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Taxonomy, systematics and phylogeny of Cnemidophorus (Squamata: Teiidae)

Grant number: 13/12653-9
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2013
Effective date (End): February 28, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal Investigator:Miguel Trefaut Urbano Rodrigues
Grantee:Federico José Arias
Supervisor abroad: Gregory B. Pauly
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:12/02212-2 - Taxonomy, systematics and phylogeny the Cnemidophorus lemniscatus group (Squamata: Teiidae), based on morphological and molecular caracters, BP.PD

Abstract

Until recently, the Cnemidophorus genus included 32 species arranged in four species groups (Arias et al. 2011b): C. lemniscatus group, C. lacertoides group, C. longicauda group and C. ocellifer group. These lizards are distributed in South America from Lesser Antilles, near Venezuela, to southern Argentina. Along this area they inhabit a large diversity of environments, except for the Puna, being present in open areas in Amazonia and Atlantic forest, Caatingas, Cerrado, Chaco, Campos Rupestres, Restingas, and the Monte in Argentina (Arias et al. 2011b). Recently the genus was divided in four monophyletic genera: (1) Contomastix; (2) Aurivela; (3) Ameivula; and (4) Cnemidophorus, formed by species distributed throughout the islands of the southern Caribbean region and open areas of the Amazon basin (Ugueto & Harvey, 2010). As Ameivula, this complex shows conspicuous morphological variation and ontogenetic, in the color pattern, suggesting that there are several species under the name of Cnemidophorus lemniscatus Continuing my postdoctoral work, this internship abroad aims to investigate the taxonomic status the populations of Cnemidophorus lemniscatus from Centro America, Caribbean island and northern of South America. The new morphological characters obtained (coloration, lepidose, skeleton, hemipenial and morphometric), will be adding to those obtain in the course of my postdoctoral (both morphological and molecular) to perform a robust phylogenetic analyze of entire genera. The collection of lizard of the Teiidae family housing at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is one of the most diverse in the world, which ensure the development of the project. (AU)