Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic Study Finds Treasure Trove Of New Lizards

Date:
March 10, 2009
Source:
University of Adelaide
Summary:
Scientists have discovered that there are many more species of Australian lizards than previously thought, raising new questions about conservation and management of Australia's native reptiles.

New species of gecko that was once thought to be Diplodactylus tessellatus.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Adelaide

University of Adelaide research has discovered that there are many more species of Australian lizards than previously thought, raising new questions about conservation and management of Australia's native reptiles.

PhD student Paul Oliver, from the University's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, has done a detailed genetic study of the Australian gecko genus Diplodactylus and found more than twice the recognised number of gecko species, from 13 species to 29. This study was done in collaboration with the South Australian Museum and Western Australian Museum.

"Many of these species are externally very similar, leading to previous severe underestimation of true species diversity," says Mr Oliver.

"One of the major problems for biodiversity conservation and management is that many species remain undocumented.

"This problem is widely acknowledged to be dire among invertebrates and in developing countries.

"But in this group of vertebrates in a developed nation, which we thought we knew reasonably well, we found more than half the species were unrecognised."

Mr Oliver says this has great significance for conservation. For instance, what was thought to be a single very widespread species of gecko has turned out to be eight or nine separate species with much narrower, more restricted habitats and possibly much more vulnerable to environmental change, he says.

"This completely changes how we look at conservation management of these species," he says.

"Even at just the basic inventory level, this shows that there is a lot of work still to be done. Vertebrate taxonomy clearly remains far from complete with many species still to be discovered. This will require detailed genetic and morphological work, using integrated data from multiple sources. It will require considerable effort and expense but with potentially rich returns."

The research was supported by grants from the Australia Pacific Science Foundation and the Australian Biological Resources Study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Adelaide. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Cryptic diversity in vertebrates: molecular data doubles estimates of species diversity in a radiation of Australian lizards (Diplodactylus, Gekkota). Proceedings of the Royal Society: B, March 4, 2009

Cite This Page:

University of Adelaide. "Genetic Study Finds Treasure Trove Of New Lizards." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090303210053.htm>.
University of Adelaide. (2009, March 10). Genetic Study Finds Treasure Trove Of New Lizards. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090303210053.htm
University of Adelaide. "Genetic Study Finds Treasure Trove Of New Lizards." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090303210053.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd

Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) New England farms are seeing a surge in younger farm hands as the 'buy local' food movement grows across the country. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, spiders that live in cities are bigger, fatter and multiply faster. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) Russian cosmonauts say they've found evidence of sea plankton on the International Space Station's windows. NASA is a little more skeptical. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins