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Darevskia saxicola (EVERSMANN, 1834)

IUCN Red List - Darevskia saxicola - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaLacertidae, Lacertinae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesG: Felseneidechse
Russian: Скальная ящерица 
SynonymLacerta saxicola EVERSMANN 1834: 349
Lacerta muralis fusca var. saxicola — BEDRIAGA 1886
Lacerta saxicola — MEHELY 1909: 491
Lacerta muralis var. saxicola — BOULENGER 1913
Lacerta saxicola saxicola — MERTENS & MÜLLER 1940
Lacerta saxicola — FU & MURPHY 1997
Darevskia saxicola — ARRIBAS 1997
Lacerta (Caucasilacerta) saxicola — HARRIS et al. 1998
Darevskia saxicola — MURPHY et al. 2000
Lacerta saxicola — SZCZERBAK 2003
Darevskia saxicola — ARNOLD et al. 2007
Lacerta (Darevskia) saxicola — SINDACO & JEREMČENKO 2008
Darevskia saxicola — SPEYBROECK et al. 2020 
DistributionTurkey [Darevsky 1965, 1967, 1972],
S Russia (northern slopes of the west and central Caucasus, western part of the N Precaucasus, Krasnodar region, in northwestern Precaucasus, NE Black Sea coast, between Anapa and Noworossisk), W Republic of Georgia (in the south up to the Rioni Plain); elevation up to 2200 m (and probably higher).

Type locality: Kislovodsk, S Russia; neotype locality: Russian Federation, Stavropol Territory, Kislovodsk, southern slope of the Borgustan Ridge, 42°44 ́N 43°57 ́E  
Reproductionoviparous; clutches with 1-4 eggs (Kidov 2020) 
TypesNeotype: ZISP 25731 (designated by DORONIN 2012). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Lizards possessing the two following features found only in a minority of other Lacertini: 27– 28 presacral vertebrae in males, one postnasal scale. Other more widely distributed features include: supraocular osteoderms fenestrated or intact in adults, usually seven premaxillary teeth, inscriptional ribs present in some species, tail often brightly coloured in hatchlings, hemipenial microornamentation of crown-shaped tubercles. A few species of Darevskia are parthenogenetic, and males of some bite the thigh of the female during copulation (from Arnold et al. 2007: 40). 
CommentSynonymy partly after KHALIKOV & ANANJEVA (pers. comm.). MACCULLOCH et al. (2000) elevated Lacerta saxicola lindholmi LANTZ & CYRÉN, 1936 to full species status. These authors also synonymized D. s. darevskii and D. s. szczerbaki with Darevskia s. brauneri, which they elevated to full species status.
According to Busack et al. 2016 Darevskia was not validly published by ARRIBAS 1997, which was a thesis and therefore not Code-compliant. Thus, Caucasilacerta has priority over Darevskia, and Darevskia should be synonymized with Caucasilacerta. However, a case (3711) concerning the microfiche publication (Arribas, 1997) and therefore the validity of Darevskia over Caucasilacerta has been submitted to the ICZN by Arribas et al. in 2018. ICZN rules in Opinion 2461 that Caucasilacerta is a nomen nudum. See Arribas 2016, Arribas et al. 2017, and ICZN Opinion 2461 for details.

Distribution not corrected for elevation of brauneri and lindholmi to species status.

Type species: Lacerta saxicola Eversmann, 1834 is the type species of the genus Darevskia ARRIBAS 1999 and of subgenus Caucasilacerta HARRIS et al. 1998: 1947. However, Arribas 2016 argued that Caucasilacerta is a nomen nudum. Case 3711 has been submitted to the ICZN for clarification of this issue (Arribas et al. 2018) and resolved by ICZN Opinion 2461).

Phylogenetics: Murtskhvaladze et al. 2020 present an updated phylogeny of the genus Darevskia and selected other Lacertini (e.g. Eremias). 
