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Molecular phylogeny of 4,161 squamate species

A new open-access paper that might be of interest to the list:

Pyron RA, Burbrink FT, Wiens JJ 2013 A phylogeny and revised
classification of Squamata, including 4161 species of lizards and
snakes. BMC Evol Biol 13: 93


The extant squamates (>9400 known species of lizards and snakes) are
one of the most diverse and conspicuous radiations of terrestrial
vertebrates, but no studies have attempted to reconstruct a phylogeny
for the group with large-scale taxon sampling. Such an estimate is
invaluable for comparative evolutionary studies, and to address their
classification. Here, we present the first large-scale phylogenetic
estimate for Squamata.


The estimated phylogeny contains 4161 species, representing all
currently recognized families and subfamilies. The analysis is based
on up to 12896 base pairs of sequence data per species (average = 2497
bp) from 12 genes, including seven nuclear loci (BDNF, c-mos, NT3,
PDC, R35, RAG-1, and RAG-2), and five mitochondrial genes (12S, 16S,
cytochrome b, ND2, and ND4). The tree provides important confirmation
for recent estimates of higherlevel squamate phylogeny based on
molecular data (but with more limited taxon sampling), estimates that
are very different from previous morphology-based hypotheses. The tree
also includes many relationships that differ from previous molecular
estimates and many that differ from traditional taxonomy.


We present a new large-scale phylogeny of squamate reptiles that
should be a valuable resource for future comparative studies. We also
present a revised classification of squamates at the family and
subfamily level to bring the taxonomy more in line with the new
phylogenetic hypothesis. This classification includes new,
resurrected, and modified subfamilies within gymnophthalmid and
scincid lizards and boid, colubrid, and lamprophiid snakes.

David Černý