Horned Lizard Systematics

Horned lizards (Phrynosoma) have a fascinating evolutionary history. Theyexhibit unique morphological, physiological, and behavioral adaptations (e.g., antipredator blood-squirting from the eyes).

Our recent studies have focused on estimating a species tree for Phrynosoma using genetic data. We’ve collected phylogenomics data for all species of horned lizards, including genome-wide SNP data and targeted sequence capture data. We also recently discovered and described a new species from Mexico, P. sherbrookei.

We are currently conducting detailed population-level studies of several different species groups of Phrynosoma. These include the coast horned lizards (P. coronatum group) and the short horned lizards (P. hernandesi group). These studies are utilizing SNP data for phylogeographic inference and species delimitation analyses.

Leaché, A. D., and C. W. Linkem. 2015. Phylogenomics ocoverf horned lizards (genus: Phrynosoma) using targeted sequence capture data.
Copeia, 103:586-594PDF

Leaché, A. D., Banbury, B. L., Felsenstein, J., Nieto-Montes de Oca, A., and A. Stamatakis. 2015. Short tree, long tree, right tree, wrong tree: new acquisition bias corrections for inferring SNPphylogenies.
Systematic Biology, 64:1032-1047. DOI: 10.1093/sysbio/syv053.

Leaché, A. D., Chavez, A. S., Jones, L. N., Grummer,GBEcover J. A., Gottscho, A. D., and C. W. Linkem. 2015. Phylogenomics of phrynosomatid lizards: conflicting signals from sequence capture versus restriction site associated DNA sequencing.
Genome Biology and Evolution, 7:706-719. PDF

Nieto-Montes de Oca, A., Arenas-Moreno, D., Beltrán-Sánchez, E., and A. D. Leaché. 2014. A new species of horned lizard (Genus Phrynosoma) from Guerrero, México, with an updated multilocus phylogeny.
Herpetologica, 70:241-257. PDF

pnasLeaché, A. D., Koo, M. S., Spencer, C. L., Papenfuss, T. J., Fisher, R. N., and J. A. McGuire. 2009. Quantifying ecological, morphological, and genetic variation to delimit species in the coast horned lizard species complex (Phrynosoma).
PNAS, USA, 106:12418-12423PDF

Leaché, A. D., and J. A. McGuire. 2006. Phylogenetic relationships of horned lizards (Phrynosoma) based on nuclear and mitochondrial data: Evidence for a misleading mitochondrial gene tree.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 39:628-644. PDF