Phylogenetic analysis of the nominal genus Norops (Reptilia: Sauria): Classification, evolution, and biogeography

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Jay M. Savage - Committee Chair


The phylogenetic relationships of anoles remain elusive, but recent studies have made progress towards elucidating anole relationships. Recent studies have focused on unraveling relationships among Caribbean anole species, but mainland anoles within the beta section (Etheridge 1960), or genus Norops (Guyer and Savage 1986, 1992), are still relatively unstudied. This dissertation sought to investigate the monophyly of five subgroups, termed series, of Norops. Using molecular data (DNA sequences of the internal transcribed spacer unit ITS-1) and multiple representatives of each series, four series were found to be paraphyletic (auratus, fuscoauratus, grahami, and petersi series) and one series was supported as monophyletic (grahami series). The biogeographic relationships among Norops species was investigated and compared to patterns from other studies. Brooks Parsimony Analysis suggests support for the hypothesis of origin of Norops in the Caribbean and supports a vicariant origin for Norops in the Caribbean. In addition, a single concordant mainland pattern is found among the studies. This single pattern corresponds to the movement of blocks (Chords, Chorotega, and Choco blocks) from the Pacific into their current positions from north to south, reconnecting North America (Maya block) to South America.


Biology, Molecular; Biology, Zoology

Link to Full Text


Link to Full Text