Taxonomic changes and additions

New Genus/Species/Subspecies, transfer to another Genus, revaluate to full species, etc. (for the area covered here within this database)

A new Lytorhynchus has been described from Iran

Lytorhynchus levitoni TORKI, 2017.

TORKI, F. (2017): Description of a new species of Lytorhynchus (Squamata: Colubridae) from Iran.- Zool. Middle East 2017, (early view) 8 pp.

2 new Pelodytes species on Iberian peninsula

Pelodytes atlanticus: Portugal
Pelodytes hespericus: most of central and eastern Spain (without Catalunya and Pelodytes ibericus distribution.

DÍAZ-RODRÍGUEZ, J., M. GEHARA, R. MÁRQUEZ, M. VENCES, H. GONÇALVES, F. SEQUEIRA, I. MARTÍNEZ-SOLANO & M. TEJEDO (2017): Integration of molecular, bioacoustical and morphological data reveals two new cryptic species of Pelodytes (Anura, Pelodytidae) from the Iberian Peninsula.- Zootaxa 4243 (1): 001–041

Parsley frogs (Pelodytes) comprise the only genus in the family Pelodytidae, an ancient anuran lineage that split from their closest relatives over 140 million years ago. Pelodytes is a Palearctic group restricted to Western Eurasia including three extant species: the eastern species P. caucasicus, endemic to the Caucasus area, and two closely related species inhabiting Western Europe: the Iberian endemic P. ibericus and the more widespread P. punctatus. Previous studies based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers have revealed the existence of two additional lineages of Parsley frogs in the Iberian Peninsula, which have been flagged as candidate species. Here, we integrate novel molecular, morphological and bioacoustical data to assess the differentiation of the four western Parsley frog lineages. Species trees and Bayesian population assignment analyses based on nuclear markers confirm previous studies and concordantly delineate four parapatric lineages with narrow hybrid zones. Mitochondrial divergence is low (< 2% pairwise distances in the 16S rRNA gene), in line with previously reported low mitochondrial substitution rates in non-neobatrachian frogs. Based on concordance between mitochondrial and nuclear markers, we conclude that four species of Parsley frogs occur in Western Europe: Pelodytes punctatus, distributed from northern Italy to northeastern Spain; Pelodytes ibericus, inhabiting southern Spain and southern Portugal; Pelodytes atlanticus sp. nov., from the Portuguese Atlantic coast; and Pelodytes hespericus sp. nov., occurring in central and eastern Spain. However, bioacoustical and morphological differentiation of these species is low, with no obvious and qualitative diagnostic characters allowing full species discrimination. Differences in the relative size of metacarpal tubercles exist but this character is variable. Pelodytes ibericus and Pelodytes atlanticus are smaller than the other two species, and P. ibericus has shorter limbs and various distinctive osteological characters. Bioacoustically, the pattern by which two different note types are combined in advertisement calls separates P. hespericus from the remaining species. Despite these differences, we emphasize that the taxonomic status of all four western Parsley frogs requires additional investigation, especially the patterns of genetic admixture across contact zones. While a status of separate species best conforms to the currently available data, alternative hypotheses are also discussed.

3 new subspecies of the Lycian salamander Lyciasalamandra atifi,
Lyciasalamandra atifi godmanni,
Lyciasalamandra atifi veithi
Lyciasalamandra atifi kunti
have been described

OGUZ, M.A., B. GÖÇMEN & D. YALÇINKAYA (2016): COMPARISON OF Lyciasalamandra atifi (BASOGLU, 1967) (URODELA: SALAMANDRIDAE) POPULATIONS WITH DESCRIPTION OF THREE NEW SUBSPECIES FROM ANTALYA PROVINCE -- South Western Journal of Horticulture, Biology and Environment 7(2): 61-113

We compared the isolated populations of Lyciasalamandra atifi, (Basoglu, 1967) a salamander endemic to the historic Lycia region of Turkey, that is found across a range from Antalya/Selge (Altinkaya) to Antalya/Gazipasa. Along this distance, we determined eight isolated populations (Selge, Fersin, Dikmen, Güzelbag, Türbelinaz, Gündogmus, Cebireis, Gazipasa) in 2013 and used morphology and serology to compare them. The collected specimens were registered under the ZMADYU (Zoology Museum of Adiyaman University), and a total of 237 (59 males, 96 females, 82 juv.) specimens were studied. As a result of our research, three new subspecies are described: Lyciasalamandra atifi godmanni n. ssp. from Selge, Lyciasalamandra atifi veithi n. ssp. from Dikmen and Lyciasalamandra atifi kunti n. ssp. from Güzelbag. Except Cebireis (L. a. bayrami) and Gazipasa (L. a. oezi) populations, the other isolated populations were incorporated in the nominat subspecies due to morphological and serological similarities.

A new species of Rhynchocalamus from southern Israel.
Rhynchocalamus dayanae sp. nov.

Tamar, K., J. Smíd, B. Gö cmen, S. Meiri & S. Carranza (2016): An integrative systematic revision and biogeography of Rhynchocalamus snakes (Reptilia, Colubridae) with a description of a new species from Israel -- PeerJ 4:e2769; DOI 10.7717/peerj.2769.

more infos on Caucasilacerta vs. Darevskia.

go down to:
BUSACK, S.D., A. SALVADOR, A.M. BAUER & H. KAISER published a paper, Darevskia ARRIBAS, 1997 has to replaced by Caucasilacerta HARRIS, ARNOLD & THOMAS, 1998

A new subspecies of Neurergus strauchii from E Turkey:
Neurergus strauchii munzurensis n. ssp.

