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.

The 2017/18  impact factor of The Herpetological Journal is 1.268

pdf 02. Revised classification of the genus Eryx Daudin, 1803 (Serpentes: Erycidae) in Iran and neighbouring areas, based on mtDNA sequences and morphological data


Subscription / purchase required

pp. 2-12

Authors: Naeimeh Eskandarzadeh, Nasrullah Rastegar-Pouyani, Eskandar Rastegar-Pouyani, Fatemeh Todehdehghan, Mahdi Rajabizadeh, Mohammad Zarrintab, Fadhil Abbas Rhadi & Haji Gholi Kami

Abstract: Several attempts have recently been made to elucidate taxonomic status and phylogenetic relationships among the species and subspecies of sand boas of the genus Eryx throughout their distribution range, with no stable consensus about their taxonomy. Here the phylogenetic relationships among the populations of Eryx in Iran and adjacent areas are studied based on two mitochondrial markers (cytb and 16S). Sixteen morphological characters were examined for evaluation of morphological differences among major populations. Ecological niche modeling was applied to demonstrate the potential distribution of the populations in Iran. ENMtools was also used to measure the degree of niche overlap among the major populations in Iran. Based on phylogenetic reconstruction and considering the genetic distances with specimens from type localities, E. tataricus is a junior synonym of E. miliaris and the subspecies rank for E. m. nogaiorum seems to be invalid. Considering the genetic distance of populations in western Iran and Iraq, and the habitat and morphological differences among the populations of Eryx in western Iran, Iraq and Egypt, the population of Eryx in western Iran is suggested as a different species from E. jaculus, named here as Eryx sp. and the ones from Iraq as Eryx cf. jaculus. Here, the evaluation and revision of taxonomic status, distribution ranges and descriptions of morphological characters of the studied species have been done.

Keywords: Eryx, taxonomy, phylogeny, mitochondrial markers, morphology, niche modeling, niche overlap

Download Access:

The latest 20 issues can be downloaded when logged in with a Herpetological Journal subscription membership.

Individual articles can be purchased for download.

Older issues and occasional Open Access articles are available for public download


For further information and submission guidelines please see our Journal Instructions to Authors

pdfBHS Ethics Policy

NOTE: as of January 2017, all new editions of the HJ are ONLY available online via the BHS website. The BHS no longer has a commercial hosting agreement with Ingenta  -  although editions prior to end 2016 remain accessible on Ingenta .  Those editions are of course also accessible on the BHS website for subscribers with an active and valid membership.  Should you experience any difficulty accessing HJ editions via the website or have any queries in this regard, please contact