Changes in pitviper taxonomy and systematics since Biology of Pitvipers 2

Fenwick, Allyson

Department of Biology

University of Central Oklahoma

Edmond, Oklahoma USA

Interest in and work on pitviper evolutionary relationships has been steady since before the first Biology of the Pitvipers conference in 1989. Since Biology of the Pitvipers 2 in 2014, genomic techniques have brought new insight to some persistent questions about group relationships. Progress has been especially marked in New World groups. However, variability in sampling has left some questions unanswered. The most dramatic changes to pitviper taxonomy and systematics have been at the species level: new species have been discovered and clades that were formerly described as single species have been split into species complexes. Discussion continues about the importance of sampling across the entire ranges of proposed species versus relying on detailed genetic data from fewer individuals. This talk celebrates evolutionary work that has been done since Biology of the Pitvipers 2 and looks forward to new directions to better understand this charismatic group of snakes.