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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2001 Mar;18(3):327-34.

The Coachella valley fringe-toed lizard (Uma inornata): genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationships of an endangered species.

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Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen's Park, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 2C6, Canada.


A phylogeny was reconstructed for 23 populations of fringe-toed lizards (genus Uma) from the three most northern species of the genus, including the Mojave fringe-toed lizard U. scoparia, the Colorado Desert fringe-toed lizard U. notata, and the endangered Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard U. inornata. The outgroup taxa were the zebra-tailed lizard, Callisaurus draconoides; the lesser earless lizard, Holbrookia maculata; and the greater earless lizard, Cophosaurus texanus. Evaluation of 1630 combined nucleotide sequence from the mitochondrial genes ATPase 6 and cytochrome b yielded 10 most parsimonious trees. Reweighting the characters using the rescaled consistency index eliminated eight of these trees. The remaining two trees differ only in the placement of two individuals from the Superstition Mountains which either formed a monophlyetic unit or grouped with one individual from the Anza-Borrego population. The preferred phylogeny, one more consistent with geography, had two primary clades: one consisting of U. scoparia and the other placing U. inornata inside the clade containing U. notata. Uma inornata was most closely related to nearby U. notata notata, as opposed to more distant U. notata rufopunctata.

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