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Anguid Lizards of the Genus Abronia: Revisionary Notes, Descriptions of Four New Species, A Phylogenetic Analysis, and Key

Journal / Magazine

Series: Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH Bulletins) Volume: 216

By: Jonathan A Campbell(Author), Darrel R Frost(Author)

121 pages, b/w photos, illustrations, tables

American Museum of Natural History

Paperback | Dec 1993 | #58263
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About this book

We establish that Abronia vasconcelosii is a junior synonym of A. aurita. Abronia fimbriata is resurrected from the synonymy of A. aurita and shown to be one of the most distinctive species in the genus. Abronia gaiophantasma and A. anzuetoi are described, respectively, from the cloud forest of the western Sierra de las Minas, Department of Baja Verapaz, Guatemala, and the southern (Pacific) slope of the Volcán de Agua, Department of Escuintla, Guatemala. These species had previously been confused with A. aurita and 'A. vasconcelosii,' Respectively. Abronia smithi, a new species from the Pacific versant of Chiapas, Mexico, and A. leurolepis, a new species from the Atlantic versant of Chiapas, Mexico, are described and distinguished from A. ochoterenai, from the Atlantic versant of Chiapas, Mexico, with which they had previously been confused.

A more detailed diagnosis of A. matudai, of the Pacific versant of Guatemala and Chiapas, Mexico, is provided. Abronia kalaina is placed in the synonymy of A. fuscolabialis, and specimens previously reported as A. montecristoi from Honduras are shown to be representatives of A. salvadorensis. We address the taxonomic history and provide synonymies and diagnoses for each of the problematical species. The natural history, conservation biology, and phylogeny of Abronia are discussed. The use of intraspecifically variable characters in phylogenetic inference is addressed and alternative approaches to analysis are compared: (1) a reference approach in which only 'fixed' characters are employed (i.e., all transformation series that contain polymorphic cells in the data matrix are excluded); (2) a 'baseline' approach in which polymorphisms are optimized onto the resulting cladograms, but polymorphism is not allowed on interior stems; (3) an 'any instance' approach in which only a priori apomorphies are coded, regardless of frequency; (4) an 'unscaled,' minimum turnover approach in which all character matches count equally a priori and origination of apomorphies is minimized; and (5) a 'scaled' approach in which the transformation diameter from 'fixed' plesiomorphy direct to 'fixed' apomorphy is the same as from 'fixed' plesiomorphy to 'variable' within a terminal taxon to 'fixed' apomorphy.

A priori weighting of characters that exhibit no intrapopulational polymorphism over those showing polymorphism is done in order to evaluate the signal inherent in intraspecifically variable characters as well as characterization problems. Successive approximations is evaluated as a means of increasing the signal to noise ratio in data analysis. The technique recommended for incorporating intraspecifically variable morphological characters into a phylogenetic analysis is an unscaled, minimum turnover approach, combined with successive approximations.

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