Sunday, November 29, 2015

[Herpetology • 2015] Alpine –Himalayan Orogeny drove correlated Morphological, Molecular, and Ecological Diversification in the Persian Dwarf Snake (Squamata: Serpentes: Eirenis persicus)


Figure 1. Different morphs of the Eirenis persicus species group:
A, persicus morph from Dasht-e Arjan, Fars province, south-western Iran (photo by F. Hidary); B, walteri morph from Dehbakri, Kerman province, south-eastern Iran (photo by R. Nazarov); C, new morph from Sisakht, Yasuj province, central Zagros mountains, Iran (photo by H. Esmaeili); D, persicus morph from Kafir Kot, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan (photo by R. Masroor).

The Persian dwarf snake Eirenis (Pseudocyclophis) persicus (Anderson, 1872) has a wide distribution range in south-western Asia. This species group was comprehensively studied here using traditional biometry, geometric morphometrics, ecological niche modelling, and genetics. Our analyses revealed that E. persicus is split into two clades. A western clade, bearing at least two different species: E. persicus, distributed in south-western Iran, and an undescribed species from south-eastern Turkey and western Iran. The eastern clade consists of at least three species: Eirenis nigrofasciatus, distributed across north-eastern Iraq, and western and southern Iran; Eirenis walteri, distributed across eastern Iran, southern Turkmenistan, and western and southern Pakistan, and Eirenis angusticeps, distributed in north-eastern Pakistan. Ecological niche modelling revealed that the distribution of the species in the western clade are mainly affected by winter precipitation, and those in the eastern clade are mainly affected by the minimum temperature of the coldest month. A molecular clock analysis revealed that the divergence and diversification of the E. persicus species group mainly correspond to Eocene to Pliocene orogeny events subsequent to the Arabia–Eurasia collision. This study confirms that specimens with the unique morphology of having 13 dorsal scale rows on the anterior dorsum, occurring in the Suleiman Mountains in central Pakistan, can be referred to Eirenis mcmahoni (Wall, 1911). However, at this moment we have insufficient data to evaluate the taxonomy of this species.

Keywords: cytochrome b; niche modelling; geometric morphometrics; nigrofasciatus; phylogeny; Pseudocyclophis; taxonomy; walteri


Figure 1. Different morphs of the Eirenis persicus species group:
Apersicus morph from Dasht-e Arjan, Fars province, south-western Iran (photo by F. Hidary); Bwalteri morph from Dehbakri, Kerman province, south-eastern Iran (photo by R. Nazarov); Cnew morph from Sisakht, Yasuj province, central Zagros mountains, Iran (photo by H. Esmaeili); Dpersicus morph from Kafir Kot, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan (photo by R. Masroor).

Mahdi Rajabizadeh, Zoltán T. Nagy, Dominique Adriaens, Aziz Avci, Rafaqat Masroor, Josef Schmidtler, Roman Nazarov, Hamid Reza Esmaeili and Joachim Christiaens. 2015. Alpine –Himalayan Orogeny drove correlated Morphological, Molecular, and Ecological Diversification in the Persian Dwarf Snake (Squamata: Serpentes: Eirenis persicus). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. DOI: 10.1111/zoj.12342

Persian dwarf snake consists of six species, scientists discover http://phy.so/367500314   via @physorg_com
Persian dwarf snake consists of six species, scientists discover https://www.ugent.be/en/news/bulletin/persian-dwarf-snake-consists-of-six-species-scientists-discover via @ugent

Rajabizadeh, Mehdi; Josef F. Schmidtler, Nikolai Orlov,Gholamreza Soleimani 2012. Review of Taxonomy and Distribution of the Eirenis medus group (Chernov, 1940) (Ophidia: Colubridae) with Description of a New Species of the Genus Eirenis from Kerman Province, Southeastern Iran. Russ. J. Herpetol. 19 (4): 307-313

No comments:

Post a Comment