Trade Data and Some Comments On the Distribution of Mauremys annamensis (Siebenrock, 1903).
Asiatic Herpetological Research 10: 110-113.
This trade survey of Annam Pond Turtle reveals that this species is likely to have larger distribution than previously thought. The records in the trade in Quy Nhon and Ho Chi Minh City suggest its range could extend much further south. In addition, given the one way south-north trade route, the absence of Mauremys mutica in the trade south of Hai Van Pass and the reported absence of M. annamensis in the trade north of the Pass support the hypothesis that the Pass is the natural barrier for the two species ranges. This hypothesis combined with the long existence of the Pass might indicate that the speciation between the two species happened when their ancestors dispersed across the Pass, and were subsequently isolated, by the means of rafting or walking through narrow land strip emerged during the low sea level period. In terms of conservation, M. annamensis has become much rarer even in the trade, suggesting immediate conservation measures to protect it.
Taxonomic Reevaluation of Phrynops (Testudines: Chelidae) with the description of two new genera and a new species of Batrachemys.
Rev. biol. trop vol.49 n.2 San José Jun. 2001. Online-Version: ISSN 0034-7744.
Relationships among turtle species loosely categorized within the South American genus Phrynops are explored. Three once recognized genera (Batrachemys, Mesoclemmys and Phrynops) that were demoted to subgenera, and then synonymized with Phrynops, are demonstrated to warrant full recognition based on morphometric analysis, skull osteology, and mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequencing. Mesoclemmys is resurrected from the synonymy of Phrynops as a monotypic genus including M. gibba. The genus Rhinemys, previously a synonym of Phrynops, is resurrected for the species R. rufipes. Ranacephala gen. nov. is described to include the species R hogei. The genus Batrachemys is resurrected from the synonymy of Phrynops and includes B. dahli, B. nasuta B. raniceps, B. tuberculata, and B. zuliae. The taxon vanderhaegei is placed in Bufocephala gen. nov. The genus Phrynops is redefined to include the taxa P. geoffroanus, P. hilarii, P. tuberosus and P.williamsi. Ciadistic analysis of morphological data supports this taxonomy. A new species of Batrachemys is described from the western Amazon region, and is distinguished by having facial markings in juveniles, a relatively wide head, and a flattened shell. The new species, B. heliostemma sp. nov., is sympatric with and most similar to the recently resurrected form Batrachemys raniceps in the upper Amazonian region of Peru and adjacent Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Colombia. Lastly, morphometric data from living and museum specimens of all species of Batrachemys are presented.
Chelus fimbriata (Schneider 1783) – Matamata Turtle.
Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A Compilation Project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. A.G.J. Rhodin, P.C.H. Pritchard, P.P. van Dijk, R.A. Saumure, K.A. Buhlmann, and J.B. Iverson, Eds. - Chelonian Research Monographs (ISSN 1088-7105) No. 5, doi:10.3854/crm.5.020.fimbriata.v1.2008
© 2008 by Chelonian Research Foundation. Published 4 August 2008
Chelus fimbriata, the matamata turtle (Family Chelidae), is the largest member of its pleurodiran family, and is surely the most bizarre turtle in the world. It has an exceedingly rough, tuberculate carapace, a greatly elongated and thickened neck, and a wide, triangular, extremely flattened head, with a tubular nasal extension, reduced anteriorly displaced eyes, and an extremely wide mouth. It is specialized for feeding upon live fish that it sweeps into its mouth by a rapid lateral strike of the neck and jaws, and a vigorous simultaneous expansion of the hyoid apparatus in the neck. It is distributed widely in South America, and currently does not appear to be threatened significantly anywhere in its range.
Molecular phylogeny and historical biogeography of West Indian boid snakes (Chilabothrus).
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution Volume 68 (3): 461–470.
