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Darevskia clarkorum (DAREVSKY & VEDMEDERJA, 1977)

IUCN Red List - Darevskia clarkorum - Endangered, EN

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Higher TaxaLacertidae, Lacertinae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesG: Clarks Felseneidechse 
SynonymLacerta clarkorum DAREVSKY & VEDMEDERJA 1977
Lacerta clarcorum DAREVSKY & WEDMEDEWA — ANANJEVA et al. 1988
Lacerta clarkorum — ENGELMANN et al 1993
Lacerta clarkorum — FU & MURPHY 1997
Darevskia clarkorum — ARRIBAS 1997
Darevskia clarkorum — MURPHY et al. 2000
Archaeolacerta (Caucasilacerta) clarkorum — SINDACO et al. 2000
Lacerta clarkorum — SZCZERBAK 2003
Darevskia clarkorum — BISCHOFF 2007
Lacerta (Darevskia) clarkorum — SINDACO & JEREMČENKO 2008 
DistributionSW Republic of Georgia (Coast of the Black Sea, Adzharia) NE Turkey; elevation 50-1750 m.

Type locality: Cankurtaran Pass between Hopa and Borçka, Artvin province, NE Turkey.  
TypesHolotype: CAS 105610 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (dryada): distinguished from Lacerta clarkorum and other members of Lacerta saxicola group by “body coloration, and some metric and meristic characters of pholidosis, in particular by the scutellation of the head temporal area” (see Fig. 3, Tables 1-3 in DAREVSKY & TUNIYEV 1997 who compare dryada with clarkorum). 
CommentSynonymy: D. dryada is a synonym of Darevskia clarkorum fide SCHMIDTLER et al. (2002).

Picture in Elaphe 8 (1): 80 (2000).

Hybridization: D. clarkorum (and D. dryada) possibly hybridize with D. rudis (DAREVSKY & TUNIYEV 1997).

Distribution: Pontic Alps (Doğu Karadeniz Dağları), from Yavuzkemal (Giresun Vilayet) in the west, towards the east entering SW Georgia. The species also crosses the right side of the Çoruh River (Karagöl in Turkey, Mt. Mtirala in Georgia, probably reaching the Kintrishi Gorge to the north (Tuniyev & O. Arribas, pers. comm., 28 June 2021). 
EtymologyNamed after Richard and Erica Clark who discovered these lizards in 1967, 20 km west of Borčka in eastern Turkey.

D. dryada was named after the mythological creature inhabiting trees associated with the Teriary-relict forests of southern Colchis and having pronounced arboreal mode of life. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Bischoff, W. 1978. Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Echsen des Kaukasus. Salamandra 14 (4): 178-202 - get paper here
  • Bischoff, W. 2000. Clarks Felseneidechse, Lacerta clarkorum, als Motiv auf türkischer Münze. Elaphe 8 (1): 79-80
  • Bischoff, W. 2007. Auf der Suche nach Gebirgseidechsen in drei Erdteilen. Draco 7 (27): 54-73 - get paper here
  • Bülbül, U., M. Kurnaz, A.I. Eroglu, H. Koc & B. Kutrup 2016. Body size and age structure of the endangered Clark’s lizard (Darevskia clarkorum) populations from two different altitudes in Turkey Amphibia-Reptilia, 37(4): 450-456. - get paper here
  • Darevsky, I. & VEDMEDERJA, V. 1977. A new species of rock lizard Lacerta saxicola EVERSMANN group from northeastern Turkey and adjoining regions of Adjaria [in Russian]. Trudy Zool. Inst. Akad. Nauk SSSR, 74: 50-54 - get paper here
  • Darevsky, I.S. & Tuniyev,B.S. 1997. A new species from Lacerta saxicola group - Lacerta dryada sp. nov. (Sauria: Lacertidae) and some comments relative to Lacerta clarkorum Darevsky & Vedmederja 1977. Russ. J. Herpetol. 4 (1): 1-7 - get paper here
  • Engelmann, W.E. et al. 1993. Lurche und Kriechtiere Europas. Neumann Verlag (Radebeul, Germany), 440 pp.
  • FRANZEN, M. 1991. Beobachtungen zur Phytophagen Ernährung von Lacerta rudis und Lacerta clarkorum. Die Eidechse 2 (2): 22-23 - get paper here
  • Fu, JINZHONG AND ROBERT W. MURPHY 1997. Toward the phylogeny of caucasian rock lizards: implications from mitochondrial DNA gene sequences (Reptilia: Lacertidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society (1997), 121: 463–477. - get paper here
  • Ilgaz, C. 2007. The Morphology, Taxonomy, and Distribution of Specimens of Darevskia clarkorum (Sauria: Lacertidae: Darevskia) Collected from Turkey’s Eastern Black Sea Region. Turkish Journal of Zoology 31: 325-336 - get paper here
  • Kurnaz M., Kutrup B. 2018. Southernmost locality for Endangered lizard, Darevskia clarkorum (Lacertidae, Squamata) from eastern Black Sea coast of Turkey. Nature Conservation Research 3 (Suppl.1): 136–139. DOI: 10.24189/ncr.2018.054 - get paper here
  • Kürşat Şahin, M. 2024. The potential range and future distribution of the endangered lizard Darevskia clarkorum in the Caucasus Biodiversity Hotspot under climate change scenarios. Zoology in the Middle East, 1-11
  • Murphy, R.W.; Fu,J.; MacCulloch, R.D.; Darevsky,I.S. & Kupriyanova,L.A. 2000. A fine line between sex and unisexuality: the phylogenetic constraints on parthenogenesis in lacertid lizards. Zool. J. Linnean Soc. 130: 527-549 - get paper here
  • PANNER, T. 2001. Kurze Bemerkungen zur Haltung und Zucht von Clarks Felseidechse, Darevskia clarkorum (DAREVSKY & VEDMEDERJA, 1977). Die Eidechse 12 (3): 65-70 - get paper here
  • Schmidtler, J.F., Heckes, U.; bischoff, W. & Franzen, M. 2002. Altitude-dependent character variation in rock lizards of the Darevskia clarkorum (DAREVSKY & VEDMEDERJA 1977)/D. dryada (DAREVSKY & TUNIYEV 1997) complex: a case of climate parallel variation of pholidosis? (Reptilia: Squamata: Sauria: Lacertidae). Faun. Abh. Mus. Tierk. Dresden 23: 141-156
  • Sindaco, R. & Jeremcenko, V.K. 2008. The reptiles of the Western Palearctic. Edizioni Belvedere, Latina (Italy), 579 pp. - get paper here
  • Sindaco, Roberto; Alberto Venchi, Giuseppe M. Carpaneto, Marco A. Bologna 2000. The Reptiles of Anatolia: a Checklist and Zoogeographical analysis. Biogeographia, 21-2000: 441-554. - get paper here
  • Szczerbak, N.N. 2003. Guide to the Reptiles of the Eastern Palearctic. Krieger, Malabar, FL, 260 pp. - get paper here
  • Tarkhnishvili, D., Gabelaia, M. and Adriaens, D. 2020. Phenotypic divergence, convergence and evolution of Caucasian rock lizards (Darevskia). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society - get paper here
  • Tuniyev, B.S. 1990. On the Independence of the Colchis Center of Amphibian and Reptile Speciation. Asiatic Herpetological Research 3: 67-84 - get paper here
  • Ufuk Bülbül, Muammer Kurnaz, Ali İhsan Eroğlu, Halime Koç and Bilal Kutrup. 2016. Body size and age structure of the endangered Clark’s lizard (Darevskia clarkorum) populations from two different altitudes in Turkey. Amphibia-Reptilia - get paper here
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