SquaMates Ep. 6: Return of the ‘Anoli’

A totally serious herpetological podcast

SquaMates Ep. 6: Return of the ‘Anoli’

The sixth episode of the SquaMates podcast—featuring some amazing new stories, including new iguanas and crocodiles, high-elevation herps, and some spectacular sea serpents! The show is hosted by Mark D. Scherz, Gabriel Ugueto, and Ethan Kocak.

In this sixth episode, we talk about the many newsworthy papers published in the last month, from complex genomic modelling to some really amazing new species, including one crocodile that is new, and one that is not! Our main discussion is about sea snakes, their diversity and specialisations. Our #HERper is Grace Olive Wiley, a controversial but amazing herper of history. 

Episode notes sometimes get clipped on your device or by your podcast provider; for full (extensive) notes (and references), go to http://www.squamatespod.com

Works in Frogress:

Prötzel, D., Lambert, S.M., Andrianasolo, G.T., Hutter, C.R., Cobb, K.A., Scherz, M.D. & Glaw, F. (2018) The smallest ‘true chameleon’ from Madagascar: a new, distinctly colored species of the Calumma boettgeri complex (Squamata, Chamaeleonidae). Zoosystematics and Evolution, 94, 409–423. 10.3897/zse.94.27305

Scherz, M.D., Glaw, F., Rakotoarison, A., Wagler, M. & Vences, M. (2018) Polymorphism and synonymy of Brookesia antakarana and B. ambreensis, leaf chameleons from Montagne d’Ambre in north Madagascar. Salamandra, 54, 259–268.

Hutter, C.R., Andriampenomanana, Z.F., Razafindraibe, J., Rakotoarison, A. & Scherz, M.D. (2018) New dietary data from Compsophis and Alluaudina species (Squamata: Lamprophiidae: Pseudoxyrhophiinae), and implications for their dietary complexity and evolution. Journal of Natural History, 52, 2497–2510. 10.1080/00222933.2018.1543732


Gabriel’s interview with Dave Hone

How dinosaurs are brought to life—through art (interview with Gabriel)

Breaking Newts References:

Barrow, L.N., Lemmon, A.R. & Lemmon, E.M. (2018) Targeted Sampling and Target Capture: Assessing Phylogeographic Concordance with Genome-wide Data. Systematic Biology, syy021.

Breuil, M., Vuillaume, B., Schikorski, D., Krauss, U., Morton, M., Haynes, P., Daltry, J., Corry, E., Gaymes, G., Gaymes, J., Bech, N., Jesic, M. & Grandjean, F. (2018) A story of nasal horns: A new species of Iguana Laurenti, 1768 (Squamata, Iguanidae) in Saint Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, and Grenada (Southern Lesser Antilles) and its implications for the taxonomy of the genus Iguana. bioRxiv. 10.1101/466128

note: Iguana delicatissima lives in sympatry with introduced populations of Iguana… not native populations of the new Iguana.

Engelbrecht, H.M., Branch, W.R., Greenbaum, E., Alexander, G.J., Jackson, K., Burger, M., Conradie, W., Kusamba, C., Zassi-Boulou, A.-G. & Tolley, K.A. (2019) Diversifying into the branches: Species boundaries in African green and bush snakes, Philothamnus (Serpentes: Colubridae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 130, 357–365. 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.10.023

Liu, J., Guo, X., Chen, D., Li, J., Yue, B. & Zeng, X. (2019) Diversification and historical demography of the rapid racerunner (Eremias velox) in relation to geological history and Pleistocene climatic oscillations in arid Central Asia. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 130, 244–258. 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.10.029

Milián-García, Y., Russello, M.A., Castellanos-Labarcena, J., Cichon, M., Kumar, V., Espinosa, G., Rossi, N., Mazzotti, F., Hekkala, E., Amato, G. & Janke, A. (2018) Genetic evidence supports a distinct lineage of American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) in the Greater Antilles. PeerJ, 6, e5836. 10.7717/peerj.5836

Myers, E.A., Bryson, R.W., Hansen, R.W., Aardema, M.L., Lazcano, D. & Burbrink, F.T. (2018) Exploring Chihuahuan Desert diversification in the gray-banded kingsnake, Lampropeltis alterna (Serpentes: Colubridae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.10.031

Prates, I., Penna, A., Rodrigues, M.T. & Carnaval, A.C. (in press) Local adaptation in mainland anole lizards: Integrating population history and genome–environment associations. Ecology and Evolution. 10.1002/ece3.4650

Ramm, T., Cantalapiedra, J.L., Wagner, P., Penner, J., Rödel, M.-O. & Müller, J. (2018) Divergent trends in functional and phylogenetic structure in reptile communities across Africa. Nature Communications, 9, 4697. 10.1038/s41467-018-07107-y

Shirley, M.H., Carr, A.N., Nestler, J.H., Vliet, K.A. & Brochu, C.A. (2018) Systematic revision of the living African Slender-snouted Crocodiles (Mecistops Gray, 1844). Zootaxa, 4504, 151–193.

