DNA barcoding of Cameroon samples enhances our knowledge on the distributional limits of putative species of Osteolaemus (African dwarf crocodiles) Academic Article uri icon


  • 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Recent genetic and morphological evidence indicates that the African dwarf crocodile (O. tetraspis) is comprised of three highly divergent lineages: O. sp. nov., O. tetraspis and O. osborni. Their putative distributional limits correspond with the Cameroon volcanic line (CVL) and the Congo River basin. In this study, we expanded on previous phylogeographic work by conducting detailed sampling of this crocodile in Cameroon and around the CVL. We tested whether O. tetraspis is the only lineage occurring in Cameroon and whether the CVL represents the distributional limit between O. sp. nov. and O. tetraspis. We collected 65 tissue samples from individuals located throughout Cameroon, and the eastern and western sides of the CVL. We sequenced fragments of two mitochondrial genes (CO1 and 12S rDNA) and one nuclear gene (LDH-A). We found that O. tetraspis extends west beyond the CVL and, thus, this mountain chain does not represent the distributional limit of this lineage. We also found O. osborni in Cameroon. Our findings have important implications for the conservation and management of O. tetraspis lineages.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Smolensky, N. L., Hurtado, L. A., & Fitzgerald, L. A.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Smolensky, Nicole L||Hurtado, Luis A||Fitzgerald, Lee A

publication date

  • February 2015