Morphological and genetic variation in the endangered Sulawesi tortoise : evidence of distinct lineages?Indotestudo forstenii: evidence of distinct lineages?

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Limited fieldwork and anecdotal evidence indicate that allopatric populations of the endangered Sulawesi tortoise (Indotestudo forstenii) differ in size and presence/absence of a nuchal scute, suggesting that these may constitute separate evolutionary lineages. We examined morphological and genetic variation to determine if the nuchal scute is correlated with size or genetic divergence. Our results indicate a strong correlation between size and nuchal scute such that turtles lacking a nuchal scute were larger than those possessing a nuchal scute. However, we found no correlation between genetic divergence and presence/absence of nuchal scutes, and thus no evidence of genetically differentiated lineages.

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