy beaches and adjacent nearshore areas bordering the entrance of a high salinity inlet in South Carolina. Intertidal stations were numerically dominated by the polychaete Scolelepis squamata, the amphipod Neohaustorius schmitzi and the bivalve Donax variabilis. Abundant subtidal species included the polychaetes Spiophanes bombyx and Scolelepis squamata, the amphipods Protohaustorius deichmannae and Acanthohaustorius millsi, and the bivalve Tellina sp. Species composition, faunal density and species diversity varied along three transects extending from mean high water to depths of about 5 m. Although some species groups were habitat-restricted, the numerically dominant species were widely distributed throughout the subtidal and intertidal zones. Polychaetes dominated the fauna of subtidal and intertidal habitats, both in terms of numbers of species and numbers of individuals. This dominance was attributed to the moderate wave energy in this area, as well as to the sheltering effect of a jetty that was constructed during the course of the study. Jetty construction also resulted in faunal enrichment at intertidal stations on a sheltered transect.

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuan; Evans, Susan E

    2011-09-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. The sclerotic ring of squamates: an evo-devo-eco perspective.

    PubMed

    Atkins, Jade B; Franz-Odendaal, Tamara A

    2016-10-01

    The sclerotic ring consists of several bones that form in the sclera of many reptiles. This element has not been well studied in squamates, a diverse order of reptiles with a rich fossil record but debated phylogeny. Squamates inhabit many environments, display a range of behaviours, and have evolved several different body plans. Most importantly, many species have secondarily lost their sclerotic rings. This research investigates the presence of sclerotic rings in squamates and traces the lineage of these bones across evolutionary time. We compiled a database on the presence/absence of the sclerotic ring in extinct and extant squamates and investigated the evolutionary history of the sclerotic ring and how its presence/absence and morphology is correlated with environment and behaviour within this clade. Of the 400 extant species examined (59 families, 214 genera), 69% have a sclerotic ring. Those species that do not are within Serpentes, Amphisbaenia, and Dibamidae. We find that three independent losses of the sclerotic ring in squamates are supported when considering both evolutionary and developmental evidence. We also show that squamate species that lack, or have a reduced, sclerotic ring, are fossorial and headfirst burrowers. Our dataset is the largest squamate dataset with measurements of sclerotic rings, and supports previous findings that size of the ring is related to both environment occupied and behaviour. Specifically, scotopic species tend to have both larger inner and outer sclerotic ring apertures, resulting in a narrower ring of bone than those found in photopic species. Non-fossorial species also have a larger sclerotic ring than fossorial species. This research expands our knowledge of these fascinating bones; with further phylogenetic analyses scleral ossicles could become an extremely useful character trait for inferring the behaviour of fossil squamates. © 2016 Anatomical Society.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Development and characterization of nine microsatellites for an endangered tree, Pinus wangii (Pinaceae)1

    PubMed Central

    Dou, Jing-Jing; Zhou, Ren-Chao; Tang, An-Jun; Ge, Xue-Jun; Wu, Wei

    2013-01-01

    • Premise of the study: Pinus wangii is an endemic and endangered species in southwestern China, and microsatellite primers were developed to characterize its genetic diversity and population structure. • Methods and Results: Using the Fast Isolation by AFLP of Sequences COntaining repeats (FIASCO) protocol, nine sets of microsatellite primers were developed in P. wangii. One population with 26 individuals of P. wangii, as well as 11 individuals each for two congeneric species, P. taiwanensis and P. squamata, were used to test their polymorphism and transferability. The number of alleles per locus ranged from one to seven with an average of 3.7, and the observed heterozygosity and expected heterozygosity ranged from 0 to 0.91 and 0 to 0.75, respectively. • Conclusions: We developed nine sets of polymorphic microsatellite loci that are suitable for investigating genetic diversity and population structure of P. wangii, and these markers may be useful for other Pinus species. PMID:25202511

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

    PubMed Central

    Schulte, James A.; Moreno-Roark, Franck

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Live birth among Iguanian lizards predates Pliocene--Pleistocene glaciations.

    PubMed

    Schulte, James A; Moreno-Roark, Franck

    2010-04-23

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. An Upper Cretaceous lizard with a lower temporal arcade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lü, Jun-Chang; Ji, Shu-An; Dong, Zhi-Ming; Wu, Xiao-Chun

    2008-07-01

    The reduced lower temporal arcade of the skull and the movable quadrate are the most distinctive features of squamates. Up to now, no exception has been documented for any fossil or extant squamates. We report here a new fossil lizard that possesses a complete lower temporal arcade and an unmovable quadrate. The anatomical relationships indicate that those two modifications were secondarily obtained in the new lizard. The complete lower temporal bar and the firm contact between the pterygoid and quadrate may have served as a brace to support the quadrate jaw articulation and thus prevent it from twisting anteriorly rather than posteriorly during the bite cycles. This represents an entirely new pattern of jaw muscle functions within the Squamata.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  14. 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).

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Tikiguania and the antiquity of squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes).

