Mitochondrial DNA-sequence based phylogeny and biogeography of the snow skinks (Squamata: Scincidae: Niveoscincus) of Tasmania

Jane Melville, Roy Swain

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22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We sequenced a 427 bp portion of the cytochrome oxidase (subunit I) gene to establish a phylogenetic tree for the lizard genus Niveoscincus. Previous attempts to establish a phylogeny for this genus using morphology, allozyme electrophoresis, and the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b have been unsatisfactory. The molecular phylogeny achieved in this study is compared with previous phylogenetic and biogeographic studies of Niveoscincus. The possible role of Pleistocene glacial events in speciation patterns and biogeography of the species of Niveoscincus is discussed. Our evidence indicates that a ground-dwelling species in the late Tertiary probably gave rise to the modern lineages of Niveoscincus within which three separate clades can be distinguished.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-208
Number of pages13
JournalHerpetologica
Volume56
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2000
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cytochrome oxidase (subunit I)
  • Niveoscincus
  • Phylogeny
  • Scincidae

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