2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Morphological clinal variation in Boa constrictor
Melissa J. Wright
Dr. Chad Montgomery , Faculty Mentor

Boa constrictor has one of the largest ranges of any terrestrial vertebrate, making it a good model organism to examine various rules regarding geographic clinal variation. I examined morphological variation of Boa constrictor throughout the northernmost part of its range (between 10 and 30 degrees north latitude) including mainland and island populations, by gathering literature data and museum specimen data on various measurements of morphological characters informative for the species. I found no sexual size dimorphism, so males and females were analyzed together. I found no correlation between latitude and the body size and shape variables. Only five specimens represented insular populations, which is too small of a sample size to determine the difference in body size between island and mainland populations. Further studies are needed to find correlation between body size and latitude of specimens across the species' whole range before any conclusions can be made regarding clinal variation.

Keywords: Boa constrictor, clinal variation, evolutionary biology, natural history


Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 8-8
Location: SUB-GEO
Time: 4:15

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