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The phylogeography of the gecko Cyrtopodion kotschyi (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) in the Aegean archipelago

TitleThe phylogeography of the gecko Cyrtopodion kotschyi (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) in the Aegean archipelago
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsKasapidis, P, Magoulas A, Mylonas M, Zouros E
JournalMol Phylogenet Evol
Keywords*Demography, *Evolution, Molecular, *Phylogeny, Animals, Base Sequence, Bayes Theorem, DNA Primers, Electron Transport Complex IV/genetics, Geography, Geological Phenomena, Geology, Greece, Likelihood Functions, Lizards/*genetics, Models, Genetic, Molecular Sequence Data, Sequence Analysis, DNA

Cyrtopodion kotschyi is a small gecko, widely distributed on the islands of the Aegean archipelago and the adjacent mainland. We unveiled the phylogeography of the species by using a portion of the cytochrome oxidase I mitochondrial DNA gene from 35 insular and mainland populations. The distinct geographic distribution of the major clades of the phylogenetic tree and its topology suggest a spatial and temporal sequence of phylogenetic separations that coincide with some major paleogeographical separations during the geological history of the Aegean and support a mainly vicariant pattern of differentiation. The separation times and 95% confidence limits among the different clades were estimated according to two different paleogeographical scenarios. The very high interpopulation genetic divergence (up to 20% uncorrected pairwise distances) and the better concordance between paleogeographical and phylogenetic separations for one of the scenarios suggest that species differentiation started during Miocene (about 10 Mya) due to the fragmentation of the united landmass of "Agais" that was Aegean at that time.