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Genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationships of Mabuya spp. (Squamata: Scincidae) from western Indian Ocean islands

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Western Indian Ocean islands (excluding Madagascar) are inhabited by at least five species of the lizard genus Mabuya, for which diversity and inter-island phylogenetic relationships are still unclear, particularly concerning island populations of M. maculilabris, M. comorensis and M. striata. With a comprehensive sampling across the Comoros archipelago and the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba (Tanzania) we use molecular data and previously published sequences of these species to describe genetic variation across their insular range and explore the possible distinction of insular populations of the different species, contributing to the clarification of their status and knowledge of their colonization patterns. We describe patterns of cryptic diversity within M. comorensis, revealing a West to East colonization of the Comoros archipelago and clarify the status of Malagasy populations of this species. Cryptic variation is also observed within M. maculilabris and M. striata, and the status of several continental and island populations discussed. M. sechellensis is shown to be paraphyletic relative to M. wrightii. Available data for all Afro-Malagasy Mabuya reveals additional possible instances of paraphyly within some species but does not allow for further resolution of basal relationships within this group, pointing to rapid and simultaneous divergences within this group and the need for multiple independent markers to recover the history of this group.

Affiliations: 1: CIBIO-UP, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Campus Agrário de Vairão, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal, Departamento de Biologia, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre, FC4, 4169-007, Porto, Portugal, Departamento de Bioquímica, Genética e Inmunología, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Vigo, Vigo 36310, Spain;, Email: sara.rocha@mail.icav.up.pt; 2: CIBIO-UP, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Campus Agrário de Vairão, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal, Departamento de Biologia, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre, FC4, 4169-007, Porto, Portugal; 3: CIBIO-UP, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Campus Agrário de Vairão, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal, Departamento de Biologia, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre, FC4, 4169-007, Porto, Portugal

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/content/journals/10.1163/156853810791769473
2010-07-01
2016-12-04

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