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.
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Authors: Mahboubeh Sadat Hosseinzadeh, Mansour Aliabadian & Eskandar Rastegar-pouyani
Abstract: With currently 149 species, Hemidactylus Oken, 1817 is one of the most species-rich genera of the family Gekkonidae. In this study, 50 Hemidactylus persicus and H. romeshkanicus from southern Iran and three specimens of the newly described species H. kurdicus from north-eastern Iraq were screened using sequences of the mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene (approximately 400 bp) with two H. hajarensis as outgroups. In addition, 58 specimens were analysed morphologically using 25 mensural and six meristic characters. The genetic data recovered six well supported clades of H. persicus and H. romeshkanicus in southern Iran, which also showed morphological differentiation with the exception of specimens from Khuzestan and Fars provinces.
Principal Coordinates Analysis (PCoA) and haplotype networks are compatible with our phylogenetic tree and morphological analyses. These findings highlight deep mitochondrial and morphological variation of H. persicus from Iran. Interestingly, our phylogenetic inference revealed that H. romeshkanicus should be regarded as a valid species, whereas H. kurdicus is not a distinct evolutionary lineage and synonymous with H. romeshkanicus.
Key words: Gekkonidae; Iranian plateau; Phylogeny; Radiation; Species complex