Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Gümüşhane University, Kelkit Vocational School of Health Services, Department of Medical Services and Techniques 29600, Kelkit / Gümüşhane, Turkey

2 Department of Biology, Kamil Ozdag Faculty of Science, Karamanoglu Mehmetbey University

Abstract

Acanthodactylus Wiegmann, 1834 is one of the most diverse and widespread lizard genus in the Palearctic realm. Here, we describe a new species, - Acanthodactylus ilgazi sp. nov. - from the Anatolian Peninsula. This new species ranges approximately 250 km north from the closest population of this genus in Turkey. Compared to other fringe-fingered lizards, the new species is phylogenetically close to A. robustus, A. tristrami and A. orientalis but it has some distinct morphological characteristics: reddish coloration under the tail, a sharp white or grayish stripe in the middle of the dorsum, and four plates in a row on the 4th finger. Moreover, phylogenetic molecular data, based on cyt b gene fragment, verifies that the new species is phylogenetically a member of the tristrami species group with 13.03%, 17.35% and 20.56 genetic distance respectively from A. orientalis, A. tristrami and A. robustus. Lastly, the known range of this species, located in Yazıhan, Malatya in Eastern Anatolia, is restricted by a dam, thus habitat loss endangers its continuity. Therefore, the conservation status of this species should be assessed immediately.

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