Darevskia rudis bolkardaghica, Arribas, Oscar, Ilgaz, Çetin, Kumlutaş, Yusuf, Durmuş, Salih Hakan, Avci, Aziz & Üzüm, Nazan, 2013

Arribas, Oscar, Ilgaz, Çetin, Kumlutaş, Yusuf, Durmuş, Salih Hakan, Avci, Aziz & Üzüm, Nazan, 2013, External morphology and osteology of Darevskia rudis (Bedriaga, 1886), with a taxonomic revision of the Pontic and Small-Caucasus populations (Squamata: Lacertidae), Zootaxa 3626 (4), pp. 401-428: 422-425

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Darevskia rudis bolkardaghica

ssp. nov.

Darevskia rudis bolkardaghica   ssp. nov.

( Fig. 5 View FIGURE 5. a c–d)

Holotype. ZDEU 144 / 2009 (n. 6). An adult male. Karagöl, Ulukışla, Niġde, Central Anatolia, 19 -VII- 2009, leg. Y. Kumlutaş. Fixed and conserved in alcohol (ethanol). Deposited in the ZDEU collection.

Paratypes. ZDEU 144 / 2009. 5 males, 5 females, 2 juveniles, Karagöl, Ulukışla, Niġde, Central Anatolia, 19 - VII- 2009, leg. Y. Kumlutaş. Eight specimens in the ZDEU collection and four (including the cleared and stained for bone study) in the O. Arribas scientific collection.

Derivatio nominis. From the name of the mountains where the lizards were collected: Bolkar Daġı (also spelled Bulghar Dagh) in the Taurus Mountains.

Diagnosis. A dorsally very clear-toned D. rudis   characterized by separated rostral and frontonasal scales. Supraciliar granula series are usually complete and uninterrupted. The massseteric plate is smaller or similar to the tympanic plate. The number of scales between masseteric and tympanic range from 2 to 4. Scales are tight and moderately keeled. Numerous dorsalia and relatively long heads (head index). Low values for femoralia, lamellae, hindlimb length, circumanalia and anal size. Relatively high maxillar and dentary teeth counts for its size. Sternal fontanelle with odd, irregular shapes (such as sand-clock or nearly cordiform). Postfrontal and postorbitary subequal. Postorbitary overlaps with squamosal along near one half of its length.

Description of Holotype. An adult male. Tail tip autotomized and regenerating. Fixed and conserved with ethanol.

Coloration and pattern (in alcohol): Dorsal tract gray, with very small and faint dots all over the dorsum (less in the neck area). No vertebral band. Pileus almost unspotted. Lateral (temporal) bands very decomposed, forming a faint reticule from which only some black dots and a faint interconnecting network remain. This band is more present in the fore halves of the flanks, where black-surrounded occelli encircle vivid blue spots. Outermost ventral scales with conspicuous blue points that form a continuous line. Belly whitish and totally unspotted.

Scalation: Number of supraciliar granules left side, 9; supraciliar granules right side, 10; supraciliar plates left side, 6; supraciliar plates right side, 5; supralabial plates left side, 4; supralabial plates right side, 4; sublabial plates left, 6; sublabial plates right side, 6; collaria, 9; gularia, 26; supratemporal scales left side, 3; ventralia, 24 transversal rows; ventral plates (longitudinal rows), 6; enlarged circumanal (preanal) scales, 2; circumanalia (all preanal scales), 8; femoral pores left side, 19; femoral pores right side, 20; scales between femoral pores and outer plates left side, 5; subdigital lamellae left side, 23; subdigital lamellae right side, 22; tibials left side, 16; dorsalia, 48; temporals- 1 left side, 3; temporals- 1 right side, 3; temporals- 2 left side, 2; temporals- 2 right side, 2. Rostral and frontonasal scales are separated. Left parietal and frontoparietal are eroded. Maseteric scale is present and of intermediate size. Supraciliar granula series are complete and continuous. Tight scales are almost not keeled, but tail ones very strongly keeled, as in other rudis   .

Biometry: Snout-vent length (SVL), 59.68 mm; pileus width, 6.5 mm; pileus length, 12.88 mm; head width, 8.4 mm; head length, 15.84 mm; forelimb length, 21.28 mm; hindlimb length, 33.18 mm; anal wide, 4.16 mm; anal length, 2.10 mm.