Olgun, Avci, Bozkurt, Üzüm, Olgun & Ilgaz (2016): A New Subspecies of Anatolia Newt, Neurergus strauchii (Steindachner, 1887) (Urodela: Salamandridae), from Tunceli, Eastern Turkey.- Russ. J. Herpetol. 23(4): 271 - 277

A new subspecies of the Anatolia Newt, Neurergus strauchii munzurensis n. ssp., is described from eastern Anatolia (Tunceli Province, Turkey). The new taxon differs from other related subspecies by its characteristic color pattern especially the number and diameter of spots on head, dorsum, tail and limbs. Its distribution is limited to the type locality (20 km north of Tunceli Province, Turkey).

A new subspecies, Lyciasalamandra atifi oezi n. ssp. (Urodela: Salamandridae) from Gazipasa (Antalya, Turkey) has been described.

TOK, C.V., M. AFSAR & B.Y. YAKIN (2016): A new subspecies, Lyciasalamandra atifi oezi n. ssp. (Urodela: Salamandridae) from Gazipasa (Antalya, Turkey).- Ecol. Mont., 9: 38-45

BUSACK, S.D., A. SALVADOR, A.M. BAUER & H. KAISER published a paper, Darevskia ARRIBAS, 1997 has to replaced by Caucasilacerta HARRIS, ARNOLD & THOMAS, 1998

BUSACK, S.D., A. SALVADOR, A.M. BAUER & H. KAISER (2016): Darevskia and Iberolacerta (Reptilia, Lacertidae): Arribas, 1997 or 1999? The correct dating of two nomenclatural acts affecting Palearctic lizards, and validation of the name Caucasilacerta Harris, Arnold & Thomas, 1998.- Bionomina, 10: 61–73.

A doctoral thesis presented in the late 1990s by Óscar J. Arribas has been frequently cited as the authority for the nomenclatural status of two generic names in the lizard family Lacertidae, Darevskia and Iberolacerta. These names were again introduced, along with the addition of the subgeneric name Pyrenesaura, in 1999 via publication in an international, peer-reviewed journal. We discuss nomenclatural aspects of how these taxon names were presented, detail inconsistencies in the use of publication dates associated with these names, and resolve nomenclatural problems by demonstrating that the date of their first publication, in compliance with the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, was 1999. This renders the name Darevskia Arribas, 1999 a junior invalid synonym of Caucasilacerta Harris, Arnold & Thomas, 1998, which, contrary to previous assessment, is not a nomen nudum, and must replace Darevskia as the valid name for this genus.

Until this view is accepted more widely, the genus name Darevskia will be retained here in this database!

from webseite (2016-11-18):
Caucasilacerta Harris, Arnold & Thomas, 1998 has been considered as a nomen nudum during the last 18 years (Arnold et al., 2007). Recently a paper by Busack et al. (2016) suggest that the publication of Arribas (2007) in microfiche is not valid, and that Caucasilacerta Harris, Arnold and Thomas, 1998 is valid, and has priority over Darevskia Arribas, 1999. In fact Busack et al. (2016) were unaware that a case was submitted to the ICZN to validate the Arribas (1997) publication in microfiche, which was perfectly valid when published (according the 1985 version of the Code), however not according the current version (ICZN, 2000 and actualizations) that only allow publication in paper and optical disks, with retroactive effect. If a case is accepted for consideration, Art 82.1 of the Code protects the widespread used nomen, until the Comission reach a verdict. A paper has been submitted which will reply to Busack et al. (2016), explaining in detail why Caucasilacerta is really a nomen nudum (Arribas, in press).

Oscar Arribas, Igor Doronin

also see:
Arribas, O. (2016): WHY Caucasilacerta HARRIS, ARNOLD ET THOMAS, 1998 IS A NOMEN NUDUM? - Russ. J. Herpetol. 23(4): 305 - 306

Caucasilacerta Harris, Arnold et Thomas, 1998 has been considered as a nomen nudum for the last 18 years. The main reason for this was the lack of a diagnosis or reference to it. Now, some authors argue that a paragraph in the same paper could be a valid diagnosis and thus Caucasilacerta might be an available valid name. In the present manuscript I demonstrate that Caucasilacerta is a nomen nudum by: a) the lack of diagnosis or reference to it accompanying (sic! mandatory in the ICZN) to the new name; b) the alleged diagnosis (fide Busack et al., 2016) is 102 lines away (two pages, including a figure and its legend) and there is not a reference to it accompanying the new name; and c) the subject of the alleged diagnosis are “the Rock-dwelling lacertids in the Caucasus” (sic.!), different from the group to which the new name supposedly refers to, the “L. saxicola group” (sic!). A relationship between both names that can only be ascertained by a specialist in the group and the concerned geographic area. As a result of that, Caucasilacerta is a nomen nudum, unavailable, and thus it is not even a Junior Synonym of Darevskia Arribas, 1997.

Split of Podarcis tauricus in

Podarcis tauricus
Podarcis ionicus.