The evolutionary and biogeographic history of West Indian boid snakes (Epicrates), a group of nine species and 14 subspecies, was once thought to be well understood; however, new research has indicated that we are missing a clear understanding of the evolutionary relationships of this group. Here, we present the first multilocus, species-tree based analyses of the evolutionary relationships, divergence times, and historical biogeography of this clade with data from 10 genes and 6256 bp. We find evidence for a single colonization of the Caribbean from mainland South America in the Oligocene or early Miocene, followed by a radiation throughout the Greater Antilles and Bahamas. These findings support the previous suggestion that Epicrates sensu lato Wagler is paraphyletic with respect to the anacondas (Eunectes Wagler), and hence we restrict Epicrates to the mainland clade and use the available name Chilabothrus Duméril and Bibron for the West Indian clade. Our results suggest some diversification occurred within island banks, though most species divergence events seem to have occurred in allopatry. We also find evidence for a remarkable diversification within the Bahamian archipelago suggesting that the recognition of another Bahamian endemic species C. strigilatus is warranted.
The identity of the crackling, luminescent frog of Suriname (Rana typhonia Linnaeus, 1758) (Amphibia, Anura).
Zootaxa 2671: 17–30 (9 Nov. 2010) 1 plates; 97 references
Review of the literature and recently available field notes from the collector of the type allows a reconsideration of the identity of the Linnaean name Rana typhonia. We provide evidence to demonstrate that the Linnaean species is neither a bufonid nor an Asiatic ranid, but a Neotropical hylid. Subsequently, we consider Rana typhonia as an older synonym of Rana venulosa Laurenti, 1768, redescribing its holotype under the new combination, Trachycephalus typhonius (Linnaeus, 1758).
Wiederentdeckung einer ausgestorben geglaubten Population der Baleareneidechse, Podarcis lilfordi (GÜNTHER, 1874) auf der Illa de Ses Mones (Balearen, Menorca, Spanien) in Sympatrie mit der Ruineneidechse, Podarcis siculus (RAFINESQUE-SCHMALTZ, 1810).
Die Eidechse, 21 (3): 65-74.
Es wird über die Wiederentdeckung einer Population der Baleareneidechse (Podarcis lilfordi) auf der im Hafen von Port d`Addaia gelegenen Insel Illa de Ses Mones berichtet, von der man annahm, sie sei in den 1990er-Jahren durch die eingeschleppte Ruineneidechse (Podarcis siculus) verdrängt worden. Neben Informationen zur Illa des Ses Mones wird zum ersten Mal über ein sympatrisches Vorkommen von P. lilfordi und P. siculus berichtet und die hier lebenden Eidechsen erstmalig beschrieben und abgebildet. Weiterhin wird auf die in der Literatur häufige Verwechslung der Insel Illot d'en Carbó mit der Illa des Ses Mones hingewiesen und schließlich die taxonomische Stellung der wiederentdeckten Podarcis lilfordi von der Illa de Ses Mones diskutiert.
The Balearic herpetofauna: a species update and a review on the evidence.
Acta Herpetologica 6(1): 59-80, 2011
Here, we update the current list of amphibian and reptile fauna present in he Balearic Islands, probably the most outstanding case in the Mediterranean and of the most in the world where massive species introduction is in conflict with the survivorship,of highly restricted endemic taxa. Resulting of a long term evolution in insularity,endemic herpetofauna was already decimated during the Pleistocene but, after the human colonisation of the archipelago, the introduction of alien species, passive or deliberate, has been provoking new extinctions and range retractions in the native herpetofauna. Such process is not interrupted but has even intensified during the last years. The current species list is composed by five amphibians (one native) and 21 reptiles (2 native). A critical review of the evidence on extinctions and introductions is provided together with the conservation implications. Compared to the last review (Mayol, 1985) six new reptile species are now naturalised or are in process of naturalization, colubrid snakes constituting the most conflicting element due to their predator role.
A new Platysaurus (Squamata: Cordylidae) from the Northern Cape Province, South Africa.
Afr. J. Herpetol. 46(2): 124–136.
DOI:10.1080/21564574.1997.9649987. Published online: 08 Nov 2010.
