African Journal of Herpetology - latest Issue
Volumes & issues
Volume 65, Issue 2, 2016
Analysis of genetic diversity in Rose's mountain toadlet (Capensibufo rosei) using novel microsatellite markersSource: African Journal of Herpetology 65, pp 69 –82 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21564574.2016.1234511More Less
On the Cape Peninsula, Capensibufo rosei is known from only two isolated breeding populations within Table Mountain National Park. Because of its declining state, there is an urgent need to understand the genetic diversity, population structure and patterns of movement of this species. To do this, 15 microsatellite primer pairs were designed, optimised and tested. Successful loci were screened for null alleles and genotyping errors and then analysed, specifically noting the number of alleles, allelic size range, observed and expected heterozygosities, deviations from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) and linkage disequilibria. Bottleneck tests and analyses of molecular variance (AMOVA) were also conducted to gain insight into each population's structure. Eleven primer pairs produced unambiguous polymerase chain reactions (PCR) products and scoreable bands, which were found to be polymorphic across both breeding populations. Deviations from HWE were detected owing to the presence of null alleles and inbreeding. Significant bottleneck signatures were detected for both populations and the AMOVA revealed significant differentiation between the two populations, indicating genetic structure at the population level.
Variation in body size and morphometric traits of males and females of the wall gecko, Tarentola delalandii (Phyllodactylidae) from different environments on TenerifeSource: African Journal of Herpetology 65, pp 83 –98 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21564574.2016.1234512More Less
We analysed sexual dimorphism in body size and several other morphological traits of two populations of Tarentola delalandii on the island of Tenerife (San Cristóbal de La Laguna in the North, and Granadilla de Abona in the South), whose habitats differ in climate and vegetation cover. Sexual size dimorphism was invariant between populations. Males had significantly larger body size (snout-vent length, SVL) than females and SVL was larger in the northern population than in the southern population. Applying a Permutational MANCOVA to the other morphological variables, considering separately head and trunk lengths as covariates, we found a significant effect of population and gender. For the majority of morphological variables (body mass, SVL, width, length and height of the head, trunk length, forelimb and hindlimb, height and width of the tail) studied (eight in each analysis), there were significant differences, males having larger values than females and northern individuals larger values than those of the southern population. Therefore, we confirmed quantitatively a significant male biased sexual dimorphism in body size in the two populations and have shown sexual dimorphism in the characteristics mentioned previously. However, most of the shape-adjusted traits were significantly larger in females than in males. Results are discussed of possible evolutionary, ontogenetic and ecological factors affecting the expression of sexual dimorphism in the species studied.
Source: African Journal of Herpetology 65, pp 99 –114 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21564574.2016.1258012More Less
Within the lizard family Scincidae (the skinks) are numerous examples of species with vestigial limbs and girdles, but these vestigial structures remain undescribed for many such species. Here we seek to partially fill this gap in knowledge by describing the vestigial limb and girdle skeletons of Eumecia anchietae, an African skink for which the appendicular skeleton has not previously been described. Radiographs of 10 adult specimens reveal variation in the degree of ossification of the interclavicle and scapula and in the forelimb epiphyses; lengths of the humerus, forelimb and femur; and number of metacarpals, metatarsals and phalanges. The variation is unrelated to specimen size for most of these parameters. In all specimens the sternum is absent, the clavicle is ossified, ossification is greater in the humerus than in the more distal forelimb elements, ossification is greater in the tibia than the fibula, and the third toe has two phalanges. The results of this study suggest caution in the use of details of the morphology of vestigial limbs to diagnose lizard species, because of the variability present in such limbs.
Source: African Journal of Herpetology 65, pp 115 –122 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21564574.2016.1183717More Less
We describe a new species of Zygaspis based on a single specimen collected in northeastern Mozambique and deposited in the Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe, Bulawayo. The new species is characterised by its extensively black pigmentation, 191 body annuli, discrete preoculars, four parietals, two postoculars, three supralabials, and two post-supralabials. Phylogenetic analysis of mtDNA suggests that it is a sister taxon to the widespread Zygaspis quadrifrons.