    PubMed

    Hutchinson, Mark N; Skinner, Adam; Lee, Michael S Y

    2012-08-23

    Tikiguania estesi is widely accepted to be the earliest member of Squamata, the reptile group that includes lizards and snakes. It is based on a lower jaw from the Late Triassic of India, described as a primitive lizard related to agamids and chamaeleons. However, Tikiguania is almost indistinguishable from living agamids; a combined phylogenetic analysis of morphological and molecular data places it with draconines, a prominent component of the modern Asian herpetofauna. It is unlikely that living agamids have retained the Tikiguania morphotype unchanged for over 216 Myr; it is much more conceivable that Tikiguania is a Quaternary or Late Tertiary agamid that was preserved in sediments derived from the Triassic beds that have a broad superficial exposure. This removes the only fossil evidence for lizards in the Triassic. Studies that have employed Tikiguana for evolutionary, biogeographical and molecular dating inferences need to be reassessed.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  3. A new species of Ornithodoros (Acari: Argasidae), parasite of Microlophus spp. (Reptilia: Tropiduridae) from northern Chile.

    PubMed

    Venzal, José M; Nava, Santiago; González-Acuña, Daniel; Mangold, Atilio J; Muñoz-Leal, Sebastián; Lado, Paula; Guglielmone, Alberto A

    2013-02-01

    A new species, Ornithodoros microlophi (Acari: Argasidae), belonging to the subgenus Alectorobius is described from larvae collected on the lizards Microlophus atacamensis (Donoso-Barros, 1966) and Microlophus quadrivittatus (Tschudi, 1845) (Squamata: Tropiduridae) in continental and insular localities from northern Chile. Larvae of O. microlophi can be distinguished from other Neotropical species of the genus Ornithodoros by a combination of the following characters, namely 10 pairs of ventral setae, venter with 6 pairs of sternal setae, dorsal plate pyriform, 19-21 pairs of dorsal setae (typically 20), 13 pairs are dorsolateral and 7 pairs are central, and hypostome with dental formula 4/4 in medial portion and apex pointed. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rDNA sequences suggests that O. microlophi represents an independent lineage within Neotropical species of the Argasidae.

  4. 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. Copyright

  5. 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

  6. Macrobenthic zonation patterns along a morphodynamical continuum of macrotidal, low tide bar/rip and ultra-dissipative sandy beaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Degraer, S.; Volckaert, A.; Vincx, M.

    2003-03-01

    The species composition, densities, biomass and zonation patterns of the macrobenthos of sandy beaches are greatly influenced by the morphodynamics and morphology of the beaches. Macrobenthic zonation patterns along a small-scale morphodynamic gradient, comprising eight Belgian beach sites, were investigated. By taking into account the dimensionless fall velocity ( Ω) and the relative tidal range, the beach sites were ordered along the gradient from the ultra-dissipative beach type (UD) to the low tide bar/rip beach type (LTBR). The resulting beach state index varied between 1.8 and 4.2 and the beach profiles were related with the beaches' morphodynamic state. In total 35 macrobenthic species, mainly polychaetes and crustaceans, were encountered, varying between 19 and 23 species per beach site. The species composition was quite similar among beach sites, with Scolelepis squamata being abundant at all eight sites. Furthermore, the macrobenthic distribution patterns were mainly related to elevation at all beach sites. Some remarkable difference in metrics, largely related to the beach morphodynamics and the consequent hydrodynamics, were found. At the hydrodynamically benign and consequently macrobenthos-rich UD beaches, the highest macrobenthic densities and biomass occurred on the upper beach, while at the hydrodynamically harsh and thus macrobenthos-poor LTBR beaches, the maximum densities and biomass occurred lower on the beach. Species, typically occurring on the upper UD beaches, such as Eurydice pulchra, S. squamata, and Bathyporeia sarsi, were restricted to the sub-optimal middle and lower beach zone at LTBR beaches. Only Bathyporeia pilosa was found on the upper beach of both UD and LTBR beaches. The more robust polychaete Ophelia rathkei and the interstitial polychaete Hesionides arenaria were exclusively found in the hydrodynamically harsh conditions of the middle LTBR beach zone.

  7. Novel Approaches for Phylogenetic Inference from Morphological Data and Total-Evidence Dating in Squamate Reptiles (Lizards, Snakes, and Amphisbaenians).

    PubMed

    Pyron, R Alexander

    2016-08-11

    Here, I combine previously underutilized models and priors to perform more biologically realistic phylogenetic inference from morphological data, with an example from squamate reptiles. When coding morphological characters, it is often possible to denote ordered states with explicit reference to observed or hypothetical ancestral conditions. Using this logic, we can integrate across character-state labels and estimate meaningful rates of forward and backward transitions from plesiomorphy to apomorphy. I refer to this approach as MkA, for "asymmetric." The MkA model incorporates the biological reality of limited reversal for many phylogenetically informative characters, and significantly increases likelihoods in the empirical data sets. Despite this, the phylogeny of Squamata remains contentious. Total-evidence analyses using combined morphological and molecular data and the MkA approach tend toward recent consensus estimates supporting a nested Iguania. However, support for this topology is not unambiguous across data sets or analyses, and no mechanism has been proposed to explain the widespread incongruence between partitions, or the hidden support for various topologies in those partitions. Furthermore, different morphological data sets produced by different authors contain both different characters and different states for the same or similar characters, resulting in drastically different placements for many important fossil lineages. Effort is needed to standardize ontology for morphology, resolve incongruence, and estimate a robust phylogeny. The MkA approach provides a preliminary avenue for investigating morphological evolution while accounting for temporal evidence and asymmetry in character-state changes. [Congruence; convergence; dating; molecular discordance; morphological phylogenetics; reversals; Squamata; total evidence.].

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    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. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  9. 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. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Moravec, Frantisek; Scholz, Tomas

    2016-06-13

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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 s