A Molecular Taxonomy of Some Mediterranean Scincid Lizards, Genus Chalcides Laurenti 1768 (Reptilia, Scincidae)

Vincenzo Caputo, Marina Sorice, Laura Crescimbeni

Abstract


Genetic variation at 26 enzyme loci was analysed in a number of populations of the Chalcides ocellatus group from Maghreb and the Iberian peninsula. The study evidenced six major groups showing much greater genetic differentiation than expected among populations of a single species, and allowed us to identify six reproductively isolated taxa: Chalcides ocellatus (distributed in southern and eastern Morocco, throughout the Mediterranean basin, central and southern Sahara, and eastern Africa as far as Pakistan), C. polylepis (western Morocco from the Atlas mountains to the Atlantic coast), C. colosii (north-western Morocco across the Rif mountains), C. montanus (northern Morocco, across the High and Middle Atlas mountains), C. parallelus (endemic to north-eastern Morocco and north-western Algeria), and C. bedriagai (endemic to the Iberian peninsula). These species probably evolved following the complex geological and climatic events that have been affecting the Mediterranean basin ever since the Miocene.

Keywords


Chalcides; Morocco; Iberian peninsula; electrophoresis; taxonomy

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References


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