Master of Science in Biological Sciences
First Committee Member
Brett R. Riddle, Co-Chair
Second Committee Member
Jef R. Jaeger, Co-Chair
Third Committee Member
David F. Bradford
Graduate Faculty Representative
Stephen M. Rowland
Number of Pages
I investigate the phylogeography of the relict and lowland leopard frogs (Rana onca; R. yavapaiensis) inhabiting the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. In Chapter 1, I summarize literature describing taxonomy, phylogenetics, and the possible effects of Quaternary climate change on distribution. Examples of phylogeographic patterns from generally co-distributed organisms are provided to develop background for interpreting the structure. In Chapter 2, I investigate the phylogeography of these frogs using mitochondrial DNA data. The analysis supports a previously determined phylogenetic break between taxa however further dividing R. yavapaiensis into two lineages. I estimate a possible Early Pleistocene divergence of R. onca and R. yavapaiensis, followed by a Middle Pleistocene separation of the western Grand Canyon population of R. yavapaiensis from the main R. yavapaiensis clade. Demographic/network analyses indicate population/range expansion for R. yavapaiensis. Species distribution models suggest that these frogs may not have greatly shifted ranges since the last glacial maximum.
Biogeography; Divergence (Biology); Leopard frogs; Mitochondrial DNA; North America – Sonoran Desert; Phylogeography; Rana onca; Rana yavapaiensis; North America – Sonoran Desert; United States – Mojave Desert
Biology | Desert Ecology | Evolution
Hemmings, Viktoria, "Phylogeography of two closely related anurans, the Relict Leopard Frog (Rana onca) and Lowland Leopard Frog (Rana yavapaiensis)" (2010). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 374.