Comparative skull osteology of the lacertid lizards Eremias persica and Mesalina watsonana (Sauria: Lacertidae)

Document Type : Research articles


1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science

2 shahrekord university


The skull of two lacertid lizards of Iran including Eremias persica from Isfahan Province,
Central Iranian Plateau and Mesalina watsonana from Birjand in Southern Khorasan
Province, Eastern Iran, was described and compared based on seven dry skull
preparations. Prominent differences included: the shape of the premaxilla and its
articulation with other skull elements, the shape of the frontal (particularly the form of its
processes), the number of dentary teeth, the shape of the jugal, and the position of the
parietal opening. Also in E. persica, the nasals were in contact with each other whereas in
M. watsonana they were separated by the nasal process of the premaxilla and anteromedial
process of the frontal. Absence of pterygoid teeth in M. watsonana and extended pyriform
recess in E. persica also represented further differences. Our study contributes to the
baseline understanding of squamate osteology and more specifically will facilitate further
studies on lacertid morphological disparity.