Journal article

Convergence and divergence in lizard colour polymorphisms

Devi Stuart-Fox, Anne Aulsebrook, Katrina J Rankin, Caroline M Dong, Claire A McLean

Biological Reviews | WILEY | Published : 2021


Colour polymorphic species are model systems for examining the evolutionary processes that generate and maintain discrete phenotypic variation in natural populations. Lizards have repeatedly evolved strikingly similar polymorphic sexual signals in distantly related lineages, providing an opportunity to examine convergence and divergence in colour polymorphism, correlated traits and associated evolutionary processes. Herein, we synthesise the extensive literature on lizard colour polymorphisms in both sexes, including recent advances in understanding of the underlying biochemical, cellular and genetic mechanisms, and correlated behavioural, physiological and life‐history traits. Male throat, ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was financially supported by the Australian Research Council (DP150101044; FT180100216) to D.S.-F., and Alfred Nicholas and Melbourne Research Fellowships to C.A.M. We are grateful to several other women who have worked on the polymorphic tawny dragon (now swift rock dragon) system (Madeleine Yewers, Luisa Teasdale, Anna Lewis, Samantha Walker, Jessica Hacking) and helped shape the ideas in this review. We also thank our long-term collaborators, Adam Elliott and Adnan Moussalli for their invaluable contributions.