Tuesday, 23 December 2014

New North American Species: Neaves Whiptail Lizard - via Herp Digest

Announcement, Courtesy
The Center for North American Herpetology,  December 12, 2014
Lawrence, Kansas http://www.cnah.org

Cole, Charles J., Harry L. Taylor, Diana P. Baumann, and Peter Baumann. 2014. Neaves' Whiptail Lizard: The first known tetraploid parthenogenetic tetrapod (Reptilia: Squamata: Teiidae). Brevoria, No. 539. 

Full paper found at

Abstract: The first known tetraploid amniote that reproduces through parthenogenetic cloning by individual females is named and described. The species originated through hybridization between Aspidoscelis exsanguis (triploid parthenogen) X Aspidoscelis inornata (diploid bisexual or gonochoristic species) in the laboratory. We compared multivariate morphological variation between two lineages that arose from separate F1 hybrid zygotes in one clutch and among several generations in those lineages. The tetraploid species is also compared with its ancestral taxa, with two hybrids of A. exsanguis X A. inornata that were found in nature at two localities that are 100 km apart in southern New Mexico, and with three laboratory hybrid males. This will facilitate identification of field-caught tetraploids in the future.

Holotype. MCZ R-192219 (5 SIMR 8093), a cloned adult female of the F2 laboratory reared generation that also cloned herself at the SIMR. She hatched on August 13, 2008, and her mother was MCZ R-192209 (=SIMR 4919). 

Etymology. The specific epithet, a noun in the genitive singular case, honors Dr. William B. Neaves, who was awarded a Ph.D. at Harvard University. Dr. Neaves’ graduate studies on unisexual whiptail lizards (Neaves and Gerald, 1968, 1969; Neaves, 1969, 1971) provided important early insights into the molecular genetics, origins, and speciation of parthenogens through hybridization, as well as the origin of a tetraploid hybrid lizard of A. exsanguis X A. inornata that he discovered in the field in Alamogordo, Otero County, New Mexico, which was the inspiration for the present laboratory hybridization project

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