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Assessing the heritability of dorsal pattern shape in Vipera latastei

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

The ecological advantages of dorsal pattern in European vipers, having aposematic/cryptic roles and/or enhancing thermoregulation among others, suggest that dorsal colouration is adaptive and submitted to selection. We have assessed its heritability by comparing the number of dorsal blotches (a quantitative measure of the dorsal-pattern shape) between 23 Vipera latasteifemales and their brood across the Iberian Peninsula. We found a high correlation ( R 2 = 0 . 80 ) between both female and brood blotch counts suggesting a high heritability for this character. Previous studies reported that the number of dorsal blotches shows geographic variation across the Iberian Peninsula and supported the adaptive character of dorsal pattern shape in V. latastei. This is a new contribution to understand the mechanisms involved in dorsal pattern variation in European vipers.

Affiliations: 1: CIBIO/InBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos da Universidade do Porto, R. Padre Armando Quintas, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal

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/content/journals/10.1163/15685381-00003001
2015-09-07
2017-11-25

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