No evolutionary convergence between Australia and southern Africa in snakes and legless lizards, part 2

Lists of species in the study areas:

FITZGERALD RIVER NATIONAL PARK and environs, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Pygopodidae:

Aprasia pulchella restricted to southwest of study area if present, SV 11-12 cm TL 20.0?, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/36954-Aprasia-pulchella

Aprasia repens SV 11.0 - 12.6 cm T L 20.0? cm https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/36953-Aprasia-repens

Aprasia striolata SV 12-13 cm TL 21.5? cm https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/36950-Aprasia-striolata and https://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Aprasia&species=striolata

Delma fraseri fraseri SV 12-13 and up to 14 cm TL 42 cm https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/36939-Delma-fraseri

Delma hebesa SV up to 8 cm TL 23? cm occurs in kwongan and mallee-heath, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/539605-Delma-hebesa and https://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Delma&species=hebesa

Lialis burtonis SV 29 cm uncommon https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?taxon_id=36978 and http://reptilesofaustralia.com/lizards/legless/lburton.htm#.YiF2LZZBxDM and https://www.researchgate.net/publication/272656655_Ecology_and_Behaviour_of_Burton%27s_Legless_Lizard_Lialis_burtonis_Pygopodidae_in_Tropical_Australia

Pygopus lepidopodus SV 27.4 cm https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/36963-Pygopus-lepidopodus

Elapidae:

Acanthophis antarcticus somewhat adder-like, rare in study area, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/35060-Acanthophis-antarcticus and https://museum.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/THE%20GENUS%20ACATHOPHIS%20(SERPEBTES%20ELAPIDAE)%20IN%20WESTERN%20AUSTRALIA.pdf

Echiopsis curta somewhat adder-like, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/35270-Echiopsis-curta

Elapognathus coronatus eats mainly skinks and frogs https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/539637-Elapognathus-coronatus

Notechis scutatus occidentalis mixed diet including frogs, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/35178-Notechis-scutatus

Pseudonaja affinis affinis https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/35148-Pseudonaja-affinis and https://australian.museum/learn/animals/reptiles/dugite/#:~:text=Wild%20caught%20females%20from%20the,ranges%20from%2012%20to%2015.

Rhinoplocephalus bicolor https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/35137-Rhinoplocephalus-bicolor and https://arod.com.au/arod/reptilia/Squamata/Elapidae/Rhinoplocephalus/bicolor?q=author=%22M%C3%BCller%22%20yearDescribed=1885

Suta gouldii common in study area https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/1127949-Suta-gouldii

Suta nigriceps eats mainly reptiles https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/1127951-Suta-nigriceps

Pythonidae:

Morelia imbricata non-venomous constrictor, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/1224418-Morelia-imbricata

Typhlopidae:

Anilios australis certainly present in northern and eastern part of study area, 8-40 up to 42 cm, stout-bodied, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/539265-Anilios-australis


CAPE AGULHAS NATIONAL PARK and environs, SOUTH AFRICA

Cordylidae:

Chamaesaura anguina anguina SV 9? cm 35-40 up to 49 cm https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/33073-Chamaesaura-anguina

Gerrhosauridae:

(Tetradactylus seps https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/34724-Tetradactylus-seps occurs in the study area but has legs and is this disqualified from this approach. Its counterpart in the southern African study area is the skink Hemiergis peronii https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/38366-Hemiergis-peronii.)

Tetradactylus tetradactylus tetradactylus SV 7? cm TL 18-24 up to 29 cm, occurs only marginally to study area, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/34725-Tetradactylus-tetradactylus

Scincidae:

Acontias meleagris meleagris SV 20 cm TL 25 up to 30 cm (tail less than 22% of TL) diet earthworms, beetle larvae and termites https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/37301-Acontias-meleagris

Scelotes bipes only hindlegs present https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/37694-Scelotes-bipes

Colubridae:

Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/82808-Crotaphopeltis-hotamboeia

Dasypeltis scabra specialised egg-eater, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/26717-Dasypeltis-scabra

Dispholidus typus typus eats perching birds and chameleons, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/30358-Dispholidus-typus

Elapidae:

Hemachatus haemachatus occurs only marginally, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/30652-Hemachatus-haemachatus

Naja nivea https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/30487-Naja-nivea

Lamprophiidae:

Amplorhinus multimaculatus marshes and damp microsites, prefers frogs, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/29679-Amplorhinus-multimaculatus

Boaedon capensis constrictor, mhttps://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/539396-Boaedon-capensis and https://etd.uwc.ac.za/bitstream/handle/11394/8709/Bassier_M_Nsc_2022.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Duberria lutrix lutrix specialised slug-eater, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/30326-Duberria-lutrix

Homoroselaps lacteus eats mainly Leptotyphlops, Rhinotyphlops, small burrowing lizards, and termites, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/116525-Homoroselaps-lacteus and https://www.tyroneping.co.za/snakes-southern-africa/homoroselaps-lacteus-spotted-harlequin-snake/ and http://www.biodiversityexplorer.info/reptiles/squamata/serpentes/elapidae/homoroselaps_lacteus.htm#:~:text=Feeds%20on%20lizards%20(particularly%20legless,snakes%20(particularly%20blind%20snakes).

