Morphological characteristics of a newly discovered population of Aspidoscelis tesselata (Squamata: Teiidae) from Chihuahua, México, the identity of an associated hybrid, and a pattern of geographic variation

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A population of the parthenogenetic teiid lizard, Aspidoscelis tesselata, was recently discovered in the vicinity of Benavides, Chihuahua, México. This population is located in the general area where A. tesselata originated, as a parthenogenetically competent F1 hybrid, from hybridization between A. tigris marmorata and A. gularis septemvittata. Subsequent to its origin, A. tesselata utilized habitats associated with the Rio Grande and Pecos River drainages to expand its range into New Mexico. We used a canonical variate analysis of samples from Chihuahua, México, and the Rio Grande and Pecos River distribution corridors in southern New Mexico to determine the pattern of morphological variation among the 4 populations. The 2 populations from New Mexico were divergent, both from the Chihuahuan populations (which were morphologically similar) and from each other. A male specimen, collected with A. tesselata in the Benavides vicinity, was identified as a putative A. tesselata X A. tigris marmorata hybrid.

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