Intra- and-inter-specific geographic variation in the Iranian Scincid lizards of the genus Trachylepis Fitzinger 1843 (Sauria: Scincidae)

Document Type : Articles


Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Razi University, 67149 Kermanshah, Iran


The genus Trachylepis Fitzinger, 1843 encompasses two-three species in Iran: Trachylepis vittata (Olivier, 1804) distributed in western Iran, west of the Zagros Mountains; T.septemtaeniata (Reuss, 1834) in southern regions of the Zagros Mountains and T. aurata transcaucasica Chernov, 1926 from northern to central parts of the Zagros Mountains. For study of geographic variation in the latter two taxa, 58 specimens of these two taxa (T. aurata transcaucasica and T. septemtaeniata) were collected from five distinct localities in the Zagros Mountains and adjacent regions. Post-ANOVA pair- wise analysis (Tukey test) and two multivariate analyses including Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Discriminant Function Analysis (DFA) based on 22 metric and five meristic characters across all the studied groups verified significant intra- and-interspecific differences in some important characters. Especially, results of the multivariate analyses suggest that most of the studied populations have acquired certain degree of morphological divergence. For instance, 88.9% of west Azerbaijan, 95% of Kurdistan, 90% of Kermanshah, 80% of Lorestan, and 77.8% of Khuzestan populations were assigned to their correct a priori group by classification resulted in discriminant analysis. The specific status of T. septemtaeniata is questioned and it is concluded that this species being just a subspecies of T. aurata.