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

    Project has no matrices defined.

    Project views

    type number of views Individual items viewed (where applicable)
    Total project views31232
    Project overview1499
    Media views23256Media search (1903 views); M407236 (246 views); M407318 (206 views); M407230 (274 views); M407234 (247 views); M407306 (216 views); M407309 (221 views); M407246 (255 views); M407249 (252 views); M407254 (257 views); M407255 (251 views); M407292 (218 views); M407310 (214 views); M407231 (246 views); M407241 (266 views); M407264 (226 views); M407315 (198 views); M407233 (249 views); M407272 (217 views); M407259 (257 views); M407284 (254 views); M407301 (206 views); M407303 (225 views); M407261 (242 views); M407296 (239 views); M407314 (208 views); M407250 (265 views); M407252 (233 views); M407283 (232 views); M407274 (243 views); M407279 (217 views); M407288 (210 views); M407251 (231 views); M407269 (256 views); M407265 (260 views); M407304 (238 views); M407245 (269 views); M407268 (254 views); M407243 (284 views); M407242 (254 views); M407294 (202 views); M407316 (222 views); M407297 (206 views); M407276 (256 views); M407275 (269 views); M407239 (267 views); M407278 (226 views); M407317 (217 views); M407313 (211 views); M407311 (202 views); M407289 (229 views); M407266 (241 views); M407260 (236 views); M407248 (246 views); M407287 (208 views); M407271 (250 views); M407295 (219 views); M407267 (235 views); M407308 (246 views); M407299 (228 views); M407293 (222 views); M407302 (216 views); M407277 (230 views); M407273 (195 views); M407286 (232 views); M407258 (235 views); M407280 (281 views); M407244 (259 views); M407253 (262 views); M407281 (241 views); M407300 (231 views); M407235 (269 views); M407282 (223 views); M407256 (248 views); M407237 (254 views); M407257 (240 views); M407247 (297 views); M407291 (224 views); M407305 (218 views); M407263 (252 views); M407285 (208 views); M410851 (206 views); M407307 (225 views); M407290 (227 views); M407232 (243 views); M407298 (241 views); M407270 (243 views); M407240 (261 views); M407262 (244 views); M407238 (245 views); M407312 (229 views);
    Documents list565
    Views for media list1334
    Taxon list1708
    Specimen list2516

    Project downloads

    type number of downloads Individual items downloaded (where applicable)
    Total downloads from project131
    Media downloads9M407234 (1 download); M407230 (1 download); M407309 (2 downloads); M407303 (1 download); M407308 (2 downloads); M407311 (1 download); M407275 (1 download);
    Project downloads122