Interspecific variation within the genus Ophiomorus DUMÉRIL & BIBRON, 1839 (Sauria: Scincidae) in Iran based on morphological characters

Document Type : Research articles


1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Razi University 6714967346, Kermanshah, Iran

2 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Hakim Sabzevari University, Sabzevar, Iran

3 Department of Biodiversity, Institute of Science and High Technology and Environmental Sciences, Graduate University of Advanced Technology, Kerman, Iran



Many studies conducted on range of animals showed that morphology is related to habitat. In the present study, we aimed to examine the morphological characteristics of species assigned to the genus Ophiomorus in Iran. Seventy-one specimens from throughout the range of distribution in the central plateau of Iran were investigated. Eleven morphometric and four meristic variables were analyzed independently. Multivariate analyses were performed using canonical variate analysis (CVA) and principal component analysis (PCA). The results showed that there is significant morphological differentiation between three species groups brevipes, tridactylus, and punctatissimus in this genus in relation to habitat choice. ANOVA results showed that 14 morphological characters (SVL, HL, HW, HH, SL, LF, LA, LFL, LFH, LHF, NSL, NDSB, NMC, and NIL; 10 metric and four Meristic) were significantly different among all Ophiomorus species, which based on this, TL did not show a significant difference among species. Finally, we assigned three species groups based on limb reduction (especially fingers), and habitat surface (comparison based on habitat observations) for all Ophiomorus species in Iran. In addition, using newly applied morphological characteristics we proposed an updated identification key for the genus.


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