Additions to the lizard diversity of the Horn of Africa: Two new species in the Agama spinosa group

In: Amphibia-Reptilia
View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Biology, Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, PA 19085, USA
  • 2 Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Adenauerallee 160, 53113 Bonn, Germany
  • 3 Department of Biology and Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 98195-1800, USA
  • 4 Dříteč 65, 53305, Czech Republic

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

€29.95$34.95

The Horn of Africa is a center of diversity for African agamid lizards. Among the nine species of Agama occurring in the Horn of Africa, Agama spinosa is the most widely distributed. The A. spinosa group (sensu stricto, morphologically defined by possessing six clusters of spinose scales around the ear) contains two species: A. spinosa occurs from Egypt to Ethiopia and Somalia where it is replaced by the morphologically distinct and therefore sensu lato A. bottegi. Both species are only represented in museum collections by a small number of specimens from Ethiopia and Somalia, presumably the result of constant civil war that has plagued the region for decades and impeded field surveys. In this study, we examine species limits in the A. spinosa group using molecular genetic data (503 characters; mitochondrial 16S rRNA) and morphological data (67 characters). Deep divisions among populations of A. spinosa are supported by phylogenetic analyses and by multivariate analyses of morphometric data. Two new species from northern Somalia that differ from A. spinosa and A. bottegi are described. Furthermore, A. smithi, currently recognized as a synonym of A. agama, is re-assessed and recognized as a species of uncertain taxonomic position (i.e., incertae sedis). The results of this study improve our understanding of the evolution of agamid lizard diversity in the Horn of Africa, a significant biodiversity hotspot in Africa.

  • Anderson J. (1898): Zoology of Egypt, Vol. 1. Reptilia and Batrachia. B. Quaritch, London.

  • Baha el Din S. (2006): A Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Egypt. The American University in Cairo Press, Cairo, New York, 359 pp.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bauer A.M., Jackman T.R., Greenbaum E., Giri V., de Silva A. (2010): South Asia supports a major endemic radiation of Hemidactylus geckos. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 57: 343-352.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Böhme W., Wagner P., Malonza P., Köhler J., Lötters S. (2005): A new species of the Agama agama group (Squamata: Agamidae) from western Kenya, East Africa, with comments on Agama lionotus Boulenger, 1896. Russian Journal of Herpetology 12: 143-150.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Boulenger G.A. (1898) [1897]: Concluding report on the late Capt. Bottego’s collection of reptiles and batrachians from Somaliland and British East Africa. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova 2: 715-723.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Burbrink F.T. (2001): Systematics of the eastern ratsnake complex (Elaphe obsoleta). Herpetological Monographs 15: 1-53.

  • Edgar R.C. (2004): MUSCLE: multiple sequence alignment with high accuracy and high throughput. Nucleic Acids Research 32: 1792-1797.

  • Fjeldså J., Bowie R.C. (2008): New perspectives on the origin and diversification of Africa’s forest avifauna. African Journal of Ecology 46: 235-247.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Goodman S.M., Hobbs J. (1994): The distribution and ethnozoology of reptiles of the northern portion of the egyptian eastern desert. Journal of Ethnobiology 14: 75-100.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hammer Ø., Harper D.A.T., Ryan P.D. (2001): PAST: paleontological statistics software package for education and data analysis. Palaeontologia Electronica 4(1) art. 4: 9 pp.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hussein H.K., Darwish A.D.M. (2000): Community structure, microhabitat use, sex ratio and sexual dimorphism in the agamid lizard, Agama agama spinosa. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences 3: 1700-1704.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lanza B. (1978): On some new or interesting East African amphibians and reptiles. Monitore zoologico italiano 14: 229-297.

  • Lanza B. (1983): A list of the Somali amphibians and reptiles. Monitore zoologico italiano 18: 193-247.

  • Lanza B. (1990): Amphibians and reptiles of the Somali Democratic Republic: check list and biogeography. Biogeographia 14: 407-465.

  • Largen M., Spawls S. (2006): Lizards of Ethiopia (Reptilia Sauria): an annotated checklist, bibliography, gazetteer and identification key. Tropical Zoology 19: 21-109.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Largen M., Spawls S. (2010): The Amphibians and Reptiles of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Chimaira Publishing, Frankfurt am Main.

  • Manly B.F.J. (1994): Multivariate Statistical Methods: A Primer. Chapman & Hall, London.

  • Marx H. (1968): Checklist of the reptiles and amphibians of Egypt. Special Publications of the United States Naval Medical Research Unit Number 3, Cairo: 1-91.

  • Parker H.W. (1932): Two collections of reptiles and amphibians from British Somaliland. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 102: 335-367.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Parker H.W. (1942): The lizards of British Somaliland. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 91: 1-101.

  • Posada D. (2008): jModelTest: phylogenetic model averaging. Molecular biology and evolution 25: 1253-1256.

  • Ronquist F., Huelsenbeck J.P. (2003): MrBayes 3: Bayesian phylogenetic inference under mixed models. Bioinformatics 19: 1572-1574.

  • Stamatakis A. (2006): RAxML-VI-HPC: maximum likelihood-based phylogenetic analyses with thousands of taxa and mixed models. Bioinformatics 22: 2688-2690.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Swofford D.L. (2003): PAUP*: phylogenetic analysis using parsimony, version 4.0 b10.

  • Wagner P. (2010): Diversity and distribution of African lizards. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.

  • Wagner P., Bauer A.M. (2011): A new dwarf Agama (Sauria: Agamidae) from Ethiopia. Breviora 527: 1-19.

  • Wagner P., Barej M., Schmitz A. (2009): Studies on African Agama VII. A new species of the Agama agama – group (Linnaeus, 1758) (Sauria: Agamidae) from Cameroon & Gabon, with comments on Agama mehelyi Tornier, 1902. Bonner zoologische Beiträge 56: 285-297.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wagner P., Ineich I., Leaché A., Wilms T.M., Trape S., Böhme W., Schmitz A. (2009): Studies on African Agama VI. Taxonomic status of the West African Agama (Sauria: Agamidae) with prominent tail crests: Agama boulengeri Lataste 1886, Agama insularis Chabanaud, 1918 and Agama cristata Mocquard, 1905. Bonner zoologische Beiträge 56: 239-253.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wagner P., Wilms T.M., Bauer A.M., Böhme W. (2009): Studies on African Agama V. On the origin of Lacerta agama Linnaeus, 1758 (Squamata: Agamidae). Bonner zoologische Beiträge 56: 215-223.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wagner P., Mazuch T. & Bauer A.M. (in press): An extraordinary tail. Integrative review of the agamid genus Xenagama Boulenger, 1895. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wermuth H. (1967): Liste der rezenten Amphibien und Reptilien: Agamidae. Das Tierreich 86: 1-127.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 162 59 2
Full Text Views 105 0 0
PDF Views & Downloads 12 0 0