Lithops polymorphism appears to be an unexplained phenomenon rather than a well understood one. The author's interest in it arises from its possible link with the putative cryptic function of Lithops leaves' ornamentation, i.e. as a trait subjected to specific evolutionary pressures. He took into account the internal variation of some Lithops species (for example L. julii and L. karasmontana), particularly at population level, as it seems to be a trait that cannot be explained merely as a byproduct of natural genetic variation, nor by means of basic mechanisms of allopatric speciation. Conversely, He suggests it requires a more specific and dedicated explanation, possibly in the context of co-evolution between lithops plants and the perceptive systems of their predators.
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Vol. 2017 • No. 35