Fence Lizard Evolution

Fence lizards (Sceloporus) are a great system for studying ecology and evolutionary biology. We have studied a broad array of topics with Sceloporus, including phylogenetics, phylogeography, species delimitation, hybrid zone dynamics, and life-history evolution. Our work on Sceloporus was recently supported by the National Science Foundation: NSF-DEB #1144630: Resolving rapid radiations and recent speciation in North American spiny lizards (Sceloporus).

Recently, we published a phylogenetic tree for Sceloporus that included nearly all 100 species using targeted sequence capture data from ~580 nuclear loci. We have also studied phylogeography, population genetics, and species limits in some of the more diverse species groups. These investigations have produced many genomic resources, including a draft genome of the western fence lizard.

Our current research on Sceloporus includes investigations of the phylogeographic history of the western fence lizards (S. occidentalis), as well as a comparison of hybrid zone dynamics through time in the plateau fence lizard (S. tristichus) in Arizona.

Leaché, A. D., Banbury, B. L., Linkem, C. W., and A. Nieto-Montes de Oca. 2016. Phylogenomics of a rapid radiation: Is chromosomal evolution linked to increased diversification in North American spiny lizards (Genus Sceloporus)?
BMC Evolutionary Biology, 16:63.

Grummer, J. A., Calderón, M. L., Nieto-Montes de Oca, A., Smith, E. N., Mendez-de la Cruz, F., and A. D. Leaché. 2015. Estimating the temporal and spatial extent of gene flow among sympatric lizard populations (genus Sceloporus) in the southern Mexican highlands. Molecular Ecology, 24:1523-1542.

Arthofer, W., Banbury, B., Carneiro, M., Cicconardi, F., Duda, T. F. ,Harris, R., Kang, D. S., Leaché, A. D., et al. 2015. Genomic resources notes accepted 1 August 2014–30 September 2014.
Molecular Ecology Resources, 15: 228-229. PDF

GBELeaché, A. D., Harris, R. B., Maliska, M. E., and C. W. Linkem. 2013. Comparative species divergence across eight triplets of spiny lizards (Sceloporus) using genomic sequence data.
Genome Biology and Evolution, 5:2410-2419. PDF

Leaché, A. D., Palacios, J. A., Minin, V. N., and R. W. Bryson Jr. 2013. Phylogeography of the Trans-Volcanic bunchgrass lizard (Sceloporus bicanthalis) across the highlands of southeastern Mexico.
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 110:852-865. PDF

Leaché, A. D. 2011. Multi-Locus estimates of population structure and migration in a fence lizard hybrid zone.
PLoS ONE, 6(9):e25827. PDF

Leaché, A. D., Helmer, D., and C. Moritz. 2010. Phenotypic evolution in high elevation populations of western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis) in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 100:630-641PDF

Leaché, A. D. 2010. Species trees for spiny lizards (genus Sceloporus): identifying points of concordance and conflict between nuclear and mitochondrial data.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 54:162-171PDF

Leaché, A. D., and J. W. Sites Jr. 2009. Chromosome evolution and diversification in North American spiny lizards (genus Sceloporus).
Cytogenetic and Genome Research, 127:166-181PDF

Leaché, A. D. 2009. Species tree discordance traces to phylogeographic clade boundaries in North American fence lizards (Sceloporus).
Systematic Biology, 58:547-559PDF

Leaché, A. D., and D. G. Mulcahy. 2007. Phylogeny, divergence times, and species limits of spiny lizards (Sceloporus magister species group) in western North American deserts and Baja California.
Molecular Ecology, 16:5216-5233. PDF

Leaché, A. D., and C. J. Cole. 2007. Hybridization between multiple fence lizard lineages in an ecotone: Locally discordant variation in mitochondrial DNA, chromosomes, and morphology.
Molecular Ecology, 16:1035-1054. PDF

Angilletta, M. J., Oufiero, C. E., and A. D. Leaché. 2006. Direct and indirect effects of environmental temperature on the evolution of reproductive strategies: An information-theoretic approach.
American Naturalist, 168:E123-E135. PDF

Angilletta, M. J., Niewiarowski, P. H., Dunham, A. E., Leaché, A. D., and W. Porter. 2004. Bergmann’s clines in ectotherms: Illustrating a life-history perspective with sceloporine lizards.
American Naturalist, 164:E168-E183. PDF

Niewiarowski, P. H., Angilletta, M. J., and A. D. Leaché. 2004. Phylogenetic comparative analysis of life history variation among populations of the lizard Sceloporus undulatus: An example and prognosis.
Evolution, 58:619-633. PDF


Leaché, A. D., and T. W. Reeder. 2002. Molecular systematics of the eastern fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus): A comparison of parsimony, likelihood, and Bayesian approaches.
Systematic Biology, 51:44-68. PDF