n African Journal of Herpetology - Molecular phylogenetics of Malagasy skinks (Squamata : Scincidae) : original article

Volume 53, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2156-4574
  • E-ISSN: 2153-3660
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Malagasy skinks are a poorly known group, and their relationships have not been critically evaluated previously. In this paper we present a phylogeny of Malagasy "scincine" lizards, based on quantitative phylogenetic analysis of data from seven molecular markers. Our analysis confirms the paraphyly of , and supports as a valid genus. , is sister to three groups of and , but relationships within this clade are tenuous. is monophyletic, but the subgenera and are not supported. These data support the monophyly of all sampled Malagasy "scincines" as well as a southern African + Malagasy "scincine" clade. Despite their low vagility, these skinks appear to have reached Madagascar by dispersal over water, rather than as a result of vicariance.

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