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Eremias persica BLANFORD, 1875

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Higher TaxaLacertidae, Eremiadinae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Aralo-Caspian racerunner 
SynonymEremias persica BLANFORD 1874: 31
Podarces persica STRAUCH 1876
Eremias velox (part.) BOULENGER 1887
Eremias fasciata (part.) NIKOLSKY 1900
Eremias velox var. persica BOULENGER 1921
Eremias velox pesicus — PROCTER 1921
Eremias persica LANTZ 1928
Eremias velox persica — SMITH 1935: 383
Eremias velox persa WERNER 1938
Eremias velox persica — KHALAF KAMEL 1959
Eremias velox persica — KHALAF 1959
Eremias velox persica — LEVITON 1959: 453
Eremias velox persica — ANDERSON & LEVITON 1969
Eremias persica — FRYNTA et al. 1997
Eremias (Eremias) nigrolateralis RASTEGAR-POUYANI & NILSON 1998
Eremias nigrolateralis — ANDERSON 1999
Eremias persica — SZCZERBAK 2003
Eremias nigrolateralis — BAIG & MASROOR 2006
Eremias (Dimorphea) nigrolateralis — SINDACO & JEREMČENKO 2008
Eremias (Dimorphea) persica — SINDACO & JEREMČENKO 2008
Eremias (Aspidorhinus) persica — BARABANOV 2009
Eremias (Aspidorhinus) persica — MASROOR et al. 2020
Eremias persica8451= 70.4% of all 12001 species. 
DistributionS Turkmenistan, N/C/E Iran, Afghanistan, NW Pakistan

Type locality: near Ispahan (=Isfehan), Iran

nigrolateralis: Iran (Fars); Type locality: 150 km NE of Shiraz (53°9'E, 30°52'N), Fars Prov. S C Iran, 1800 m elevation; Asia  
TypesLectotype: BMNH 1946.8.7.32, designated by Szczerbak 1974: 123 without catalog number but confirmed by Anderson 1999: 223. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: “Lower nasal resting on 2 or 3 supralabials; subocular bordering mouth; lateral scales offourth toe not forming distinct fringe; fourth toe with single complete row of subdigital scales, a complete row of somewhat smaller ventrolateral scales, and a few scattered, much smaller dorsolateral scales not forming complete row (total of 3 scales counted around penultimate phalanx of fourth toe); the 2 series of femoral pores separated by space not greater than one-fourth length of each; usually several collar scales distinctly larger than adjacent gulars; 28-39 gulars; 56-70 dorsals; 23-35 scales in ninth or tenth caudal annulus; broad lateral dark stripe enclosing one or 2 rows of white spots” (Anderson 1999: 221, Fig. 103).

Color pattern: Juveniles pale gray or tan dorsally, with 4 dark brown longitudinal stripes on back between dorsolateral white-spotted brown to black stripes, vertebral stripe being light; in adults dark stripes break up into 4 more or less regular rows of black spots on light ground; broad dorsolateral stripe remains more or less continuous for at least major portion of its length, containing single or double row of white ocelli and contrasting strongly with sandy-brown ground color; venter white; distal part of tail bluish to greenish blue in juveniles in life (Anderson 1999: 221, Figs. 104a-b and 105b).

Comparisons: Color patterns of adults and juveniles appear to be sufficiently constant to distinguish persica, velox, and strauchi from one another. In juveniles of Eremias persica the end of the tail is blue, while in those of E. strauchi the lower surface of the tail is yellow, and in those of E. v. velox the lower surface of the tail is red (G. Peters, 1964:463). Scale characters employed by Nikolsky (1915), Lantz (1928), and Boulenger (1921) to separate the three taxa are not sufficiently constant as diagnostic features. Although color pattern is variable and ontogenetic changes can be seen, all specimens I identify as E. persica have light ocelli enclosed in a black lateral stripe. The length of the suture between the supranasals is variable, but generally less than one-third length of frontonasal; amount of contact of infranasal with rostral is highly variable, from just touching (rarely not in contact) to a distinct suture; occasionally an interprefrontal is present in specimens from Sistan; length of interparietal greater than (rarely equal to) length of suture between parietals; dorsal caudal scales keeled in all specimens, but not as strongly so as in specimens of E. v. velox; basal median subcaudals smooth, becoming keeled in more posterior scales (Anderson 1999: 222). 
CommentSynonymy: partly after KHALIKOV & ANANJEVA (pers. comm.). Eremias nigrolateralis has been synonymized with Eremias persica by RASTEGAR-POUYANI et al. 2010. These authors also suggest to raise “four clades of the E. persica complex to species rank (localities 3, 6, 7, and 12), two to subspecies rank (localities 8 and 5)” although it is not clear to us what these taxa or clades are, as they are not given in Figure 1 (where the localities are shown) nor in the section “Taxonomic implications” where the statement was made, or in the tree where the localities and clades are all called “E. persica”.

Distribution: See map in SMID et al. 2014 for distribution in Iran.

Sympatry: E. velox (in scattered localities on the N and W margins of the Central Plateau in Iran and in S Turkmenistan); E. strauchi (in NE Khorasan and perhaps in the Kopet Dagh). 
EtymologyNamed after its distribution in Persia (now: Iran). 
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