Title

Systematic implications of morphologically distinct populations of parthenogenetic whiptail lizards. Cnemidophorus tesselatus pattern class D

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-1-1996

Abstract

The parthenogenetic teiid lizard, Cnemidophorus tesselatus D(2N), is known only from the vicinities of Conchas Lake, San Miguel County, New Mexico and the historic townsite of Higbee, Otero County, Colorado. The two geographic groups are completely distinguishable by color pattern and show univariate differences in seven meristic characters and one character ratio. A discriminant analysis of meristic characters assigned individuals to their respective populations with a success of 97.3%. In addition, each group of C. tesselatus D(2N) is meristically more similar to C. tesselatus C(2N) than it is to the other group of C. tesselatus D(2N). Based on this fact, in conjunction with biochemical evidence, we hypothesize that C. tesselatus D(2N) was secondarily derived by mutation from C. tesselatus C(2N). The original description of C. tesselatus (Say, 1823) was based on a representative of Pattern Class D from Pueblo, Pueblo County, Colorado. However, the closest extant population of this form is presently 110 km east of Pueblo, and the only color pattern class presently in the vicinity of the type locality is C. tesselatus A(3N). We report a voucher specimen of C. tesselatus D(2N) collected in Pueblo in 1962. This adds weight to the argument that Pattern Class D was in the Pueblo area at the time of Say's visit and that a neotype of C. tesselatus should be chosen from the Colorado population of C. tesselatus D(2N).

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