Contributions to Zoology, 81 (3) – 2012Jean-Michel Guillon; Loreleï Guéry; Vincent Hulin; Marc Girondot: A large phylogeny of turtles (Testudines) using molecular data

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Turtles (Testudines) form a monophyletic group with a highly distinctive body plan. The taxonomy and phylogeny of turtles are still under discussion, at least for some clades. Whereas in most previous studies, only a few species or genera were considered, we here use an extensive compilation of DNA sequences from nuclear and mitochondrial genes for more than two thirds of the total number of turtle species to infer a large phylogeny for this taxon. Our results enable us to discuss previous hypotheses on species phylogeny or taxonomy. We are thus able to discriminate between competing hypotheses and to suggest taxonomical modifications. Finally, we pinpoint the remaining ambiguities for this phylogeny and the species for which new sequences should be obtained to improve phylogenetic resolution.