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Data from: Multilocus phylogeny reveals unexpected diversification patterns in Asian Wolf Snakes (genus Lycodon)


Siler, Cameron et al. (2013), Data from: Multilocus phylogeny reveals unexpected diversification patterns in Asian Wolf Snakes (genus Lycodon), Dryad, Dataset,


The diverse group of Asian Wolf Snakes of the genus Lycodon represents one of many poorly understood radiations of advanced snakes in the superfamily Colubroidea. Outside of three species having previously been represented in higher-level phylogenetic analyses, nothing is known of the relationships among species in this unique, moderately diverse, group. The genus occurs widely from central to southeast Asia, with a variety of range sizes from widespread forms to those that are endmic to small islands. One-third of the diversity is found in the Philippine archipelago. Both morphological similarity and highly variable diagnostic characters have contributed to confusion over species-level diversity. Additionally, the placement of the genus among genera in the subfamily Colubrinae remains uncertain, although previous studies have supported a close relationship with the genus Dinodon. In this study we provide the first estimate of phylogenetic relationships within the genus Lycodon using a multi-locus dataset. We provide statistical tests of monophyly based on biogeographic, morphological, and taxonomic hypotheses. With few exceptions, we are able to reject many of these hypotheses, indicating a need for taxonomic revisions. Mapping of color patterns on our preferred phylogenetic tree suggests that banded and blotched morphotypes have evolved on multiple occasions in the history of the genus, whereas the solid-color (and possibly speckled) morphotype evolved only once. Our results reveal that the colubrid genus Dinodon is nested within Lycodon—a clear finding that necessitates the placing of the former genus in synonymy with the latter.

Usage Notes


Southeast Asia