Lizards of genus Leposoma are conspicuous components of herpetofauna from tropical forests of South and Central America. Currently two monophyletic species groups are recognized for Leposoma: the scincoides and parietale groups. Both are allopatric, with scincoides group associated with Brazilian Atlantic Forest and restrict to the east portion of South America and parietale group occurring in the forests of west South America and Central America, from Amazon to Costa Rica. The scincoides group was intensely studied in relation to it radiation, taxonomy and distribution; however, the same is not true for parietale group. Despite the recent description of new species, the last revision of parietale group occurred more than 60 years ago, and several species are absent in the only phylogeny available. Furthermore, recent studies found evidences that some nominal taxa are species complexes. The main goals of this study are review the systematic of Leposoma group parietale and propose a broader phylogenetic hypothesis, including all the nominal species, based on morphological and molecular characters. We also intend to describe possible new taxa and place others in synonymy, if this is the case. The results will clarify the radiation of Leposoma in the northern portion of South America and Central America, relating it with the geomorphological and palaeoenvironmental evolution of this region.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: