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Gerrhonotus and Elgaria

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Posted by: CKing at Tue Apr 11 03:37:48 2006  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by CKing ]  
   

Interesting new paper by Conroy et al. 2005, in which they suggest that "Elgaria parva" (originally described as Gerrhonotus parvus but later transferred to Elgaria on the basis of morphological characters) is actually most closely related to Gerrhonotus liocephalus and G. infernalis on the basis of mtDNA. Looking at their tree, it appears that the genera Elgaria and Gerrhonotus (if they are considered a single genus) could be basal to the other more derived taxa such as Barisia, Abronia and Mesapis. Given the fact that G. parvus is morphologically similar to Elgaria but its mtDNA identifies it as a Gerrhonotus, it may be a good idea to simply subsume the genus Elgaria back into Gerrhonotus and recognize the combined genus as a single paraphyletic taxon. Otherwise both Elgaria and Gerrhonotus would be undefinable morphologically.

Reference

CONROY,CHRIS J., ROBERT W. BRYSON JR., DAVID LAZCANO, AND ALEC KNIGHT 2005. Phylogenetic Placement of the Pygmy Alligator Lizard Based on Mitochondrial DNA. Journal of Herpetology, Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. 142íV147


   

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