Liolaemus reichei, Valladares et al., 2002

Pincheira-Donoso, Daniel, Scolaro, J. Alejandro & Sura, Piotr, 2008, A monographic catalogue on the systematics and phylogeny of the South American iguanian lizard family Liolaemidae (Squamata, Iguania), Zootaxa 1800, pp. 1-85 : 45

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Liolaemus reichei


Group reichei

The species herein included in the group reichei have commonly been recognized as members of the controversial genus Phrynosaura ( Werner 1907; Donoso-Barros 1966a, b, 1972; Núñez & Jaksic 1992; Núñez et al. 2003). Over the last century, many authors have suggested that clear patterns of differentiation in osteological and cytogenetical traits observed exclusively in L. audituvelatus , L. erroneous , L. manueli , L. poconchilensis , L. reichei and L. torresi would support the hypothesis that these species represent a discrete evolutionary line (e.g. Núñez et al. 1998, 2003). Yet, on the other hand, some studies conclude that these traits may not be sufficient evidence to separate this still hypothetical group of species from the Liolaemus genus ( Frost & Etheridge 1989; Etheridge 1995; Etheridge & Espinoza 2000; Valladares 2004). Recent molecular phylogenies have contributed to clarify in part this problem. This research reveals that at least the two “ Phrynosaura ” species analysed phylogenetically so far, are nested within Liolaemus ( Valladares et al. 2002; Schulte et al. 2004). Therefore, these findings appear to support Frost & Etheridge’s (1989) and Etheridge’s (1995) proposal that Phrynosaura is a synonym of the genus Liolaemus . Nevertheless, it still remains unknown whether the currently six species assigned to Phrynosaura (or alternatively to the group reichei ; see Núñez et al. 2003; Valladares 2004) actually form a monophyletic clade within this genus (phylogenetic evidence suggest that these species are members of the series signifer ; see above). Since the anatomical and cytogenetical evidence reported in previous papers suggests that these six species would be closely related taxa ( Núñez et al. 2003), we include them into the group reichei (e.g. Valladares 2004). However, further phylogenetic studies are needed to test the validity of this classification criterion.