Two new species of Podarcis (Squamata; Lacertidae) from Greece

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2008
Authors:Lymberakis, P., Poulakakis, N., Kaliontzopoulou, A., Valakos, E. D., Mylonas, M.
Journal:Systematics and Biodiversity
Start Page:307
Keywords:morphology, mtDNA, new species, phylogeny, Podarcis cretensis, Podarcis levendis, taxonomy

Recently, several works have focused on the lacertid lizards of the genus Podarcis, revealing cases of hidden diversity and paraphyly, and offering evidence that suggests the revision of the extant taxonomical arrangements within the genus. Hidden diversity and paraphyly have been shown to exist in the relationships between the Balkan species P. peloponnesiaca and P. erhardii as well. Here we couple a molecular (mtDNA) dataset with a corresponding morphological one, consisting of morphometric and pholidotic characters, to check for concordance between the two. Phylogenetic analyses reinforced previous suggestions for paraphyly of P. erhardii with respect to P. peloponnesiaca. We found the variation of certain pholidotic characters concordant with the relationships inferred from partial mtDNA sequences, whereas morphometric characters were not. The latter is possibly due to greater influence of morphometric characters by environmental factors. To avoid the observed paraphyly we proceed with the description of the populations from Crete and the islet of Pori, until now designated as P. erhardii, as separate taxa at the species level.

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