Reproductive Biology and Phylogeny of Lizards and Tuatara. J. L. Rheubert, D. S. Siegel, and S. E. Trauth (Eds.). 2014. CRC Press. ISBN 9781466579866. 760 p. $143.96 (hardcover).—
According to the authors, this book was intended to summarize the current knowledge of phylo- geny and reproduction of the Lepidosauria. I believe the authors have achieved their goal. Many of the chapters in this book are derived from presentations that took place at the Symposium on Reproductive Biology of Lizards at the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists held in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 2014. Although the majority of the authors are from the United States, the book includes authors from nine countries representing four continents and New Zealand.
In the first chapter, Laurie Vitt states (p. 1), “It is difficult to imagine anything more interesting to biologists... than understanding the origins of reproductive patterns among lizards.” I agree. Vitt continues with the early history of topics such as seasonality of reproduction and fat storage, parthenogenesis, evolution of viviparity, placentation, and several other topics. For each of these topics, Vitt explains the origin of the field and the major researchers responsible for the insights and hypotheses in each field. His chapter ends with a call for natural history studies.
In chapter two, John Wiens and Shea Lambert discuss the phylogeny of lizard families. They present a compelling argument for combining molecular and morphological data sets in phylogenetic studies. The authors admit that there are still many unresolved issues and more data are needed to fully understand the phylogeny of the lizards.
In chapter three, Jose ́ Mart ́ın and Pilar Lo ́ pez define pheromone, discuss chemosensory abilities, and describe the role of pheromones in lizard reproduction. They present a list of studies on lizards and Tuatara, describe the source of chemicals, and the chemical nature of putative phero- mones. Mart ́ın and Lo ́pez conclude with the evolutionary origin of chemical signaling in lizards and a call for additional work on pheromone communication in lizards.
Robert Cox and Atiel Kahrl discuss sexual selection and sexual dimorphism in lizards in chapter four. They include a list of studies and evaluate the data to determine what factors led to sexual dimorphism. They discuss intra- and intersexual selection. Cox and Kahrl discuss the ultimate cause and proximate mechanisms for sexual dimorphism and conclude with a discussion of the consequence of sexual selection on speciation and species recognition.
Robert D. Aldridge, Michael B. Thompson, Malorie M. Hayes, Rafael O. de Sá, and Christopher G. Lowe"Book Reviews," Copeia 103(3), 715-720, (29 September 2015). https://doi.org/10.1643/OT-15-261