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The Systematics of Chuckwallas (Sauromalus) with a Phylogenetic Analysis of Other Iguanid Lizards

Bradford D. Hollingsworth
Herpetological Monographs
Vol. 12 (1998), pp. 38-191
Published by: Herpetologists' League
DOI: 10.2307/1467020
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1467020
Page Count: 154
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The Systematics of Chuckwallas (Sauromalus) with a Phylogenetic Analysis of Other Iguanid Lizards
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Abstract

A systematic study of the chuckwallas (genus Sauromalus) is presented which combines a traditional monographic revision with a modern phylogenetic analysis. Included are a reassessment of alpha taxonomy and geographic variation, a hypothesis of evolutionary relationships, a reevaluation of the relationships of Sauromalus to other iguanid genera, and an examination of trends in morphology, biogeography, and natural history within Sauromalus in light of the recovered phylogeny. Due to difficulties in diagnosing many of the chuckwalla species, geographically isolated populations were selected as operational taxonomic units (OTU's). This resulted in the designation of 31 insular and eight continental OTU's. These OTU's were included in a larger analysis with the other 23 species within Iguanini (the clade of iguanids above Dipsosaurus, Armandisaurus†, and Brachylophus). A phylogenetic analysis was performed using 142 characters of scalation, coloration, soft tissues, and osteology; 93 of which came directly or were modified from the previous studies of de Queiroz (1987a,b) and Norell and de Queiroz (1991). Two analyses were performed, each using different coding schemes for polymorphic characters. The first used the baseline method (polymorphisms coded as "0,1") and the second used the frequency bin method (Wiens, 1993, 1995). The monophyly of all currently recognized iguanid genera is supported in both analyses. Intergeneric relationships are resolved in the strict consensus tree using the frequency bin method (Ctenosaura ((Cyclura + Iguana) + (Sauromalus (Amblyrhynchus + Conolophus) and only partially resolved using the baseline method. Interspecific relationships are proposed for the genera Cyclura, Ctenosaura, and Sauromalus. Relationships among the OTU's in Sauromalus are partly resolved using the frequency bin method, although some nodes are weakly supported. The results from the baseline method are consistent with the more strongly supported nodes from the frequency bin method. The strict consensus trees suggest the recognition of four insular endemics, hispidus, klauberi, slevini, and varius, while the OTU's recognized under obesus, australis, and ater yield an unresolved polytomy. Because the relationships between the obesus, australis, and ater OTU's are unresolved and these taxa cannot be diagnosed from each other using fixed character differences, obesus and australis are synonymized with ater. The phylogenetic relationships within Sauromalus are: (varius (hispidus (ater (klauberi + slevini)))). Accounts of each species of Sauromalus include a synonymy, etymology, definition, diagnosis, detailed description of external morphology and color pattern, skeletal characterization, geographic variation, natural history, fossil record and distribution. A redescription of the type specimen of S. ater is provided and the type locality is restricted to southern coastal Sonora, México.

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