Psonis, N., A. Antoniou, O. Kukushkin, D. Jablonski, B. Petrov, J. Crnobrnja-Isailovic, K. Sotiropoulos, I. Gherghel, P. Lymberakis & N. Poulakakis (2016): Hidden diversity in the Podarcis tauricus (Sauria, Lacertidae) species subgroup in the light of multilocus phylogeny and species delimitation.- Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 106 (2017): 6–17

Two new Hemidactylus geckos from Yemen and south-west Saudi Arabia:
Hemidactylus asirensis and
Hemidactylus alfarraji

Hemidactylus montanus and Hemidactylus pauciporosus are full species now (formerly ssp. of Hemidactylus yerburii)

Smíd, J., M. Shobrak, T. Wilms, U. Joger & S. Carranza (2016): Endemic diversification in the mountains: genetic,morphological, and geographical differentiation of the Hemidactylus geckos in southwestern Arabia.- Org Divers Evol., DOI 10.1007/s13127-016-0293-3. 19 pp.

In this study, we provide genetic, morphological, and geographical comparisons for 11 species of the southwestern Arabian radiation of Hemidactylus geckos, nine of which are endemic to the region. By using a coalescence-based species-tree reconstruction in combination with divergence time estimations and speciation probability testing, we show that most of the speciation events occurred in the Pliocene, which is more recent than previously thought based on calibrations of concatenated data sets. The current dating indicates that the changing climate at the beginning of the Pliocene, from hot and dry to cold and wet, is likely responsible for increased speciation in Hemidactylus. Analyses of geographic and altitudinal overlap of the species and their morphological differentiation show that most species do not occur in sympatry. Those that overlap geographically are usually differentiated by their altitudinal preference, head shape, body size, or their combination. Our results indicate that the topographically complex mountains of southwestern Arabia support a significant radiation of Hemidactylus geckos by allowing multiple allopatric speciation events to occur in a relatively small area. Consequently, we describe two new species endemic to the Asir Mountains of Saudi Arabia, H. alfarraji sp. n. and H. asirensis sp. n., and elevate two former subspecies of H. yerburii to a species level, H. montanus and H. pauciporosus.

Split of Asaccus caudivolvulus into three species:
Asaccus caudivolvulus
Asaccus gardneri
and Asaccus margaritae.

Carranza, S., M. Simó-Riudalbas, S. Jayasinghe, T. Wilms & J. Els (2016): Microendemicity in the northern Hajar Mountains of Oman and the United Arab Emirates with the description of two new species of geckos of the genus Asaccus (Squamata: Phyllodactylidae).- PeerJ 4:e2371; DOI 10.7717/peerj.2371. 36 pp.

Background. The Hajar Mountains of Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the highest mountain range in Eastern Arabia. As a result of their old geological origin, geographical isolation, complex topography and local climate, these mountains provide an important refuge for endemic and relict species of plants and animals with strong Indo-Iranian affinities. Among vertebrates, the rock climbing nocturnal geckos of the genus Asaccus represent the genus with the highest number of endemic species in the Hajar Mountains. Recent taxonomic studies on the Zagros populations of Asaccus have shown that this genus is much richer than it was previously thought and preliminary morphological and molecular data suggest that its diversity in Arabia may also be underestimated. Methods. A total of 83 specimens originally classified as Asaccus caudivolvulus (including specimens of the two new species described herein), six other Asaccus species from the Hajar and the Zagros Mountains and two representatives of the genus Haemodracon were sequenced for up to 2,311 base pairs including the mitochondrial 12S and cytb and the nuclear c-mos, MC1R and ACM4 genes. Phylogenetic relationships were inferred using both Bayesian and maximum-likelihood approaches and the former method was also used to calibrate the phylogenetic tree. Haplotype networks and phylogenetic trees were inferred from the phased nuclear genes only. Sixty-one alcohol-preserved adult specimens originally classified as Asaccus caudivolvulus from the northern Hajar Mountains were examined for 13 morphometric and the five meristic variables using multivariate methods and were also used to diagnose and describe the two new species. Results. The results of the molecular and morphological analyses indicate that the species originally classified as Asaccus caudivolvulus is, in fact, an assemblage of three different species that started diversifying during the Mid-Miocene. The molecular phylogenies consistently recovered the Hajar endemic A. montanus as sister taxon to all the other Asaccus species included in the analyses, rendering the Arabian species of Asaccus polyphyletic. Discussion. Using this integrative approach we have uncovered a very old diversification event that has resulted in a case of microendemicity, where three morphologically and ecologically similar medium-sized lizard species coexist in a very short and narrow mountain stretch. Asaccus caudivolvulus is restricted to a small coastal area of the UAE and at risk from heavy development, while the two new species described herein are widely distributed across the northern tip of the Hajar Mountains and seem to segregate in altitude when found in close proximity in the Musandam Peninsula (Oman). Similarly to other integrative analyses of Hajar reptiles, this study highlights the high level of diversity and endemicity of this arid mountain range, underscoring its status as one of the top hotspots of reptile diversity in Arabia.

A new ssp. of Lyciasalamandra billae, from the hills SW of Antalya (Turkey) has been described:
Lyciasalamandra billae eikeae GODMANN, KARIS & GÖÇMEN, 2016

Godmann, O., M. Karis & B. Göçmen (2016): Geographic nestedness of Lyciasalamandra billae (Amphibia: Salamandridae) populations within L. antalyana and description of a new subspecies.- Zoology in the Middle East, 2016 (early view, publ. 1st July, 2016)

A new subspecies of the Bille’s Lycian Salamander Lyciasalamandra billae is described from four localities in the vicinity of Geyikbayiri nearby Antalya, Turkey. It is distinguished from the nominotypical subspecies by colouration and surface pattern. The distribution area of the new subspecies is nested within the range of Lyciasalamandra antalyana, with L. a. gocmeni bordering in the north and the range of L. a. antalyana bordering in the south. New localities of both L. antalyana subspecies are reported.

