Omar Torres-Carvajal

Visite mi laboratorio

Profesor principal, Escuela de Biología
Curador de reptiles, Museo de Zoología QCAZ
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador

Research Collaborator
National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.

Miembro del directorio de la Academia de Ciencias del Ecuador


Escuela de Biología
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador
Av. 12 de Octubre 1076 y Roca
Quito, Ecuador

Teléfono: (593) (2) 2991700 ext.1222
Correo-e: omartorcar(at)

2008  Postdoctorado, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.
2005  Ph.D., The University of Kansas
2001  M.A., The University of Kansas (Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship)
1998  Licenciatura, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador

Línea de investigación
Sistemática, biogeografía, ecología y conservación de reptiles.

Zoología de vertebrados
Introducción al análisis filogenético
Biología de reptiles

Notas de distribución e historia natural
Divulgación y otras

Publicaciones científicas

  1. Torres-Carvajal, O., Ayala-Varela, F., Lobos, S.E., Poe, S., Narváez, A.E. 2017. Two new Andean species of Anolis lizard (Iguanidae, Dactyloinae) from southern Ecuador. Journal of Natural History. In Press.

  2. Meiri, S., Bauer, A.M., Allison, A., Castro-Herrera, F., Chirio, L., Colli, G., Das, I., Doan, T.M., Glaw, F.,  Grismer, L.L., Hoogmoed, M., Kraus, F., LeBreton, M., Meirte, D., Nagy, Z.T., Nogueira, C., Oliver, P., Pauwels, O.S.G., Pincheira-Donoso, D., Shea, G., Sindaco, R., Tallowin, O.J.S., Torres-Carvajal, O., Trape, J.F., Uetz, P., Wagner, P., Wang, Y., Ziegler, T., Roll, U. 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions. Accepted.

  3. Roll, U., Feldman, A., Novosolov, M., Allison, A., Bauer, A., Bernard, R., Böhm, M., Castro-Herrera, F., Chirio, L., Collen, B., Colli, G., Dabool, L., Das, I., Doan, T., Grismer, L., Hoogmoed, M., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton, M., Lewin, A., Martins, M., Maza, E., Meirte, D., Nagy, Z., Nogueira, C., Pauwels, O.S.G., Pincheira-Donoso, D., Powney, G., Sindaco, R., Tallowin, O.J.S., Torres-Carvajal, O., Trape, J-F., Vidan, E., Uetz, P., Wagner, P., Wang, Y., Orme, D., Grenyer, R., Meiri, S. 2017. The global distribution of tetrapods reveals a need for targeted reptile conservation. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1:1677-1682.

  4. Poe, S., Nieto-Montes de Oca, A., Torres-Carvajal, O., de Queiroz, K., Velasco, J.A., Truett, B., Gray, L.N., Ryan, M.J., Köhler, G., Ayala-Varela, F., Latella, I. 2017. A phylogenetic, biogeographic, and taxonomic study of all extant species of Anolis (Squamata; Iguanidae). Systematic Biology 66:663-697. DOI:

  5. Quirola, D.R., Mármol, A., Torres-Carvajal, O., Narváez, A.E., Ayala-Varela, F., Moore, I.T. 2017. Use of a rostral appendage during social interactions in the Ecuadorian Anolis proboscis. Journal of Natural History. DOI:

  6. Torres-Carvajal, O., Koch, C., Venegas, P.J., Poe, S. 2017. Phylogeny and diversity of neotropical monkey lizards (Iguanidae: Polychrus Cuvier, 1817). PLoS ONE 12(6): e0178139. DOI:

  7. Armstead, J.V., Ayala-Varela, F., Torres-Carvajal, O., Ryan, M.J., Poe, S. 2017. Systematics and ecology of Anolis biporcatus (Squamata: Iguanidae). Salamandra 53:285-293.