Sun, Y.-B., Fu, T.-T., Jin, J.-Q., Murphy, R.W., Hillis, D.M., Zhang, Y.-P. & Che, J. (2018) Species groups distributed across elevational gradients reveal convergent and continuous genetic adaptation to high elevations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115, E10634–E10641. 10.1073/pnas.1813593115

Gnecchi-Ruscone, G.A., Abondio, P., De Fanti, S., Sarno, S., Sherpa, M.G., Sherpa, P.T., Marinelli, G., Natali, L., Di Marcello, M., Peluzzi, D., Luiselli, D., Pettener, D. & Sazzini, M. (2018) Evidence of polygenic adaptation to high altitude from Tibetan and Sherpa genomes. Genome Biology and Evolution, 10, 2919–2930. 10.1093/gbe/evy233

Huerta-Sánchez, E., Jin, X., Asan, Bianba, Z., Peter, B.M., Vinckenbosch, N., Liang, Y., Yi, X., He, M., Somel, M., Ni, P., Wang, B., Ou, X., Huasang, Luosang, J., Cuo, Z.X.P., Li, K., Gao, G., Yin, Y., Wang, W., Zhang, X., Xu, X., Yang, H., Li, Y., Wang, J., Wang, J. & Nielsen, R. (2014) Altitude adaptation in Tibetans caused by introgression of Denisovan-like DNA. Nature, 512, 194. 10.1038/nature13408

Episode 4, on Thermophis

Torres-Carvajal, O., Echevarría, L.Y., Lobos, S.E., Venegas, P.J. & Kok, P.J.R. (2019) Phylogeny, diversity and biogeography of Neotropical sipo snakes (Serpentes: Colubrinae: Chironius). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 130, 315–329. 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.10.022

Addtional resources:



Wikipedia Page about Grace Olive Wiley

Main discussion: Sea Snakes

Listen to this podcast interview with Blanche D’Anastasi — follow her @SeaSnakeBlanche

Also follow Jenna C. Rowe-Riddell: @jcroweriddell

Udyawer, V., Barnes, P., Bonnet, X., Brischoux, F., Crowe-Riddell, J.M., D’Anastasi, B., Fry, B.G., Gillett, A., Goiran, C., Guinea, M.L., Heatwole, H., Heupel, M.R., Hourston, M., Kangas, M., Kendrick, A., Koefoed, I., Lillywhite, H.B., Lobo, A.S., Lukoschek, V., McAuley, R., Nitschke, C., Rasmussen, A.R., Sanders, K.L., Sheehy, C., Shine, R., Somaweera, R., Sweet, S.S. & Voris, H.K. (2018) Future Directions in the Research and Management of Marine Snakes. Frontiers in Marine Science, 5.  10.3389/fmars.2018.00399

Crowe-Riddell, J.M., Snelling, E.P., Watson, A.P., Suh, A.K., Partridge, J.C. & Sanders, K.L. (2016) The evolution of scale sensilla in the transition from land to sea in elapid snakes. Open Biology, 6. 10.1098/rsob.160054

Lillywhite, H.B., Sheehy, I.I.I.C.M., Heatwole, H., Brischoux, F. & Steadman, D.W. (2018) Why are there no sea snakes in the Atlantic? BioScience, 68, 15-24. 10.1093/biosci/bix132

Murphy, J.C. (2012) Marine Invasions by Non-Sea Snakes, with Thoughts on Terrestrial–Aquatic–Marine Transitions. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 52, 217-226. 10.1093/icb/ics060

Sanders, K.L., Lee, M.S.Y., Mumpuni, Bertozzi, T. & Rasmussen, A.R. (2013) Multilocus phylogeny and recent rapid radiation of the viviparous sea snakes (Elapidae: Hydrophiinae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 66, 575-591. 10.1016/j.ympev.2012.09.021

Sherratt, E., Rasmussen, A.R. & Sanders, K.L. (2018) Trophic specialization drives morphological evolution in sea snakes. Royal Society Open Science, 5,  10.1098/rsos.172141

We have great photos provided by Scott Eiper, which we display here with permission (Thanks, Scott!):

Hydrophis atriceps

Hydrophis pacificus

Ventral scales of Aipysurus fuscus


Darren Naish: @tetzoo

Dani Rabaiotti: @danirabaiotti

Dave Hone: @dave_hone

Hank Green: @hankgreen

Emma Sherratt: @dremsherratt

Follow the show and the hosts on social media!

SquaMates: website • twitter • instagram • facebook

Mark D. Scherz: website • twitter • instagram • tumblr • facebook • researchgate

Gabriel Ugueto: website • twitter • instagram • facebook • artwork prints

Ethan Kocak: website • twitter • tumblr • facebook

2 Responses

  1. Elan Zucchetti says:

    Hey guys. First of all I wanted to tell yoju that the podcast is great, it’s the only one i’m currently addicted to! Found it via Gabriel’s twitter. Then I would like to ask Mark, you said you don’t trust the Amphibian Species of the world, why is that? And should I trust the Reptle-database.
    Thanks guys and keep up the great work

  2. llewelly says:

    the talk about different systems of units reminded me this tragic accident, caused by software that reported USA customary units, pound-force seconds, when its specified requirements called for use of SI units, Newton seconds.

    a forced error, perhaps.


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