A new species of the lacertid genus Eremias has been described from the Isfahan province, Iran:
Eremias isfahanica

ESKANDAR RASTEGAR-POUYANI, SAEED HOSSEINIAN, SOOLMAZ RAFIEE, HAJI GHOLI KAMI, MEHDI RAJABIZADEH, MICHAEL WINK (2016): A new species of the genus Eremias Fitzinger, 1834 (Squamata: Lacertidae) from Central Iran, supported by mtDNA sequences and morphology.- Zootaxa Vol 4132, No 2

A new species of the lacertid genus Eremias Fitzinger, 1834 is described from northwest of Isfahan province, Central Iran. Two mitochondrial genes (cyt b and 12S DNA) were sequenced and analyzed as reliable molecular markers for the separation of this newly discovered species from closely related species within the genus Eremias: E. velox, E. persica, E. papenfussi, E. lalezharica, E. montana, E. strauchi, E. kopetdaghica and E. suphani. Genetic distances (K2-p) between any of these species with the newly described species are relatively high (27.5–32.8% for cyt b and 5.2–10.4% for 12S DNA). Phylogenetic analyses (MP, ML and BI) generated trees with very similar topologies. According to molecular and morphological data, Eremias isfahanica sp. nov. belongs to the subgenus Aspidorhinus, and is closely related to E. papenfussi. Because several new Eremias species have recently been described from the Iranian Plateau, we additionally provide an updated identification key.

A new viper from the northwestern Italian Alps with an unexpected relationship has been described.

Vipera walser

GHIELMI, S., M. MENEGON, S.J. MARSDEN, L. LADDAGA & S. URSENBACHER (2016): A new vertebrate for Europe: the discovery of a range-restricted relict viper in the western Italian Alps.- J Zool Syst Evol Res 54(3): 161 - 173

We describe Vipera walser, a new viper species from the north-western Italian Alps. Despite an overall morphological resemblance with Vipera berus, the new species is remarkably distinct genetically from both V. berus and other vipers occurring in western Europe and shows closer affinities to species occurring only in the Caucasus. Morphologically, the new species appear to be more similar to V. berus than to its closest relatives occurring in the Caucasus, but can be readily distinguished in most cases by a combination of meristic features as confirmed by discriminant analysis. The extant population shows a very low genetic variability measured with mitochondrial markers, suggesting that the taxon has suffered a serious population reduction/bottleneck in the past. The species is extremely range-restricted (less than 500 km2) and occurs only in two disjunct sites within the high rainfall valleys of the Alps north of Biella. This new species should be classified as globally ‘endangered’ due to its small and fragmented range, and an inferred population decline. The main near-future threats to the species are habitat changes associated with reduced grazing, along with persecution and collecting.

Members of the genus Amietophrynus:

Amietophrynus arabicus
Amietophrynus dodsoni
Amietophrynus kassasii
Amietophrynus mauritanicus
Amietophrynus regularis
Amietophrynus tihamicus
Amietophrynus xeros

are now in the female genus Sclerophrys TSCHUDI, 1838

Sclerophrys arabica
Sclerophrys dodsoni
Sclerophrys kassasii
Sclerophrys mauritanica
Sclerophrys regularis
Sclerophrys tihamica
Sclerophrys xeros

The north African waterfrogs, Pelophylax saharicus have been split into 3 species:

Pelophylax saharicus (BOULENGER, 1913): Algeria (maybe westwards to Moulouya river in Morocco)
Pelophylax riodeoroi (SALVADOR & PERIS, 1975): Morocco (east border?), Western Sahara
Pelophylax zavattari (SCORTECCI, 1936): central and east Tunisia, Libya, NW Egypt


A new concept for the Mountain vipers of the Near and Middle East (Montivipera NILSON et al., 2001).

The following species within the xanthina- and raddei-Rassenkreise are full species:

Montivipera xanthina
Montivipera wagneri
Montivipera bornmuelleri
Montivipera bulgardaghica (with ssp. Montivipera b. bulgardaghica & M. b. albizona)

Montivipera raddei (kurdistanica and albicornuta are synonyms of M. raddei)
Montivipera latifii
Montivipera kuhrangica

Stümpel, N., M. Rajabizadeh, A. Avci, W. Wüster & U. Joger (2016): Phylogeny and diversification of mountain vipers (Montivipera, Nilson et al., 2001) triggered by multiple Plio–Pleistocene refugia and high-mountain topography in the Near and Middle East.- Mol. Phyl. Evol. 101: 336–351

Karin et al., 2016 split the circumtropical Mabuya group. For the area, covered here by this database,

Trachylepis vittata
Trachylepis aurata
Trachylepis septemtaeniata

are now in the masculin genus Heremites GRAY, 1845

Heremites vittatus
Heremites auratus
Heremites septemtaeniatus

Benjamin R. Karin, Margarita Metallinou, Jeffrey L. Weinell, Todd R. Jackman, Aaron M. Bauer (2016): Resolving the higher-order phylogenetic relationships of the circumtropical Mabuya group (Squamata: Scincidae): an out-of-Asia diversification. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (2016), doi:

A genus gekkonid genus and species has been described from Iran: Parsigecko ziaiei

