Molecular biogeography of Australian and New Zealand reptiles and amphibians

Mitzy Pepper, J. Scott Keogh, David G. Chapple

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Reptiles and amphibians are a major and ubiquitous component of the vertebrate fauna of Australia and New Zealand. They are found across all biomes and in environments as diverse as rainforests, snowcapped peaks, arid salt pans and desert dune elds. Despite the proximity of Australia and New Zealand (~1500 km), these adjacent landmasses belong to separate continents (New Zealand is part of the largely submerged subcontinent Zealandia). Thus, the taxonomic composition and evolutionary origins of the herpetofauna are markedly different; Australia is a large, ancient continent with subdued topography and a vast, arid centre, while New Zealand is a comparatively young, geologically active group of oceanic islands, with high altitude peaks and plateaus and extensive alpine habitats. Global tectonic processes, such as the breakup of Gondwana, have shaped the higher-level herpetological composition and diversity of Australia and New Zealand, while recent climatic uctuations and associated vegetation changes have fuelled adaptive radiations in different groups (Morton and James 1988; Byrne et al. 2008; Marin et al. 2013).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Australasian Biogeography
EditorsMalte C. Ebach
Place of PublicationBoca Raton FL USA
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9781351848459, 9781315373096, 9781482236378, 9781315355771, 9781315336718
ISBN (Print)9781482236361
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Publication series

NameCRC Biogeography Series
PublisherTaylor & Francis


  • Biogeography
  • Phylogeography
  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • Reptile
  • Amphibian

Cite this