Speciation at the Mogollon Rim in the Arizona Mountain Kingsnake (Lampropeltis pyromelana)

Studies of speciation and taxon delimitation are usually decoupled. Combining these methods provides a stronger theoretical ground for recognizing new taxa and understanding processes of speciation. Using coalescent methods, we examine speciation, post-speciation population demographics, and taxon delimitation in the Arizona Mountain Kingsnake (Lampropeltis pyromelana), a species restricted to high elevations in southwestern United States and northern Mexico (SW). These methods provide a solid foundation for understanding how biogeographic barriers operate at the regional scale in the SW. Bayesian species delimitation methods, using three loci from samples of L. pyromelana taken throughout their range, show strong support for the existence of two species that are separated by low elevation habitats found between the Colorado Plateau/ Mogollon Rim and the Sierra Madre Occidental. Leer más.