Multilocus phylogenetic analyses of Hispaniolan and Bahamian trunk anoles (distichus species group)

Anthony J. Geneva, Jared Hilton, Sabina Noll, Richard E. Glor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The distichus species group includes six species and 21 subspecies of trunk ecomorph anoles distributed across Hispaniola and its satellite islands as well as the northern Bahamas. Although this group has long served as a model system for studies of reproductive character displacement, adaptation, behavior and speciation, it has never been the subject of a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis. Our goal here is to generate a multilocus phylogenetic dataset (one mitochondrial and seven nuclear loci) and to use this dataset to infer phylogenetic relationships among the majority of the taxa assigned to the distichus species group. We use these phylogenetic trees to address three topics about the group's evolution. First, we consider longstanding taxonomic controversies about the status of several species and subspecies assigned to the distichus species group. Second, we investigate the biogeographic history of the group and specifically test the hypotheses that historical division of Hispaniola into two paleo-islands contributed to the group's diversification and that Bahamian and Hispaniolan satellite island populations are derived from colonists from the main Hispaniolan landmass. Finally, third, we use comparative phylogenetic analyses to test the hypothesis that divergence between pale yellow and darkly pigmented orange or red dewlap coloration has occurred repeatedly across the distichus species group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-117
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


  • Anolis distichus
  • Bark anoles
  • Dewlap
  • Phylogeny


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