Head shape in lizards correlates with a wide range of environmental pressures, supporting the hypothesis that patterns of phenotypic change represent adaptive responses to selective processes. However, natural selection promotes evolutionary adaptation only if the trait under selection has enough heritable variation. In this study we used geometric morphometrics and quantitative genetics to assess the heritability patterns of the head shape and size of common wall lizards (Podarcis muralis). Genetic and phenotypic components were estimated using animal models, which showed that more than half of the variation in head morphology is inheritable. Furthermore, at least five independent patterns of genetically determined phenotypic change were detected. These outcomes confirm that morphological differentiation in common wall lizards may reliably be regarded as the result of adaptive processes driven by natural selection.
Colour polymorphism and alternative breeding strategies: effects of parent’s colour morph on fitness traits in the common wall lizard.
Do lizards avoid habitats in which performance is submaximal? The relationship between sprinting capabilities and structural habitat use in Caribbean anoles.
Effects of environmental disturbance on phenotypic variation: an integrated assessment of canalization, developmental stability, modularity, and allometry in lizard head shape.
Context-dependent expression of sexual dimorphism in island populations of the common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis).
Biol. J. Linn. Soc.114:
SacchiR.Pellitteri-RosaD.BellatiA.Di PaoliA.GhittiM.ScaliS.GaleottiP.FasolaM. (2013):
Colour variation in the polymorphic common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis): an analysis using the RGB color system.
Characteristics and heritability analysis of head scales of the Hungarian meadow viper (Vipera ursinii rakosiensis, Méhely 1893).