Phylogenetic Biology of the Burrowing Snake Tribe Sonorini (Colubridae)

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/196086
Title:
Phylogenetic Biology of the Burrowing Snake Tribe Sonorini (Colubridae)
Author:
Holm, Peter
Issue Date:
2008
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The Sonorini is a diverse assemblage of cryptozoic to fossorial snakes. Molecular and morphological evidence is ambiguous as to whether the tribe is monophyletic or consists of two or more independent clades. Morphological analysis, using Coluber constrictor and Liochlorophis vernalis as outgroups, indicates that the genera Conopsis, Ficimia, Gyalopion, Pseudoficimia, Stenorrhina, and Sympholis form the sister group to Chilomeniscus, Chionactis, and Sonora. This clade, in turn, is sister to Scolecophis and Tantilla. The putative genera Geagras and Tantillita are nested within the Tantilla calamarina and T. taeniata species groups, respectively.Each of the three major clades contains one or more highly fossorial forms that appear to be independently derived. Morphometric and natural history data from museum specimens, field studies, and the literature indicate that taxa with highly fossorial morphologies specialize on buried prey. Sympholis is at least a part-time commensal of leaf-cutting ants that feeds on beetle grubs; Chilomeniscus is a soil burrower that feeds on burrowing roaches and vermiform beetle larvae, whereas other members of the Ficimia and Sonora clades feed on various combinations of arachnids, orthopterans, and beetle grubs. Geagras redimitus, presumably a detritus burrower, feeds on vermiform beetle larvae, whereas Scolecophis and most Tantilla feed on centipedes. At least three other Tantilla species, including T. gracilis, T. relicta, and T. vermiformis, show parallel trends towards miniaturization, fossorial morphology, and diet of insect larvae.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Colubridae; Sonorini; colubrid systematics; phylogenetic biology; fossorial snakes
Degree Name:
PhD
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Committee Chair:
Bronstein, Judith L.; Schwalbe, Cecil R.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titlePhylogenetic Biology of the Burrowing Snake Tribe Sonorini (Colubridae)en_US
dc.creatorHolm, Peteren_US
dc.contributor.authorHolm, Peteren_US
dc.date.issued2008en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe Sonorini is a diverse assemblage of cryptozoic to fossorial snakes. Molecular and morphological evidence is ambiguous as to whether the tribe is monophyletic or consists of two or more independent clades. Morphological analysis, using Coluber constrictor and Liochlorophis vernalis as outgroups, indicates that the genera Conopsis, Ficimia, Gyalopion, Pseudoficimia, Stenorrhina, and Sympholis form the sister group to Chilomeniscus, Chionactis, and Sonora. This clade, in turn, is sister to Scolecophis and Tantilla. The putative genera Geagras and Tantillita are nested within the Tantilla calamarina and T. taeniata species groups, respectively.Each of the three major clades contains one or more highly fossorial forms that appear to be independently derived. Morphometric and natural history data from museum specimens, field studies, and the literature indicate that taxa with highly fossorial morphologies specialize on buried prey. Sympholis is at least a part-time commensal of leaf-cutting ants that feeds on beetle grubs; Chilomeniscus is a soil burrower that feeds on burrowing roaches and vermiform beetle larvae, whereas other members of the Ficimia and Sonora clades feed on various combinations of arachnids, orthopterans, and beetle grubs. Geagras redimitus, presumably a detritus burrower, feeds on vermiform beetle larvae, whereas Scolecophis and most Tantilla feed on centipedes. At least three other Tantilla species, including T. gracilis, T. relicta, and T. vermiformis, show parallel trends towards miniaturization, fossorial morphology, and diet of insect larvae.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectColubridaeen_US
dc.subjectSonorinien_US
dc.subjectcolubrid systematicsen_US
dc.subjectphylogenetic biologyen_US
dc.subjectfossorial snakesen_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEcology & Evolutionary Biologyen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.chairBronstein, Judith L.en_US
dc.contributor.chairSchwalbe, Cecil R.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberEnquist, Brianen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberReinthal, Peteren_US
dc.identifier.proquest2718en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659749729en_US
All Items in UA Campus Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.