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Cryptic species and Miocene diversification of Palaearctic naked-toed geckos (Squamata: Gekkonidae) in the Indian dry zone

Agarwal, Ishan and Bauer, Aaron M and Jackman, Todd R and Karanth, Praveen (2014) Cryptic species and Miocene diversification of Palaearctic naked-toed geckos (Squamata: Gekkonidae) in the Indian dry zone. In: ZOOLOGICA SCRIPTA, 43 (5). pp. 455-471.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1111/zsc.12062


We sampled Palaearctic naked-toed geckos from across their range in India and used two mitochondrial and two nuclear genes to reconstruct relationships within a global phylogeny. Published sequences of Peninsular Indian Hemidactylus allow us to contrast these two groups in dating analyses - providing insights into the history of the Indian dry zone. Palaearctic naked-toed geckos first moved onto the Indian Plate in the Oligocene, with higher-level diversification probably linked to collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates, and subsequent dispersal into-India and diversification with increasing Miocene aridity. An independent gekkonid radiation with species in the dry zone, Hemidactylus diversified during the same period in Peninsular India. Our results demonstrate that dry zone taxa across India may date back to at least the Miocene, with a potential historical climatic barrier between the Indus and Peninsular Indian Divisions. `Cyrtopodion' aravallense is revealed to be a complex with seven genetically and environmentally divergent lineages that began diversifying in the late Miocene, congruent with increased aridity in north-western India. This discovery of cryptic diversity in the Indian dry zone represents the first terrestrial vertebrate radiation from north-western central India and highlights how little we understand of the regions' biodiversity, emphasizing the need for systematic geographic sampling and multiline evidence to reveal true patterns of diversity. The ancestor of `Cyrtopodion' aravallense came into the nascent Indian dry zone in the Miocene and has since diversified, potentially in the absence of any sympatric scansorial rupicolous geckos. Cyrtopodion scabrum represents a unique case of commensalism and shows phylogeographic structure in its presumed native range. The taxonomic implications of our study include a number of undescribed species, recognition of `Cyrtopodion' as a distinct lineage and the non-monophyly of Altiphylax.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the WILEY-BLACKWELL, 111 RIVER ST, HOBOKEN 07030-5774, NJ USA
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2014 09:08
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2014 09:08
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/49885

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