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Sexual dimorphism and interspecific head variation in the Liolaemus melanops complex (Squamata: Liolaemini) based on geometric morphometrics

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By analysing size and shape separately, geometric morphometric methods (GM) are a powerful tool to evaluate morphological differences within and between taxa. In this work, we used GM to investigate whether lizards of the Liolaemus melanops complex differ in shape and size. Specifically, we analysed head shape and size variation to quantify intraspecific sexual dimorphism and interspecific differences. We found sexual dimorphism in six of the seven investigated species (L. canqueli, L. dumerili, L. goetschi, L. martorii, L. melanops and L. morenoi). Five species (L. canqueli, L. casamiquelai, L. martorii, L. melanops and L. morenoi) were distinct in shape and size, whereas L. goetschi and L. dumerili were indiscernible from each other. This work illustrates the value of GM to study morphological variation in lizards, suggesting that similar studies would be valuable for testing species boundaries in other groups of Liolaemus.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2016

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