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Molecular evidence for the phylogeny of Australian gekkonoid lizards

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Partial sequences of the mitochondrial 12S rRNA and nuclear c‐mos genes were determined for 12 species of gekkonoid lizards representing the four major taxa of the Australian region, the Diplodactyhni and Carphodactylini (forming the subfamily Diplodactylinae), the Pygopodidae and the Gekkoninae. One further species represented a non‐Australian gekkonoid lineage, the Eublepharinae. The combined sequence data were used to reconstruct the underlying molecular phylogeny. We used the molecular phylogeny to test the monophyly of the diplodactyline tribes and conflicting hypotheses of relationships of die pygopods and of the genus Oedura. Monophyly of the Diplodactylinae is supported, while pygopods form a monophyletic sister lineage to all Diplodactylinae. The molecular data support the monophyly of the Diplodactyhni, with Oedura firmly placed as a diplodactylin. Monophyly of the Carphodactylini is not supported. The four carphodactylin genera form a paraphyletic cluster at the base of the Diplodactyhni. Pygopods are nested within the traditional Gekkonidae and pygopods plus diplodactylines form a well‐supported monophyletic group with respect to the remaining gekkonoids, the gekkonines and eublepharines.

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, Australia 5000

Publication date: May 1, 1999

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