The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

The 2017/18  impact factor of The Herpetological Journal is 1.268

pdf 12. Molecular phylogeny of Brazilian Mabuya (Reptilia, Squamata, Scincidae) of the agilis/caissara/heathi complex


Open Access

pp. 83-91
Authors: Vrcibradic, Davor; Mausfeld-Lafdhiya, Patrick & Rocha, Carlos Frederico D.

Abstract: Phylogenetic relationships among neotropical skinks of the genus Mabuya are currently unknown. Three species, Mabuya agilis, M. caissara and M. heathi are morphologically very similar and appear to be closely related, but their relationships have never been studied. Here we examine their phylogenetic relationships using partial sequences of the mitochondrial 12S and 16S rRNA genes. Nine populations of M. agilis, four of M. heathi and one of M. caissara were sampled, as well as one population from four other South American Mabuya species. Results of both maximum likelihood and maximum parsimony analyses reveal a strongly supported monophyletic group comprising all populations of agilis, caissara and heathi, but relationships of this clade with the other Mabuya species were not resolved. Genetic distances among members of the agilis/caissara/heathi clade ranged from 0.0% to 2.6%, whereas distances between its members and the other four congeners ranged from 6.0% to 8.6%. Genetic distances and the internal tree structure of the agilis/caissara/heathi clade are somehow consistent with the geographic location of the sampled populations. Based on our results, we suggest that this complex may represent a single species, though more data are needed to verify this.


Download Access:

The latest 20 issues can be downloaded when logged in with a Herpetological Journal subscription membership.

Individual articles can be purchased for download.

Older issues and occasional Open Access articles are available for public download


For further information and submission guidelines please see our Journal Instructions to Authors

pdfBHS Ethics Policy

NOTE: as of January 2017, all new editions of the HJ are ONLY available online via the BHS website. The BHS no longer has a commercial hosting agreement with Ingenta  -  although editions prior to end 2016 remain accessible on Ingenta .  Those editions are of course also accessible on the BHS website for subscribers with an active and valid membership.  Should you experience any difficulty accessing HJ editions via the website or have any queries in this regard, please contact