Series: Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Zoology Volume: 25/8
By: Edwin Nicholas Arnold(Author)
78 pages, 15 b/w illustrations and b/w distribution maps, 5 tables
It is pointed out that the equatorial and southern African species of Lacerta Linnaeus 1758 and Algyroides Bibron & Bory 1833 are not at all closely related to the palaearctic members of these genera. The present classification of the palaearctic species of Lacerta, Algyroides and Psammodromus Fitzinger 1826 is discussed and found to be unsatisfactory in several respects. Characters available for grouping species are described, including a number of features (mainly skeletal and hemipenial) not employed before. Using ecological and functional data, an attempt is made to assess the lability of available characters: many of the external and cranial features used in ' classical' lacertid systematics appear to be potentially labile and therefore must be given low comparative weight in judging relationships. Using this comparative weighting, it appears that Algyroides and Psammodromus are natural groups and that Lacerta is divisible into four main sections. Two of these will be retained in Lacerta (as Lacerta parts I and II) but the others are raised to the status of separate genera: Gallotia Boulenger 1916 and Podarcis Wagler 1830. Proposed systematic changes are listed in full on p. 357.
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