Richard R. Montanucci

Associate Professor Emeritus

Contact Information

Address:    132 Long Hall,
                 Dept. of Biological Sciences,
                 Clemson University,
                 Clemson SC 29634
Phone:       864 656-2328
FAX:          864 656-0435


  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Louisiana State University Medical Center, New Orleans (1973) 
  • Ph.D. Biology, emphasis: Systematics & Ecology, University of Kansas, Lawrence (1972)
  • M.A. Zoology, University of Kansas, Lawrence (1969)
  • B. S. Entomology, University of California, Davis (1967)

Research Interests

  • The study of evolution is the principle focus of my research, using amphibians and reptiles as model systems. Evolution is the central tenet of biology because it provides a principle that explains the diversity of life forms. My research includes classification (naming and describing new species), studying the mechanisms that produce new species, and understanding and interpreting the evolutionary relationships among species and higher taxa, using a multidisciplinary approach.
  • My research for the past 40 years has dealt primarily with lizard species diversity in western North America, and especially in the deserts of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, with a focus on the families Iguanidae, Crotaphytidae, and Phrynosomatidae including the horned lizards, genus Phrynosoma.

Selected Publications

  • Montanucci, Richard R. 2015.  A taxonomic revision of the Phrynosoma douglasii species complex (Squamata:Phrynosomatidae).
    Zootaxa 4015 (1): 1–177.
  • Montanucci, Richard R.  2015. Experimental evidence for reproductive isolation between Astrophytum coahuilense (H. Möller) Kayser and A. capricorne var. senile (Fric) Okumura (CACTACEAE). Haseltonia 20:13-21.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. and Heinz Hoock.  2013.  A review of the neotypification of Astrophytum capricorne var. crassispinum (H. Möller) Okumura (Cactaceae). Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 7(1):355-365.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 2010. A safe procedure for eradicating root mealybugs from a cactus collection. Cactus and Succulent Journal 82(4):232-234.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 2010. On the alleged rediscovery of the type specimen of Phrynosoma ornatum Girard 1858. Herpetological Review 41(3): 298-301.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 2009.  Infrageneric taxonomy of Astrophytum (Cactaceae), with remarks on the status of Digitostigma Velazco & Nevárez. Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 3(1): 251-256.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 2009. The chytrid fungus in the Red Salamander, Pseudotriton ruber, in South Carolina, USA. Herpetological Review  40(2):188.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 2008.  Taxonomic history and status of the Coahuila Bishop’s Cap. Haseltonia 14:176-184.
  • Montanucci, Richard R.  2008.  Historical evidence for the type locality of Sauromalus ater Duméril, 1856. Herpetological Review 39(3):326-328.
  • Kinkead, K. E., J. D. Lanham, and R. R. Montanucci.  2006.  Comparison of anesthesia and marking techniques on stress and behavioral responses in two Desmognathus salamanders. Journal of Herpetology 40(3):323-328.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 2006. A review of the amphibians of the Jim Timmerman Natural Resources Area, Oconee and Pickens Counties, South Carolina. Southeastern Naturalist 5 (Monograph 1):1-58.
  • Moser, W. E., R. W. Van Devender, R. R. Montanucci, C. D. Camp, and D. J. Klemm.  2005.  New host data for the leech Oligobdella biannulata (Euhirudinea: Glossiphoniidae). Journal of the North Carolina Academy of Science 121(1):36-40.
  • Montanucci, Richard R.  2004.  A note on the identity of chuckwallas inhabiting Isla Danzante, Baja California Sur. Herpetological Review 35(3): 223-224.
  • Montanucci, Richard R.  2004.  Geographic variation in Phrynosoma coronatum (Lacertilia, Phrynosomatidae): Further evidence for a peninsular archipelago. Herpetologica 60(1):117-139.