SAFAEI-MAHROO, B., H. GHAFFARI & S.C. ANDERSON (2016): A new genus and species of gekkonid lizard (Squamata: Gekkota: Gekkonidae) from Hormozgan Province with a revised key to gekkonid genera of Iran -- Zootaxa 4109(4): 428 - 444

Triturus ivanbureschi from Anatolia (Turkey) has been splitted again.
Newts from northern Anatolia - east of Bosphorus and lake Uludag, east to Trabzon are
Triturus anatolicus

B. WIELSTRA & J.W. ARNTZEN (2016): Description of a new species of crested newt, previously subsumed in Triturus ivanbureschi (Amphibia: Caudata: Salamandridae).- Zootaxa 4109 (1): 073–080

A new species of the genus Microgecko

has been described from southern Iran: Microgecko chabaharensis GHOLAMIFARD, N. RASTEGAR-POUYANI, E. RASTEGAR-POUYANI, A. KHOSRAVANI, S.S. HOSSEINIAN YOUSEFKHAN & ORAEI, 2016

ALI GHOLAMIFARD, NASRULLAH RASTEGAR-POUYANI, ESKANDAR RASTEGAR-POUYANI, AZAR KHOSRAVANI, SEYYED SAEED HOSSEINIAN YOUSEFKHANI, HAMZEH ORAEI (2016): A new species of the genus Microgecko Nikolsky, 1907 (Sauria: Gekkonidae) from southern Iran. -- Zootaxa Vol 4093, No 1; 21 Mar. 2016

A complete overlooked species of Leptotyphlopidae has been described in 2014!!!
Myriopholis lanzai BROADLEY, WADE & WALLACH,2014

destributed in SW Libya (Ghat oasis, Fezzan province), and adjacent Chad.


The former subspecies Natrix n. astreptophora is a full species now: Natrix astreptophora

Pokrant, F., C. Kindler, M. Ivanov, M. Cheylan, Ph. Geniez, W. Böhme & U. Fritz (2016): Integrative taxonomy provides evidence for the species status of the Ibero-Maghrebian grass snake Natrix astreptophora.- Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, DOI: 10.1111/bij.12782

New arrangement within the lacertid Darevskia praticola.

Darevskia praticola pontica has been synonymized with D. p. praticola.
Darevskia p. hungarica SOBOLEWSKIJ, 1930 has been re-established for the Balkan Peninsula populations.

FREITAS, S., A. VAVAKOU, M. ARAKELYAN, S.V. DROVETSKI, J. CRNOBRNJA-ISAILOVIC, A.A. KIDOV, D. COGALNICEANU, C. CORTI, P. LYMBERAKIS, D.J. HARRIS & M.A. CARRETERO (2016): Cryptic diversity and unexpected evolutionary patterns in the meadow lizard, Darevskia praticola (Eversmann, 1834). -- Systematics and Biodiversity (2016)

OHLER, A. & A. DUBOIS (2016) replaced the genus name Amietophrynus FROST et al., 2006 by Sclerophrys TSCHUDI, 1838.

This would affect the following bufonid species, listed here in the database:

Amietophrynus arabicus
Amietophrynus dodsoni
Amietophrynus kassasii
Amietophrynus mauritanicus
Amietophrynus regularis
Amietophrynus tihamicus
Amietophrynus xeros

Annemarie Ohler and Alain Dubois (2016): The identity of the South African toad Sclerophrys capensis TSCHUDI 1838 (Amphibia, Anura).- PeerJ 4:e1553; DOI 10.7717/peerj.1553

For now, until acceptance, these species will be listed with the genus name Amietophrynus.

A new toad headed agama from Al Sharqiyah Sands (Wahiba sands), northeastern Oman:
Phrynocephalus sakoi

Melnikov, D., E. Melnikova, R. Nazarov, A. Al-Johany & N.B. Ananjeva (2015): A NEW SPECIES OF Phrynocephalus (AGAMIDAE, SAURIA) FROM AL SHARQIYAH SANDS, NORTHEASTERN OMAN, DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF SAKO TUNIYEV (1983 – 2015).- Russ. J. Herpetology 22(4): 301 - 309

Split of Eirenis persicus (complex) into:

Eirenis persicus: SW Iran
Eirenis occidentalis.: SE Turkey, N Iraq, W Iran
Eirenis nigrofasciatus: NE, W and S Iran
Eirenis walteri: E Iran, SW Turkmenistan, W and S Pakistan
Eirenis angusticeps: NE Pakistan
Eirenis mcmahoni: NW Pakistan

Rajabizadeh, M., Z.T. Nagy, D. Adriaens, A. Avci, R. Masroor, J. Schmidtler, R. Nazarov, H. Reza Esmaeili & J. Christiaens (2015): Alpine–Himalayan orogeny drove correlated morphological, molecular, and ecological diversification in the Persian dwarf snake (Squamata: Serpentes: Eirenis persicus).- Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society (early view)

Splitting of the genus Rhynchocalamus and of the species R. melanocephalus

The former Rhynchocalamus barani is now Muhtarophis barani
The ssp. R. melanocephalus satunini is a full species now: Rhynchocalamus satunini

AVCI, A., C. ILGAZ, M. RAJABIZADEH, C. YILMAZ, N. ÜZÜM, D. ADRIAENS, Y. KUMLUTAS & K. OLGUN (2015): Molecular Phylogeny and Micro CT-scanning revealed extreme cryptic biodiversity in Kukri snake, Muhtarophis gen. nov., a new genus for Rhynchocalamus barani (Serpentes: Colubridae).- Russ. J. Herp. 22(3): 159 - 174

