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1 December 2014 Phenotypic Variation in Males of the Agamid Lizard Paralaudakia caucasia (Eichwald, 1831) Across a Wide Geographic Range
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Abstract

Phenotypic variation can be expected among individuals of a species having a broad geographic distribution because genetic uniqueness can be exaggerated by adaptation to local environmental conditions. Paralaudakia caucasia is a widely distributed agamid species in the western Palearctic that occupies a region from Pakistan to the Lesser Caucasus. To describe the geographic variation in this taxon from Pakistan to the Lesser Caucasus, we examined 49 male P. caucasia from three regions in Iran (western Elburz, central Elburz, and eastern Elburz) and one in Pakistan. Twenty-five morphometric and meristic characters were examined using analyses of variance and principal components analysis. Of the measured characters, 21 were different among these populations. The differences among males representing the four groups indicate that these groups exhibit geographic variation corresponding to differences in environmental conditions from east to west. We suggest that future studies using more material from differentiated populations across the entire range will better elucidate how the environment has shaped this species' morphology.

Seyyed Saeed Hosseinian Yousefkhani, Masoud Yousefi, Alireza Mohammadpour, Rafaqat Masroor, and Nasrullah Rastegar-Pouyani "Phenotypic Variation in Males of the Agamid Lizard Paralaudakia caucasia (Eichwald, 1831) Across a Wide Geographic Range," Herpetologica 70(4), 464-471, (1 December 2014). https://doi.org/10.1655/HERPETOLOGICA-D-13-00079
Accepted: 1 April 2014; Published: 1 December 2014
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