Different mechanisms lead to convergence of reproductive strategies in two lacertid lizards (Takydromus wolteri and Eremias argus)
- 685 Downloads
Life history traits may vary within and among species. Rarely, however, are both variations examined concurrently to identify the life history adaptation. We found that female body size, offspring number and size, and incubation period showed convergent evolution in two lacertid lizards (Takydromus wolteri and Eremias argus) that occur sympatrically in high-latitude and low-latitude localities. Females from the high-latitude population were larger and produced larger clutches than those from the low-latitude population. In both species, the incubation period was shorter for the high-latitude population than for the low-latitude population. However, the physiological mechanism underlying the shorter incubation period differed between the species. These results suggest that: (1) sympatric lizards may adopt similar reproductive strategies in response to their common environments, and (2) embryonic development of the two species follows different pathways for adaptation to low temperatures. This study highlights the importance of understanding the adaptive evolution of life history in response to environmental changes at the embryonic life stages.
KeywordsEmbryonic development Geographic variation Incubation period Life history
We thank P. Liu, Y. Wang, Z. Y. Zhang and W. B. Yan for their assistance in the field or laboratory. We are grateful to T. R. Robinns, J.-F. Le Galliard and one anonymous reviewer for their comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by grants from the Natural Science Foundation of China (project no. 30770274), the One Hundred Talents Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences to W.-G. Du and the local government of Anhui Province to X.-F. Xu (KJ2010A249).
- Andrews R (2004) Patterns of embryonic development. In: Deeming DC (ed) Reptilian incubation: environment, evolution and behaviour. Nottingham University Press, Nottingham, pp 75–102Google Scholar
- Dufaure JP, Hubert J (1961) Table de développement du lézard vivipare: Lacerta (Zootoca) vivipara Jacquin. Arch Anat Microsc Morphol Exp 50:309–328Google Scholar
- Ewert MA (1985) Embryology of turtles. In: Gans C, Billett F, Maderson PFA (eds) Biology of the reptilia, vol 14. Wiley, New York, pp 75–268Google Scholar
- Fu JZ (2000) Toward the phylogeny of the family Lacertidae—why 4708 base pairs of mtDNA sequences cannot draw the picture. Biol J Linn Soci 71:203–217Google Scholar
- Gleiss AC et al (2011) Convergent evolution in locomotory patterns of flying and swimming animals. Nat Commun 2. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1350
- Hao QL, Liu HX, Ji X (2006) Phenotypic variation in hatchling Mongrolian racerunners Eremias argus from eggs incubated at constant versus fluctuating temperatures. Acta Zool Sin 52:1049–1057Google Scholar
- Niewiarowski PH (1994) Understanding geographic life-history variation in lizards. In: Vitt LJ, Pianka ER (eds) Lizard ecology: historical and experimental perspectives. Princeton University Press, Princeton, pp 31–50Google Scholar
- Oufiero CE, Angilletta MJ (2006) Convergent evolution of embryonic growth and development in the eastern fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus). Evolution 60:1066–1075Google Scholar
- Pan Z-C, Ji X (2001) The influence of incubation temperature on size, morphology and locomotor performance of hatchling grass lizards (Takydromus wolteri). Acta Ecol Sin 21:2031–2038Google Scholar
- Stearns SC (1992) The evolution of life histories. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Zhao EM, Zhao KT, Zhou KY (1999) Fauna sinica reptilia, vol 2 Squamata. Chinese Science Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar