Author

Erich Hofmann

Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Josiah H. Townsend

Second Advisor

Joseph E. Duchamp

Third Advisor

Shundong Bi

Abstract

Insular populations of anole lizards (Squamata: Dactyloidae) are a focal species for evolutionary research, yet mainland species remain relatively poorly studied. In particular, the Norops crassulus subgroup has long challenged taxonomists, and previously, no accurate understanding of their evolutionary relationships had been inferred. To address this confusion, I used a three-part approach to exploring the diversity of anoles in the Chortís Block. First, I utilized single-locus DNA barcoding to generate a reference dataset of as many species as possible. Then, through multilocus phylogenetics, I analyzed the relationships within the N. crassulus subgroup. Finally, I examined populations of N. crassulus for morphological differences previously overlooked. My results reveal numerous cryptic lineages and underestimated biodiversity within the N. crassulus subgroup, and suggests that the group may have undergone a non-adaptive radiation, leading to conserved morphology across its range. This work sets the stage for future studies of anoles in the Chortís Block.

Share

COinS