Intrasubspecific variation. Descriptive statistics and the variation range of the mophometric and scalation characters are given in Table 3 a–b. Rostral and frontonasal scales are separated. Supraciliar granula series are usually complete and uninterrupted. The massseteric plate is smaller than tympanic. The number of scales between masseteric and tympanic is 2 to 4. Tibial scales are moderately keeled. Specimens of the type series show variations in the dorsal pattern. Adult males can have better developed spots than the holotype, but without forming any band in the dorsum in the type series, as much, the spotting approaches to a faint network. Other specimens can have a vertebral band composed of big transverse dots, as in other rudis   , and even less well-patterned specimens exist. Lateral bands can also be more developed, but always composed of spots. The fore parts of the band are always more distinct marked than the rear parts. The belly is white or grayish-gray. Females have, in general, the best distinct patterns, with big spots. Blue occelli are less numerous than in males, and the blue points in outermost ventrals less developed. Hatchlings as well as adults clear background-toned, with very distinct very scarce pattern. Green tails, contrary to other rudis   ssp. Photographs of this subspecies can be found in Schmidtler et al. (1990) and Panner (2000).

Habitat and ecology. The specimens were captured on rocks while they were sunning themselves. The altitude at which the sampling was conducted was 2560 m a.s.l. The specimens were collected during sunny conditions and a temperature of 15 ºC. The collection locality was close to Karagöl. The biotope has alpine characteristics but lacks tree formations. The alpine vegetation mainly includes Astragalus plumosus   , A. angustifolius, Acantholium   ulicium and Onobrychis cornuta   ( Fig. 6 View FIGURE 6. a c).

Distribution. Above 2000 m, almost up to 2800 m on rocks of Oromediterranean xerophylic pastures and near mountain lakes. Bolkar Daġı and Aladaġ. Other populations such as the Hasan Daġı one (Schmidtler et al. 1990) could pertain to this form, but this extreme remains to be studied.

Remarks. Our lizards belong undoubtedly to D. rudis   and are very similar to D. r. obscura   . The striking pattern differences are due, in our opinion, due to the inhabited substrate (very clear toned recifal limestone in the case of D. r. bolkardaghica   ), whereas northern Turkey subspecies generally inhabit dark-toned acid rocks. The relationships of the nominal D. valentini lantzicyreni   (Loc. Typ: Erciyes Daġı) will be studied more deeply: they could belong to D. rudis   rather than D. valentini   .

The reproduction of this form has been described in captivity by Panner (2000). He reports an extremely long duration of the copula (max. 2 h and 4 min). The clutch consists of two to four very elongated eggs and seems to be laid towards mid July (own data). A case of siblings is known (Panner 2000).

Anatolia is a predominantly mountainous area whose diverse geomorphology produces many different climatic regions and vegetation types. These characteristics and the geomorphology of Anatolia were described by Sindaco et al. (2000) in a checklist study of Anatolian herpetofauna. Anatolian mountains have played an important role in speciation and in the definition of biogeographical subregions. These mountains have been defined as “hotspots” of biodiversity for many different organisms (Çıplak 2003, 2004). The eastern part of Pontic mountain range situated in North Anatolia is high, continuous and lies close to the Black Sea. According to Sindaco et al. (2000), northern mountains including Pontic Mountains are one of the main relief regions for reptile and amphibian species in Anatolia. Veith et al. (2003) stated that Pontic Mountains are the refugium for Anatolian mountain frogs. They also pointed that Anatolian mountain frogs spread from the Pontic refugium to other sides of Anatolia in the Pleistocene. According to Billing et al. (1990), Pontic Mountains might have been an important dispersal route for many Euro-Siberian snakes such as Coronella austriaca Laurenti, 1768   , Zamenis longissimus (Laurenti, 1768)   and Vipera transcaucasiana Boulenger, 1913   . Our present results also suggest that this area has played an important role in the speciation and differentiation of the D. rudis   complex, with one species (D. bithynica   ) in their western parts, and several well-differentiated subspecies of D. rudis   in the east, such as D. r. mirabilis   ssp. nov.. The Bolkar Mountain is the central part of the Taurus region which rises along the southern edge of the Anatolia Plateau. Based on rates of endemism among amphibians and reptiles, Schmidtler (1998) described five centers of endemism in the Taurus Mountains: Lycia, Pamphylia/Isauria, Bolkar, Antitaurus, and Eastern Taurus. The Bolkar and the Antitaurus are well known for their endemic reptile and amphibian subspecies such as Anatololacerta danfordi danfordi (Günther, 1876)   , Ablepharus chernovi ressli Schmidtler, 1997   , Eirenis aurolineatus (Venzmer, 1919)   , Montivipera bulgardaghica (Nilson & Andren, 1985)   , Rana holtzi Werner, 1898   and now D. r. bolkardaghica   ssp. nov. (Nilson & Andren 1985; Eiselt & Schmidtler 1987; Schmidtler 1993; Schmidtler 1997; Schmidtler 1998). Sindaco et al. (2000) stated that the richest unit with 43 reptile species is located mainly in the Adana, Kayseri and Niġde provinces including the Bolkar Mountains in Turkey.