EtymologyNamed after Latin “saxum” (= stone, cliff, rock) and “colere” (= inhabiting etc.).

The genus was named after Russian herpetologist Ilya S. Darevsky (18 Dec 1924-8 Aug 2009). See Doronin 2021 for biographical notes. 
  • Andronikov, V. B.;Danielyan, F. D.;Passinkova, R. A. 1994. Role of phylogenetic relations and conditions of habitat of lizards of "Lacerta saxicola" complex in formation of the heat resistance level of tissue as specific character. Russ. J. Herpetol. 1 (1): 53-59 - get paper here
  • Arnold, E.N.; Arribas, O. & Carranza, S. 2007. Systematics of the Palaearctic and Oriental lizard tribe Lacertini (Squamata: Lacertidae: Lacertinae), with descriptions of eight new genera. Zootaxa 1430: 1-86 - get paper here
  • Arribas, ; Oscar J.; Natalia B. Ananjeva; Salvador Carranza; Igor V. Doronin; Nikolai L. Orlov; Valentina F. Orlova 2018. Case 3711—Iberolacerta Arribas and Darevskia Arribas (Chordata, Squamata, Lacertidae): proposals to deem these names available either from Arribas (1997) or from Arribas (1999). Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 75: 122-129 - get paper here
  • Arribas, O. J. 1997. Morfologia, filogenia y bibliografia de las lagartijas de alta montana de los Pirineos [Microforma]. Tesis doctoral - Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Publicaciones de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona), 353 pp. ISBN 84-490-0830-1
  • Arribas, Oscar J. 2016. Why Caucasilacerta Harris, Arnold et Thomas, 1998 is a nomen nudum? Russ. J. Herpetol. 23 (4): 305-306 - get paper here
  • Arribas, Oscar J.; Natalia B. Ananjeva, Salvador Carranza, Igor V. Doronin, D. James Harris, Nikolay L. Orlov, Valentina F. Orlova 2017. The pernicious effect of retroactive changes in the Code: Darevskia and nomenclatorial stability, a reply to Busack et al. (2016). Basic and Applied Herpetology, [S.l.], v. 31, p. 125-129 - get paper here
  • Bird, C. G. 1936. The distribution of reptiles and amphibians in Asiatic Turkey with notes on a collection from the Vilayets of Adana, Gaziantep and Malatya. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (10) 18: 257-281. - get paper here
  • Bischoff, W. 2007. Auf der Suche nach Gebirgseidechsen in drei Erdteilen. Draco 7 (27): 54-73 - get paper here
  • BISCHOFF, W. 2009. ILJA SERGEJEWITSCH DAREWSKIJ (1924 - 2009). Die Eidechse 20 (3): 87-89. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1910. Remarks on Prof. L. von Mehely's recent Contribution to the Knowledge of the Lizards allied to Lacerta muralis. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (8) 5: 247-256 - get paper here
  • Busack, Stephen D.; Alfredo SALVADOR, Aaron M. BAUER & Hinrich KAISER 2016. Darevskia and Iberolacerta (Reptilia, Lacertidae): Arribas, 1997 or 1999? The correct dating of two nomenclatural acts affecting Palearctic lizards, and validation of the name Caucasilacerta Harris, Arnold & Thomas, 1998. Bionomina 10: 61–73 - get paper here
  • Danielyan, F. D. 1965. Mechanisms of reproductive isolation in some Armenian forms of rock lizards (Lacerta saxicola Eversmann). Izvestia Akad, Nauk Armenian S. S. R. (Biol.) 18, 75-80.
