Systematics, ecomorphology, cryptic speciation and biogeography of the lizard genus Tytthoscincus Linkem, Diesmos & Brown (Squamata: Scincidae) from the sky-island archipelago of Peninsular Malaysia

L. Lee Grismer, Perry L. Wood, Evan S.H. Quah, Shahrul Anuar, Ehwan B. Ngadi, Nur Amalina Mohd Izam, Norhayati Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An integrative taxonomic analysis reveals a remarkable degree of cryptic speciation between sympatric, specialized, leaf-litter species in an upland clade of the scincid genus Tytthoscincus across the sky-island archipelago of Peninsular Malaysia. Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood phylogenies based on the mitochondrial gene ND2 indicate that this clade is composed of a lineage of limb, digit and tympanum-reduced, semi-fossorial species and a lineage of leaf-litter generalist bearing longer, more robust limbs and digits, and well-developed tympanae. Behavioural differences inferred from differing ecomorphologies form the basis of hypotheses proposed to account for resource partitioning at Fraser’s Hill, Pahang between the sympatric leaf-litter generalist T. bukitensis and the new semi-fossorial species T. kakikecil sp. nov. However, this hypothesis does not account for the extreme case of cryptic speciation and syntopy between T. bukitensis and a new leaf-litter generalist T. martae sp. nov. at Genting Highlands, Pahang. The phylogenetic analyses also indicate there is an additional new, upland, semi-fossorial species, T. jaripendek sp. nov., from Cameron Highlands and a new lowland, leaf-litter generalist, Tytthoscincus sp., from Hulu Terengganu, Terengganu. The specific identities of the new upland populations are corroborated by morphological analyses using combinations of principal component analysis, discriminant analysis of principal components, analysis of variance, Tukey HSD (honest significant difference) tests and Welch two-way t-tests. The Hulu Terengganu specimen was too damaged to provide a reliable description. A biogeographic scenario inferred from a time-calibrated BEAST analysis suggests that speciation in the upland clade has been ongoing since the Upper Pliocene following repeated episodes of secondary contact associated with glacier-driven climatic oscillations generating upland forest expansion and retraction. These analyses highlight the increasing levels of herpetological diversity and endemism being discovered in the montane regions of Peninsular Malaysia and bring to light the understudied ecological complexity of Peninsular Malaysia’s leaf-litter ecosystems and the growing need for its conservation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-671
Number of pages37
JournalZoological Journal of the Linnean Society
Volume183
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

Fingerprint

ecomorphology
Scincidae
Squamata
leaf litter
biogeography
lizard
plant litter
Malaysia
archipelago
lizards
highlands
taxonomy
generalist
limbs (animal)
limb
new species
principal component analysis
secondary contact
niche partitioning
phylogeny

Keywords

  • Cryptic species
  • Ecomorphology
  • Leaf-litter
  • Peninsular Malaysia
  • Semi-fossorial
  • Tytthoscincus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Systematics, ecomorphology, cryptic speciation and biogeography of the lizard genus Tytthoscincus Linkem, Diesmos & Brown (Squamata : Scincidae) from the sky-island archipelago of Peninsular Malaysia. / Grismer, L. Lee; Wood, Perry L.; Quah, Evan S.H.; Anuar, Shahrul; Ngadi, Ehwan B.; Izam, Nur Amalina Mohd; Ahmad, Norhayati.

In: Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 183, No. 3, 01.07.2018, p. 635-671.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{1a8f83fb5e584e7bbce052360af29d19,
title = "Systematics, ecomorphology, cryptic speciation and biogeography of the lizard genus Tytthoscincus Linkem, Diesmos & Brown (Squamata: Scincidae) from the sky-island archipelago of Peninsular Malaysia",
abstract = "An integrative taxonomic analysis reveals a remarkable degree of cryptic speciation between sympatric, specialized, leaf-litter species in an upland clade of the scincid genus Tytthoscincus across the sky-island archipelago of Peninsular Malaysia. Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood phylogenies based on the mitochondrial gene ND2 indicate that this clade is composed of a lineage of limb, digit and tympanum-reduced, semi-fossorial species and a lineage of leaf-litter generalist bearing longer, more robust limbs and digits, and well-developed tympanae. Behavioural differences inferred from differing ecomorphologies form the basis of hypotheses proposed to account for resource partitioning at Fraser’s Hill, Pahang between the sympatric leaf-litter generalist T. bukitensis and the new semi-fossorial species T. kakikecil sp. nov. However, this hypothesis does not account for the extreme case of cryptic speciation and syntopy between T. bukitensis and a new leaf-litter generalist T. martae sp. nov. at Genting Highlands, Pahang. The phylogenetic analyses also indicate there is an additional new, upland, semi-fossorial species, T. jaripendek sp. nov., from Cameron Highlands and a new lowland, leaf-litter generalist, Tytthoscincus sp., from Hulu Terengganu, Terengganu. The specific identities of the new upland populations are corroborated by morphological analyses using combinations of principal component analysis, discriminant analysis of principal components, analysis of variance, Tukey HSD (honest significant difference) tests and Welch two-way t-tests. The Hulu Terengganu specimen was too damaged to provide a reliable description. A biogeographic scenario inferred from a time-calibrated BEAST analysis suggests that speciation in the upland clade has been ongoing since the Upper Pliocene following repeated episodes of secondary contact associated with glacier-driven climatic oscillations generating upland forest expansion and retraction. These analyses highlight the increasing levels of herpetological diversity and endemism being discovered in the montane regions of Peninsular Malaysia and bring to light the understudied ecological complexity of Peninsular Malaysia’s leaf-litter ecosystems and the growing need for its conservation.",
keywords = "Cryptic species, Ecomorphology, Leaf-litter, Peninsular Malaysia, Semi-fossorial, Tytthoscincus",
author = "Grismer, {L. Lee} and Wood, {Perry L.} and Quah, {Evan S.H.} and Shahrul Anuar and Ngadi, {Ehwan B.} and Izam, {Nur Amalina Mohd} and Norhayati Ahmad",
year = "2018",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1093/zoolinnean/zlx067",
language = "English",
volume = "183",
pages = "635--671",
journal = "Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society",
issn = "0024-4082",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Systematics, ecomorphology, cryptic speciation and biogeography of the lizard genus Tytthoscincus Linkem, Diesmos & Brown (Squamata

