Contribution to the taxonomic knowledge of Acanthodactylus (Squamata, Lacertidae): Description of a new lacertid lizard species from Eastern Anatolia, Turkey


  • Muammer Kurnaz Gümüşhane University, Kelkit Vocational School of Health Services, Department of Medical Services and Techniques 29600, Kelkit / Gümüşhane, Turkey
  • Mehmet Kursat Şahin Department of Biology, Kamil Ozdag Faculty of Science, Karamanoglu Mehmetbey University



Anatolian Peninsula, fringe-fingered lizard, phylogeny, new species, cyt b


Acanthodactylus Wiegmann, 1834 is one of the most diverse and widespread lizard genera in the Palearctic realm. Here, we describe a new species, - Acanthodactylus ilgazi sp. nov. - from the Anatolian Peninsula. This new species ranges approximately 250 km north from the closest population of this genus in Turkey. Compared to other fringe-fingered lizards, the new species is phylogenetically close to A. robustusA. tristrami and A. orientalis but it has some distinct morphological characteristics: reddish coloration under the tail, a sharp white or grayish stripe in the middle of the dorsum, and four plates in a row on the 4th finger. Moreover, phylogenetic molecular data, based on cyt b gene fragment, verifies that the new species is phylogenetically a member of the tristrami species group with 13.03%, 17.35% and 20.56 genetic distance respectively from A. orientalisA. tristrami and A. robustus. Lastly, the known range of this species, located in Yazıhan, Malatya in Eastern Anatolia, is restricted by a dam, thus habitat loss endangers its continuity. Therefore, the conservation status of this species should be assessed immediately.


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How to Cite

Kurnaz , M. ., & Şahin, M. K. . (2021). Contribution to the taxonomic knowledge of Acanthodactylus (Squamata, Lacertidae): Description of a new lacertid lizard species from Eastern Anatolia, Turkey. Journal of Wildlife and Biodiversity, 5(3), 100–119.