Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 412–425 | Cite as

Cryptic diversity in an endemic rainforest skink (Gnypetoscincus queenslandiae)

  • Craig Moritz
  • Leo Joseph
  • Mark Adams

Gynpetoscincus is a monotypic genus of skink endemic to the ancient and biogeographically complex wet tropical rainforests of northern Queensland. Surveys of variation in mitochondrial DNA and allozymes inG. queenslandiae revealed a major genetic break within the skink's 275 km range, clearly dividing it into northern and southern populations. The genetic differences between the two groups of populations are several-fold greater than differences between similarly separated localities within the southern group. The presence of two strongly differentiated evolutionary lineages within this narrowly distributed species highlights the value of genetic surveys to estimate evolutionary diversity in old, biogeographically complex biomes such as these rainforests.


mitochondrial DNA allozymes rainforest lizards 


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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Craig Moritz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Leo Joseph
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mark Adams
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Conservation BiologyUniversity of QueenslandAustralia
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of QueenslandAustralia
  3. 3.Evolutionary Biology UnitSouth Australian MuseumAdelaideAustralia

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