Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Origin and phylogenetic position of the Lesser Antillean species of Bothrops (Serpentes, Viperidae): biogeographical and medical implications

  • WOLFGANG WÜSTER (a1), ROGER S. THORPE (a1), MARIA DA GRAÇA SALOMÃO (a2), LAURENT THOMAS (a3), GIUSEPPE PUORTO (a4), R. DAVID G. THEAKSTON (a5) and DAVID A. WARRELL (a6)...

Abstract

We use mitochondrial DNA sequences to infer the origin and phylogenetic position of the Lesser Antillean species of the pitviper genus Bothrops, B. caribbaeus and B. lanceolatus. The two species form a monophyletic group, which in turn forms the sister clade to the Bothrops asper-atrox complex. High levels of sequence divergence among the Caribbean species, and between them and the nearest mainland relatives, suggest a relatively ancient origin of these snakes. The hypothesis that the Lesser Antillean Bothrops are the result of a recent colonisation event from within the South American B. atrox complex is rejected, as is the hypothesis that they were introduced to their island habitats by aboriginal humans. The high level of morphological apomorphy displayed by B. lanceolatus suggests a stepping-stone colonisation, St. Lucia being colonised first and then Martinique from St. Lucia. The medical implications of these findings are discussed: a recent case of envenoming from Saint Lucia suggests that Bothrops caribbaeus causes the same thrombotic syndrome of envenoming as B. lanceolatus.

Copyright

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Bulletin of the Natural History Museum: Zoology Series
  • ISSN: 0968-0470
  • EISSN: 1475-2980
  • URL: /core/journals/bulletin-of-the-natural-history-museum-zoology-series
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed