Conservation Genetics

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 709–713 | Cite as

Morphological and genetic variation in the endangered Sulawesi tortoise Indotestudo forstenii: evidence of distinct lineages?

  • Ian Ives
  • Phillip Quinton Spinks
  • Howard Bradley Shaffer
Short Communication


Limited fieldwork and anecdotal evidence indicate that allopatric populations of the endangered Sulawesi tortoise (Indotestudo forstenii) differ in size and presence/absence of a nuchal scute, suggesting that these may constitute separate evolutionary lineages. We examined morphological and genetic variation to determine if the nuchal scute is correlated with size or genetic divergence. Our results indicate a strong correlation between size and nuchal scute such that turtles lacking a nuchal scute were larger than those possessing a nuchal scute. However, we found no correlation between genetic divergence and presence/absence of nuchal scutes, and thus no evidence of genetically differentiated lineages.


Indotestudo Tortoise Nuclear introns Nuchal scute Asian turtle crisis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Ives
    • 1
  • Phillip Quinton Spinks
    • 2
  • Howard Bradley Shaffer
    • 2
  1. 1.Massachusetts Audubon SocietyCummaquidUSA
  2. 2.Section of Evolution and Ecology and Center for Population BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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