  8. Sánchez-Pacheco, S.J., Torres-Carvajal, O., Aguirre-Peñafiel, V., Nunes, P.,  Verrastro, L., Rivas, G.A., Trefaut Rodrigues, M, Grant, T., Murphy, R.W. 2017. Phylogeny of Riama (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae), impact of phenotypic evidence on molecular datasets, and the origin of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta endemic fauna. Cladistics. doi:10.1111/cla.12203

  9. Cuesta, F., Peralvo, M., Merino-Viteri, A., Bustamante, M., Baquero, F., Freile, J.F., Muriel, P., Torres-Carvajal, O. 2017. Priority areas for biodiversity conservation in mainland Ecuador. Neotropical Biodiversity. 3:93-106. DOI: 10.1080/23766808.2017.1295705

  10. Chaves, J.A., Peña, M., Valdés-Uribe, J.A., Muñoz-Pérez, J.P., Vallejo, F., Heidemeyer, M., Torres-Carvajal, O. 2017. Connectivity, population structure, and conservation of Ecuadorian green sea turtles. Endangered Species Research 32:251-264. DOI:

  11. Ceríaco, L.M.P., Gutiérrez, E.E., Dubois, A.,...Torres- Carvajal, O…[493 authors]. 2016. Photography-based taxonomy is inadequate, unnecessary, and potentially harmful for biological sciences. Zootaxa 4196: 435-445.

  12. Andrango, M.B., Sette, C., Torres- Carvajal, O. 2016. Short-term predicted extinction of Andean populations of the lizard Stenocercus guentheri (Iguanidae: Tropidurinae). Journal of Thermal Biology 62:30-36.

  13. Pyron, R.A., Arteaga, A., Echevarría, L.Y., Torres-Carvajal, O. 2016. A revision and key for the tribe Diaphorolepidini (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) and checklist for the genus Synophis. Zootaxa 4171:293-320.

  14. Venegas, P.J., Echevarría, L.Y., Lobos, S.E., Nunes, P.M.S., Torres-Carvajal, O. 2016. A new species of Andean microteiid lizard (Gymnophthalmidae: Cercosaurinae: Pholidobolus) from Peru, with comments on P. vertebralis. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 10:21-33.

  15. Torres-Carvajal, O., Rodríguez-Guerra, A., Chaves, J.A. 2016. Present diversity of Galápagos leaf-toed geckos (Phyllodactylidae: Phyllodactylus) stems from three independent colonization events. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 103:1-5. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2016.07.006.

  16. Torres-Carvajal, O., Lobos, S.E., Venegas, P.J., Chávez, G., Aguirre-Peñafiel, V., Zurita, D., Echevarría, L.Y. 2016. Phylogeny and biogeography of the most diverse clade of South American gymnophthalmid lizards (Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae, Cercosaurinae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 99: 63-75. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2016.03.006.

  17. Torres-Carvajal, O., Echevarría, L.Y., Venegas, P.J., Chávez, G., Camper, J.D. 2015. Description and phylogeny of three new species of Synophis (Colubridae, Dipsadinae) from the tropical Andes in Ecuador and Peru. ZooKeys 546: 153-179. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.546.6533 COBERTURA MEDIÁTICA: National GeographicAAAS, ScienceDaily, NatureWorldNews, El Comercio, El Telégrafo

  18. Poe, S., Latella, I., Ayala-Varela, F., Yañez-Miranda, C., Torres-Carvajal, O. 2015. A new species of Phenacosaur Anolis (Squamata; Iguanidae) from Peru and a comprehensive phylogeny of Dactyloa-clade Anolis based on new DNA sequences and morphology. Copeia 103:639-650. DOI:

  19. Torres-Carvajal, O. 2015. On the origin of South American populations of common house geckos (Gekkonidae: Hemidactylus frenatus). NeoBiota 27:69-79. doi:10.3897/neobiota.27.5437

  20. Torres-Carvajal, O., Lobos, S.E., Venegas, P.J. 2015. Phylogeny of Neotropical Cercosaura (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) lizards. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 93:281-288. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2015.07.025

  21. Feldman, A., Bauer, A.M., Castro-Herrera, F., Chirio, L., Das, I., Doan, T.M., Maza, E., Meirte, D., Nogueira, C., Nagy. Z.T., Torres-Carvajal, O., Uetz, P., Meiri, S. 2015. The geography of snake reproductive mode: a global analysis of the evolution of snake viviparity. Global Ecology and Biogeography, in press, DOI: 10.1111/geb.12374

  22. Ruane, S., Torres-Carvajal, O., Burbrink, F.T. 2015. Independent Demographic Responses to Climate Change among Temperate and Tropical Milksnakes (Colubridae: Genus Lampropeltis). PLoS ONE 10(6): e0128543. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0128543

  23. Torres-Carvajal, O., Venegas, P.J., de Queiroz, K. 2015. Three new species of woodlizards (Hoplocercinae, Enyalioides) from northwestern South America. ZooKeys 494: 107-132. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.494.8903  COBERTURA MEDIÁTICA: National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Toronto Star, CBS, Newsweek, Washington Post, Radio Francia, Ecuavisa, El Comercio (video)

  24. Torres-Carvajal, O., Gaona, F.P., Zaragoza, C., Székely, P. 2015. First record of Macropholidus ruthveni Noble 1921 (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from Ecuador. Herpetology Notes, 8: 25-26.

