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Mesalina simoni (BOETTGER, 1881)

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Higher TaxaLacertidae, Eremiadinae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesMesalina simoni simoni (BOETTGER 1881)
Common Names 
SynonymPodarces (Mesalina) simoni BOETTGER 1881: 571
Eremias olivieri simoni — BONS 1959
Mesalina simoni — ARNOLD 1986
Mesalina olivieri simoni — SZCZERBAK 1989
Mesalina olivieri simoni — BONS & GENIEZ 1996:
Mesalina simoni — SCHLEICH, KÄSTLE & KABISCH 1996: 428
Mesalina simoni — SINDACO & JEREMČENKO 2008

Mesalina olivieri — KAPLI et al. 2014 (part.)
Mesalina olivieri — SIMÓ-RIUDALBAS et al. 2019 (part.) 
DistributionMorocco (central coast of the Atlantic Ocean)

Type locality: “inter urbes Mogador et Marocco, unicum prope urbem Casablanca”.

saharae: Morocco; Type locality. Morocco, Atlantic Sahara, road N1, 69 km past Boujdour toward Laayoune, 26.4925°N/−13.9198°W/60 m a.s.l.  
TypesHolotype: SMF 13872 (formerly 6087,1c)
Holotype. MNHN-RA-2020.0018 (ex BEV.9114), adult male (Figure 9). Collected by Pierre-André Crochet and Julien Renoult on 10th September 2006. Paratypes. Adult male BEV.10849, from 6 km E of Sidi Kathari, 26.5298°N/−12.3364°W, collected by Pierre-André Crochet on 21st March 2010; adult female BEV.10850, from 4 km past Awserd toward Dakhla, 22.5709°N/−14.3544°W, collected by Pierre-André Crochet on the 18th March 2010, all preserved in the BEV collection in Montpellier. [saharae] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. For a time it was considered a subspecies of M. olivieri: In appearance it differs mainly by a heavier pigmentation of dark gray on the gular and ventral regions, and by having light dorsal stripes bordered with black (this black bordering lacking in M. olivieri). Scalation is very similar to M. olivieri apart from the palpebral disk, which is made up of 7 – 8 opaque or translucent plates which are never bordered in black, unlike those of M. olivieri. This species inhabits rocky plateaus with sparse vegetation, from sea level to above 3000 ft. As it has only recently been differentiated from M. olivieri, details on ecology are still lacking (Boettger, 1881, Yousefkhani et al. 2015). 
CommentSynonymy: MERTENS 1922: 174 stated that this species is synonymous with Eremias guttulata. 
EtymologyNamed after Hans Simon, apparently the collector of the types.
The epithet “saharae” refers to the Atlantic Sahara region where this new subspecies is distributed. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Boettger, O. 1881. Diagnoses Reptilium novorum Maroccanorum. Zool. Anz. 4: 570-572 - get paper here
  • Boettger, O. 1883. Die Reptilien und Amphibien von Marocco. II. Abh. senckenb. naturf. Ges. 13: 93-146 - get paper here
  • Bons,J. 1972. Herpétologie Marocaine I: Liste commentée des amphibiens et reptiles du Maroc. Bull. Soc. Sci. nat. Maroc 52 (3/4): 107-126
  • Bons,J. & GIROT,B. 1962. Clé illustrée des reptiles du Maroc. Trav. Inst. Sci. Chérifien, Sér. Zool. 26
  • 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
  • Martínez del Mármol, Gabriel; D. James Harris, Philippe Geniez, Philip de Pous, and Daniele Salvi 2019. Amphibians and Reptiles of Morocco. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 478 pp - get paper here
  • Mertens, R. 1922. Verzeichnis der Typen in der herpetologischen Sammlung des Senckenbergischen Museums. Senckenbergiana 4: 162-183 - get paper here
  • Pizzigalli, C., Crochet, P.-A., Geniez, P., Martínez-Freiría, F., Velo-Antón, G., & Carlos Brito, J. 2021. Phylogeographic diversification of the Mesalina olivieri species complex (Squamata: Lacertidae) with the description of a new species and a new subspecies endemic from North West Africa. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, 00, 1– 29 - get paper here
  • Schleich, H.H., Kästle,W., Kabisch, K. 1996. Amphibians and Reptiles of North Africa. Koeltz, Koenigstein, 627 pp.
  • Shcherbak, N.N. [= Szczerbak] 1975. Katalog afrikanskikh Jaszczurok [Catalog of African sand lizards [Eremiainae]]. Akad. Sci. Ukrain. SSR, Zool. Inst., Zool. Mus.: 2-83
  • Simó-Riudalbas, M., Tamar, K., Šmíd, J., Mitsi, P., Sindaco, R., Chirio, L., & Carranza, S. 2019. Biogeography of Mesalina (Reptilia: Lacertidae), with special emphasis on the Mesalina adramitana group from Arabia and the Socotra Archipelago. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution - get paper here
  • Sindaco, R. & Jeremcenko, V.K. 2008. The reptiles of the Western Palearctic. Edizioni Belvedere, Latina (Italy), 579 pp. - get paper here
  • Szczerbak, Nikolai N. 1989. Catalogue of the African Sand lizards (Reptilia: Sauria: Eremiainae: Lampreremias, Pseuderemias, Taenieremias, Mesalina, Meroles). Herpetozoa 1 (3/4): 119-132. - get paper here
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