  • Danielyan, F. D. 1967. New data on the ranges of certain subspecies of rock lizards (Lacerta saxicola Eversmann) in Armenia (in Russian). Biol. Zhurnal Armenii, Akad. Nauk Armenian S.S.R. 20, 99-102
  • Darevsky, I. S. 1958. Natural parthenogenesis in certain suspecies of the rock lizard Lacerta saxicola Eversmann. Doklady Akad. Nauk S. S.R. 122, 730-732
  • Darevsky, I. S. 1962. On the origin and biological role of natural parthenogenesis in a polymorphic group of Caucasian rock-lizards, Lacerta saxicola Eversmann (in Russian). Zool. Zhurnal 41, 397-408
  • Darevsky, I. S. and Kulikova, V. N. 1961. Natürliche Parthenogenese in der polymorphen Gruppe der Kaukasischen Felseidechse (Lacerta saxicola Eversmann). Zool. Jb., Syst. 89: 119-176.
  • Darevsky, I. S. and Kulikova, V. N. 1964. Natural tripioidy in a polymorphic group of rock-lizards, Lacerta saxicola Eversmann, resulting from hybridization between bisexual and parthenogenetic forms of this species (in Russian). Doklady Acad. Nauk S.S.R. 158: 202-205
  • Darevsky, I. S. and Lukina, G. P. 1977. Rock lizards of the Lacerta saxicola Eversmann group (Sauria, Lacertidae) collected in Turkey by Richard and Erica Clark (in Russian). Proceedings of the Zoological Institute of the Academy of Sciences, U.S.S.R. 74: 60-63
  • Darevsky, I.S. 1966. Natural parthogenesis in a polymorphic group of Caucasian Rock lizards related to Lacerta saxicola EVERSMANN. Journ. Ohio Herpetol. Soc.5 (4): 115-152 - get paper here
  • Darewskij, I. [= Darevsky] 1984. Lacerta saxicola - Felseidechse. In: Böhme,W. (ed.), Handbuch der Reptilien und Amphibien Europas, Band 2/I., Echsen II (Lacerta). Aula-Verlag Wiesbaden, pp. 345-361
  • Doronin I. V. 2021. New data on some Russian herpetologists. Communication 3. Current Studies in Herpetology 21 (3-4): 123 - get paper here
  • Doronin, I.V. 2012. Review of the type specimens of Rock Lizards of Darevskia (saxicola) complex (Sauria: Lacertidae) [in Russian] Proceedings of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences 316 (1): 22-39
  • Doronin, I.V. 2014. REVIEW OF TYPE SPECIMENS OF ROCK LIZARDS OF DAREVSKIA (CAUCASICA) COMPLEX (SAURIA: LACERTIDAE). Proceedings of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Труды Зоологического института РАН) 318 (4): 371–381 - get paper here
  • Doronin, I.V.; B.S. Tuniyev and O.V. Kukushkin 2013. Differentiation and taxonomy of the Rock Lizards Darevskia (Saxicola) (Sauria: Lacertidae) according to morphological and molecular analyses. Proceedings of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences 317 (1): 54–84
  • Dunaev E.A., Orlova V.F. 2017. Amphibians and reptiles of Russia. Atlas and determination. 2nd. ed. Moscow: Phyton XXI, 328 p
  • Engelmann, W.E. et al. 1993. Lurche und Kriechtiere Europas. Neumann Verlag (Radebeul, Germany), 440 pp.
