The genus Quedenfeldtia is composed of two species, Q. moerens and Q. trachyblepharus, both endemic to the Atlas Mountains region of Morocco. Previous studies recovered two main genetic lineages within each Quedenfeldtia species, although sampling did not cover a substantial portion of their known distribution. In this study we collected individuals from previously unsampled localities of Quedenfeldtia and carried out genetic analyses in order to assess the range of previously identified lineages and the occurrence of additional lineages. Phylogenetic reconstruction based on both mitochondrial (12S and ND4 + tRNA) and nuclear (MC1R) markers revealed that while the new individuals of Q. moerens belong to previously described lineages, two new lineages of Q. trachyblepharus were uncovered from the northern and southern parts of the range. Genetic divergence of these new lineages (8-9% ND4 + tRNA p-distance) was higher than values observed between other lizard sister species. In the future a thorough morphological assessment is needed to complement this study and allow a taxonomic revision of these taxa. The results of this study highlight the importance of biodiversity assessments in mountainous regions characterized by high endemicity but which are difficult to access.

New genetic lineages within Moroccan day geckos Quedenfeldtia (Sphaerodactylidae) revealed by mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data

SALVI, Daniele
2017-01-01

Abstract

The genus Quedenfeldtia is composed of two species, Q. moerens and Q. trachyblepharus, both endemic to the Atlas Mountains region of Morocco. Previous studies recovered two main genetic lineages within each Quedenfeldtia species, although sampling did not cover a substantial portion of their known distribution. In this study we collected individuals from previously unsampled localities of Quedenfeldtia and carried out genetic analyses in order to assess the range of previously identified lineages and the occurrence of additional lineages. Phylogenetic reconstruction based on both mitochondrial (12S and ND4 + tRNA) and nuclear (MC1R) markers revealed that while the new individuals of Q. moerens belong to previously described lineages, two new lineages of Q. trachyblepharus were uncovered from the northern and southern parts of the range. Genetic divergence of these new lineages (8-9% ND4 + tRNA p-distance) was higher than values observed between other lizard sister species. In the future a thorough morphological assessment is needed to complement this study and allow a taxonomic revision of these taxa. The results of this study highlight the importance of biodiversity assessments in mountainous regions characterized by high endemicity but which are difficult to access.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/113886
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