Werner Conradie

Werner Conradie
Port Elizabeth Museum · Herpetology

M.Env.Sc

About

133
Publications
107,220
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Introduction
Herpetologist at the Port Elizabeth Museum (Bayworld), South Africa. Werner has many years of experience in southern African herpetofauna. Main research interests focus on the taxonomy, conservation and ecology of amphibians and reptiles of southern Africa. Research expeditions include countries like Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.
Additional affiliations
November 2007 - present
Port Elizabeth Museum
Port Elizabeth Museum
Position
  • Curator of Herpetology

Publications

Publications (133)
Preprint
Allotetraploid genomes have two distinct genomic compartments called subgenomes that are derived from separate diploid ancestral species. Many genomic characteristics such as gene function, expression, recombination, and transposable element mobility may differ significantly between subgenomes. To explore the possibility that subgenome population s...
Article
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Lycodonomorphus is a genus of lamprophiid water snake endemic in Africa. Although widespread, abundant and presumably an important component of many aquatic and semi-aquatic food webs, these snakes are poorly understood taxonomically, particularly from a phylogenetic perspective. With only four of the nine species currently sequenced, this study at...
Article
The Great Karoo is an ecologically fragile, poorly studied arid region in central South Africa. With the discovery of shale gas as a potential resource in the Great Karoo, it is expected that a substantial footprint will be left in this region if gas extraction proceeds. This highlights the need for biodiversity surveys of the Great Karoo of taxono...
Article
We present a molecular phylogeny of African stream frogs (genus Strongylopus), based on 12S rRNA, 16S rRNA, the nuclear recombination activating gene 1 (RAG-1) and tyrosinase exon 1 (tyr). Molecular data were supported by advertisement call analysis and morphology. We recognise six valid species: Strongylopus bonaespei (Dubois, 1981) from the south...
Article
Here we provide the first phylogenetic analysis that include Afrogecko ansorgii and a detailed morphological comparison with other species of leaf-toed geckos. For this purpose, we used two mitochondrial (16S, ND2) and four nuclear (RAG1, RAG2, CMOS, PDC) genes to produce a robust phylogenetic reconstruction. This allowed us to show that A. ansorgi...
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Angola has experienced an incredible increase of the knowledge of its herpetofauna over the past decade. However, accurate biodiversity inventories remain deficient for certain regions of particular conservation interest. We therefore provide an updated checklist of Iona National Park’s herpetofauna, with 75 recorded species, including five amphibi...
Article
Comparative phylogeographic studies provide important insights into the biogeographic processes shaping regional patterns of diversity. Yet, comparative studies are lacking for southern African herpetofauna, despite their high diversity. We statistically compare phylogeographic structure and divergence-time estimates among five co-distributed fores...
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A new species of red toad, from the previously monotypic genus Schismaderma, is described. The new species was found in Malanje Province, and seems endemic to central Angola, occurring approximately 500 km west of the closest known records of Schismaderma carens. Unusual adult colouration and geographical distance to remaining S. carens populations...
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The herpetofauna of Angola has been neglected for many years, but recent surveys have revealed previously unknown diversity and a consequent increase in the number of species recorded for the country. Most historical surveys focused on the north-eastern and south-western parts of the country, while mostly neglecting the central and south-eastern pa...
Article
The Great Karoo and Namaqualand of South Africa are home to a species complex of morphologically conserved lizards that occur in allopatry (Karoo: Cordylus aridus, Cordylus cloetei, Cordylus minor; Namaqualand: Cordylus imkeae). However, there are negligible morphological differences and a lack of obvious physical or climatic barriers, particularly...
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This work provides an updated distribution for K. plumicaudus within Namibe Province, the known range now spanning ~240 km from north of the city of Moçamedes southwards to the margins of the Cunene River on the Namibian border. Furthermore, using the GeoCAT IUCN tool (following Bachman et al., 2011) we update the EOO to 11,333 km2, which almost tr...
Article
The genus Pedioplanis reaches its northernmost limit in western Angola, where it is represented by three species, Pedioplanis benguelensis, P. haackei and P. huntleyi. The taxonomic status of P. benguelensis remains problematic, mainly due to the vague original escription and the loss of the original type material. Here we provide a revision of the...
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The taxonomy of Angolan Hemidactylus has recently been revised. However, the lack of fresh material for some groups and regions, has led to the misidentification of some taxa and an underestimation of actual diversity in others. To shed light on the evolutionary history and systematics of Angolan Hemidactylus, we generated a new phylogenetic hypoth...
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Here we provide an updated distribution of Rhamnophis aethiopissa in Angola. These records suggest that the species is likely widespread, and well-adapted to the Congolese Forest Biome across northern Angola, despite the few existing records. We expect that the species might occur in remnant forest blocks along the Angolan western escarpment, where...
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We present the results of a herpetofaunal survey of The Island Nature Reserve in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. This study forms part of a series of rapid surveys to improve biodiversity inventory data of protected areas within the province. Visual encounter survey methods and standard Y-shape trap arrays...
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The taxonomy of Angolan Hemidactylus has recently been revised. However, the lack of fresh material for some groups and regions, has led to the misidentification of some taxa and an underestimation of actual diversity in others. To shed light on the evolutionary history and systematics of Angolan Hemidactylus , we generated a new phylogenetic hypot...
Article
Our knowledge of the conservation status of reptiles, the most diverse class of terrestrial vertebrates, has improved dramatically over the past decade, but still lags behind that of the other tetrapod groups. Here, we conduct the first comprehensive evaluation (~92% of the world's ~1714 described species) of the conservation 1 Joint senior authors...
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Phylogenetic relationships of sub-Saharan African natricine snakes are understudied and poorly understood, which in turn has precluded analyses of the historical biogeography of the Seychelles endemic Lycognathophis seychellensis. We inferred the phylogenetic relationships of Seychelles and mainland sub-Saharan natricines by analysing a multilocus...
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Range-restricted species are generally poorly known and at higher risk of extinction than species with wider distributions. In the past, the Coastal Leaf-toed Gecko, Cryptactites peringueyi (Boulenger, 1910) caused much confusion and was once referred to as “one of the herpetological mysteries of the region”. Knowledge on the species has grown subs...
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Four new species of flat geckos in the Afroedura bogerti Loveridge, 1944 group are described from south-western and west-central Angola. The description of these new species significantly restricts the distribution range of typical A. bogerti , a morphologically very similar species, from which they differ genetically by 5.9–12% divergence for the...
Article
Kassinula is a monotypic genus of small frog in the family Hyperoliidae, only represented by Kassinula wittei. This species morphologically resembles both Kassina Girard, 1853 and Afrixalus Laurent, 1944, and its taxonomic status has been debated for decades. It has previously been subsumed within Kassina, and is currently placed as a sister genus...
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Recent molecular phylogenetic work has found that Breviceps Merrem, 1820 comprises two major clades, one of which, the B. mossambicus group, is widely distributed across southern sub-Saharan Africa. This group is notable for harboring abundant cryptic diversity. Of the four most recently described Breviceps species, three are members of this group,...
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The results of a herpetofaunal survey of Ongeluksnek Nature Reserve, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa are presented here. Combination of visual encounter survey methods and standard Y-shape trap arrays were used to conduct the survey. A total of 26 species (eight amphibians and 18 reptiles) were recorded, representing 29 quarter-degree grid cell...
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The first herpetological surveys of two mountains in northern Mozambique, Mount Lico and Mount Socone, are presented. A total of 19 species of amphibians (two orders, eight families, and 11 genera) and 21 species of reptiles (two orders, 11 families, and 17 genera) were recorded. Mount Lico is a unique site with representatives of both moist evergr...
Article
We investigate the phylogeographic structure of a fossorial forest‐living snake species, the forest thread snake, Leptotyphlops sylvicolus Broadley & Wallach, 1997 by sampling specimens from the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu‐Natal provinces of South Africa. Phylogenetic results, using Bayesian inferences and maximum likelihood, from the combined mitocho...
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An integrative taxonomic review of the genus Boaedon in Angola is provided. A molecular phylogeny, based on 99 genetic samples for which the mitochondrial markers 16S rRNA have been sequenced, reveals 23 monophyletic species-level groups in Africa and indicates the presence of nine species in Angola. Based on both phylogenetic and morphological dat...
Article
The African natricine genus Limnophis is represented by two species: Limnophis bicolor Günther, 1865 and Limnophis bangweolicus (Mertens, 1936). They are stout-bodied, semi-aquatic snakes that mostly feed on fish and amphibians, and occur from Botswana and Namibia in the south throughout most of Zambia and Angola to the Democratic Republic of the C...
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In this study, we examined the phylogeographical structure of three frog species (Anhydrophryne rattrayi, Arthroleptis wageri and Cacosternum nanum) in the Eastern and Western Cape provinces of South Africa. The first two species are forest dwelling and exhibit direct development, whereas the last species is a habitat generalist, breeding in open f...
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Recently Oosthuizen (2018) reported the most northern West Coast record of N. livida from just south of Springbok. The unusual dorsal pattern of the specimen leads to the current investigation of the presence of this species along the West Coast of South Africa. Here we review all West Coast material currently assigned to N. livida and compare thei...
Article
The African colubrid snake genus Crotaphopeltis currently comprises six species and occurs throughout sub‐Saharan Africa. The most widespread of these, Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia, inhabits most biomes, aside from rainforest and hyper‐arid regions, and its catholic niche has presumably facilitated substantial gene flow. Despite this, the geographical...
Article
Historically Panaspis wahlbergi (Smith, 1849) has been the only assignable species present in Kenya. Recent studies have shown that it comprises multiple cryptic species and the nominal species is now restricted to southern Africa. Newly collected mitochondrial data (16S rRNA) helped to resolve the status of the Kenyan populations, which revealed t...
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A new endemic Sandveld Lizard, genus Nucras, is described from south-western Angola. Morphologically it resembles members of the Nucras tessellata group, but it is genetically separated and is sister to the larger tessellata + lalandii group. Although the genus is generally very conservative morphologically, the new species differs from other conge...
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Kinixys spekii has a wide distribution range across sub-Saharan Africa, having been reported from Angola, Botswana, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, eSwatini, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Kinixys spekii inhabits savannah and dry bushveld habitats and was previously considered an inl...
Article
Psammophylax (Fitzinger 1843) is a widespread yet poorly studied genus of African grass snakes. A genetic phylogeny of six of the seven species was estimated using multiple phylogenetic and distance‐based methods. To support the genetic analyses, we conducted morphological analyses on the body (traditional morphology) and head (geometric morphometr...
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Background: Conservation relies on the strategic use of resources because monies for conservation action are limited, especially in developing countries. South Africa’s Frog Atlas project established a baseline for the country’s amphibian data and threat levels in 2004, and in 2009 a prioritisation exercise developed a strategy for conservation res...
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On 14 October 2018, William Roy Branch, or simply Bill as he was known to most, passed away after a short struggle with motor neuron disease. He was not only one of South Africa’s most well-known and respected herpetologists, but also a dedicated husband, a father, a good friend, and a mentor to so many of us. We have taken this opportunity to coll...
Article
A new species of tree snake Dipsadoboa montisilva Branch, Conradie & Tolley sp. nov. (Serpentes: Colubridae) is described from the ‘sky islands’ of Mount Mabu and Mount Ribáuè in northern Mozambique. Features of scalation, colour, body form and habitat distinguish the new species from other Dipsadoboa. This is supported by a phylogenetic analysis u...
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Here we describe the invasion history in South Africa of the Common Dwarf Gecko Lygodactylus capensis (Smith, 1849), particularly into areas distant from its native range. We provide maps that include detailed records of translocations dating as far back as the early 1980s, describing the spread of populations through time. We find that this gecko...
Article
We assess the phylogeographic structure and test several species delimitation methods in the forest-living Pondo flat-gecko, Afroedura pondolia, by sampling specimens from across the entire distribution in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces of South Africa. Phylogenetic results, using Bayesian inferences and maximum likelihood, from the c...
Article
Theory predicts that sexually dimorphic traits under strong sexual selection, particularly those involved with intersexual signaling, can accelerate speciation and produce bursts of diversification. Sexual dichromatism (sexual dimorphism in color) is widely used as a proxy for sexual selection and is associated with rapid diversification in several...
Article
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Atractaspidines are poorly studied, fossorial snakes that are found throughout Africa and western Asia, including the Middle East. We employed concatenated gene-tree analyses and divergence dating approaches to investigate evolutionary relationships and biogeographic patterns of atractaspidines with a multi-locus data set consisting of three mitoch...
Data
Settings for high-resolution CT scans and DOI numbers for supporting files on the Morphosource website, in Microsoft Excel format. (XLSX)
Chapter
Full-text available
Os anfíbios de Angola têm sido estudados desde os meados do século xix por exploradores e cientistas de todo o Ocidente, com colecções depositadas em cerca de 20 museus e instituições da Europa, América do Norte e África. Este estudo sofreu uma interrupção significativa durante as quase quatro décadas da luta de libertação e guerra civil de Angola...
Article
The Port Elizabeth Museum herpetology collection contains 407 type specimens, representing 70 primary and 55 secondary squamate types. The type series comprise 93 African taxa (84 lizards and 9 snakes), of which 75 are still regarded as valid. It is the third largest primary reptile type collection in Africa. This is the first catalogue of this imp...
Article
Compared to the global average, extinction risk for mainland African reptiles, particularly for South Africa, appears to be relatively low. Despite this, African reptiles are under threat primarily due to habitat loss as a result of agriculture, resource extraction, and urbanisation, and these pressures are expected to increase into the future. Sou...
Article
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Acontias plumbeus has traditionally been considered a monotypic, invariable species, a fact that highly contrasts with documented examples of high phylogenetic complexity and phenotypic diversity in other members of the Acontinae. We employed mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers to investigate genetic structuring among A. plumbeus populations and...
Chapter
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O estado actual do conhecimento sobre a diversidade dos répteis de Angola é aqui tratada no contexto da história da investigação herpetológica no país. A diversidade de répteis é comparada com a diversidade conhecida em regiões adjacentes de modo a permitir esclarecer questões taxonómicas e padrões biogeográficos. No final do século xix, mais de 67...
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Northern Mozambique is one of the most poorly known regions in south-eastern Africa and only in the last decade has it received attention through a series of multi-collaborative biodiversity surveys. These surveys have revealed numerous new species but also species hitherto unrecorded from Mozambique. One of these is the Large-eyed Green snake, Phi...
Chapter
This review summarises the current status of our knowledge of Angolan reptile diversity, and places it into a historical context of understanding and growth. It is compared and contrasted with known diversity in adjacent regions to allow insight into taxonomic status and biogeographic patterns. Over 67% of Angolan reptiles were described by the end...
Chapter
Full-text available
Angolan amphibians have been studied since the mid-nineteenth century by explorers and scientists from all over the western world, and collections have been deposited in around 20 museums and institutions in Europe, Northern America, and Africa. A significant interruption of this study occurred during Angola’s liberation struggle and civil war for...
Article
Throughout the Miocene, the African landscape underwent broad climatic shifts that profoundly influenced the distribution of fauna and flora. Since the late Miocene, these shifts have created a landscape in southern Africa that is strongly characterised by savanna and arid environments. Forests persist in small fragments, primarily in mountainous o...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This species has an relatively small area of occupancy (AOO) of 56 km2, but because it is found in at least two widely separated subpopulations, the extent of occurrence (EOO) is 785 km2 in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. The two subpopulations are mainly found within 100 m of the high water mark on the shore or along the river bank of the...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This is a recently described species, so little is known regarding its' distribution. To date, it has been found only in a small area, but there is a lack of survey data and it could be more widespread. Without this distribution information, the threats to this species cannot be assessed. Until better information is available regarding its' distrib...
Technical Report
Full-text available
A recent split from Acontias breviceps Essex, 1925, although it is genetically closely related to Acontias gracilicauda Essex, 1925 (Conradie et al. 2018). This species was recently described and there are few recorded localities. Therefore, its distribution is not known, and it is not possible to assess threats to this species. It is therefore con...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Northern and southern populations of this species were investigated by Broadley and Greer (1969), who found average differences in scale counts. Daniels et al. (2006) were the first to investigated representatives of the northern populations genetically while Lamb et al. (2010) sequenced a specimen from an intermediate locality in northern Eastern...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Recent molecular phylogenetic studies have demonstrated that Acontia gracilicauda gracilicauda and A. g. namaquensis are not closely related. The latter has been raised to full specific status (Lamb et al. 2010) despite only minor scalation differences between the two taxa (Broadley and Greer 1969). Busschau et al. (2017) investigate the relationsh...