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Ulrich Joger

Abstract

Tarentola parvicarinata n. sp. appears to be closely related to T. annularis (GEOFFROY), but differs from the latter species in (1) a paler colour lacking the four white scapular spots typical for T. annularis (Figs. 1,2) ; (2) delicately keeled dorsal scales and tubercles (Figs. 3, 4); (3) in general only 12 rows of dorsal tubercles; (4) a lower count of lamellae and scales under the tows, especially the fifth tow (Fig. 6); (5) smaller size (snout-vent below 10 cm). T. parvicarinata is distributed in rocky areas of southern Mauritania, eastern Senegal, western Mali, northern Guinea, and on Mt. Loma in Sierra Leone. In the Mauritanian Adrar mountains, sympatry with T. annularis occurs (Fig. 7). In Senegal, there is evidence for an anthropogenic extension of range, presently taking place along the railway line Kayes-Dakar.

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Ulrich Joger

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Ulrich Joger

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Ismail Bshaena and Ulrich Joger

New findings from two Central Libyan oases extend the distribution area of the Saharan gecko Tarentola neglecta considerably to the East. Scale counts falling outside the range of the two known subspecies show that the new specimens belong to a third subspecies which is described here under the name Tarentola neglecta lanzai. A molecular phylogeny with mitochondrial genes presents further evidence that T. neglecta is the sister species of the Egyptian T. mindiae, both of which constitute a monophyletic clade within the T. fascicularis-deserti group.

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Peter Lenk and Ulrich Joger

Abstract

Specimens from the whole range of Elaphe longissima were analyzed for geographical variation of plasma proteins and DNA fingerprint loci. Albumins were identical throughout the range of the species, except for Sicilian specimens of E. l. romana which share bands with E. persica rather than with E. longissima. Transferrins indicate that Central European populations originate from the East, whereas Western European populations are indistinguishable from Northern Italian ones. DNA fingerprints reveal a low effective population size in Central European isolates with only few bands that could be informative for intraspecific groupings. Most of the repeated sequences are located on the female w-chromosome.

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Wolfgang Böhme and Ulrich Joger

Abstract

Vipera baranin. sp. from northwestern Turkey is a member of the euro-siberian group within the genus Vipera. It is characterized by the following peculiarities: 1) Higher ventral count than V. ursinii and V. kaznakovi (145). 2) ♀ with a higher subcaudal count than V. ursinii, V. kaznakovi and V. berus (37). 3) Loreal scales and head plates divided to an extent as in the western European V. aspis (5 "loreals", 34 "intercanthals and intersupraoculars", parietals fully divided into small scales). 4) Different from V. aspis in having only one row of subocular scales between eye and supralabials. 5) The three specimens known up to now are totally melanistic, with white supralabials and a bright yellow underside of tail. The possibility ofy hybrid nature of the only preserved specimen is discussed and dimissed. As long as no further material is known, the relationships of V. barani to the other species can not be clarified.

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Peter Lenk, Michael Wink and Ulrich Joger

Abstract

In order to elucidate the phylogenetic relationships in European ratsnakes of the genus Elaphe, we analyzed a 597 bp part of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of eight West Eurasian and one East Asian species. Lampropeltis served as outgroup. Maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood suggest the existence of four lineages: 1) E. scalaris; 2) the E. longissima species group comprising E. longissima, E. lineata, E. situla, E. hohenackeri, and E. persica; 3) E. quatuorlineata and 4) E. dione as a sister group to 3). Elaphe scalaris is basal and shows no closer affiliation with any other analyzed species. The Middle Eastern E. persica and E. hohenackeri appear basal within the E. longissima group. Elaphe lineata differs by 8% nucleotide substitutions from E. longissima, supporting the hypothesis that both taxa represent distinct species. Elaphe situla is associated with Elaphe longissima and E. lineata. Three analyzed subspecies of E. quatuorlineata are represented by distinct haplotypes. The extent of divergence gives reason to assign species status to the taxon sauromates. Besides, we found two very distinct haplotypes within the range of E. (q.) sauromates, indicating the existence of a third, so far unidentified, species within the E. quatuorlineata complex. The East Asian E. porphyracea clusters with the E. longissima group. This, as well as comparisons with supplementary sequences of Asian Elaphe species, document the multiple origins of European Elaphe. Um die phylogenetischen Beziehungen europäischer Kletternattern der Gattung Elaphe zu erhellen, sequenzierten und analysierten wir ein 597 Nukleotide messendes Stück des mitochondrialen Cytochrom b Gens von acht west-eurasischen und einer ostasiatischen Art. Lampropeltis diente als Außengruppe. Maximum parsimony und maximum likelihood Berechnungen zeigen die Existenz von vier genetischen Linien auf: a) E. scalaris; b) die E. longissima Artengruppe mit E. longissima , E. lineata, E. situla, E. hohenackeri, und E. persica; c) E. quatuorlineata und d) E. dione als Schwestergruppe zu c). Elaphe scalaris nimmt eine basale Position ein und scheint mit keiner untersuchten Art näher verwandt zu sein. Die westasiatischen Arten E. persica und E. hohenackeri sind die Schwestergruppe zu E. longissima, E. lineata und E. situla. Elaphe lineata unterscheidet sich durch 8% Nukleotidaustausche von E. longissima, wodurch der Artstatus von E. lineata unterstützt wird. Elaphe longissima, E. lineata und E. situla bilden eine Abstammungsgemeinschaft. Auch die Haplotypen der drei untersuchten E. quatuorlineata-Unterarten unterscheiden sich so stark, daß Artstatus für das Taxon sauromates zu fordern ist. Darüberhinaus fanden wir im Gebiet von E. (q.) sauromates zwei stark unterschiedliche Haplotypen, die die Existenz einer dritten bislang unidentifizierten Art nahelegen. Die ostasiatische E. porphyracea scheint der E. longissima-Gruppe nahe zu stehen. Dies, sowie der Vergleich mit ergänzenden Sequenzdaten asiatischer Elaphe-Arten, belegt den mehrfachen Ursprung europäischer Elaphe.

