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Darevskia dryada (DAREVSKY & TUNIYEV, 1997)

IUCN Red List - Darevskia dryada - Critically Endangered, CR

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Higher TaxaLacertidae, Lacertinae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Charnali Lizard 
SynonymLacerta dryada DAREVSKY & TUNIYEV 1997
Archaeolacerta (Caucasilacerta) dryada — SINDACO et al. 2000
Darevskia dryada — ANANJEVA et al. 2006: 83
Darevskia dryada — DORONIN 2015
Darevskia dryada — NCBI 2016 
DistributionSW Republic of Georgia (NE foothills of the Pontic Ridge, within the boundery of area Adzharistan = Adzharia)

Type locality: Adzharistan, Khelvachaury district, gorge of Charnali, W Republic of Georgia.  
TypesHolotype: SNP (also given as CNR), Sochi 1103 (7), adult male; Paratypes: ZISP 18809, 18810 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (dryada): distinguished from related species 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).

Pileus comparatively longer, TS2 (longitudinal rows of temporal scales between tympanic and parietal plates), DS (dorsalia), SVL (greater size) and SLR (number of supralabial scales); and contrarily, comparatively smaller values of LS (longitudinal rows of scales on ventral surface of thigh between the femoral pores and the outer row of enlarged scales), COLL (collaria), and PA2 (number of circumanalia scales, surrounding the anal plate). Osteologically has more teeth, especially the dentary ones, without overlap among both forms. This is due to the clearly bigger heads of the D. dryada males (the different shape between male heads of both taxa is well depicted in Darevsky & Tuniyev, 1997; see Fig. 1). Also, the vertebral number in Darevskia is the primitive state (27), which also appears and tends to increase to 28 in D. clarkorum (even coexisting bilaterally in the same specimen). The clavicles are also open or closed (one case of each), whereas the closed ones are fairly rare in D. clarkorum (O. Arribas, pers. comm. 28 June 2021). 
CommentSynonymy: D. dryada is a synonym of Darevskia clarkorum fide SCHMIDTLER et al. (2002) but variously recognized as valid species or synonym by more recent authors.

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

Distribution: populations from NE Turkey (vicinity of Hope) are indistinguishable from D. clarkorum and were assigned to this species, hence there is no dryada in Turkey (Arribas et al. 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. 
  • Ananjeva, NB, Orlov NL; Khalikov RG; Darevsky IS; Ryabov IS & Barabanov AV 2006. The Reptiles of North Eurasia. Taxonomic Diversity, Distribution, Conservation Status [this comprises the territory of the former Soviet Union and Mongolia]. Pensoft Series Faunistica 47, 250 pp.
  • ARRIBAS, O., CANDAN, K., KUMLUTA, Y., & ILGAZ, Ç. 2021. Multivariate analysis of geographic variation in Darevskia clarkorum (Darevsky & Vedmederja, 1977), correlation with geographic and climatic parameters, and true status of Darevskia dryada (Darevsky & Tuniyev, 1997). Zootaxa 4990 (1): 1-22 - 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
  • Doronin, I.V. 2015. Systematics, phylogeny and distribution of rock lizards supra-specific complexes Darevskia (praticola), Darevskia (caucasica) and Darevskia (saxicola). Dissertation - Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 371 pp
  • 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, 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
  • 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
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