  • Reeder, Tod W. and Richard R. Montanucci.  2001.  A cladistic analysis of the horned lizard genus Phrynosoma (Phrynosomatidae): Evidence from mitochondrial DNA and morphology.  Copeia 2001(2):309-323.
  • Montanucci, Richard R.  2001. A Clarification of the type locality and collector of the holotype of Sauromalus obesus (Baird) 1858. Herpetol. Rev. 32 (1):17 -20.
  • Montanucci, Richard R., Hobart M. Smith, Kraig Adler, David L. Auth, Ralph Axtell, Ted J. Case, David Chiszar, Joseph T. Collins, Roger Conant, Robert Murphy, Kenneth Petren, and Robert C. Stebbins. 2001. Sauromalus obesus (Baird) 1858 (Reptilia, Lacertilia): proposed precedence of the specific name over that of Sauromalus ater Dumeril, 1856. Bull. Zool. Nomencl. 58(1):37-40.
  • Kozak, Kenneth H. and Richard R. Montanucci.  2001.  Genetic variation across a contact zone between montane and lowland forms of the two-lined salamander (Eurycea bislineata) species complex: a test of species limits. Copeia 2001 (1):25-34.
  • Montanucci, Richard R.  2000.  Comments on the restriction of the type locality and nomenclature of the chuckwalla, Sauromalus ater Dumeril, 1856. Herpetol. Rev. 31(3): 138-142.
  • Hayes, W. and R. R. Montanucci. 1999 [2000]. Acklins iguana, Cyclura rileyinuchalis. Pp. 60-62. In: Alberts, Allison (comp. & ed.) West Indian Iguanas: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC West Indian Iguana Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1999.  Preferential coprophagy in neonate chuckwallas (Sauromalus, Lacertilia, Iguanidae). Herpetol. Rev.30(4):221-222.
  • Baur, Bertrand E. and Richard R. Montanucci. 1998. Krotenechsen. Lebensweise, Pflege und Zucht.  Herpeton. 158 pp. (ISBN 3-9802892-8-1)
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1997. Captive management, behavior and conservation of chuckwallas, Sauromalus obesus. Bull. Chicago Herp. Soc. 32(6): 121 - 137.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1997. A safe procedure for mite eradication. Herpetol. Rev. 28(1): 38 - 39.
  • Smith, Hobart M., David Chiszar, and Richard R. Montanucci. 1997. Subspecies and classification. Herpetol. Rev. 28(1): 13 - 16.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1996. Morphological variation in the gular fold in the horned lizard genus, Phrynosoma (Iguania: Phrynosomatidae). Herpetologica 52: 46 - 55.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1994. Suggestions for handling museum specimens of Phrynosoma (Iguania, Phrynosomatidae). Herpetol. Rev. 25(1): 12 - 13.
  • Mendoza-Quijano, Fernando., Ernest  A. Liner, Richard R. Montanucci, and Arturo Gonzalez-Alonso. 1993. Geographic Distribution. Sceloporus serrifercyanogenys. Herpetol. Rev. 24(4): 155.
  • Liner, E. A., Richard R. Montanucci, Arturo Gonzalez-Alonso, and Fernando Mendoza-Quijano. 1993. An additional contribution to the herpetology of northern Coahuila, Mexico. Bol. Soc. Herpetol. Mex. 5(1): 9  - 11.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1992. Commentary on a proposed taxonomic arrangement for some North American amphibians and reptiles. Herpetol. Rev. 23(1): 9 - 10.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. and James P. O’Brien. 1991. Mating behavior of the coast horned lizard (Phrynosoma coronatum). The Vivarium 3(4): 27 - 28.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1989. Unique behaviors in captive rock horned lizards, Phrynosoma ditmarsi. Herpetol. Rev. 20(4): 85 - 87.
  • Gonzalez A., Arturo, Fernando Mendoza Q., Richard R. Montanucci, and Ernest A. Liner. 1989. Una colecta herpetologica en el norte de Coahuila. VIII. Coloquio de Investigacion, E.N.E.P. Iztacala-UNAM (Abstr.)
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1989. Maintenance and propagation of horned lizards (Phrynosoma) in captivity. Bull. Chicago Herp. Soc. 24: 229 - 238.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1989. The relationship of morphology to diet in the horned lizard genus Phrynosoma. Herpetologica 45: 208 - 216.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1989. The reproduction and growth of Phrynosoma ditmarsi (Sauria: Iguanidae) in captivity. Zoo Biology 8: 139 - 149.
