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A Report on the Herpetofauna of the Vizcaino Peninsula, Baja California, Mexico, with a Discussion of its Biogeographic and Taxonomic Implications





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The Sierra Vizcaino and Sierra Santa Clara are located along the west coast of central Baja California and compose the continental portion of the Viz- caino Peninsula. A survey of the herpetofauna of this region documented the presence of several previously unreported species. Three species {Gambelia wis- lizenii, Coleonyx variegatus, and Cwtalus exsul) show a close morphological similarity to conspecifics of Isla de Cedros. The presence of a relict mesophilic species, Hyla regilla, in the Sierra Vizcaino, suggests that this region was much more mesic in the past. It is hypothesized that the saxicolous taxa of the Sierra Vizcaino and Sierra Santa Clara colonized these mountains from the Peninsular Ranges of Baja California while the former existed as Pacific islands during the last 10,000 years. Such habitat specialists would be unable to disperse across the flat, sandy, Vizcaino Desert that currently separates these species from their pen- insular counterparts.