Patterns, mechanisms and genetics of speciation in reptiles and amphibians

Katharina C. Wollenberg Valero, Jonathon C. Marshall, Elizabeth Bastiaans, Adalgisa Caccone, Arley Camargo, Mariana Morando, Matthew L. Niemiller, Maciej Pabijan, Michael A. Russello, Barry Sinervo, Fernanda P. Werneck, Jack W. Sites, John J. Wiens, Sebastian Steinfartz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


In this contribution, the aspects of reptile and amphibian speciation that emerged from research performed over the past decade are reviewed. First, this study assesses how patterns and processes of speciation depend on knowing the taxonomy of the group in question, and discuss how integrative taxonomy has contributed to speciation research in these groups. This study then reviews the research on different aspects of speciation in reptiles and amphibians, including biogeography and climatic niches, ecological speciation, the relationship between speciation rates and phenotypic traits, and genetics and genomics. Further, several case studies of speciation in reptiles and amphibians that exemplify many of these themes are discussed. These include studies of integrative taxonomy and biogeography in South American lizards, ecological speciation in European salamanders, speciation and phenotypic evolution in frogs and lizards. The final case study combines genomics and biogeography in tortoises. The field of amphibian and reptile speciation research has steadily moved forward from the assessment of geographic and ecological aspects, to incorporating other dimensions of speciation, such as genetic mechanisms and evolutionary forces. A higher degree of integration among all these dimensions emerges as a goal for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number646
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • Ecological speciation
  • Genomics
  • Integrative taxonomy
  • Niche
  • Phylogenetics
  • Phylogeography
  • Taxonomy
  • Traits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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