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Iridophore- and Xanthophore-Deficient Melanistic Color Variant of the Lizard Plestiodon latiscutatus

Kuriyama, Takeo LU ; Okamoto, Taku; Miyaji, Kazuyuki and Hasegawa, Masami (2016) In Herpetologica 72(3). p.189-195
Abstract

Elucidating the ultimate and proximate mechanisms of melanistic color pattern formation has become an important focus of evolutionary biology. There are relatively few studies, however, examining the composition and architecture of pigment cells in melanistic reptiles. The typical color pattern of the skink Plestiodon latiscutatus, which inhabits the Izu Islands and Izu Peninsula of Japan, consists of brown dorsal coloration, five vivid yellowish white stripes, and a blue tail (in juveniles). We have observed melanistic morphs at a low frequency (<0.05%). Based on a histological examination of pigment cells, we determined that the melanistic morph of P. latiscutatus collected from Shikine in the Izu Islands possesses only dermal... (More)

Elucidating the ultimate and proximate mechanisms of melanistic color pattern formation has become an important focus of evolutionary biology. There are relatively few studies, however, examining the composition and architecture of pigment cells in melanistic reptiles. The typical color pattern of the skink Plestiodon latiscutatus, which inhabits the Izu Islands and Izu Peninsula of Japan, consists of brown dorsal coloration, five vivid yellowish white stripes, and a blue tail (in juveniles). We have observed melanistic morphs at a low frequency (<0.05%). Based on a histological examination of pigment cells, we determined that the melanistic morph of P. latiscutatus collected from Shikine in the Izu Islands possesses only dermal melanophores and lacks the xanthophores and iridophores seen in the normal coloration. This arrangement of pigment cells differs from the only other studied melanistic lizard, Sceloporus undulatus, in which the dark skin of the melanistic morph results from a simple increase in the density of melanophores relative to xanthophores and iridophores. Our findings indicate that associations between color pattern phenotypes and the expression of candidate color genes, such as Mc1r, are more complex than previously assumed; coloration in reptiles is controlled not only by cellular processes related to single pigment production but also by the differentiation of multiple pigment cells.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Melanism, Pigment cells, Scincidae, Transmission electron microscope
in
Herpetologica
volume
72
issue
3
pages
7 pages
publisher
Herpetologists' League
external identifiers
  • scopus:84981344751
ISSN
0018-0831
DOI
10.1655/Herpetologica-D-15-00022
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d79f7873-88e2-4bb0-b1c5-dd7a229233e5
date added to LUP
2016-11-28 15:30:21
date last changed
2017-11-19 04:35:19
@article{d79f7873-88e2-4bb0-b1c5-dd7a229233e5,
  abstract     = {<p>Elucidating the ultimate and proximate mechanisms of melanistic color pattern formation has become an important focus of evolutionary biology. There are relatively few studies, however, examining the composition and architecture of pigment cells in melanistic reptiles. The typical color pattern of the skink Plestiodon latiscutatus, which inhabits the Izu Islands and Izu Peninsula of Japan, consists of brown dorsal coloration, five vivid yellowish white stripes, and a blue tail (in juveniles). We have observed melanistic morphs at a low frequency (&lt;0.05%). Based on a histological examination of pigment cells, we determined that the melanistic morph of P. latiscutatus collected from Shikine in the Izu Islands possesses only dermal melanophores and lacks the xanthophores and iridophores seen in the normal coloration. This arrangement of pigment cells differs from the only other studied melanistic lizard, Sceloporus undulatus, in which the dark skin of the melanistic morph results from a simple increase in the density of melanophores relative to xanthophores and iridophores. Our findings indicate that associations between color pattern phenotypes and the expression of candidate color genes, such as Mc1r, are more complex than previously assumed; coloration in reptiles is controlled not only by cellular processes related to single pigment production but also by the differentiation of multiple pigment cells.</p>},
  author       = {Kuriyama, Takeo and Okamoto, Taku and Miyaji, Kazuyuki and Hasegawa, Masami},
  issn         = {0018-0831},
  keyword      = {Melanism,Pigment cells,Scincidae,Transmission electron microscope},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {09},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {189--195},
  publisher    = {Herpetologists' League},
  series       = {Herpetologica},
  title        = {Iridophore- and Xanthophore-Deficient Melanistic Color Variant of the Lizard Plestiodon latiscutatus},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1655/Herpetologica-D-15-00022},
  volume       = {72},
  year         = {2016},
}