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Phylogeography and phylogenetic relationships of Malagasy tree and ground boas

Orozco-terWengel, Pablo ORCID:, Nagy, Z., Vieites, D., Vences, M. and Louis Jr, E. 2008. Phylogeography and phylogenetic relationships of Malagasy tree and ground boas. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 95 (3) , pp. 640-652. 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2008.01083.x

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Three species of boid snakes are recognized in Madagascar, namely the genus Sanzinia (one species and two subspecies) and the genus Acrantophis (two species). In the present study, we studied the patterns of genetic variation of these species across Madagascar using a fragment of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene in 77 specimens. To support the phylogenetic relationships of the lineages identified, three further gene fragments (cytochrome b, 12S rRNA and c-mos) were analyzed in a reduced but representative set of samples. The results obtained corroborate that the genus Sanzinia includes two highly divergent mitochondrial lineages that evolved independently from each other on the east versus the west side of Madagascar. Each of these lineages presents a further subdivision that separates northern from southern groups. The nuclear marker showed no variation among the Malagasy boas, indicating either very low substitution rates in this gene or relatively recent speciation events coupled with high mitochondrial substitution rates. Because the broad geographic sampling detected no admixture among haplotypic lineages within Sanzinia, it is hypothesized that these may represent distinct species. Deviant haplotypes of snakes morphologically similar to Acrantophis dumerili indicate that this taxon may be a complex of two species as well.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0024-4066
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2022 08:44

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