Phylogeny and Relationships of the Mountain Lizards of Europe and Near East (Archaeolacerta Mertens, 1921, sensu lato) and Their Relationships Among the Eurasian Lacertid Radiation

Oscar J. Arribas


Archaeolacerta s. l., in the currently utilized sense results to be a polyphyletic taxon, composed of three monophyletic and phylogenetically well differentiated taxa: a) Archaeolacerta (s. str.) Mertens, 1921, which includes three species: A. bedriagae, A. oxycephala, and A. mosorensis, distributed by the northern part of the Central Mediterranean (Corsica, Sardinia, and west Balcanic Peninsula). His most related genera seem to be Teira (his adelphotaxon in our study), Apathya, and Omanosaura. b) Iberolacerta gen. nov., with two subgenera: Iberolacerta s. str. and Pyrenesaura subgen. nov. includes six species: I. monticola, I. cyreni, I. bonnali, I. aranica, I. aurelioi, and I. horvathi. They are distributed by the mountains of Western Europe (Iberian Peninsula, Pyrenees, Central and Eastern Alps and the north of the Dinaric Chains). His adelphotaxon are the Caucasian and Near East species of Darevskia gen. nov. c) The third taxa is Darevskia gen. nov., which includes the species of the «L». saxicola complex besides «L». derjugini, «L». praticola, and «L». chlorogaster. They are distributed by Eastern Europe, Caucasus, and Near East. Other clear relationships among some taxa of the Eurasian Radiation [= «Eurasische linie» from (Mayer and Benyr, 1994)] have been found: Algyroides seems to be the sister group of the species considered of uncertain phylogenetic relationships belonging to the «L». danfordi-laevis group and of Podarcis. «L». brandtii seems to be a very primitive species within the Eurasian Radiation. Omanosaura and Apathya appear as sister taxa. «L». graeca occupies a very basal position in the sister group of Podarcis and relatives (see above). «L». andreanskyi is the sister species of the Darevskia nov. and Iberolacerta nov. clade. The assimilation of «L». andreanskyi to Teira is very problematic. Also the «L». parva group seems to be related to Timon. Some groups of species like «L». brandtii, «L». parva-fraasii and «L». danfordi-laevis probably merit generic rank, but it is necessary a more deep study before to take a decision.


Lacertidae; Lacerta; Archaeolacerta; Iberolacerta gen. nov.; Darevskia gen. nov.; Pyrenesaura subgen. nov.; taxonomy; phylogeny

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