Thesis

Hemidactylus principensis a new species of gecko

The geographical history of the Gulf of Guinea Islands has played a significant role in shaping the diversity and distributional patterns of the Hemidactylus geckos in the African- Atlantic clade. This study elucidates the phylogenetic relationships between five closely related members of the African-Atlantic clade from the Gulf of Guinea, and presents evidence to recognize a new taxon, Hemidactylus principensis. Previous studies have proposed that H. principensis and H. greeffi are two distinct species, classified both as H. greeffi. A more recent study that included extensive morphological analyses and molecular data recognize H. principensis. In this study I take a molecular approach, employing both mitochondrial and nuclear genes (ND2, a-Enolase, RAG1) to create a more comprehensive phylogeny outlining the African-Atlantic clade, and propose that there is evidence to support H. principensis as an independent and taxonomically coherent species.

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