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Type: Article
Published: 2023-09-08
Page range: 273-280
Abstract views: 279
PDF downloaded: 17

Clarifying a male color morph of Sphaerodactylus macrolepis Günther, 1859 and resolving the taxonomic confusion on Saint Croix

Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering; Princeton University; William Street; Princeton; New Jersey 08544; USA; Department of Molecular Biology; Princeton University; Washington Road; Princeton; New Jersey 08544; USA; Milwaukee Public Museum; 800 W. Wells Street; Milwaukee; Wisconsin 53233; USA
Molecular and Genomic Pathology Lab; University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; 200 Lothrop Street; Pittsburgh; Pennsylvania; USA
Milwaukee Public Museum; 800 W. Wells Street; Milwaukee; Wisconsin 53233; USA; School of Life Sciences; Arizona State University; 427 E. Tyler Mall; Tempe; Arizona 85281; USA; Center for Evolution and Medicine; Arizona State University; 401 E. Tyler Mall; Tempe; Arizona 85287; USA
Department of Biological Sciences; Louisiana State University Shreveport; 1 University Place; Shreveport; Louisiana 71115; USA; Department of Biological Sciences; Marquette University; P.O. Box 1881; Milwaukee; Wisconsin 53233; USA
Milwaukee Public Museum; 800 W. Wells Street; Milwaukee; Wisconsin 53233; USA
Reptilia dichromatism gecko sexual dimorphism sphaerodactyl Sphaerodactylidae Virgin Islands


Many species of sphaerodactyl gecko exhibit sexual dichromatism. In particular, dichromatism plays an important role in intersexual signaling for Sphaerodactylus. Furthermore, some species exhibit polymorphism in male color and pattern. Here, we describe a regional male color morph of Sphaerodactylus macrolepis from St. Croix. After generating both mitochondrial and nuclear phylogenies, we found that individuals with the St. Croix-specific yellow/orange head morph are part of the S. macrolepis clade. This distinct color morph likely contributed to the turbulent taxonomic history of the S. macrolepis species group. Given the documented diversity of the color patterns in this group and that sexual signals evolve rapidly, we suggest S. macrolepis is an excellent group to study the ecological and evolutionary consequences of dichromatism and polymorphism.



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