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Mesalina bahaeldini SEGOLI, COHEN & WERNER, 2002

IUCN Red List - Mesalina bahaeldini - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaLacertidae, Eremiadinae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesMesalina bahaeldini bahaeldini SEGOLI, COHEN & WERNER 2002
Mesalina bahaeldini curatorum WERNER & ASHKENAZI 2010 
Common Names 
SynonymMesalina bahaeldini SEGOLI, COHEN & WERNER 2002
Mesalina bahaeldini — BISCHOFF 2007
Mesalina bahaeldini — YOUSEFKHANI et al. 2015
Mesalina bahaeldini — SINDACO et al. 2018

Mesalina bahaeldini curatorum WERNER & ASHKENAZI 2010
Lacerta guttulata LICHTENSTEIN 1823 (part.)
Mesalina bahaeldini curatorum — SINDACO et al. 2018 
DistributionEgypt (southern Sinai peninsula), Israel, Jordan

Type locality: Near St. Catherine Monastery, Sinai, Egypt.

curatorum: Egypt; Type locality: Suez, Egypt.  
TypesHolotype: HUJ R 10712, Zool. Mus., Hebrew univ. Jerusalem
Holotype: ZMB 1122, male collected during 1820-1821 by the W. Hemprich and C.G. Ehrenberg expedition to the Near East [curatorum] 
DiagnosisMesalina bahaeldini resembles M. guttulata in conventional key characters but differs from it in consistently being striped (rather than ocellated) and brownish (rather than greyish); having on average fewer supralabials; fewer dorsals in a
transverse count at midbody; fewer transverse rows of ventral plates; fewer subdigital lamellae under the fourth toe; but longer toes, relative to hindlimb length; individual subdigital lamellae are longer, relative to body size (from the abstract of SEGOLI et al. 2002).

Diagnosis: A prominent occipital in contact with the interparietal; curved collar; transparent disc of lower eyelid comprising two major scales, with black vertical bar; ventral plates in 10 straight longitudinal rows. Scales on the upper surface of the tibia keeled. Lamellae under 4th toe, 21. Scales on ventral side of tail smooth. Dorsal coloration of adult brownish, with distinct longitudinal stripes (may be somewhat interrupted). Supralabials anterior to subocular 4; supralabials total 8 or 9; gulars, 22; plates in collar, 11. Dorsals across midbody, 45; ven- trals across belly, 9; femoral pores, 11 (Yousefkhani et al. 2015).

Diagnosis (curatorum): A Mesalina with a prominent occipital in contact with the interparietal; moderately curved collar; transparent disc of lower eyelid comprising 2major scales, with black vertical bar; upper labials in front of the subocular usually 4, exceptionally 5. Dorsals across mid-body approx. 35-40. Ventral plates in 10 straight longitudinal rows.Scales on the upper surface of the tibia keeled. Lamellae under the 4th toe, 21-22. Scales on ventral side of tail smooth. Coloration semi- striped. Laterally a light stripe from the middle of the ear towards the groin, accompanied above by a broader dark band, accompanied above by a dorso- lateral chain of black-and-white spots; mid-dorsally anteriorly plain, posteriorly speckled. 
CommentDistribution: see (unnecessaily confusing) maps in Sindaco et al. 2018: 515 (Fig. 1), Kapli et al. 2008: 104 (Fig. 1). The endemic M. bahaeldini and the widespread M. guttulata are geographically sympatric but usually not syntopic. The former occurs only above 600-1000 m a.s.l., the latter at a wide range of altitudes but its occurrence at the same high altitudes is unclear (from the abstract of SEGOLI et al. 2002). See Bar et al. 2021 for a map.

Types: The series of nine syntypes of Lacerta guttulata LICHTENSTEIN, 1823, in the Zoologisches Museum, Berlin, collected by HEMPRICH and EHRENBERG in Egypt and Nubia, is heterogeneous, only six fitting the description of the species. Therefore a lectotype is designated and the species redescribed (from the abstract of SEGOLI et al. 2002).

