A Phylogenetic, Biogeographic, and Taxonomic study of all Extant Species ofAnolis(Squamata; Iguanidae)

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Abstract

Anolis lizards (anoles) are textbook study organisms in evolution and ecology. Although several topics in evolutionary biology have been elucidated by the study of anoles, progress in some areas has been hampered by limited phylogenetic information on this group. Here, we present a phylogenetic analysis of all 379 extant species of Anolis, with new phylogenetic data for 139 species including new DNA data for 101 species. We use the resulting estimates as a basis for defining anole clade names under the principles of phylogenetic nomenclature and to examine the biogeographic history of anoles. Our new taxonomic treatment achieves the supposed advantages of recent subdivisions of anoles that employed ranked Linnaean-based nomenclature while avoiding the pitfalls of those approaches regarding artificial constraints imposed by ranks. Our biogeographic analyses demonstrate complexity in the dispersal history of anoles, including multiple crossings of the Isthmus of Panama, two invasions of the Caribbean, single invasions to Jamaica and Cuba, and a single evolutionary dispersal from the Caribbean to the mainland that resulted in substantial anole diversity. Our comprehensive phylogenetic estimate of anoles should prove useful for rigorous testing of many comparative evolutionary hypotheses. [Anoles; biogeography; lizards; Neotropics; phylogeny; taxonomy]

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