Split of the Bunopus geckos.
Bunopus spatalurus is now Trachydactylus spatalurus
Bunopus sp. hajarensis was raised to species level: Trachydactylus hajarensis

DE POUS, Ph., L. MACHADO, M. METALLINOU, J. CERVENKA, L. KRATOCHVIL, N. PASCHOU, T. MAZUCH, J. SMID, M. SIMO-RIUDALBAS, D. SANUY & S. CARRANZA (2015): Taxonomy and biogeography of Bunopus spatalurus (Reptilia; Gekkonidae) from the Arabian Peninsula.- J Zoolog Syst Evol Res doi: 10.1111/jzs.12107. 15 pp.

Some Arabian and Horn of Africa toads changed the genus:

Bufo tihamicus => Amietophrynus tihamicus
Duttaphrynus dodsoni => Amietophrynus dodsoni
Duttaphrynus arabicus => Amietophrynus arabicus

PORTIK, D.M. & T.J. PAPENFUSS (2015): Historical biogeography resolves the origins of endemic Arabian toad lineages (Anura: Bufonidae): Evidence for ancient vicariance and dispersal events with the Horn of Africa and South Asia -- BMC Evolutionary Biology (2015) 15:152

A new subspecies of Atif's Lycian Salamander, Lyciasalamandra atifi bayrami has been described.

Yildiz, M.Z. & B. Akman (2015): A new subspecies of Atif's Lycian Salamander, Lyciasalamandra atifi (BASOGLU, 1967) from Alanya (Antalya, Turkey).- Herpetozoa 28(1/2): 3 - 13

From subspecies to species:
Hierophis viridiflavus carbonarius deserves species status => Hierophis carbonarius.

MEZZASALMA, M., A. DALL’ASTA, A. LOY, M. CHEYLAN, P. LYMBERAKIS, M.A.L. ZUFFI, L. TOMOVIC, G. ODIERNA & F.M. GUARINO (2015): A sisters’ story: comparative phylogeography and taxonomy of Hierophis viridiflavus and H. gemonensis (Serpentes, Colubridae).- Zool. Scripta; doi:10.1111/zsc.12115; 14 pp.

A new monitor from the Iran-Iraq border area and SW Zagros mountains:
Varanus nesterovi

Böhme, W., K. Ehrlich, K. Milto, N. Orlov & S. Scholz (2015): A NEW SPECIES OF DESERT MONITOR LIZARD (VARANIDAE: Varanus: Psammosaurus) FROM THE WESTERN ZAGROS REGION (IRAQ, IRAN) -- Russ. J. Herpetol. 22(1): 41 – 52

Top level lumping!
All Iranian Montivipera are lumped together into the species Montivipera raddei

Rastegar-Pouyani, E., H. Oraie, A. Khosravani, M. Kaboli, A. Mobaraki, M. Yousefi, R. Behrooz, Z. Fakharmanesh & M. Wink (2014): A re-evaluation of taxonomic status of Montivipera (Squamata: Viperidae) from Iran using a DNA barcoding approach.- Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 57: 350 - 356

Comment: in the database, the former species still will be kept under their names (M. latifii, M. raddei kurdistanica, M. r. "albicornuta", M. kuhrangica) at the time

Eremias strauchi kopetdaghica is reevaluated to full species = Eremias kopetdaghica

Eskandar Rastegar-Pouyani, Seyyed Saeed Hosseinian Yousefkhani & Michael Wink (2015): Taxonomic reevaluation of Eremias strauchi strauchi Kessler, 1878 and Eremias strauchi kopetdaghica Szczerbak, 1972, based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences (Reptilia: Lacertidae).- Zool. Middle East 61(2): 118–124

Augusto Cattaneo described two new subspecies of Montivipera xanthina:
Montivipera x. nilsoni from the Dodecanes island Chios, and
Montivipera x. dianae from the Dodecanes island Leros.

CATTANEO, A. (2014): VARIABILITÀ E SOTTOSPECIE DI MONTIVIPERA XANTHINA (GRAY, 1849) NELLE ISOLE EGEE ORIENTALI (Reptilia Serpentes Viperidae) -- Naturalista sicil., S. IV, XXXVIII(1): 51-83

Split of Ptyodactylus ragazzii in Ptyodactylus ragazzii ANDERSON, 1898 (Ethiopia) and Ptyodactylus togoensis TORNIER, 1901 (Algeria, Mauritania , Mali, Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger).

Margarita Metallinou, M., J. Cervenka, P.-A. Crochet, L. Kratochvíl, T. Wilms, Ph. Geniez, M.Y. Shobrak, J.C. Brito & S. Carranza (2015): Species on the rocks: Systematics and biogeography of the rock-dwelling Ptyodactylus geckos (Squamata: Phyllodactylidae) in North Africa and Arabia.- Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 85: 208 - 220

Lissotriton vulgaris kosswigi has species status now: Lissotriton kosswigi

Wielstra, B., E. Bozkurt & K. Olgun (2015): The distribution and taxonomy of Lissotriton newts in Turkey (Amphibia, Salamandridae).- ZooKeys 484: 11–23

3 new species within the Hemidactylus robustus group:
Hemidactylus adensis
Hemidactylus mandebensis from Yemen
and Hemidactylus awashensis from Ethiopia

SMID, J., J. MORAVEC, L. KRATOCHVIL, A.K. NASHER, T. MAZUCH, V. GVOZDIK & S. CARRANZA (2015): Multilocus phylogeny and taxonomic revision of the Hemidactylus robustus species group (Reptilia, Gekkonidae) with descriptions of three new species from Yemen and Ethiopia.- Systematics and Biodiversity (2015), 1 - 23

A new Phrynocephalus from the "hottest place on earth", Phrynocephalus lutensis (Lut desert, Iran) has been described.

