A Molecular Study of the Genus Agama (Squamata: Agamidae) in West Africa, with Description of Two New Species and a Review of the Taxonomy, Geographic Distribution, and Ecology of Currently Recognized Species

Oleg Mediannikov, Sébastien Trape, Jean-François Trape


We conducted field studies in 15 West African countries and collected one thousand specimens of lizards of the genus Agama. Based on these collections, literature, molecular analysis of selected specimens, and examination of Linnean type-specimens of A. agama, we review the phylogeny, taxonomy, geographic distribution and ecology of the West African species of the genus Agama. Seventeen different species are recognized in the genus Agama in West Africa, northern Cameroon and Chad: A. africana, A. agama, A. boensis, A. boueti, A. boulengeri, A. castroviejoi, A. cristata, A. doriae benueensis, A. gracilimembris, A. insularis, A. lebretoni, A. paragama, A. sankaranica, A. weidholzi, and three new species. We design a lectotype for A. agama (Linnaeus, 1758) and attribute to A. wagneri, sp. nov., the populations from northern and central Cameroon of the A. agama complex. Agama parafricana, sp. nov., is described from wet savanna areas of Togo and Benin. Agama sylvanus from southern Ghana is a junior synonym of A. africana. Agama cf. impalearis from northern Niger and Mali corresponds to an nondescribed species. Agama boensis is resurrected from the synonymy of A. sankaranica. According to biogeographic areas, four species are Sahelian, seven species are Sudanian, four species are Guinean, and two species are ubiquitous.


Reptilia; phylogeny; taxonomy; geographic distribution; Linnaeus; Linnean type-specimens; Agama agama; Agama parafricana sp. nov.; Agama wagneri sp. nov.; Agama impalearis complex; Agama boensis

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30906/1026-2296-2012-19-2-115-142


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