T2 - Scincidae) from the sky-island archipelago of Peninsular Malaysia

AU - Grismer, L. Lee

AU - Wood, Perry L.

AU - Quah, Evan S.H.

AU - Anuar, Shahrul

AU - Ngadi, Ehwan B.

AU - Izam, Nur Amalina Mohd

AU - Ahmad, Norhayati

PY - 2018/7/1

Y1 - 2018/7/1

N2 - An integrative taxonomic analysis reveals a remarkable degree of cryptic speciation between sympatric, specialized, leaf-litter species in an upland clade of the scincid genus Tytthoscincus across the sky-island archipelago of Peninsular Malaysia. Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood phylogenies based on the mitochondrial gene ND2 indicate that this clade is composed of a lineage of limb, digit and tympanum-reduced, semi-fossorial species and a lineage of leaf-litter generalist bearing longer, more robust limbs and digits, and well-developed tympanae. Behavioural differences inferred from differing ecomorphologies form the basis of hypotheses proposed to account for resource partitioning at Fraser’s Hill, Pahang between the sympatric leaf-litter generalist T. bukitensis and the new semi-fossorial species T. kakikecil sp. nov. However, this hypothesis does not account for the extreme case of cryptic speciation and syntopy between T. bukitensis and a new leaf-litter generalist T. martae sp. nov. at Genting Highlands, Pahang. The phylogenetic analyses also indicate there is an additional new, upland, semi-fossorial species, T. jaripendek sp. nov., from Cameron Highlands and a new lowland, leaf-litter generalist, Tytthoscincus sp., from Hulu Terengganu, Terengganu. The specific identities of the new upland populations are corroborated by morphological analyses using combinations of principal component analysis, discriminant analysis of principal components, analysis of variance, Tukey HSD (honest significant difference) tests and Welch two-way t-tests. The Hulu Terengganu specimen was too damaged to provide a reliable description. A biogeographic scenario inferred from a time-calibrated BEAST analysis suggests that speciation in the upland clade has been ongoing since the Upper Pliocene following repeated episodes of secondary contact associated with glacier-driven climatic oscillations generating upland forest expansion and retraction. These analyses highlight the increasing levels of herpetological diversity and endemism being discovered in the montane regions of Peninsular Malaysia and bring to light the understudied ecological complexity of Peninsular Malaysia’s leaf-litter ecosystems and the growing need for its conservation.

AB - An integrative taxonomic analysis reveals a remarkable degree of cryptic speciation between sympatric, specialized, leaf-litter species in an upland clade of the scincid genus Tytthoscincus across the sky-island archipelago of Peninsular Malaysia. Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood phylogenies based on the mitochondrial gene ND2 indicate that this clade is composed of a lineage of limb, digit and tympanum-reduced, semi-fossorial species and a lineage of leaf-litter generalist bearing longer, more robust limbs and digits, and well-developed tympanae. Behavioural differences inferred from differing ecomorphologies form the basis of hypotheses proposed to account for resource partitioning at Fraser’s Hill, Pahang between the sympatric leaf-litter generalist T. bukitensis and the new semi-fossorial species T. kakikecil sp. nov. However, this hypothesis does not account for the extreme case of cryptic speciation and syntopy between T. bukitensis and a new leaf-litter generalist T. martae sp. nov. at Genting Highlands, Pahang. The phylogenetic analyses also indicate there is an additional new, upland, semi-fossorial species, T. jaripendek sp. nov., from Cameron Highlands and a new lowland, leaf-litter generalist, Tytthoscincus sp., from Hulu Terengganu, Terengganu. The specific identities of the new upland populations are corroborated by morphological analyses using combinations of principal component analysis, discriminant analysis of principal components, analysis of variance, Tukey HSD (honest significant difference) tests and Welch two-way t-tests. The Hulu Terengganu specimen was too damaged to provide a reliable description. A biogeographic scenario inferred from a time-calibrated BEAST analysis suggests that speciation in the upland clade has been ongoing since the Upper Pliocene following repeated episodes of secondary contact associated with glacier-driven climatic oscillations generating upland forest expansion and retraction. These analyses highlight the increasing levels of herpetological diversity and endemism being discovered in the montane regions of Peninsular Malaysia and bring to light the understudied ecological complexity of Peninsular Malaysia’s leaf-litter ecosystems and the growing need for its conservation.

KW - Cryptic species

KW - Ecomorphology

KW - Leaf-litter

KW - Peninsular Malaysia

KW - Semi-fossorial

KW - Tytthoscincus

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85047752298&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85047752298&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/zoolinnean/zlx067

DO - 10.1093/zoolinnean/zlx067

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85047752298

VL - 183

SP - 635

EP - 671

JO - Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society

JF - Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society

SN - 0024-4082

IS - 3

ER -