Tuesday, November 13, 2012

[Herpetology • 2004] Lyciasalamandra gen. nov. | Lycian salamander • When non-monopyly results in taxonomic consequences -- the case of Mertensiella within the Salamandridae (Amphibia: Urodela)

A dorsal tail projection is unique among the Urodela. It characterises Mertensiella caucasica and M. luschani and was “classically” seen a synapomorphy of both species. However, mitochondrial DNA sequence data has shed doubt on this view in that Salamandra appears to be the sister taxon of M. luschani, resulting in non-monophyly of Mertensiella. We present allozyme data that support the sister relationship of Mertensiella luschani and Salamandra. Since recent histological data indicate that the tail projection of M. caucasica and M. luschani may have evolved homoplastically, we consider non-monophyly of Mertensiella to be well established. Consequently, and based on levels of molecular divergence among “true” salamanders within the Salamandridae (MertensiellaSalamandra and Chioglossa), we assign generic rank to the former Mertensiella luschani and describe a new genus, with Molge luschani STEINDACHNER, 1891, as the type species. In addition, we follow previous authors in assigning species rank to seven subspecies the of former Mertensiella luschani.

Key words: Taxonomy; allozymes; 16S rRNA; morphology; Lyciasalamandra g. nov.; L. atifi comb. nov.; L. antalyana comb. nov.; L. billae comb. nov.; L. luschani comb. nov.; L. fazilae comb. nov.; L. flavimembris comb. nov.; L. helverseni comb. nov.; Turkey; Greece.

Description of a new genus
Lyciasalamandra g. nov.
synonyms : Mertensiella (non WOLTERSTORFF) – WOLTERSTORFF 1925, 4: 168.
Salamandra (Mertensiella [non WOLTERSTORFF]) – ÖZETI 1967: 287.
Salamandra (non LINNAEUS) – FROST 2003.

Type species: Molge luschani STEINDACHNER, 1891.

 Lyciasalamandra helverseni Greece  
 Lyciasalamandra flavimembris Turkey  
Lyciasalamandra fazilae Turkey  
 Lyciasalamandra billae Turkey  
 Lyciasalamandra atifi Turkey  
Lyciasalamandra antalyana Turkey

Veith M, Steinfartz S 2004 When non-monopyly results in taxonomic consequences -- the case of Mertensiella within the Salamandridae (Amphibia: Urodela). Salamandra. 40:67-80.