The taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships of Australian scincid lizards (Scincidae : Lygosominae)
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 22:00 authored by Shelley Burgin
The taxonomic and phylogenetic relationships of Lampropholis skinks were investigated using molecular criteria. Although allozyme evolution was identified as occurring at a relatively slow rate, genetic diversity among taxa is substantial and of an order of magnitude not generally contemplated previously. Using allozyme data, several described species were identified as consisting of species' complexes, while relationships within Lampropholis are considered sufficient to identify four taxa considered worthy of generic rank. The immunological data supports the concept of three monophyletic groups within the Australian Lygosominae. Dichotomy of one of these groups (the Eugonqylus), based on fusion of the atlantal bones is supported, while the dichotomy of the genus Leiolopisma, on the basis of reproductive mode, is also supported. Due to the observed diversity among Australian Lygosominae and between Australian taxa and those of New Guinea, New Zealand and South East Asian, a Gondwanan radiation is hypothesized.