Molecular and morphological assessment of the snake-eyed lizard, Ophisops elegans Menetries, 1832 (Sauria, Lacertidae) in Anatolia

Bozkurt E., KORKMAZ E. M., ILGAZ Ç., YILMAZ C., Üzüm N., Avci A., ...More

Biharean Biologist, vol.16, no.2, pp.91-112, 2022 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Journal Name: Biharean Biologist
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Central & Eastern European Academic Source (CEEAS), Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.91-112
  • Keywords: Anatolia, morphology, Ophisops elegans, phylogenetics, taxonomy
  • Hakkari University Affiliated: Yes


Ophisops elegans Menetries, 1832 includes six subspecies in Turkey. Here, we investigated the systematic status and distribution range of the subspecies of O. elegans in Anatolia concerning molecular and morphological approaches. Two mitochondrial (cytb and 16S rRNA) gene regions were used for the phylogenetic analyses. The phylogenetic trees were constructed with the Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood approaches. For morphological evaluations, ANOVA, Discriminant Function Analyses, and Mann Whitney-U Test were performed via SPSS. The O. elegans complex was split into six main clades. Clade A corresponded to nominate subspecies O. e. elegans. Clade B included African and Levant Ophisops samples. Clade C (O. e. ehrenbergii) was separated into two subclades, and the subspecies distribution was much broader than suggested in the literature. Clade D was defined as O. e. centralanatoliae. The distribution of O. e. centralanatoliae was also much broader than reported in the literature. Clade E can be named as O. e. basoglui, and its range was found to be narrower than mentioned in the literature. Clade F refers to the O. e. macrodactylus, and phylogenetic analyses did not recover O. e. budakibarani as a separate clade. Therefore, O. e. budakibarani was assigned as a junior synonym of O. e. macrodactylus.