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Acanthodactylus schreiberi (Schreiber’s Fringe-toed Lizard / Kıbrıs Tarak Parmaklı Kertenkelesi)

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Acanthodactylus schreiberi (Schreiber’s Fringe-toed Lizard / Kıbrıs Tarak Parmaklı Kertenkelesi)


Acanthodactylus schreiberi schreiberi (Schreiber’s Fringe-toed Lizard / Schreiber'in Tarak Parmaklı Kertenkelesi) [Adult Male/Erişkin Erkek] from Alagadi Turtle Beach, Kyrenia /Girne, TRN Cyprus / KKTC - 21.04.2008.

 A relatively big-sized diurnal species with a total length up to 15-20 cm. The occipital plate on top of head absent or rudimentary; a longitudinal depression on the anterior part of head. Usually four entire supraocular plates. Large ear opening with no anterior denticulation; Unpectinate border of eyelids. Subocular plate usually extends down to the edge of the mouth. 71-108 rows of scales around mid-trunk; femoral pores between 19-29. The lateral edges of the toes with fringe-like short spines, especially obvious at the outer borders of the 4th toes. The dorsum with 6-7 longitudinal white lines in young, with dark longitudinal stripes in-between, may be overlaid with round spots. The lined pattern more or less disappears on mature specimens, replaced by dark brownish and yellowish gray maculations. The venter is whitish. In breeding season, the venter of the males and females mostly become brilliant reddish and greenish, respectively. Schreiber’s Fringe-toed Lizard inhabits sandy areas with sparse vegetation. Very agile and quick moving, difficult to catch in open places. It feeds on insects. A female lays 3-5 eggs.

This species is distributed basically in Cyprus with a vertical distribution to 1000 m (Troodos Mountain, Southern Cyprus). However, two relict populations are found in the Eastern Mediterraneanregion of Turkey (Botas, Adana & Erzin, Hatay) and in a small area including the southern Lebanon and northernmost of Israel. One of its subspecies, A. s. syriacus inhabits the sandy banks of Lebanonand Israel. In Cyprus, the nominate subspecies, A. s. schreiberi is present. The Anatolian population of the species was investigated and a new subpecies A. s. ataturi was described in 2012 (Yalçınkaya and Göçmen, 2012). The two previous known subspecies are different from each other in the following characteristics: Very small dorsal scales granular in the Cypriotic form and flat and sharply keeled in the Lebanon-Israel form. Also small, granular and small dorsal scales in the Cypriotic form; large and keeled on the Lebanon-Israel. The scales of the upper surface of the tail medium-sized in the Cyprus population, whereas larger and sharply keeled in the Israel& Lebanonpopulation. The differential diagnosis of the A.s. ataturi was given in the paper by Yalçınkaya and Göçmen, 2012 (click on the link to get the PDF of this article).

 References:  1. Göçmen, B. (Unpub. results). The results of herpetological trips. 2. Budak, A. & Göçmen, B. (2005). Herpetology. Ege Üniversitesi Fen Fakültesi Kitaplar Serisi, No. 194, Ege Üniversitesi Basimevi, Bornova-Izmir, 226 pp. [2nd Edition, 2008]. 3. Atatür, M. K & Göçmen, B. (2001). Amphibians and Reptiles of Northern Cyprus (1st Edition), Ege Üniversitesi, Fen Fakültesi Kitaplar Serisi, No. 170, Ege Üniversitesi Basimevi, Bornova-Izmir, 63 pp. 4. Göçmen, B., Tok, C. V., Kaya, U. & Tosunoglu, M. (1996). A Preliminary Report On the Herpetofauna of Northern Cyprus. Turk. J. Zoology, 20 (suppl.): 161-176. 5.. Yalçınkaya, D. & Göçmen, B. (2012).  A new subspecies from Anatolia,Acanthodactylus schreiberi Boulenger, 1879 ataturi n. ssp. (Squamata: Lacertidae).Biherian Biologist, 6 (1): 19-31


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Author Bayram GÖÇMEN
Created on Monday 21 April 2008
Posted on Thursday 27 January 2011
Tags CYPRUS / KIBRIS, Kyrenia / Girne
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