Lamprophis fuscus uncommon, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/29763-Lamprophis-fuscus

Lycodonomorphus inornatus constrictor, diet of rodents, lizards and snakes, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/29758-Lycodonomorphus-inornatus

Lycodonomorphus rufulus diet mainly frogs in waterside locations, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/29536-Lycodonomorphus-rufulus

Lycophidion capense capense uncommon in study area, specialises on sleeping lizards, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/29508-Lycophidion-capense

Prosymna sundevalli sundevalli possibly present, specialist on reptile eggs (https://www.jstor.org/stable/3891967), https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/29007-Prosymna-sundevalli and https://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Prosymna&species=sundevalli

Psammophis crucifer rapid-moving although less slender than congeners, mildly venomous, diet mainly small lizards (particularly geckos) but sometimes also frogs, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/28985-Psammophis-crucifer

Psammophis notostictus possibly present https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/28976-Psammophis-notostictus

Psammophylax rhombeatus the most frequently observed species of snake in the study area, mixed diet with emphasis on lizards, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/28954-Psammophylax-rhombeatus

Pseudaspis cana specialised rodent-eater, juveniles eat mainly lizards, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/28948-Pseudaspis-cana

Leptotyphlopidae:

Leptotyphlops nigricans 13-17 up to 20 cm, specialised on soft parts of termites, found under graminoid tufts in sandy areas, swims rapidly through sand, clutch 1-7, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/32477-Leptotyphlops-nigricans

Typhlopidae:

Rhinotyphlops lalandei 25-30 up to 35 cm, slender-bodied, clutch 2-4, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/32735-Rhinotyphlops-lalandei

Viperidae:

Bitis arietans arietans specialised rodent-eater, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/30851-Bitis-arietans

Bitis armata https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/95801-Bitis-armata

Publicado el marzo 3, 2022 11:16 TARDE por milewski milewski

Comentarios

A basic reference for the distributions of species in the Australian study are is Chapman A & Dell J (1985) Biology and zoogeography of the amphibians and reptiles of the Western Australian Wheatbelt. Rec West Aust Mus 12 (1), 1-46.

Publicado por milewski hace casi 2 años

Two other species possibly present in the southern African study area are Lamprophis guttatus (https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/29757-Lamprophis-guttatus) and L. aurora (https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/29764-Lamprophis-aurora). The latter prefers a diet of nestling rodents.

Publicado por milewski hace casi 2 años

Possibly reaching the southern African study area is Aspidelaps lubricus (https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/30464-Aspidelaps-lubricus).

Publicado por milewski hace casi 2 años

Leptotyphlops nigricans, occurring in the southern African study area, is smaller-bodied (total length up to 19.6 cm) than any snake in the Australian study area. Certain species of Anilios, such as Anilios affinis (https://bie.ala.org.au/species/urn:lsid:biodiversity.org.au:afd.taxon:9c45c790-ac22-4c24-aa99-ac9e6268367a), in Australia are somewhat diminutive (total length 22 cm) but are restricted to the tropics.

A similar pattern is evident with respect to Prosymna sundevalli (Lamprophiidae). No species of snake in or near the Australian study area specialises on a diet of reptile eggs. However, at least two species of snakes in tropical/subtropical Australia do specialise on this diet: Brachyurophis incinctus (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brachyurophis_incinctus and https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/318645-Brachyurophis-incinctus) and B. semifasciatus (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_shovel-nosed_snake and https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/318648-Brachyurophis-semifasciatus). Since these belong to Elapidae, some evolutionary convergence would be evident if the Australian forms were to extend into the Australian study area.

Yet another example of this pattern: the elapid genus Demansia (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=6827&taxon_id=35030&view=species) contains species similar to the lamprophiid Psammophis crucifer of the southern African study area. However, these occur farther north (including tropically) in Western Australia.

Anuran amphibians (see https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/milewski/62666-evolutionary-convergence-in-amphibians-between-australia-and-southern-africa-depends-on-predatory-regimes-rather-than-just-climates-and-soils#) show particularly clearly this pattern in which the closest counterparts for species occurring near the southwestern tip of Africa can be found in tropical and/or eastern Australia, rather than under the winter-rainfall climate.

Publicado por milewski hace casi 2 años
Publicado por milewski hace casi 2 años

@alexanderr In this intercontinental comparison, the closest counterparts for non-venomous constrictors are a pythonid, namely Morelia, in the Australian study area vs lamprophiids, namely Boaedon and Lamprophis, in the southern African study area. One of the ways in which these snakes have failed to converge evolutionarily is that the pythonid retains heat-sensitive pits on its face (https://thewest.com.au/lifestyle/pets/tips-for-owning-a-pet-snake-ng-b88743337z and https://perthzoo.wa.gov.au/animal/south-west-carpet-python) whereas no lamprophiid is known to possess such organs. It is easy to assume that heat-sensitive labial pits are so intrinsic to pythonids that it is unrealistic to expect their loss as part of local adaptation. However, complete loss has actually occurred in certain pythonids living elsewhere in Australia. In the genus Aspidites (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspidites and https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Aspidites_melanocephalus/) this adaptive shift has been made, apparently as part of a specialisation on reptilian prey that - unlike mammals such as rodents - do not generate much heat metabolically.

Also see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared_sensing_in_snakes.

Publicado por milewski hace casi 2 años

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