2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Geographic Distribution of the Parthenogenic Checkered Whiptail Lizard, Aspidoscelis tesselata, in Southeast Colorado
Anthony J. Wilmes* and Laura K. Garey
Dr. Chad Montgomery , Faculty Mentor

The Checkered Whiptail Lizard, Aspidoscelis tesselata, is a parthenogenic lizard, native to southwestern United States, including southeastern Colorado. Being parthenogenic, A. tesselata reproduces asexually. Therefore, each genetic mutation in a viable, fertile individual results in distinct clonal lines, described as pattern classes, due to different dorsal scale patterns in each line. Our goal was to determine the geographic distribution of each pattern class within Colorado in order to determine the possible geographic origin of each pattern class. We gathered distributional data from the field and literature to map the distributions of each pattern class. Fifteen sites were searched in southeastern Colorado, and sixty-nine lizards from genus Aspidoscelis were collected including two pattern classes of A. tesselata, two pattern classes of A. neotesselata, and one subspecies of A. sexlineatus. We also documented the first known occurrence of A. tesselata north of the Arkansas River in La Junta (A. neotesselata D, n=2).

Keywords: aspidoscelis, tesselata, parthenogenic, lizard, checkered, whiptail, asexual, colorado

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 47-5
Location: MG 2001
Time: 2:15

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