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      Three new karst-dwelling Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Squamata; Gekkoniade) from Peninsular Thailand and the phylogenetic placement of C. punctatonuchalis and C. vandeventeri


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          Three new species of Rock Geckos Cnemaspis lineogularis sp. nov., C. phangngaensis sp. nov., and C. thachanaensis sp. nov. of the chanthaburiensis and siamensis groups are described from the Thai portion of the Thai-Malay Peninsula. These new species are distinguished from all other species in their two respective groups based on a unique combination of morphological characteristics, which is further supported by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 gene (ND2). Cnemaspis lineogularis sp. nov. is differentiated from all other species in the chanthaburiensis group by having a smaller maximum SVL 38 mm, 13 paravertebral tubercles, enlarged femoral scales, no caudal bands, and a 19.5–23.0% pairwise sequence divergence (ND2). Cnemaspis phangngaensis sp. nov. is differentiated from all other species in the siamensis group by having the unique combination of 10 infralabial scales, four continuous pore-bearing precloacal scales, paravertebral tubercles linearly arranged, lacking tubercles on the lower flanks, having ventrolateral caudal tubercles anteriorly present, caudal tubercles restricted to a single paraveterbral row on each side, a single median row of keeled subcaudals, and a 8.8–25.2% pairwise sequence divergence (ND2). Cnemaspis thachanaensis sp. nov. is distinguished from all other species in the siamensis group by having 10 or 11 supralabial scales 9–11 infralabial scales, paravertebral tubercles linearly arranged, ventrolateral caudal tubercles anteriorly, caudal tubercles restricted to a single paravertebral row on each side, a single median row of keeled subcaudal scales, lacking a single enlarged subcaudal scale row, lacking postcloaclal tubercles in males, the presence of an enlarged submetatarsal scale at the base if the 1st toe, and a 13.4–28.8% pairwise sequence divergence (ND2). The new phylogenetic analyses place C. punctatonuchalis and C. vandeventeri in the siamensis group with C. punctatonuchalis as the sister species to C. huaseesom and C. vandeventeri as the sister species to C. siamensis, corroborating previous hypotheses based on morphology. The discovery of three new karst-dwelling endemics brings the total number of nominal Thai Cnemaspis species to 15 and underscores the need for continued field research in poorly known areas of the Thai-Malay Peninsula, especially those that are threatened and often overlooked as biodiversity hot spots.

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            Four New World genera of dwarf boas (Exiliboa, Trachyboa, Tropidophis, and Ungaliophis) have been placed by many systematists in a single group (traditionally called Tropidophiidae). However, the monophyly of this group has been questioned in several studies. Moreover, the overall relationships among basal snake lineages, including the placement of the dwarf boas, are poorly understood. We obtained mtDNA sequence data for 12S, 16S, and intervening tRNA-val genes from 23 species of snakes representing most major snake lineages, including all four genera of New World dwarf boas. We then examined the phylogenetic position of these species by estimating the phylogeny of the basal snakes. Our phylogenetic analysis suggests that New World dwarf boas are not monophyletic. Instead, we find Exiliboa and Ungaliophis to be most closely related to sand boas (Erycinae), boas (Boinae), and advanced snakes (Caenophidea), whereas Tropidophis and Trachyboa form an independent clade that separated relatively early in snake radiation. Our estimate of snake phylogeny differs significantly in other ways from some previous estimates of snake phylogeny. For instance, pythons do not cluster with boas and sand boas, but instead show a strong relationship with Loxocemus and Xenopeltis. Additionally, uropeltids cluster strongly with Cylindrophis, and together are embedded in what has previously been considered the macrostomatan radiation. These relationships are supported by both bootstrapping (parametric and nonparametric approaches) and Bayesian analysis, although Bayesian support values are consistently higher than those obtained from nonparametric bootstrapping. Simulations show that Bayesian support values represent much better estimates of phylogenetic accuracy than do nonparametric bootstrap support values, at least under the conditions of our study. Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science (USA)
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                Author and article information

                PeerJ Inc. (San Francisco, USA )
                24 January 2017
                : 5
                [1 ]Department of Biology and Bean Life Science Museum, Brigham Young University , Provo, UT, United States
                [2 ]Department of Biology, La Sierra University , Riverside, CA, United States
                [3 ]Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Kasetsart University , Chatuchak, Bangkok, Thailand
                [4 ]Natural History Museum, National Science Museum, Thailand , Technopolis, Khlong 5, Khlong Luang, Pathum Thani, Thailand
                [5 ]Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University, Institute for Research and Development , Dusit, Bangkok, Thailand
                ©2017 Wood Jr et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.

                Funded by: Department of Biology at Brigham Young University
                Funded by: NSF dimensions
                Award ID: EF-1241885
                Funded by: Doctoral Dissertation Improvement
                Award ID: DDIG #1501198
                Funded by: Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Science program
                Award ID: PGA-2000003545
                Funded by: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
                Funded by: National Science Foundation (NSF)
                Funding was from the Department of Biology at Brigham Young University. Additional funding for this research is from the NSF dimensions grant EF-1241885 issued to JWS and the Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (DDIG #1501198) issued to PLWJ and JWS. Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Science program (grant PGA-2000003545), which is a partnership between the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), provided funding for AA. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.


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