Zoologischer Garten Frankfurt

Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Zoologischer Garten Frankfurt

Frankfurt am Main, Germany
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PubMed | University Pompeu Fabra, University of Porto, Taif University, Zoologischer Garten Frankfurt and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: Molecular phylogenetics and evolution | Year: 2015

The understanding of the diversity of species in the Palearctic and the processes that have generated it is still weak for large parts of the arid areas of North Africa and Arabia. Reptiles are among their most remarkable representatives, with numerous groups well adapted to the diverse environments. The Ptyodactylus geckos are a strictly rock-dwelling genus with homogeneous morphology distributed across mountain formations and rocky plateaus from the western African ranges in Mauritania and the Maghreb to the eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, with an isolated species in southern Pakistan. Here, we use a broad sampling of 378 specimens, two mitochondrial (12S and cytb) and four nuclear (c-mos, MC1R, ACM4, RAG2) markers in order to obtain the first time-calibrated molecular phylogeny of the genus and place its diversification in a temporal framework. The results reveal high levels of intraspecific variability, indicative of undescribed diversity, and they do not support the monophyly of one species (P. ragazzii). Ptyodactylus species are allopatric across most of their range, which may relate to their high preference for the same type of structural habitat. The onset of their diversification is estimated to have occurred in the Late Oligocene, while that of several deep clades in the phylogeny took place during the Late Miocene, a period when an increase in aridification in North Africa and Arabia initiated.


PubMed | Zoologischer Garten Frankfurt, University Pompeu Fabra, Tel Aviv University, CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology and Natural History Museum of Geneva MHNG
Type: | Journal: Molecular phylogenetics and evolution | Year: 2016

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.


PubMed | Sana'a University, National Museum, University Pompeu Fabra, Taif University and 3 more.
Type: | Journal: ZooKeys | Year: 2013

A recent molecular phylogeny of the Arid clade of the genus Hemidactylus revealed that the recently described H. saba and two unnamed Hemidactylus species from Sinai, Saudi Arabia and Yemen form a well-supported monophyletic group within the Arabian radiation of the genus. The name Hemidactylus saba species group is suggested for this clade. According to the results of morphological comparisons and the molecular analyses using two mitochondrial (12S and cytb) and four nuclear (cmos, mc1r, rag1, rag2) genes, the name Hemidactylus granosus Heyden, 1827 is resurrected from the synonymy of H. turcicus for the Sinai and Saudi Arabian species. The third species of this group from Yemen is described formally as a new species H. ulii sp. n. The phylogenetic relationships of the members of Hemidactylus saba species group are evaluated and the distribution and ecology of individual species are discussed.


Wilms T.M.,Zoologischer Garten Frankfurt | Wagner P.,Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum A. Koenig | Shobrak M.,Taif University | Rodder D.,University of Trier | Bohme W.,Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum A. Koenig
Journal of Arid Environments | Year: 2011

Field active body temperatures (Tb) and operative temperatures (Te) were assessed in a population of Uromastyx aegyptia microlepis at Mahazat as-Sayd Protected Area, Saudi Arabia. In summer Tb ranged between 23.2 and 47.2 °C, in winter between 23.0 and 45.1 °C and in spring between 25.5 and 45.9 °C. There is a significant difference between respective Tb and Te distributions which suggests that U. a. microlepis is an active thermoregulator. Above ground activity is very variable between seasons, with the highest activity level in spring. In winter the animals showed an unimodal activity profile. In spring and summer the lizards exhibit bimodal activity profiles with afternoon activity being generally lower than morning activity levels. Species distribution models were calculated to estimate the future impact of global warming on this taxon. Estimates on the basis of temperature data suggest that the range size on the Arabian Peninsula might be stable but with a remarkable decrease of environmental suitability of up to 70-80%. Based on a synthesis of thermo-ecological data and species distribution models we consider climate warming as a potential threat to the survival of the species. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


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 | Year: 2012

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.


Krause V.,Zoologischer Garten Frankfurt | Ahmadzadeh F.,Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum A. Koenig | Ahmadzadeh F.,Shahid Beheshti University | Moazeni M.,Bushehr | And 3 more authors.
Zootaxa | Year: 2013

The genus Tropiocolotes comprises small, naked toed, ground dwelling and nocturnal desert geckos, ranging from Mo-rocco and Mauritania in northern Africa to south and central Arabia as well as coastal Iran. Herein, we describe a new species of the genus Tropiocolotes from western Iran based on five specimens from Nayband region. This new taxon is described with a statistical approach based on 34 meristic, metric and qualitative morphological characters of more than 300 individuals of related species. Copyright © 2013 Magnolia Press.


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 | Year: 2011

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.


Wagner P.,Villanova University | Rodder D.,Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig | Wilms H.M.,Zoologischer Garten Frankfurt
Bonn Zoological Bulletin | Year: 2012

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.


Wilms T.M.,Zoologischer Garten Frankfurt | Wagner P.,Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum A. Koenig | Shobrak M.,Taif University | Lutzmann N.,Seitzstr. 19 | Bohme W.,Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum A. Koenig
Salamandra | Year: 2010

Burrows of semiadult to adult Uromastyx aegyptia microlepis at Mahazat as-Sayd Protected Area were between 300-530 cm long and 80-120 cm deep. Burrows are typically characterized by a perimeter wall around the burrow entrance, which consists of soil excavated by the animal occupying the burrow. These perimeter walls alter the thermal environment in the immediate vicinity of the burrow entrance and provide temporally and spatially different microhabitats to the lizard. Burrow entrance size is not linked to the size of the inhabitant. Uromastyx burrows lack passive wind-induced ventilation and diffusion is the main factor for the exchange of air in the burrow with atmospheric air. Therefore the burrows retain temperature as well as humidity very efficiently. Ambient humidity in the direct vicinity of the animal is between 4.0-98.4% rH in spring and 3.3-96.2% rH in summer. The ambient humidity fluctuates not only during the normal activity phases of the animals but also during the night, indicating movements within the burrow. Courtship behaviour, mating and signs of mating were observed in May. Hatchlings were observed in August and September, sitting in small bushes near burrow entrances of adult Uromastyx. © 2010 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Herpetologie und Terrarienkunde e.V. (DGHT).


PubMed | Zoologischer Garten Frankfurt
Type: | Journal: Zootaxa | Year: 2015

The genus Tropiocolotes comprises small, naked toed, ground dwelling and nocturnal desert geckos, ranging from Morocco and Mauritania in northern Africa to south and central Arabia as well as coastal Iran. Herein, we describe a new species of the genus Tropiocolotes from western Iran based on five specimens from Nayband region. This new taxon is described with a statistical approach based on 34 meristic, metric and qualitative morphological characters of more than 300 individuals of related species.

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