A New Species of Desert Monitor Lizard (Varanidae: Varanus: Psammosaurus) from the Western Zagros Region (Iraq, Iran)

Wolfgang Böhme, Klaus Ehrlich, Konstantin Milto, Nikolay Orlov, Sebastian Scholz

Abstract


We describe a new species of desert monitor lizard from the western and southwestern foothills of the Zagros Mountains. From Varanus griseus and its nominal subspecies V. g. griseus, V. g. caspius, and V. g. koniecznyi it is easily distinguishable by its stout head shape, the shape and position of the nostril, an extremely rough and spiny neck scalation, a laterally compressed tail with a double-keeled dorsal crest throughout its length, a nearly uniformly colored dorsum and an unpatterned light yellowish distal half of tail. Geographically, the new species seems to be restricted to the western and southwestern margin of the Zagros Mountain range and seems to prefer medium altitudes between 500 and 1100 m a.s.l. The new species renders the current subgenus Psammosaurus as consisting of more than one single living species.

Keywords


Squamata; Varanidae; Varanus griseus complex; new species; Iraq; Iran; taxonomy; zoogeography

Full Text:

PDF

References


Adler K. (ed.) (2012), Contributions to the History of Herpetology. Vol. 3, Contr. Herpetol. SSAR, Vol. 29.

Anderson S. C. (1999), The lizards of Iran, Contr. Herpetol. (SSAR).

Arnold E. N. and Leviton A. S. (1977), «A revision of the lizard genus Scincus», Bull. Brit. Mus. Nat. Hist. Zool., 31, 189 – 248.

Babocsay G. (2004), «A new species of saw-scaled viper of the Echis coloratus complex (Ophidia: Viperidae) from Oman, eastern Arabia», Syst. Biodiv., 1(4), 503 – 514.

Böhme W. (1997), Robert Mertens’ Systematik und Klassifikation der Warane: Aktualisierung der 1942-er Monographie und eine revidierte Checkliste — Addendum zum Reprint von Mertens R. (1942): Die Familie der Warane (Varanidae), 1.-3. Teil, Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main, pp. I – XXII.

Böhme W. (2003), «Checklist of the living monitor lizards of the world (family Varanidae)», Zool. Verh., 341, 1 – 43.

Cherlin V. A. (1984), «New facts on the taxonomy of snakes of the genus Echis», Smithsonian Inf. Serv., 61, 1 – 7.

Cherlin V. A. (1990), «Taksonomicheskaya revisiya zmey roda Echis (Viperidae). II. Analiz taksonomii i opisaniye novych form», Trudy Inst. Zool. AN SSSR, 207, 193 – 223.

Cherlin V. A. and Borkin L. J. (1990), «Taksonomicheskaya reviziya zmey roda Echis. I. Analiz istorii izucheniya i sinonimii», Trudy Inst. Zool. AN SSSR, 207, 175 – 192.

Ehrlich K. (2013), Morphologische Variation, Systematik und Biogeographie des Wüstenwarans, Varanus griseus (Daudin, 1803), Unpubl. MSc Thesis, University of Bonn.

Eidenmüller B. and Philippen H.-J. (2008), Varanoid lizards — Warane und Krustenechsen, Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main.

Eiselt J. (1940), «Der Rassenkreis Eumeces schneiderii Daudin (Scincidae, Rept.)», Zool. Anz., 131, 209 – 228.

Estes R. (1983), Sauria terrestria, Amphisbaenia, Handb. Paläontol. 10 A, G. Fischer Publ. House, Stuttgart – New York.

Fathinia B., Rastegar-Pouyani N., Sampour M., Bahrami A. M., and Jaafari G. (2009), «The lizard fauna of Ilam province, Southwestern Iran», Iran. J. Biosyst., 5(2), 65 – 79.

Kami H. G. (2005), «Geographic Distribution: Varanus griseus caspius (Transcaspian Desert Monitor)», Herpetol. Rev., 36, 81.

Koch A., Arida E., Schmitz A., Böhme W., and Ziegler T. (2009), «Refining the polytypic species concept of mangrove monitors (Squamata: Varanus indicus group): a new cryptic species from the Talaud Islands, Indonesia, reveals the underestimated diversity of Indo-Australian monitor lizards», Austral. J. Zool., 57, 29 – 40.

Koch A., Gaulke M., and Böhme W. (2010), «Unravelling the underestimated diversity of Philippine water monitor lizards (Squamata: Varanus salvator complex), with the description of two new species and a new subspecies», Zootaxa, 2446, 1 – 54.

Levshakova I. J. (1986), «Novy varan iz Nizhnevo Pliotsena Tadzhikistana», Trudy Zool. Inst. AN SSSR, 157, 101 – 106.

Mertens R. (1942), «Die Familie der Warane», Abh. Senckenb. Naturf. Ges., 462, 1 – 116; 465, 117 – 234; 466, 235 – 391.

Mertens R. (1954), «Über die Rassen des Wüstenwarans (Varanus griseus)», Senckenbergiana Biol., 35, 353 – 357.

Mertens R. (1973), «Zur Kenntnis des iranischen Wüstenwarans, Varanus griseus», Bonn. zool. Beitr., 24, 233 – 236.

Pianka E. R. and King D. R. (eds.) (2004), Varanoid Lizards of the World, Indiana Univ. Press, Bloomington.

Pook C., Joger U., Stümpel N., and Wüster W. (2009), «When continents collide: Phylogeny, historical biogeography and systematics of the medically important viper genus Echis (Squamata: Serpentes: Viperidae)», Mol. Phylogen. Evol., 53, 792 – 807.

Salvador A. (1982), «A revision of the lizards of the genus Acanthodactylus (Sauria: Lacertidae)», Bonn. zool. Monogr., 16, 1 – 167.

Schmitz A., Mausfeld P., and Embert D. (2004), «Molecular studies on the genus Eumeces Wiegmann, 1834: Phylogenetic relationships and taxonomic implications», Hamadryad, 28(1/2), 73 – 89.

Smíd J., Moravec J., Kodym P., Kratochvil L., Hosseinian Yousefkhani S. S., Rastegar-Pouyani E., and Frynta D. (2014), «Annotated checklist and distribution of the lizards of Iran», Zootaxa, 3855(1), 1 – 97.

Stanner M. (2004), «Varanus griseus», in: E. R. Pianka, D. R. King, and R. A. King (eds.), Varanoid Lizards of the World, Indiana Univ. Press, Bloomigton, pp. 104 — 132

Tuck R. G. (1971), «Amphibians and reptiles from Iran in the United States National Museum collection», Bull. Maryland Herpetol. Soc., 7(3), 48 – 86.

Wilms T., Böhme W., Wagner P., Lutzmann N., and Schmitz A. (2009 «2007»), «On the phylogeny and taxonomy of the genus Uromastyx Merrem, 1820 (Reptilia: Agamidae: Uromastycinae) — resurrection of the genus Saara Gray, 1845», Bonn. zool. Beitr., 56(1/2), 107 – 129.

Ziegler T. and Böhme W. (1997), «Genitalstrukturen und Paarungsbiologie bei squamaten Reptilien, speziell den Platynota, mit Bemerkungen zur Systematik», Mertensiella, 8, 1 – 210.

Ziegler T., Schmitz A., Koch A., and Böhme W. (2007), «A review of the subgenus Euprepiosaurus of Varanus (Squamata: Varanidae): morphological and molecular phylogeny, distribution and zoogeography, with an identification key for the members of the V. indicus and V. prasinus species groups», Zootaxa, 1472, 1 – 28.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.