Analysis of the Morphological Variation of Vipera latastei: Taxonomic and Biogeographic Implications

F. Amat


Scalation traits of 261 specimens of the viper Vipera latastei have been examinated by means of multivariate analyses to discover patterns of geographic variation and evaluate the taxonomic status of the populations. Canonical variate and principal component analyses show variation in ventral and cephalic scales along the species distribution. Mainland Iberian populations have high ventral scale counts and low number of cephalic scales in contrast to North African and southwestern Iberian vipers, and hence I restrict Vipera latastei gaditana to these latter populations. A biogeographic hypothesis was proposed to explain this geographic pattern.


Vipera latastei; biogeography; Vipera latastei gaditana; multivariate analysis; morphological variation

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