Current / Past Research / Research By Category

Research 10.01.14

There are only four groups of scincid lizards at the genus level which have species that are fully limbed as well as species without limbs. All species are known to burrow and live in dry, rotting material inside decaying logs or in loose soil and leaves. Many different populations within the genus Brachymeles look very similar, so identifying separate species within this...


Publications 09.15.14

We review the recent discovery of multiple populations of the enigmatic, semi-aquatic Sphenomorphus Group skink, Parvoscincus leucospilos Peters, and investigate the morphological and genetic diversity of isolated, allopatric populations of this unique skink. Our investigations support the recognition of four unique evolutionary lineages distributed across Luzon Island in the Philippines, three of which are herein described as new species (P. tikbalangi sp....


Research 09.06.14

Island ecosystems often consist of many types of unique organisms and therefore are very important to conservation efforts. Deforestation, pollution, and a lack of protection of these islands cause many species to go endangered or extinct. In order to protect these endemic species it is important for scientists to study and identify the phylogenetic lineages of the many species living here. This...


Publications 09.15.13

Recent conceptual, technological and methodological advances in phylogenetics have enabled increasingly robust statistical species delimitation in studies of biodiversity. As the variety of evidence purporting species diversity has increased, so too have the kinds of tools and inferential power of methods for delimiting species. Here, we showcase an organismal system for a data-rich, comparative molecular approach to evaluating strategies of species delimitation...


Publications 09.15.12

Species diversity in skinks in the genus Brachymeles recently has undergone a state of flux, with numerous taxonomic discoveries over the past few years. Newly available, robust data sets from morphological data and molecular sequences have revealed that taxonomic diversity within this unique groupof lizards is substantially underestimated. In this third recent monographic revision of a major Brachymeles clade, we review the...


Publications 09.15.11

We redescribe the exceedingly rare, tetradactyl Philippine scincid lizards of the genus Brachymeles. Before the recent discovery of a second museum specimen of Brachymeles wrighti, and the rediscovery of B. elerae in the wild, these two species were known from a combined three museum specimens, all collected in the early 1900s. Since that time, biotic surveys in the region, including recent efforts...


Publications 09.15.11

Brachymeles bicolor (Gray 1845), from the Sierra Madre Mountain Range of Luzon Island, and Brachymeles pathfinderi Taylor 1925, from southern Mindanao Island, are among the most distinctive species in the genus, representing the largest species and one of only two known nonpentadactyl species with unequal digit numbers respectively. However, both species are inadequately diagnosed, based on a total of only five specimens....


Publications 09.15.11

The spectacular, virtually endemic radiation of Philippine semi-fossorial skinks of the genus Brachymeles represent one of the few radiations of scincid lizards to possess both fully limbed and limbless species. And yet, nothing is known of the phylogenetic relationships of this exceptional group. Morphologically similar body plans have made it difficult to assess species-level diversity, and the genus has long been recognized...


Publications 09.15.11

With robust new datasets from morphology and DNA sequences, we review the limbed, nonpentadactyl species of the Brachymeles samarensis complex (now known to include B. cebuensis, B. minimus, and B. lukbani), and describe five new species in this highly limb-reduced, endemic Philippine clade of scincid lizards. For more than four decades, B. samarensis has been recognized as a single ‘‘widespread’’ species. This...


Publications 09.12.11

We investigated phylogeography of Philippine slender toads (genus Ansonia) and used a temporal framework for diversification, statistical tests of alternate topologies, and Bayesian approaches to test previous hypotheses concerning dispersal to, and colonization routes within, the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. Two species of Ansonia previously have been documented, with ranges separated by an east–west split corresponding to the approximate boundaries of...


Publications 09.12.11

We describe a new species of lizard in the genus Gekko from Sibuyan Island in the Romblon Island group of the central Philippines. Although the new species is diagnosed from other Philippine Gekko by body size and shape, coloration, and multiple characteristics of external morphology, additional support for the recognition of the Sibuyan Gekko population as a distinct evolutionary lineage is garnered...