KAMRAN KAMALI & STEVEN C. ANDERSON (2015): A New Iranian Phrynocephalus (Reptilia: Squamata: Agamidae) from the hottest place on earth and a key to the genus Phrynocephalus in southwestern Asia and Arabia.- Zootaxa 3904 (2): 249–260

Platyceps mintonorum new status.
Described by MERTENS, 1969 as Coluber karelini mintonorum.

Schätti, B., F. Tillack & C. Kucharzewski (2014): Platyceps rhodorachis (Jan, 1863) – a study of the racer genus Platyceps Blyth, 1860 east of the Tigris (Reptilia: Squamata: Colubridae).- Vertebrate Zoology 64(3): 297 - 405

A new Elapid species from Iran has been described:
Bungarus persicus

Elham Abtin, Göran Nilson, Asghar Mobaraki, Ashraf Ali Hosseini, Mousa Dehgannejhad (2014): A New Species of Krait, Bungarus (Reptilia, Elapidae, Bungarinae) and the First Record of that Genus in Iran.- Russ. J. Herpetol. 21(4): 243 - 250

New arrangement within the Anatololacerta sp. complex:
Anatololacerta oertzeni budaki is raised to species level.
Anatololacerta oertzeni pelasgiana is raised to species level.
Anatololacerta oertzeni oerzteni = Anatololacerta anatolica oertzeni new status

Species now within Anatololacerta:
Anatololaceta anatolica
Anatololacerta budaki
Anatololacerta danfordi
Anatololacerta pelasgiana

Bellati, A., S. Carranza, J. Garcia-Porta, M. Fasola & R. Sindaco (2015): Cryptic diversity within the Anatololacerta species complex (Squamata: Lacertidae) in the Anatolian Peninsula: Evidence from a multi-locus approach.- Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 82: 219–233

A new subspecies of Lyciasalamandra antalyana from north of the town Antalya has been described: Lyciasalamandra antalyana gocmeni

Akman, B. & O. Godmann (2014): A new subspecies of Lyciasalamandra antalyana (Amphibia: Salamandridae) from the Lycian Coast, Turkey.- SALAMANDRA 50(3): 125–132.

A new Hemidactylus from coastal Oman and extreme east Yemen, Hemidactylus minutus has been described.

VASCONCELOS & CARRANZA (2014): Systematics and biogeography of Hemidactylus homoeolepis Blanford, 1881 (Squamata: Gekkonidae), with the description of a new species from Arabia.- Zootaxa 3835 (4): 501–527

Pristurus rupestris has been split in two species:
Pristurus rupestris is destributed now only in UAE and NE Oman
The new species, Pristurus sp. 1 now (not clear, which of the available names, Pristurus r. guweirensis HAAS, 1943 or Pristurus migiurtinicus SCORTECCI, 1933 have to be used, due to the lack of P. migiurtinicus).

BADIANE, A., J. GARCIA-PORTA, J. CERVENKA, L. KRATOCHVÍL, R. SINDACO, M.D. ROBINSON, H. MORALES, T. MAZUCH, T. PRICE, F. AMAT, M.Y. SHOBRAK, T. WILMS, M. SIMÓ-RIUDALBAS, F. AHMADZADEH, T.J. PAPENFUSS, A. CLUCHIER, J. VIGLIONE & S. CARRANZA (2014): Phylogenetic relationships of Semaphore geckos (Squamata: Sphaerodactylidae: Pristurus) with an assessment of the taxonomy of Pristurus rupestris.- Zootaxa 3835 (1): 033–058

Revision of the Phrynocephalus arabicus complex.
Prynocephalus nejdensis HAAS, 1957 from S Jordan and N central Saudi Arabia, and Phrynocephalus macropeltis HAAS, 1957 from central east coastal region of Saudi Arabia and UAE are revalidated.
Phrynocephalus ahvazicus from SW Iran is described new.

Melnikov, D., E. Melnikova, R. Nazarov, M. Rajabizadeh, A. Al-Johany, Z.S. Amr & N.B. Ananjeva (2014): TAXONOMIC REVISION OF Phrynocephalus arabicus ANDERSON, 1984 COMPLEX WITH DESCRIPTION OF A NEW SPECIES FROM AHVAZ, SOUTH-WESTERN IRAN.- Russian Journal of Herpetology 21(2): 149 – 159

Splitting of the Typhlopidae
New subfamilies and genera in bold letters:
Subfamily Afrotyphlopinae subfam. nov.:
Subfamily Asiatyphlopinae subfam. nov.:
Xerotyphlops: now T. vermicularis, T. wilsoni and T. socotranus are Xerotyphlops vermicularis, Xerotyphlops wilsoni and Xerotyphlops socotranus
Subfamily Madatyphlopinae subfam. nov.:
Subfamily Typhlopinae: Amerotyphlops

