Loïs Rancilhac heads a nice salamander study that is just out in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.  Lots of collaborators contributed a ton of genetic data for almost all the genera that make up Salamandridae – the salamander family that includes our beloved newts. This vast dataset allowed Loïs to recover a highly supported phylogenetic tree, with some cool improvements over previous attempts. Leer más.


Genetic diversity feeds the evolutionary process and allows populations to adapt to environmental changes. However, we still lack a thorough understanding of why hotspots of genetic diversity are so ‘hot’. Here, we analysed the relative contribution of bioclimatic stability and genetic admixture between divergent lineages in shaping spatial patterns of genetic diversity in the common toad Bufo bufo along the Italian peninsula. We combined population genetic, phylogeographic and species distribution modelling (SDM) approaches to map ancestral areas, glacial refugia, and secondary contact zones. Leer más.


Biofluorescence is widespread in the natural world, but only recently discovered in terrestrial vertebrates. Here, we report on the discovery of iridophore-based, neon-green flourescence in the gecko Pachydactylus rangei, localised to the skin around the eyes and along the flanks. The maximum emission of the fluorescence is at a wavelength of 516 nm in the green spectrum (excitation maximum 465 nm, blue) with another, smaller peak at 430 nm. Leer más.


Researchers have discovered that invasive brown tree snakes living on Guam can get around in a way that had never been seen before. The discovery of the snake’s lasso-like locomotion for climbing their way up smooth vertical cylinders has important implications, both for understanding the snakes and for conservation practices aimed at protecting birds from them. Leer más.