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
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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.
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