The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

 ISSN 0268-0130

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pdf 01. Species distinction and relationships of the western Iberian Podarcis lizards (Reptilia, Lacertidae) based on morphology and mitochondrial DNA sequence


Open Access


Authors: D. J. Harris And P. Sá-sousa

Abstract: Wall lizirds (Podarcis) are the dominant reptile group across most of southern Europe. Their taxonomy is complex because most species exhibit substantial intraspecific morphological polymorphisms. We have estimated the phylogeny of the particularly diverse western Iberian forms using partial cytochrome oxidase and cytochrome b mitochondrial DNA sequence data and have compared this against morphological variation. Of the two currently recognized species in the area-.Podarcis hispanica and P. bocagei -neither is monophyletic, and extremely high genetic d1vers1ty between newly identified forms (up to 1 5% cytochrome b divergences) indicates that both are species complexes. Podarcis b. bocagei is genetically distinct from P. (b.) carbonelli which appears to be a separate species using both mtDNA and protein electrophoretic data. The insular form previously assigned to P. b. berlengensis, and sometimes argued to deserve species status is not genetically distinct from P. (b.) carbonelli using the mtDNA sequences. P. hispanica can be separated into at least four highly divergent groups, two in western Iberia, one in eastern Iberia and one in North Africa.

Keywords: phylogeny, cytochrome b, cytochrome oxidase, morphology, Iberian lizards

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Please note that as from Volume 31 Number 1 (January 2021) on, the Herpetological Journal will be available as an online publication only - the last print edition will be Volume 30 Number 4.   

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