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Systematics and distribution of the genus Darevskia Arribas, 1997 on the Iranian plateau: a review

Biodiversity International Journal
Milad Yusefi, Nasrullah Rastegar-Pouyani, Rasoul Karamiani


Two hundred ninety species of lacertids are presently placed in from 24 to about 30 genera. Most of the genera that have been recognized appear to be clades on the basis of their morphology, with the exception of the paraphyletic central African Adolfus and Lacerta sensu lato of Europe, Asia and northwest Africa. Traditionally, species boundaries are only based on morphological and appearance differences, and this approach is qualitatively or quantitatively investigated. At the same time, several new and modern methods can be used for a more realistic and logical investigation in the determination of species boundaries. Molecular analysis has provided more evidence about lacertids’ kinship relationships. These methods work particularly well when dealing with cryptic species or species complexes. Where there is a high general and morphological similarity between the species of a population. The rock lizards, genus Darevskia Arribas, 1999, are such species, as many of its members have few distinctive and diagnostic morphological features. Biodiversity and species diversity assessment allows for more precise determination of the causes of many biological processes. These processes involve complex patterns that are especially observed in areas with high species diversity. Anatolia and Caucasus regions are two important geographical regions where Darevskia species live, which have complex morphology and unique speciation. Darevskia valentini and D. rudis are two widely distributed species of this genus, both of which have controversial taxonomy. In this study, an attempt has been made to summarize the species available in Iran.


lizards, distribution, Iranian plateau, Asia