A new species of Platysaurus is described from the Gordonia-Kenhardt district of Northern Cape Province, South Africa. Numerous features of scalation and colouration distinguish it from all other southern African Platysaurus. The new species is morphologically most similar to, and was previously confused with, P. capensis from northern Namaqualand, the Richtersveld and southern Namibia. There is no evidence for genetic exchange between the new species and P. capensis, which are separated by 100 km. Therefore, based on allopatry, the presence of two autapomorphies (dorsal forelimb scales subequal to those on hindlimb and unique male colouration), and significant differences in eight other scalation features, the Augrabies population meets the criteria for designation as a new species within an evolutionary species concept. These lizards occur in very high densities in the Augrabies Falls National Park where black flies (Simulium spp.) form a major food resource.
Python phylogenetics: inference from morphology and mitochondrial DNA.
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2008, 93 (3), 603–619.
Article first published online: 4 FEB 2008 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2007.00904.x
We used nucleotide sequences from four mitochondrial genes and structural features of the mitochondrial control region, combined with a revised, previously published, morphological data set to infer phylogenetic relationships among the pythons. We aimed to determine which of two competing hypotheses of relationships of the genera Aspidites and Python best explains the evolutionary and bioegeographical history of the family. All analyses of the combined data recover a set of relationships in which (1) the genus Python is paraphyletic with the two east Asian species, P. reticulatus and P. timoriensis, as the sister lineage to the seven Australo-Papuan python genera. We support recognition of a distinct genus for the P. reticulatus + P. timoriensis clade; (2) the remaining species of the genus Python form a clade which is the sister lineage to the remainder of the family; (3) the genus Aspidites is embedded among the Australo-Papuan genera. The seemingly primitive characteristics of Aspidites may be better interpreted as reversals or specializations that have accompanied a switch to burrowing in this genus. Resolution of the relationships among the Australo-Papuan lineages is weak, possibly because of rapid diversification early in the history of the radiation. We assessed the tempo of the Indo-Australian python radiation using a maximum likelihood framework based on the birth–death process. We find strong support for elevated speciation rates during the period when Australia collided with the proto-Indonesian archipelago. The data support an origin for pythons outside Australia, followed by a radiation into Australia during the mid-Tertiary.
Toward a Tree-of-Life for the boas and pythons: Multilocus species-level phylogeny with unprecedented taxon sampling.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 71: 201–213 http://faculty.umb.edu/liam.revell/pdfs/Reynolds_etal_2014.MPE.pdf
Snakes in the families Boidae and Pythonidae constitute some of the most spectacular reptiles and comprise an enormous diversity of morphology, behavior, and ecology. While many species of boas and pythons are familiar, taxonomy and evolutionary relationships within these families remain contentious and fluid. A major effort in evolutionary and conservation biology is to assemble a comprehensive Tree-of-Life, or a macro-scale phylogenetic hypothesis, for all known life on Earth. No previously published study has produced a species-level molecular phylogeny for more than 61% of boa species or 65% of python species. Using both novel and previously published sequence data, we have produced a species-level phylogeny for 84.5% of boid species and 82.5% of pythonid species, contextualized within a larger phylogeny of henophidian snakes. We obtained new sequence data for three boid, one pythonid, and two tropidophiid taxa which have never previously been included in a molecular study, in addition to generating novel sequences for seven genes across an additional 12 taxa. We compiled an 11-gene dataset for 127 taxa, consisting of the mitochondrial genes CYTB, 12S, and 16S, and the nuclear genes bdnf, bmp2, c-mos, gpr35, rag1, ntf3, odc, and slc30a1, totaling up to 7561 base pairs per taxon. We analyzed this dataset using both maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference and recovered a well-supported phylogeny for these species. We found significant evidence of discordance between taxonomy and evolutionary relationships in the genera Tropidophis, Morelia, Liasis, and Leiopython, and we found support for elevating two previously suggested boid species. We suggest a revised taxonomy for the boas (13 genera, 58 species) and pythons (8 genera, 40 species), review relationships between our study and the many other molecular phylogenetic studies of henophidian snakes, and present a taxonomic database and alignment which may be easily used and built upon by other researchers.