Authors: SEYYED SAEED HOSSEINIAN YOUSEFKHANI, NASRULLAH RASTEGAR-POUYANI, ESKANDAR RASTEGAR POUYANI
Abstract: During extensive fieldwork surveys from August 2009 to September 2011, 60 specimens of Mesalina watsonana were collected from 10 localities representing 3 population groups in Iran. Owing to clear sexual dimorphism, a total of 39 males were selected and examined for various meristic and morphological characters. Statistical analyses (multivariate analyses such as principal component analysis, canonical variate analysis, and cluster analysis) were used to compare morphological variations among specimens from these 3 population groups in Iran. These groups were separated geographically, apparently due to barriers such as Dasht-e-Kavir and Dasht-e-Lut. According to the multivariate analyses, Mesalina watsonana can be divided into 2 major morphological groups in Iran. The Zagros group is related to 2 others; the southern and eastern groups clearly separate and show a break between themselves.
Keywords: East clade, Mesalina watsonana, statistical analysis, 3 operational taxonomic units, Zagros clade
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