The genus Salvadora has not been subjected to a modern phylogenetic analysis. Described in 1853, its taxonomic history is complex and confusing. In this study, we evaluate the monophyly of the genus and present the first phylogenetic hypothesis based on an analysis of 66 qualitative and quantitative morphological characters of over 1000 specimens representing all described taxa across their entire distribution. Morphological characters were processed in Fast Morphology for subsequent phylogenetic analysis in PAUP under the maximum parsimony criterion. We obtained a single tree in which Salvadora appears as a monophyletic group with two clearly defined geographic species groups: a southern mexicana group and a northern grahamiae group. Based on our phylogenetic hypothesis, we evaluate the taxonomic status of all described taxa. Additionally, we include a diagnosis for all species, distribution maps, and an illustrated dichotomous taxonomic key of the genus.
Morphology, phylogeny, patch-nosed snakes