Project 2355: J. Smid, J. Moravec, V. Gvozdik, J. Stundl, D. Frynta, P. Lymberakis, P. Kapli, T. Wilms, A. Schmitz, M. Shobrak, S. Hosseinian Yousefkhani, E. Rastegar-Pouyani, A. M. Castilla, J. Els, W. Mayer. 2017. Cutting the Gordian Knot: Phylogenetic and ecological diversification of the Mesalina brevirostris species complex (Squamata, Lacertidae). Zoologica Scripta. 2017 (46):649-664.
Specimen: Mesalina microlepis (NMP:74214/2)
View: Lateral


Mesalina are small lacertid lizards occurring in the Saharo-Sindian deserts from North Africa to the east of the Iranian plateau. Earlier phylogenetic studies indicated that there are several species complexes within the genus and that thorough taxonomic revisions are needed. In this study, we aim at resolving the phylogeny and taxonomy of the M. brevirostris species complex distributed from the Middle East to the Arabian/Persian Gulf region and Pakistan. We sequenced three mitochondrial and three nuclear gene fragments, and in combination with species delimitation and species-tree estimation, we infer a time-calibrated phylogeny of the complex. The results of the genetic analyses support the presence of four clearly delimited species in the complex that diverged approximately between the middle Pliocene and the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary. Species distribution models of the four species show that the areas of suitable habitat are geographically well delineated and nearly allopatric, and that most of the species have rather divergent environmental niches. Morphological characters also confirm the differences between the species, although sometimes minute. As a result of all these lines of evidence, we revise the taxonomy of the Mesalina brevirostris species complex. We designate a lectotype for Mesalina brevirostris Blanford, 1874; resurrect the available name Eremias bernoullii Schenkel, 1901 from the synonymy of M. brevirostris; elevate M. brevirostris microlepis (Angel, 1936) to species status; and describe Mesalina saudiarabica, a new species from Saudi Arabia.

Read the article »

Article DOI: 10.1111/zsc.12254

Project DOI: 10.7934/P2355,
This project contains
  • 90 Media
  • 4 Documents
  • 5 Taxa
  • 8 Specimens
Total size of project's media files: 256.44M

Download Project SDD File
Currently Viewing:
MorphoBank Project 2355

    Authors' Institutions

    • Natural History Museum of Crete

    • Muséum d'histoire naturelle de Genève (Natural History Museum of Geneva)

    • Charles University in Prague

    • University of Crete

    • Natural History Museum, Vienna (Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien)

    • National Museum in Prague

    • Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife

    • Allwetterzoo Münster

    • Taif University

    • South African National Biodiversity Institute

    • Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies

    • Islamic Azad University

    • Hakim Sabzevari University

    • Hamad Bin Khalifa University


    member name taxa specimens media
    Jiri Smid
    Project Administrator
    Last logged in 07/24/17

    Project has no matrices defined.

    Project views

    type number of views Individual items viewed (where applicable)
    Total project views23055
    Project overview1265
    Media views17034Media search (1255 views); M407236 (175 views); M407318 (152 views); M407230 (202 views); M407234 (179 views); M407306 (163 views); M407309 (172 views); M407246 (187 views); M407249 (183 views); M407254 (189 views); M407255 (181 views); M407292 (164 views); M407310 (159 views); M407231 (173 views); M407241 (200 views); M407264 (160 views); M407315 (147 views); M407233 (181 views); M407272 (154 views); M407259 (184 views); M407284 (180 views); M407301 (152 views); M407303 (163 views); M407261 (173 views); M407296 (187 views); M407314 (159 views); M407250 (194 views); M407252 (164 views); M407283 (178 views); M407274 (189 views); M407279 (168 views); M407288 (155 views); M407251 (164 views); M407269 (186 views); M407265 (190 views); M407304 (185 views); M407245 (200 views); M407268 (190 views); M407243 (211 views); M407242 (188 views); M407294 (151 views); M407316 (166 views); M407297 (150 views); M407276 (196 views); M407275 (212 views); M407239 (202 views); M407278 (171 views); M407317 (166 views); M407313 (160 views); M407311 (152 views); M407289 (178 views); M407266 (170 views); M407260 (170 views); M407248 (171 views); M407287 (156 views); M407271 (159 views); M407295 (165 views); M407267 (160 views); M407308 (165 views); M407299 (177 views); M407293 (165 views); M407302 (163 views); M407277 (170 views); M407273 (139 views); M407286 (178 views); M407258 (167 views); M407280 (229 views); M407244 (191 views); M407253 (197 views); M407281 (186 views); M407300 (179 views); M407235 (201 views); M407282 (167 views); M407256 (172 views); M407237 (187 views); M407257 (174 views); M407247 (226 views); M407291 (175 views); M407305 (164 views); M407263 (183 views); M407285 (149 views); M410851 (155 views); M407307 (168 views); M407290 (176 views); M407232 (169 views); M407298 (190 views); M407270 (177 views); M407240 (188 views); M407262 (170 views); M407238 (176 views); M407312 (170 views);
    Documents list436
    Views for media list964
    Taxon list1310
    Specimen list1797

    Project downloads

    type number of downloads Individual items downloaded (where applicable)
    Total downloads from project89
    Media downloads8M407234 (1 download); M407230 (1 download); M407309 (2 downloads); M407303 (1 download); M407308 (2 downloads); M407311 (1 download);
    Project downloads81