Authors: NAEIMEH ESKANDARZADEH, JAMSHID DARVISH, ESKANDAR RASTEGAR POUYANI, FERESHTEH GHASSEMZADEH
Abstract: Based on the most comprehensive work on Iranian snakes to date, 4 species of the boid snakes of the genus Eryx (Daudin, 1803), E. tataricus (Lichtenstein, 1823), E. miliaris (Pallas, 1773), E. elegans (Gray, 1849), and E. jaculus (Linnaeus, 1758), have been reported from northeastern Iran. In this study, the distribution, morphological characters, and taxonomic status of the genus Eryx in northeastern Iran are reviewed. Four metric and 9 meristic characters were studied in 47 specimens belonging to various populations of Eryx in different parts of Khorasan provinces. Descriptions of the characters of the species of Eryx in northeastern Iran were revised. According to the results, and considering the principle of priority, we concluded that the northeastern populations of E. elegans are conspecific with E. jaculus, and the populations of E. tataricus are conspecific with E. miliaris. In addition, 2 specimens belonging to a population of Eryx in the area were found that differ from all other Iranian species of the genus in several taxonomic characters, but generally were similar to E. miliaris. These specimens need more comprehensive study to clarify their taxonomic status and phylogenetic relationship using more morphology traits, ecology, and molecular studies.
Keywords: Eryx, morphological characters, distribution, northeast Iran
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