  25. Salazar-Valenzuela, D., Martins, A., Amador-Oyola, L., Torres-Carvajal, O. 2015. A new species and country record of threadsnakes (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae: Epictinae) from northern Ecuador. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 8:107–120.

  26. Torres-Carvajal, O., Venegas, P.J., Lobos, S.E., Mafla-Endara, P. y Nunes, P.M.S. 2014. A new species of Pholidobolus (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from the Andes of southern Ecuador. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 8:76–88.

  27. Scharf, I., Feldman, A., Novosolov, M., Pincheira-Donoso, D., Das, I., Böhm, M., Uetz, P., Torres-Carvajal, O., Bauer, A., Roll, U. y Meiri, S. 2014. Late bloomers and baby boomers: ecological drivers of longevity in squamates and the tuatara. Global Ecology and Biogeography 24:396-405. DOI: 10.1111/geb.12244

  28. Aguirre-Peñafiel, V., Torres-Carvajal, O., Nunes, P.M.S., Peck, M. y Maddock, S.T. 2014. A new species of Riama Gray, 1858 (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from the Tropical Andes. Zootaxa 3866:246–260. DOI:

  29. Peck, M.R., Maddock, S.T., Morales, J.N., Oñate, H., Mafla-Endara, P., Aguirre-Peñafiel, V., Torres-Carvajal, O., Pozo-Rivera, W.E., Cueva-Arroyo, X.A. y Tolhurst, B.A. 2014. Cost-effectiveness of using small vertebrates as indicators of disturbance. Conservation Biology 28:1331-1341. DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12373

  30. Salazar-Valenzuela, D., Torres-Carvajal, O. y Passos, P. 2014. A New Species of Atractus (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) from the Andes of Ecuador. Herpetologica: 70:350–363. doi:

  31. Torres-Carvajal, O., Barnes, C.W., Pozo-Andrade, M.J., Tapia, W. y Nicholls, G. 2014. Older than the islands: origin and diversification of Galápagos leaf-toed geckos (Phyllodactylidae: Phyllodactylus) by multiple colonizations. Journal of Biogeography 41:1883-1894. doi:10.1111/jbi.12375.

  32. Ayala-Varela, F., Troya-Rodríguez, D., Talero-Rodríguez, X. y Torres-Carvajal, O. 2014. A new Andean anole species of the Dactyloa clade (Squamata: Iguanidae) from western Ecuador. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 8:8-24.

  33. Torres-Carvajal O. y S.E. Lobos. 2014. A new species of Alopoglossus lizard (Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae) from the tropical Andes, with a molecular phylogeny of the genus. ZooKeys 410:105–120. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.410.7401  COBERTURA MEDIÁTICA: National Geographic, Science, Expreso, El Comercio

  34. Torres-Carvajal, O., A. Carvajal-Campos, C. Barnes, G. Nicholls y M. Pozo-Andrade. 2013. A new Andean species of Leaf-toed Gecko (Phyllodactylidae: Phyllodactylus) from Ecuador. Journal of Herpetology 47:384-390.

  35. Torres-Carvajal, O. y P. Mafla-Endara. 2013. Evolutionary history of Andean Pholidobolus and Macropholidus (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) lizards. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 68: 212-217.

  36. Torres-Carvajal, O., y P. Mafla-Endara. 2013. A new cryptic species of Stenocercus (Squamata: Iguanidae) from the Andes of Ecuador. Journal of Herpetology 47:184-190.

  37. Venegas, P., O. Torres-Carvajal, V. Duran, and K. de Queiroz. 2013. Two sympatric new species of woodlizards (Hoplocercinae, Enyalioides) from Cordillera Azul National Park in northeastern Peru. ZooKeys 277: 69-90. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.277.3594

  38. Meiri, S., Bauer, A. M., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Das, I., Doan, T. M., Feldman, A., Herrera, F.-C., Novosolov, M., Pafilis, P., Pincheira-Donoso, D., Powney, G., Torres-Carvajal, O., Uetz, P. and Van Damme, R. 2013. Are lizards feeling the heat? A tale of ecology and evolution under two temperatures. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi: 10.1111/geb.12053

  39. Sánchez-Pacheco, S.J., Aguirre-Peñafiel, V., y Torres-Carvajal, O. 2012. Lizards of the genus Riama (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae): the diversity in southern Ecuador revisited. South American Journal of Herpetology 7:259-275.