Subspecies: the status of M. b. curatorum remains unclear, given the uncertainty of the type locality of curatorum (in an area between the distribution range of M. guttulata and M. bahaeldini), the lack of clear morphological characters to sort out the taxonomy of this species complex, and the impossibility of including the holotype or paratypes in the molecular analyses of Sindaco et al. 2018. 
EtymologyNamed after Sherif M. Baha El Din (b. 1960), Egyptian zoologist. 
  • Baha el Din, S. 2006. A guide to the reptiles and amphibians of Egypt. The American University in Cairo Press, Cairo. xvi + 359 pp.
  • Bar, A., Haimovitch, G. and Meiri, S. 2021. Field guide to the amphibians and reptiles of Israel. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt Am Main. ISBN 9783-89973-120-0 - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Bischoff, W. 2007. Auf der Suche nach Gebirgseidechsen in drei Erdteilen. Draco 7 (27): 54-73 - get paper here
  • Geniez, Philippe 2013. Comparaison entre les herpétofaunes de deux pays aux extrémités de la Méditerranée: Jordanie et Maroc. Bull. Soc. Herp. France 145-146 : 49-60
  • Hosseinian-Yousefkhani, Seyyed Saeed; Gabriel M.D. Marmol Marin, Nasrullah Rastegar-Pouyani, Eskandar Rastegar-Pouyani 2015. A Bibliographic Recompilation of the Genus Mesalina Gray, 1838 (Sauria: Lacertidae) with a Key to the Species. Russ. J. Herpetol. 22 (1): 23-34 - get paper here
  • Kapli, P., Lymberakis, P., Crochet, P.-A., Geniez, P., Brito, J. C., Almutairi, M., Ahmadzadeh, F., Schmitz, A., Wilms, T., Pouyani, N. R., Poulakakis, N. 2014. Historical biogeography of the lacertid lizard Mesalina in North Africa and the Middle East. Journal of Biogeography, doi: 10.1111/jbi.12420 - get paper here
  • Kapli, P.; P. Lymberakis, N. Poulakakis, G. Mantziou, A. Parmakelis and M. Mylonas 2008. Molecular phylogeny of three Mesalina (Reptilia: Lacertidae) species (M. guttulata, M. brevirostris and M. bahaeldini) from North Africa and the Middle East: Another case of paraphyly? Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 49: 102-110 - get paper here
  • Meiri, Shai; Amos Belmaker, Daniel Berkowic, Kesem Kazes, Erez Maza, Guy Bar-Oz and Roi Dor 2019. A checklist of Israeli land vertebrates. Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution - get paper here
  • Milto, Konstantin D. 2017. New Records of Reptiles on the Red Sea Coast, Egypt, with Notes on Zoogeography. Russ. J. Herpetol. 24 (1): 11-21 - get paper here
  • Segoli, Michal; Cohen, Tzahala; Werner, Yehudah L. 2002. A new lizard of the genus Mesalina from Mt. Sinai, Egypt (Reptilia: Squamata: Sauria: Lacertidae). Faunistische Abhandlungen (Dresden) 23 (1):157-176 - get paper here
  • Sindaco, R. & Jeremcenko, V.K. 2008. The reptiles of the Western Palearctic. Edizioni Belvedere, Latina (Italy), 579 pp. - get paper here
  • SINDACO, ROBERTO; MARC SIMÓ-RIUDALBAS, ROBERTO SACCHI, SALVADOR CARRANZA 2018. Systematics of the Mesalina guttulata species complex (Squamata: Lacertidae) from Arabia with the description of two new species. Zootaxa 4429 (3): 513–547 - get paper here
  • Stephen Spawls; Tomáš Mazuch& Abubakr Mohammad 2023. Handbook of Amphibians and Reptiles of North-east Africa. Bloomsbury, 640 pp. - get paper here
  • Werner, Y.L. & Ashkenazi, S. 2010. Notes on some Egyptian Lacertidae, including a new subspecies of Mesalina, involving the Seligmann effect. Turkish Journal of Zoology 34: 123-133 - get paper here
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