Sequence variation in the mtDNA, ND4-tRNALEU, Segments of Laudakia nupta (De Filippi, 1843) in Iran

Document Type : Research articles


1 Zabol University

2 University of Tehran

3 Razi University

4 Hakim Sabzevary University


Laudakia nupta, with numerous local populations through Iran, is one of the most widely distributed species of the Genus Laudakia in Iran. Eight hundred and fifty nine bp of mitochondrial ND4-tRNALEU were sequenced and analyzed for 47 specimens of Laudakia nupta and three specimens of Laudakia melanura, as an out-group taxon. All specimens were collected during field work in Iran. Based on branch pattern of the phylogenetic trees and the amounts of genetic distances within and between major clades recovered in the analysis, we propose that the taxonomic status of Laudakia nupta, as a species complex in Iran, should be fundamentally revised. Based on our results, two clear geographically isolated clades could be distinguished; one nominate species (Laudakia nupta) distributed through southwest to eastern Iran, and the other consisting of the populations of western foothills of the Zagros Mountains. The morphological analysis would enable us to describe the latter populations as a new species.


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