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Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Sindaco R.,Museo Civico di Storia Naturale | Wilms T.M.,Zoologischer Garten Frankfurt | Venchi A.,Museo Civico di Storia Naturale
Acta Herpetologica

The article reports on two new findings of Uromastyx alfredschmidti Wilms and Böhme, 2000 that allow for a more precise definition of its distribution range and, consequently, a new conservation assessment in compliance with IUCN parameters. Following review of available museum specimens, the Hoggar Mts. (Algeria), should not to be considered within the natural range of the species. Nomenclatorial clarifications on existing literature are also provided. © Firenze University Press. Source

Wagner P.,Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig | Wagner P.,Villanova University | Melville J.,Museum Victoria | Wilms T.M.,Zoologischer Garten Frankfurt | Schmitz A.,Museum dHistoire Naturelle
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society

We present a review of the morphology and current taxonomy of North African Trapelus species. The Saharo-Sindian agamid genus contains 15 species, of which five occur in northern Africa. The taxonomy of this complex group continues to provide difficulties for taxonomists because of a lack of consistent morphologically diagnostic characters and relatively high intraspecific morphological variation. In particular, the widespread species Trapelus mutabilis, which occurs from Egypt in the east to Mauritania in the west, has been identified as a species complex and probably represents an artificial grouping of unrelated taxa. This taxonomic uncertainty is exacerbated because a type specimen for T. mutabilis was never designated. In our taxonomic review, we designate a neotype for T. mutabilis, allowing a review of the northern African species, the description of two new taxa, and the compilation of a comprehensive identification key. We present a multivariate analysis of morphology within T. mutabilis and, in addition, we present a molecular phylogenetic analysis incorporating a ~500-bp region of the mitochondrial 16S ribosomal RNA gene, and a relaxed molecular clock analysis to estimate the ages of clades within Trapelus. Our results demonstrate that these lineages have a deep and complex biogeographical history. © 2011 The Linnean Society of London. Source

Rosler H.,Senckenberg Naturhistorische Sammlungen Dresden | Ineich I.,CNRS Systematics, Biodiversity and Evolution Institute | Wilms T.M.,Zoologischer Garten Frankfurt | Bohme W.,Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig
Bonn Zoological Bulletin

The present study focuses on morphological variation among conspicuous geographic colour morphs of Gekko vittatus (sensu lato). Meristic data revealed four distinct, allopatric groups of phenotypes, whereas the morphometric characters examined do not differ among colour morphs. One of these, endemic to the Palau Islands in the Pacific, is also genetically distinct and is here described as a new species. Source

Tamar K.,Tel Aviv University | Scholz S.,Natural History Museum of Geneva MHNG | Crochet P.-A.,CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology | Geniez P.,CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology | And 4 more authors.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution

Since the Oligocene, regions adjacent to the Red Sea have experienced major environmental changes, from tectonic movements and continuous geological activity to shifting climatic conditions. The effect of these events on the distribution and diversity of the regional biota is still poorly understood. Agamid members of the genus Pseudotrapelus are diurnal, arid-adapted lizards distributed around the Red Sea from north-eastern Africa, across the mountains and rocky plateaus of the Sinai and Arabian Peninsulas northwards to Syria. Despite recent taxonomic work and the interest in the group as a model for studying biogeographic and diversity patterns of the arid areas of North Africa and Arabia, its taxonomy is poorly understood and a comprehensive phylogeny is still lacking. In this study, we analyzed 92 Pseudotrapelus specimens from across the entire distribution range of the genus. We included all known species and subspecies, and sequenced them for mitochondrial (16S, ND4 and tRNAs) and nuclear (MC1R, c- mos) markers. This enabled us to obtain the first time-calibrated molecular phylogeny of the genus, using gene trees, species trees and coalescent-based methods for species delimitation. Our results revealed Pseudotrapelus as a monophyletic genus comprised of two major clades and six independently evolving lineages. These lineages correspond to the five currently recognized species and a sixth lineage relating to the synonymized P. neumanni. The subspecific validity of P. sinaitus werneri needs further assessment as it does not form a distinct cluster relative to P. s. sinaitus. The onset of Pseudotrapelus diversification is estimated to have occurred in Arabia during the late Miocene. Radiation has likely resulted from vicariance and dispersal events due to the continued geological instability, sea level fluctuations and climatic changes within the region. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. Source

Wagner P.,Villanova University | Rodder D.,Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig | Wilms H.M.,Zoologischer Garten Frankfurt
Bonn Zoological Bulletin

We report new observations regarding the morphology, behaviour and habitat of the two sparsely known lizards Tetradactylus ellenbergeri (Gerrhosauridae) and Trachylepis ivensii (Scincidae) from northeastern Zambia and review the available data about the distribution of both species. © ZFMK. Source

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