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The Peninsular Archipelago of Baja California: A Thousand Kilometers of Three Lizard Genetics

Gustavo Aguirre L., David J. Morafka and Robert W. Murphy
Herpetologica
Vol. 55, No. 3 (Sep., 1999), pp. 369-381
Published by: Allen Press on behalf of the Herpetologists' League
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3893231
Page Count: 13
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The Peninsular Archipelago of Baja California: A Thousand Kilometers of Three Lizard Genetics
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Abstract

We studied the variability of 25 isozymes among 14 populations of tree lizards, Urosaurus, in Baja California, México. Populations were distributed from Cabo San Lucas northward to Cataviña, including both the peninsula and the Islands of Cedros, Danzante, and San Marcos. Twenty loci were variable and 18 were scored for all populations examined. We detected significant substructuring among the populations. Urosaurus sensu "nigricaudus" from the southern peninsular could be differentiated from more northernly distributed tree lizards by the apomorphic expression of αMan-A in liver and/or muscle tissue. Two synapomorphies unite northern U. microscutatus and U. lahtelai. They share a duplicated Pep-B locus and a silenced duplicated Pep-A locus; sAat-A is polymorphic in northern populations but monomorphic as the apomorphic state in the south. These patterns are correlated with two ancient trans-peninsular seaways. A southern late Tertiary trans-peninsular seaway may have isolated U. nigricaudus from U. microscutatus at the Isthmus of La Paz. Genetic differences between populations of U. microscutatus north and south of the mid-peninsular Vizcaíno Desert are correlated with the mid-Pleistocene seaway that further subdivided the peninsula into an archipelago. The patterns of allelic distribution also indicate ongoing gene flow. Thus, we recommend synonymization of Urosaurus microscutatus with U. nigricaudus. We tentatively recognize U. lahtelai pending further investigation.

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