Numerical statistical methods were used to analyse the species in the genus Sceloporus using cranial osteology, external meristic and numeric characters, karyology, display behavior and geographic distribution. A new phylogeny for the genus is proposed with three main branches or Groups: Group I, a primitive group, evolved from Uta, Urosaurus and Sator in Miocene times. This Group speciated from gadoviae in the south to merriami in the north and contains 7 species in 3 species groups. Group II arose from Group I and evolved from centrally located pictus in all directions throughout Mexico. It contains approximately 19 species in 5 species groups. Group III also arose from the primitive stock of Group I and speciated from several desert refugia created by Pleistocene glaciation. Evolution of this Group in Mexico was generally from north to south with malachiticus extending as far south as Panama. This Group contains approximately 32 species in 5 species groups. It is suggested that the three main divisions of Sceloporus should be given taxonomic recognition.
College and Department
Plant and Wildlife Sciences
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Larsen, Kenneth Rex, "Speciation in the genus sceloporus Sceloporus (Sauria, Iguanidae) as determined by cranial osteology and other characters" (1973). Theses and Dissertations. 7806.
Reptiles, Maryland; Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge