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Systematics and phylogeny of Sitana (Reptilia: Agamidae) of Peninsular India, with the description of one new genus and five new species

Deepak, V and Giri, Varad B and Asif, Mohammad and Dutta, Sushil Kumar and Vyas, Raju and Zambre, Amod M and Bhosale, Harshal and Karanth, Praveen K (2016) Systematics and phylogeny of Sitana (Reptilia: Agamidae) of Peninsular India, with the description of one new genus and five new species. In: CONTRIBUTIONS TO ZOOLOGY, 85 (1). pp. 67-111.

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Official URL: http://www.contributionstozoology.nl/vol85/nr01/a0...


We revise the taxonomy of the agamid genus Sitana Cuvier, 1829, a widely distributed terrestrial lizard from the Indian subcontinent based on detailed comparative analyses of external morphology, osteology and molecular data. We sampled 81 locations spread over 160,000 km(2) in Peninsular India including type localities, which represented two known and five previously undescribed species. Based on general similarity in body shape and dewlap all species were hitherto identified as members of the genus Sitana. However, Sitana deccanensis and two other morphotypes, which are endemic to north Karnataka and Maharashtra in Peninsular India, are very distinct from the rest of the known members of the genus Sitana based on their external morphology and osteology. Moreover, members of this distinct morphological group were monophyletic in the molecular tree, and this Glade (Glade 1) was sister to two well-supported clades (2 and 3) constituting the rest of the Sitana. The interclade genetic divergence in mtDNA between Glade 1 and clades 2 and 3 was 21-23%, whereas Glade 2 and Glade 3 exhibited 14-16% genetic divergence. Thus, we designate a new genus name ``Sarada'' gen. nov. for species represented in Clade 1, which also includes the recently resurrected Sitana deccanensis. We describe two new species in Sarada gen. nov. and three new species in Sitana. Similarity in the dewlap of Sitana and Sarada gen. nov. is attributed to similar function (sexual signaling) and similarity in body shape is attributed to a similar terrestrial life style and/or common ancestry.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the NATURALIS BIODIVERSITY CENTER, DARWINWEG 2, LEIDEN, 2333 CR, NETHERLANDS
Keywords: cryptic; dewlap; genetics; morphology; osteology; taxonomy
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2016 09:52
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2016 09:52
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/53931

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