Taxonomic reassessment of two subspecies of Chinese skink in Taiwan based on morphological and molecular investigations (Squamata, Scincidae)

Kazuki Kurita, Yukiko Nakamura, Taku Okamoto, Si Min Lin, Tsutomu Hikida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Chinese skink, Plestiodon chinensis (Gray, 1838), is widely distributed across continental China, Taiwan, the Korean Peninsula, and offshore islets, and consists of several subspecies. Here morphological and molecular methods have been used to reassess the taxonomic status and distributions of P. c. formosensis (Van Denburgh, 1912) and P. c. leucostictus (Hikida, 1988), which are endemic to Taiwan and Green Island (an islet off the east coast of Taiwan), respectively. It can be confirmed that the eastern Taiwanese populations of P. c. formosensis exhibit similar juvenile color patterning and genetic composition to the islet subspecies P. c. leucostictus, and are distinct from consubspecific populations in western Taiwan. Therefore, the eastern Taiwanese populations are assigned to P. c. leucostictus, and this subspecies is recognized as a distinct species, Plestiodon leucostictus (Hikida, 1988), based on their unique juvenile coloration and highly divergent DNA sequences. Our results also revealed that P. c. formosensis in western Taiwan is close to nominotypical subspecies from the continent, suggesting the necessity of a comprehensive taxonomic analysis in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-148
Number of pages18
JournalZooKeys
Volume2017
Issue number687
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1

Fingerprint

Scincidae
Squamata
subspecies
Taiwan
color
Korean Peninsula
DNA
coast
nucleotide sequences
coasts
China
Plestiodon

Keywords

  • Green Island
  • Plestiodon chinensis
  • Plestiodon leucostictus
  • Subspecies
  • Taiwan
  • Taxonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Taxonomic reassessment of two subspecies of Chinese skink in Taiwan based on morphological and molecular investigations (Squamata, Scincidae). / Kurita, Kazuki; Nakamura, Yukiko; Okamoto, Taku; Lin, Si Min; Hikida, Tsutomu.

In: ZooKeys, Vol. 2017, No. 687, 01.01.2017, p. 131-148.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kurita, Kazuki ; Nakamura, Yukiko ; Okamoto, Taku ; Lin, Si Min ; Hikida, Tsutomu. / Taxonomic reassessment of two subspecies of Chinese skink in Taiwan based on morphological and molecular investigations (Squamata, Scincidae). In: ZooKeys. 2017 ; Vol. 2017, No. 687. pp. 131-148.
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