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A New Species of Frog-Eyed Gecko, Genus Teratoscincus Strauch, 1863 (Squamata: Sauria: Sphaerodactylidae), from Central Iran

Roman A. Nazarov, Mehdi Radjabizadeh, Nikolay A. Poyarkov, Jr., Natalia B. Ananjeva, Daniel A. Melnikov, Eskandar Rastegar-Pouyani

Abstract


In this study we present an analysis of morphological and molecular (COI mtDNA) variation within the genus Teratoscincus and describe a new species, Teratoscincus mesriensis sp. nov. from environs of Mesr, Isfahan Province in Central Iran. The new species can be distinguished from other congeners by the following combination of morphological characters: (1) position of enlarged dorsal scales, which not cover the occipital region on the dorsal surface of head; (2) comparatively high number of scales across midbody; (3) maximal body size reaching SVLmax 93.6 mm. We also provide a COI-based barcoding estimation of diversity of the genus Teratoscincus. Moreover, our new morphological and molecular data indicate that the population of T. scincus from Ferghana Valley (Uzbekistan and Tajikistan), previously described as a subspecies T. scincus rustamowi, is differentiated from other populations of T. scincus complex on species level; we provide a revised diagnosis and propose a full species status for this geographically isolated form as Teratoscincus rustamowi stat. nov. Diversity and phylogenetic relationships of the genus Teratoscincus are discussed.

Keywords


taxonomy; reptiles; Middle East; Teratoscincus mesriensis sp. nov.; Teratoscincus rustamowi stat. nov.; zoogeography; Ferghana Valley; COI; DNA-barcoding

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References


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