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      Multilocus phylogeny reveals unexpected diversification patterns in Asian wolf snakes (genusLycodon)

      , , ,

      Zoologica Scripta

      Wiley-Blackwell

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          Cryptic species as a window on diversity and conservation.

          The taxonomic challenge posed by cryptic species (two or more distinct species classified as a single species) has been recognized for nearly 300 years, but the advent of relatively inexpensive and rapid DNA sequencing has given biologists a new tool for detecting and differentiating morphologically similar species. Here, we synthesize the literature on cryptic and sibling species and discuss trends in their discovery. However, a lack of systematic studies leaves many questions open, such as whether cryptic species are more common in particular habitats, latitudes or taxonomic groups. The discovery of cryptic species is likely to be non-random with regard to taxon and biome and, hence, could have profound implications for evolutionary theory, biogeography and conservation planning.
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            Is Open Access

            Cryptic animal species are homogeneously distributed among taxa and biogeographical regions

            Background Cryptic species are two or more distinct but morphologically similar species that were classified as a single species. During the past two decades we observed an exponential growth of publications on cryptic species. Recently published reviews have demonstrated cryptic species have profound consequences on many biological disciplines. It has been proposed that their distribution is non-random across taxa and biomes. Results We analysed a literature database for the taxonomic and biogeographical distribution of cryptic animal species reports. Results from regression analysis indicate that cryptic species are almost evenly distributed among major metazoan taxa and biogeographical regions when corrected for species richness and study intensity. Conclusion This indicates that morphological stasis represents an evolutionary constant and that cryptic metazoan diversity does predictably affect estimates of earth's animal diversity. Our findings have direct theoretical and practical consequences for a number of prevailing biological questions with regard to global biodiversity estimates, conservation efforts and global taxonomic initiatives.
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              Phylogenetic relationships of the dwarf boas and a comparison of Bayesian and bootstrap measures of phylogenetic support.

               T Wilcox (2002)
              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

                Journal
                Zoologica Scripta
                Wiley-Blackwell
                03003256
                May 2013
                May 20 2013
                : 42
                : 3
                : 262-277
                Article
                10.1111/zsc.12007
                © 2013
                Product
                Self URI (article page): http://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/zsc.12007

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