Some Evidence of Gonocephalus Species Complex Divergence Basing on skin sense organs morphology

Natalia B. Ananjeva, Tatjana N. Matveyeva-Dujsebayeva


Skin sense organs of arboreal agamids belonging to Acanthosaura, Gonocephalus, and Hypsilurus genera were examined using SEM and light microscopy. Two of them, Gonocephalus and Hypsilurus were considered as one genus by many authors. Our data shows the strong differences in the structure and topography of skin receptors in these agamids. Acanthosaura and Gonocephalus have hair-bearing receptors in low (Acanthosaura) or medium (Gonocephalus) density. To the contrary Hypsilurus species have lens-like sense organs in very high density. These data support Moody’s (1980) opinion about the definition of this genus and they are in accordance with kariological data (Ota et al., 1992). Our data shows also that scale organs could have a bristle or look like lacking a bristle in dependence of different stages of shedding cycle. It is important for the argumented doubts in the information about presence of two types of scale organs on the same area of integument in the same specimen.


Sauria; Agamidae; morphology; skin receptors; Gonocephalus

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