  • Eversmann,E. 1834. Lacertae Imperii Rossici variis in itineribus meis observatae. [Lacerta sylvicola]. Nouv. Mém. Soc. imp. Natur. (Moscow) 3: 339-358 - get paper here
  • Freitas, S., Westram, A.M., Schwander, T., Arakelyan, M., Ilgaz, Ç., Kumlutas, Y., Harris, D.J., Carretero, M.A. and Butlin, R.K. 2022. Parthenogenesis in Darevskia lizards - a rare outcome of common hybridisation, not a common outcome of rare hybridisation Parthenogenesis, gene flow and hybridisation. Evolution - 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
  • Grechko VV, Ciobanu DG, Darevsky IS, Kosushkin SA, Kramerov DA. 2006. Molecular evolution of satellite DNA repeats and speciation of lizards of the genus Darevskia (Sauria: Lacertidae). Genome 49(10):1297-307. - get paper here
  • Harris, D. J., E. N. ARNOLD & R. H. THOMAS 1998. Relationships of lacertid lizards (Reptilia: Lacertidae) estimated from mitochondrial DNA sequences and morphology. Proc. R. Soc. London, B, 265: 1939-1948 - get paper here
  • ICZN 2020. Opinion 2461 (Case 3711) – Iberolacerta Arribas, 1999 and Darevskia Arribas, 1999 (Chordata, Squamata, Lacertidae): names confirmed as available. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 77: 135-237
  • KAYA, Nilgün; Oya ÖZULUĞ 2017. THE HERPETOLOGICAL COLLECTION OF ZOOLOGY MUSEUM, ISTANBUL UNIVERSITY. Anadolu Üniversitesi Bilim ve Teknoloji Dergisi C- Yaşam Bilimleri ve Biyoteknoloji<br />(Anadolu University Journal of Science and Technology C- Life Sciences and Biotechnology) - get paper here
  • Kidov A. A. 2020. TO THE STUDY OF THE REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY OF THE ROCK LIZARD (DAREVSKIA SAXICOLA, REPTILIA, LACERTIDAE). [in Russian] Zoologicheskiy zhurnal 99 (11): 1293–1297 - get paper here
  • Kidov A.A. 2021. Reproductive biology of the rock lizard (Darevskia saxicola, Reptilia, Lacertidae). Biology Bulletin 48 (8): 1314–1318 - get paper here
  • Kupriyanova, L. A. 1994. Structure, localization and stability of chromosomes in karyotype evolution in lizards of the Lacertidae family. Russ. J. Herpetol. 1 (2): 161-168 - get paper here
  • Lantz,L.A. & Cyrén,O. 1936. Contribution à la connaissance de Lacerta saxicola EVERSMANN. Bull. Soc. zool. France (Paris) 61: 159-181 - get paper here
  • Lukina, G.P. 1963. Sistematiceskoje polozenije i biologija skalnoj jascericy Lacerta saxicola Eversmann na sewerizaoadbih granice areala wida w predjelach Kawkaza. Izw. Akad. Nauk Azerbajdz. SSR 6: 53-61
  • Macculloch, R. D. , J. FU, I. S. DAREVSKY & R. W. MURPHY 2000. Genetic evidence for species status of some Caucasian rock lizards in the Darevskia saxicola group. Amphibia-Reptilia 21 (2): 169-176 - get paper here
  • Méhely, Lajos von 1909. Materialien zu einer Systematik und Phylogenie der muralis-ähnlichen Lacerten. Annales historico-naturales Musei nationalis Hungarici, Budapest, 7 (2): 409-621 - get paper here
  • Mertens, R., and L. Müller. 1940. Liste der Amphibien und Reptilien Europas. Abhandlungen der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft. Frankfurt am Main. 451: 1-62 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Murphy, Robert W.;Darevsky, I. S.; MacCulloch, Ross D.; Fu J.; Kupriyanova, Larissa A. 1996. Evolution of the bisexual species of Caucasian Rock lizards: a phylogenetic evaluation of allozyme data. Russ. J. Herpetol. 3: 18-31 - get paper here
  • Murtskhvaladze M, Tarkhnishvili D, Anderson CL, Kotorashvili A 2020. Phylogeny of caucasian rock lizards (Darevskia) and other true lizards based on mitogenome analysis: Optimisation of the algorithms and gene selection. PLoS ONE 15(6): e0233680 - get paper here
  • Ryabinin, D. M.;Grechko, V. V.;Darevsky, I. S.; Ryskov, A. P.; Semenova, S. K. 1996. Comparative study of DNA repetitive sequences by means of restriction endonucleases among populations and subspecies of some lacertid lizard species. Russ. J. Herpetol. 3 (2): 178-185 - get paper here
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