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Data from: Phylogeographic structure, demographic history, and morph composition in a colour polymorphic lizard


McLean, Claire A.; Stuart-Fox, Devi; Moussalli, Adnan (2014), Data from: Phylogeographic structure, demographic history, and morph composition in a colour polymorphic lizard, Dryad, Dataset,


In polymorphic species, population divergence in morph composition and frequency has the potential to promote speciation. We assessed the relationship between geographic variation in male throat colour polymorphism and phylogeographic structure in the tawny dragon lizard, Ctenophorus decresii. We identified four genetically distinct lineages, corresponding to two polymorphic lineages in the Northern Flinders Ranges and Southern Flinders Ranges/Olary Ranges regions respectively, and a monomorphic lineage in the Mt Lofty Ranges/Kangaroo Island region. The degree of divergence between these three lineages was consistent with isolation to multiple refugia during Pleistocene glacial cycles, whereas a fourth, deeply divergent (at the interspecific level) and monomorphic lineage was restricted to western New South Wales. The same four morphs occurred in both polymorphic lineages, although populations exhibited considerable variation in the frequency of morphs. By contrast, male throat coloration in the monomorphic lineages differed from each other and from the polymorphic lineages. Our results suggest that colour polymorphism has evolved once in the C. decresii species complex, with subsequent loss of polymorphism in the Mt Lofty Ranges/Kangaroo Island lineage. However, an equally parsimonious scenario, that polymorphism arose independently twice within C. decresii, could not be ruled out. We also detected evidence of a narrow contact zone with limited genotypic admixture between the polymorphic Olary Ranges and monomorphic Mt Lofty Ranges regions, yet no individuals of intermediate colour phenotype. Such genetic divergence and evidence for barriers to gene flow between lineages suggest incipient speciation between populations that differ in morph composition.

Usage notes


New South Wales
Olary Ranges
Barrier Ranges
Kangaroo Island
Flinders Ranges
South Australia
Mt Lofty Ranges