Special Issue Article
Are Hemipenial Spines Related to Limb Reduction? A Spiny Discussion Focused on Gymnophthalmid Lizards (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae)
Version of Record online: 31 JAN 2014
Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
The Anatomical Record
Special Issue: New Advances In Morphology and Evolution of Living and Extinct Squamates
Volume 297, Issue 3, pages 482–495, March 2014
How to Cite
Sales Nunes, P. M., Curcio, F. F., Roscito, J. G. and Rodrigues, M. T. (2014), Are Hemipenial Spines Related to Limb Reduction? A Spiny Discussion Focused on Gymnophthalmid Lizards (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae). Anat Rec, 297: 482–495. doi: 10.1002/ar.22876
- Issue online: 19 FEB 2014
- Version of Record online: 31 JAN 2014
- Manuscript Received: 3 JUN 2013
- Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) . Grant Numbers: 2011/50146-6 , 2012/00492-8 , 2012/00547-7 , 2012/01319-8
- Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq)
- limb reduction;
Calcified spines in the hemipenial surface occur convergently in several gymnophthalmid lizard species and in advanced snakes. Based on the pronounced degrees of limb reduction in these distantly related lineages, such hemipenial structures were suggested to play a functional role in couple-anchoring during copulation, partly assuming the function of the limbs during mating. Herein, we assessed the hemipenial morphology of virtually all the valid genera of the family Gymnophthalmidae to test for a phylogenetic correlation between limb reduction and the presence of calcified hemipenial spines. The occurrence of calcified structures was mapped on the two most comprehensive phylogenies of the family. We concluded that spiny hemipenes are by no means necessarily associated with reduction of limbs. Conversely, the presence of well-developed hemipenial spines in specific limb-reduced taxa does not allow one to disregard the possibility that in some instances such structures might indeed be functionally associated with couple-anchoring, improving the success of mating. Anat Rec, 297:482–495, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.