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The Herpetofauna of Southern Yemen and the Sokotra Archipelago

Flora / Fauna

Series: Instrumenta Biodiversitatis Volume: 4

By: Beat Schätti(Author), Alain Desvoignes(Author)

178 pages, 10 plates with colour & b/w photos

Museum d'Histoire Naturelle, Geneva

Paperback | Dec 1999 | #109222 | ISBN: 2881390072
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 months Details
NHBS Price: £82.50 $108/€92 approx

About this book

Four species of amphibians and at least seventy-six reptile species are known from southern Yemen. The distribution and systematics of these taxa are discussed. Hemidactylus lemurinus is recorded from Yemen for the first time, Philochortus neumanni is new for western Hadramawt, and Ptyodactylus h. hasselquistii, Chalcides o. ocellatus and Mabuya brevicollis are published for the first time from Wadi Hadramawt. Noteworthy are records of Leptotyphlops macrohynchus from the vicinity of al-Mukalla, records of the endemic trogonophid Agamodon ambicus, confirmation of the colubrid Lytorhynchus diadema from the Aden hinterland, and Echis cf. pyramidum obtained in the Mahrah littoral. Bufo hadramautinus is a junior synonym of B. arabicus. The history and systematic concepts of Chamaeleo arabicus and Ch. calyptratus are reviewed. Acanthodactylus yemenicus is considered conspecific with A. felicis. Southwestern Arabian horned vipers assigned to Cerastes cerastes probably deserve specific status. Coluber (s.l.) variabilis and saw-scaled vipers referred to Echis pyramidum require additional studies as to their systematic status.

At least seventeen species of lizards and six species of snakes belonging to twelve genera are known from Sokotra. Mesalina balfouri. Coluber (s.l.) socotrae and probably more reptiles including Pristurus cf. sokotranus exist on Samhah Island. Hemidactylus homoeolepis, Pristurus abdelkuri, Mesalina balfouri, Mabuya socotrana and the endemic geckos Hemidactylus forbesii and H. oxyrhinus are recorded from Abd al-Kuri. Hemidactylus granti from Sokotra is recorded for the first time since its description. Some geckos including a specimen referred to H. pumilio and Pristurus spp. from the vicinity of Qalansiyah require further studies as to their systematic status. Pristurus guichardi and Leptotyphlops wilsoni are only known from the type series. Parachalcides socotranus is a junior synonym of Hakaria simonyi. Forgotten type specimens of Hemidactylus forbesii. H. granti, H. oxyrhinus, H. pumilio and Leptotyphlops macrurus have been located in two institutional collections. L. filiformis and Typhlops socotranus have not been recorded for one hundred years. Except for the geckos Hemidactylus flaviviridis, H. homoeolepis and  H. turcicus, all reptiles from Sokotra including the monotypic genera Hakaria, Pachycalamus and Ditypophis as well as leaf-toed geckos (Haemodracon spp.) are endemic. Most species show phylogenetic relationships with taxa from eastern Africa and southern Arabia. The opisthoglyph Ditypophis and possibly other reptiles from the Sokotra archipelago may have close affinities with the Madagascan region.

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