  40. Torres-Carvajal, O., Yánez-Muñoz, M.H., Quirola, D., E.N. Smith, A. Almendáriz. 2012. A new species of blunt-headed vine snake (Colubridae, Imantodes) from the Chocó region of Ecuador. Zookeys 244:91-110. COBERTURA MEDIÁTICA: Scientific American, El Universo

  41. Losos, J.B., Woolley, M.L., Mahler, D.L., O. Torres-Carvajal, K.E. Crandell, E.W. Schaad, A.E. Narváez, F. Ayala-Varela y A. Herrel. 2012. Notes on the Natural History of the Little Known Ecuadorian Horned Anole, Anolis proboscis. Breviora. 531:1–17. COBERTURA MEDIÁTICANational Geographic
  42. Torres-Carvajal, O. 2011. Lista actualizada de las lagartijas de Ecuador con comentarios acerca de su diversidad. Revista Ecuatoriana de Medicina y Ciencias Biológicas. 32:119–133.

  43. Torres-Carvajal, O., R.E. Etheridge y K. de Queiroz. 2011. A systematic revision of Neotropical lizards in the clade Hoplocercinae (Squamata: Iguania). Zootaxa 2752:1–44.

  44. Harmon, L.J., Losos, J.B., Davies, J., Gillespie, R.G., Gittleman, J.L., Jennings, W.B., Kozak, K.H., McPeek, M.A., Moreno-Roark, F., Near, T.J., Purvis, A., Ricklefs, R.E., Schluter, D., Schulte II, J.A.,  Seehausen, O., Sidlauskas, B.L., Torres-Carvajal, O., Weir, J.T., y Mooers, A.Ø. 2010. Early bursts of body size and shape evolution are rare in comparative data. Evolution 64:2385–2396.

  45. Ayala-Varela, F. y O. Torres-Carvajal. 2010. A new species of dactyloid anole (Iguanidae, Polychrotinae, Anolis) from the southeastern slopes of the Andes of Ecuador. Zookeys 53:59–73.

  46. Passos, P., A. Chiesse, O. Torres-Carvajal y J.M. Savage. 2009. Testing species boundaries within the Atractus occipitoalbus complex (Serpentes: Dipsadidae). Herpetologica 65:384–403.

  47. Torres-Carvajal, O. 2009. Sistemática filogenética de las lagartijas del género Stenocercus (Squamata: Iguania) de los Andes del norte. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 80:727– 740.

  48. Torres-Carvajal, O., K. de Queiroz y R. Etheridge. 2009. A new species of iguanid lizard (Hoplocercinae, Enyalioides) from southern Ecuador with a key to eastern Ecuadorian Enyalioides. Zookeys 27:59–71.

  49. Torres-Carvajal, O. 2009. Non-parametric bootstrapping of partitioned datasets. Taxon 58:955–958.

  50. Torres-Carvajal, O., y K. de Queiroz. 2009. Phylogeny of hoplocercine lizards (Squamata: Iguania) with estimates of relative divergence times. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 50:31–43.

  51. Torres-Carvajal, O.,  A. Almendáriz, J. Valencia,  M. Yánez-Muñoz, y J. P. Reyes. 2008. A new species of Enyalioides (Iguanidae: Hoplocercinae) from southwestern Ecuador. Papéis Avulsos de Zoología 48(20):227-235.

  52. Torres-Carvajal, O. 2007. A taxonomic revision of South American Stenocercus (Squamata: Iguania) lizards. Herpetological Monographs. 21:76–178.

  53. Torres-Carvajal, O. 2007. Heterogeneous growth of marginal teeth in the black iguana Ctenosaura similis (Squamata: Iguania). Journal of Herpetology. 41:528-531.

  54. Torres-Carvajal, O. 2007. Phylogeny and biogeography of a large radiation of Andean lizards (Squamata: Stenocercus). Zoologica Scripta 36:311-326.

  55. Torres-Carvajal, O. 2007. A new species of iguanian lizard (Iguania: Stenocercus) from the Andes of Colombia. Copeia 2007:56-61.

  56. Torres-Carvajal, O., J. A. Schulte, and J. E. Cadle. 2006. Phylogenetic relationships of South American lizards of the genus Stenocercus (Squamata: Iguania): a new approach using a general mixture model for gene sequence data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 39:171–185.

