INSTITUTO DE DIVERSIDAD Y ECOLOGIA ANIMAL
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Morphology, phylogeny and taxonomy of South American bothropoid pitvipers (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae)
CARRASCO, P.; MATTONI, C.I.; LEYNAUD, G.C.; SCROCCHI, G.J.
WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC
Año: 2012 vol. 41 p. 109 - 109
South American bothropoids comprise a monophyletic and greatly diverse group of pitvipers that were initially included in the genus Bothrops and later assigned to five genera. Until recently, most phylogenetic analyses of bothropoids used exclusively mitochondrial DNA sequences, whereas few of them have included morphological traits. Moreover, the systematic affinities of some species remain unclear. In this study, we performed a parsimony analysis of morphological data obtained from the examination of 111 characters related to lepidosis, colour pattern, osteology, and hemipenial morphology of 35 of the 48 species that compose the bothropoid group. The morphological data analysed contain novel information about several species, including the incertae sedis. Morphology was analysed separately and combined with 2393 molecular characters obtained from published sequences of four mitochondrial genes. Five characters of the ecology were also included. A sensitivity analysis was performed using different weighting criteria for the characters. The congruence among different sources of evidence was evaluated through partitioned and total evidence analyses, the analyses of reduced datasets and the use of incongruence length difference test. With few exceptions, results showed groups of species similar tothose obtained in previous studies; however, incongruences between morphological and molecular characters, and within the molecular partition, were revealed. This conflict affects the relationship between particular groups of species, leading to alternative phylogenetic hypotheses for bothropoids: hierarchical radiation or two major lineages within the group. The results also showed that Bothrops sensu stricto is paraphyletic. We discuss previous taxonomic approaches and, considering both phylogenetic hypotheses, we propose an arrangement that rectifies the paraphyly of Bothrops: maintaining Bothrocophias, assigning Bothrops andianus to this genus; and recognising the sister clade as Bothrops, synonymising Bothriopsis, Bothropoides and Rhinocerophis.