  • Sherbrooke, Wade C., and Richard R. Montanucci. 1988.  Stone-mimicry in the round-tailed horned lizard, Phrynosoma modestum (Sauria: Iguanidae). J. of Arid Environ. 14: 275 - 284.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1987. A phylogenetic study of the horned lizards, genus Phrynosoma, based on skeletal and external morphology. Los Angeles Co. Mus. Natur. Hist., Contrib. In Sci., (390): 1 - 36.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1985. Electrophoretic evidence of natural hybridization between two species of collared lizards. National Geographic Soc. Res. Reports Vol. 20: 477 - 480.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1984. Review of Lizards in Captivity by Richard H. Wynne. 1981. TFH Publ. Herpetol. Rev. 15(1): 28.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1983. More on meal worm digestibility. Notes from Noah, Vol. XI, no. 3: 14-15.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1983. Breeding, captive care, and longevity of the short-horned lizard, Phrynosoma douglassi. International Zoo Yearbook 23: 148 - 156.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1983. Natural hybridization between two species of collared lizards (Crotaphytus). Copeia 1983: 1-11.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. and Bertrand E. Baur. 1982. Mating and courtship-related behaviors of the short-horned lizard, Phrynosoma douglassi. Copeia 1982: 971-974.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1981. Interbreeding between two species of collared lizards. Amer. Philos. Soc. Grantees’ Reports 1981: 38 -39.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1981. Habitat separation between Phrynosoma douglassi and P. orbiculare (Lacertilia: Iguanidae) in Mexico. Copeia 1981: 147-153.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1979. Notes on systematics of horned lizards allied to Phrynosoma orbiculare (Sauria: Iguanidae). Herpetologica 35:116-124.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1978. Discriminant analysis of hybridization between leopard lizards, Gambelia (Reptilia, Lacertilia, Iguanidae). J. Herpetol. 12: 299-307.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1978. Dorsal pattern polymorphism and adaptation in Gambelia wislizenii (Reptilia, Lacertilia, Iguanidae). J. Herpetol. 12: 73-81.
  • Axtell, Ralph W., and Richard R. Montanucci. 1977. Crotaphytus collaris from the eastern Sonoran Desert: description of a previously unrecognized geographic race. Nat. Hist. Misc. 201: 1-8.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1976. Crotaphytus reticulatus. Cat. Amer. Amphib. Rept.: 185.1 - 185.2.
  • Montanucci, Richard R., Ralph W. Axtell, and Herbert C. Dessauer. 1975. Evolutionary divergence among collared lizards (Crotaphytus), with comments on the status of Gambelia. Herpetologica 31: 336-347.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1974. Convergence, polymorphism or introgressive hybridization? An analysis of interaction between Crotaphytus collaris and C.reticulatus (Sauria: Iguanidae). Copeia 1974: 87-101.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1973. Systematics and evolution of the Andean lizard genus Pholidobolus (Sauria: Teiidae). Misc. Publ. Mus. Nat. Hist., Univ. Kansas 59: 1-52.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1971. Distributional and ecological data on Crotaphytus reticulatus (Sauria: Iguanidae). Herpetologica 27: 183-197.
  • Montanucci, Richard R. 1970. Analysis of hybridization between Crotaphytuswislizenii and Crotaphytus silus (Sauria: Iguanidae) in California. Copeia 1970: 104-123.
  • Montanucci, R. R. 1969. Remarks upon the Crotaphytus-Gambelia controversy (Sauria: Iguanidae). Herpetologica 25: 308-314.
  • Montanucci, R. R. 1968. Comparative dentition in four iguanid lizards. Herpetologica 24: 305-315.
  • Montanucci, R. R. 1968. Notes on the distribution and ecology of some lizards in the San Joaquin Valley, California. Herpetologica 24:316-320.
  • Montanucci, R. R. 1967. Further studies on leopard lizards, Crotaphytus wislizenii. Herpetologica 23: 119-126.
  • Montanucci, R. R. 1965. Observations on the San Joaquin leopard lizard, Crotaphytus wislizenii silus Stejneger. Herpetologica 21:270-283.