  57. Torres-Carvajal, O. 2005. A new species of Stenocercus (Squamata, Iguania) from central-western Brazil with a key to Brazilian Stenocercus . Phyllomedusa 4:111–120.

  58. Torres-Carvajal, O., E. Lehr, and M. Lundberg. 2005. Resurrection of Stenocercus torquatus Boulenger, a spiny-tailed iguanid lizard (Squamata: Iguania) from Peru. Herpetologica 61(4):440––448.

  59. Torres-Carvajal, O. 2005. New Species of Stenocercus (Squamata: Iguania) from the Andes of Central Peru with a Redescription of S. variabilis . Journal of Herpetology 39(3):471–477.

  60. Torres-Carvajal, O. 2005. A new species of iguanian lizard (Stenocercus ) from the western lowlands of southern Ecuador and northern Peru. Herpetologica 61:78–85.

  61. Torres-Carvajal, O. 2004. The abdominal skeleton of tropidurid lizards (Squamata: Tropiduridae). Herpetologica 60:75–83.

  62. Torres-Carvajal, O. 2003. The Cranial Osteology of the Andean Lizard Stenocercus guentheri (Squamata: Iguanidae) and Its Postembryonic Development. Journal of Morphology 255:94–113.

  63. Torres-Carvajal, O. 2002. Tooth Number Does Not Vary Ontogenetically in the Andean Lizard Stenocercus guentheri (Squamata: Iguanidae). Journal of Herpetology 36(4):707–711.

  64. Torres-Carvajal, O. 2001. Lizards of Ecuador: checklist, distribution, and systematic references. Smithsonian Herpetological Information Service 131:1–35.

  65. Torres-Carvajal, O. 2000. Ecuadorian lizards of the genus Stenocercus (Squamata: Tropiduridae). Scientific Papers Natural History Museum, The University of Kansas 15:1-38.

Publicaciones electrónicas

  1. Torres-Carvajal, O., Salazar-Valenzuela, D. y Merino-Viteri, A. 2014. ReptiliaWebEcuador. Versión 2014.0. Museo de Zoología QCAZ, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador.

Notas de distribución, historia natural y revisiones de libros

  1. Amador, L., Ayala-Varela, F., Nárvaez, A.E., Cruz, K., Torres-Carvajal, O. 2017. First record of the invasive Brown Anole, Anolis sagrei Duméril & Bibron, 1837 (Squamata: Iguanidae: Dactyloinae), in South America. Check List 13:1-6. DOI:

  2. Torres-Carvajal, O., Gaona, F.P., Zaragoza, C., Székely, P. 2015. First record of Macropholidus ruthveni Noble 1921 (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from Ecuador. Herpetology Notes, 8: 25-26.

  3. Carvajal-Campos, A. y O. Torres-Carvajal. 2012. Gonatodes caudiscutatus (Günther, 1859) (Squamata: Sphaerodactylidae): Distribution extension in Ecuador. Check List 8:525–527.

  4. Torres-Carvajal, O. y W. Tapia. 2011. First record of the common house gecko Hemidactylus frenatus Schlegel, 1836 and distribution extension of Phyllodactylus reissii Peters, 1862 in the Galápagos. Check List 7:470–472.

  5. Maddock, S.T., V. Aguirre, O. Torres-Carvajal, J.N. Morales y M.R. Peck. 2011. Riama unicolor (NCN). Feeding and new altitudinal range. Herpetological Review 42:278.

  6. Carvajal-Campos, A. y O. Torres-Carvajal. 2010. Hemidactylus mabouiaMOREAU DE JONNÈS, 1818 and H. frenatus SCHLEGEL, 1836 in western Ecuador: new records reveal range extension. Herpetozoa 23:90–91.

  7. Torres-Carvajal, O., F. Ayala, y A. Carvajal-Campos. 2010. Reptilia, Squamata, Iguanidae, Anolis heterodermus Duméril, 1851: Distribution extension, first record for Ecuador and notes on color variation. Check List 6:189–190.

  8. Torres-Carvajal, O, J.M. Guayasamin, E. Tapia y S. Aldás. 2009.Liophis vitti: Diet. Herpetological Review 40:356–357.

  9. Torres-Carvajal, O. y A. Carvajal-Campos. 2009. Reptilia, Squamata, Iguanidae, Stenocercus aculeatus: Distribution extension and first record

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