Bergmann's rule and the Italian Hermann's tortoises (Testudo hermanni): latitudinal variations of size and shape

in Amphibia-Reptilia
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We used geometric morphometric analysis to investigate latitudinal variation in size and shape of carapace and plastron of 111 Testudo hermanni hermanni (60 males and 51 females) collected in 6 different Italian regions. Basing on a sample of 14 landmarks for carapace and 18 landmarks for plastron, we showed that the size and shape of both sexes changed according to a North-South cline following the Bergmann's rule, tortoises of Northern Italy being 1.1-1.2 larger than that of Southern Italy. Shape variation was higher in carapace probably because sexual selection in this species acts stronger on plastron than on carapace shape.


Publication of the Societas Europaea Herpetologica



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