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Ulrich Joger, Hans-Werner Herrmann and Göran Nilson

Abstract

The phylogenetic relationships of the large Palaearctic vipers (Daboia sensu Obst, 1983) and Eristicophis were investigated using immunological comparisons of blood serum albumin and blood serum electrophoresis. The genus Echis was used for outgroup comparisons. Daboia was found to be polyphyletic. The name Daboia should be restricted to the type species russelli which was found to have the same immunological distance to the lebetina group as the monophyletic Pseudocerastes-Eristicophis group. The lebetina group was found to consist of the four species lebetina, schweizeri, mauritanica and deserti. For this group the generic name Macrovipera is revalidated. The taxa schweizeri and deserti are treated as full species. Vipera palaestinae was found to be the closest relative of the V. xanthina group. Nomenclatural history and distribution of the involved taxa is reviewed. Descriptions and diagnoses for the genus Macrovipera and the included species are given.

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Göran Nilson, Claes Andrén and Ulrich Joger

Abstract

The taxonomic level and phylogenetic relationship of the Moldavian steppe viper was investigated using blood serum electrophoresis, immunological comparisons of blood serum albumin and morphological comparisons. The traditional hypothesis that the Moldavian steppe viper is a secondary intergradation between Vipera (ursinii) renardi and V. ursinii rakosiensis could not be verified. Although morphologically similar (but not identical) to these two taxa, it has a closer immunological distance to the Balkan mountain subspecies, V. u. macrops and V. u. graeca. Specific antisera against serum albumins of V. u. graeca, V. u. ursinii (wettsteini) and V. u. eriwanensis were available, and the three vipers to be tested: rakosiensis, renardi and the Moldavian steppe viper branch off from different stems: rakosiensis seems close to ursinii, V. (u.) renardi appears fairly close to eriwanensis, both of which share a common stem with the rakosiensis-ursinii lineage. The Moldavian steppe viper shows high distance to both ursinii and eriwanensis, but low distance to graeca. The electrophoretic pattern show great differences from all other geographic forms tested (seven). We conclude that the Moldavian steppe viper represents a separate subspecies: Vipera ursinii moldavica ssp.n.

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Aziza Lansari, Miguel Vences, Susanne Hauswaldt, Ralf Hendrix, David Donaire, Abdellah Bouazza, Ulrich Joger, El Hassan El Mouden and Tahar Slimani

We assessed the genetic variation of 47 Moroccan populations of the North African water frog (Pelophylax saharicus) using partial sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene (COI). All 239 samples belonged to the main haplotype clade previously identified from Morocco, with no haplotypes of the Algerian/Tunisian clades among our samples. Altogether 40 haplotypes were found, with a maximum of 13 mutational steps between them. Two weakly divergent haplogroups separated by a minimum of six mutational steps were distributed (i) in the Anti-Atlas and the Sahara (south of the High Atlas Mountains) versus (ii) in the Middle Atlas, the High Atlas, and in the Rif area north of the Atlas Massif. Haplotypes of the northern haplogroup were found at the southernmost locality, which might be due to human translocation, and co-occurrence of the two haplogroups was recorded at three sites within the range of the northern haplogroup.