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Genetic Relationships among the Tasmanian Scincid Lizards of the Genus Niveoscincus
Mark N. Hutchinson and Terry D. Schwaner
Journal of Herpetology
Vol. 25, No. 1 (Mar., 1991), pp. 49-58
Published by: Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1564794
Page Count: 10
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Six of the eight species belonging to the scincid lizard genus Niveoscincus are restricted to Tasmania. These species are known to be closely related, based on earlier MC'F comparisons; we here use allozyme electrophoresis to test species boundaries and to elucidate cladistic relationships within the genus. All species are well characterized by fixed allelic differences, but two closely related species, N. microlepidotus and N. orocryptus, are not distinguishable electrophoretically at some localities, while maintaining reproductive isolation in other areas of sympatry. Analysis of variation at 31 presumed gene loci provides the basis for an evolutionary scenario in which N. coventryi of mainland Australia is the sister species of all other Niveoscincus. Within the Tasmanian radiation, a single ancestral form may have given rise to four modern lineages, these being N. ocellatus, N. pretiosus, N. metallicus, and a group consisting of N. palfreymani plus the three alpine species, N. greeni, N. microlepidotus, and N. orocryptus.
Journal of Herpetology © 1991 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles