Phylogeny and microendemism of the New Caledonian lizard fauna.

The lizard fauna of New Caledonia is both diverse and highly endemic. Molecular phylogenetic analyses of the diplodactylid geckos and lygosomine skinks reveal that the island supports a minimum of 106 endemic lizard species. New Caledonian diplodactylids are monophyletic, but recognized genera are not, whereas New Caledonian skinks are paraphyletic with respect to New Zealand skinks, although all but one genus is monophyletic. Geological events in the Eocene and Oligocene are likely to have been responsible for initial cladogenesis within both geckos and skinks in New Caledonia, although the lineages themselves may be of different ages. Microendemism is the result of geologically and climatically-mediated fragmentation of habitats throughout the second half of the Tertiary and poses signifi cant problems for conservation management in New Caledonia today.

Main Author: Bauer, Aaron.
Other Authors: Jackman, Todd.
Format: Villanova Faculty Authorship
Language: English
Published: 2006
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