Hedges, S.B., A.B. Marion, K.M. Lipp, J. Marin & N. Vidal (2014): A taxonomic framework for typhlopid snakes from the Caribbean and other regions (Reptilia, Squamata).- Caribbean Herpetology 49: 1–61

a new subspecies of Iberolacerta monticola:
Iberolacerta m. astur

ARRIBAS, O.J., P. GALÁN, N. REMÓN & H. NAVEIRA (2014): A new mountain lizard from Montes de León (NW Iberian Peninsula): Iberolacerta monticola astur ssp. nov. (Squamata: Lacertidae).- Zootaxa 3796 (2): 201–236

Pelomedusa subrufa has been split in 10(12) species.
Specimens from the Arabian peninsula (Yemen, Saudi Arabia) are now Pelomedusa barbata sp. nov.
For west African specimens Pelomedusa olivacea (SCHWEIGGER, 1812) has been resurrected from its synonymy.

PETZOLD, A., M. VARGAS-RAMÍREZ, C. KEHLMAIER, M. VAMBERGER, W.R. BRANCH, L. DU PREEZ, M.D. HOFMEYR, L. MEYER, A. SCHLEICHER, P. ŠIROKÝ & U. FRITZ (2014): A revision of African helmeted terrapins (Testudines: Pelomedusidae: Pelomedusa), with descriptions of six new species.- Zootaxa 3795 (5): 523–548


Blanus strauchi has been split into three species:
Blanus s. strauchi (BEDRIAGA, 1884) and Blanus s. bedriagae BOULENGER, 1884: SW Turkey
Blanus aporus WERNER, 1898: central Anatolian south coast
Blanus alexandri sp. nov.: SE Anatolia

SINDACO, R., P. KORNILIOS, R. SACCHI & P. LYMBERAKIS (2014): Taxonomic reassessment of Blanus strauchi (Bedriaga, 1884) (Squamata: Amphisbaenia: Blanidae), with the description of a new species from south-east Anatolia (Turkey).- Zootaxa 3795 (3): 311–326

New names for the Podarcis hispanicus Types have been published:

Podarcis guadarramae (Boscá, 1916) for Podarcis hispanicus Type I
P. guadarramae lusitanicus ssp. nov. for Podarcis hispanicus Type IA
Podarcis virescens sp. nov. for Podarcis hispanicus Type II

Systematics of the Podarcis hispanicus complex (Sauria, Lacertidae) III: valid nomina of the western and central Iberian forms.
Zootaxa 3794 (1): 001–051

The Mascarene frogs Ptychadena nilotica from the White Nile river drainage have been resurrected from the synonymy of Ptychadena mascareniensis.

Dehling, J.M. & U. Sinsch (2013): Diversity of Ridged Frogs (Anura: Ptychadenidae: Ptychadena spp.) in wetlands of the upper Nile in Rwanda: Morphological, bioacoustic, and molecular evidence -- Zoologischer Anzeiger 253: 143–157

Four new lizards from north Iran and adjacent Turkmenistan:
Darevskia caspica, Darevskia kamii, Darevskia kopetdaghica and Darevskia schaekeli.

Ahmadzadeh, F., M. Flecks, M.A. Carretero, O. Mozaffari, W. Böhme, D.J. Harris, S. Freitas & D. Rödder (2013): Cryptic Speciation Patterns in Iranian Rock Lizards Uncovered by Integrative Taxonomy -- PLoS ONE 8(12): e80563. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080563
And a new subspecies of Phoenicolacerta kulzeri, The Wadi Ramm lizard, Phoenicolacerta kulzeri khazaliensis has been described.

Modrý, D., P. Necas, L. Rifai, W. Bischoff, N. Hamidan & Z. Amr (2013): Revision of the Levantine “Lacerta” laevis / kulzeri-Complex: 3. The Rock Lizard of Wadi Ramm, Phoenicolacerta kulzeri khazaliensis ssp. n.- Vertebrate Zoology 63(3): 307 - 312

A new toad-headed agama from southern Iran has been described: Phrynocephalus ananjevae

Melnikov, D., E. Melnikova, R. Nazarov & M. Rajabizadeh (2013): TAXONOMIC REVISION OF PHRYNOCEPHALUS PERSICUS DE FILIPPI, 1863 COMPLEX WITH DESCRIPTION OF A NEW SPECIES FROM ZAGROS, SOUTHERN IRAN.- Curr. Studies in Herpetol. 13(1/2): 34 - 46

A new gecko, Stenodactylus sharqiyahensis, from the Sharqiyah (Wahiba) Sands in northeastern Oman has been described.

METALLINOU, M. & S. CARRANZA (2013): New species of Stenodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Sharqiyah Sands in northeastern Oman.- Zootaxa 3745 (4): 449–468

Hemidactylus granosus Heyden, 1827 is resurrected from the synonymy of H. turcicus
From Yemen Hemidactylus ulii is described new.

Smíd, J., J. Moravec, L. Kratochvíl, V. Gvozdik, A.K. Nasher, S.M. Busais, T. Wilms, M.Y. Shobrak & S. Carranza (2013): Two newly recognized species of Hemidactylus (Squamata, Gekkonidae) from the Arabian Peninsula and Sinai, Egypt. -- ZooKeys 355: 79–107

A new fringe-toed lizard from southern Iran has been described:


HEIDARI, N., N. RASTEGAR POUYANI, E. RASTEGAR-POUYANI & M. RAJABIZADEH (2013): A new species of Acanthodactylus Fitzinger 1834 (Sauria: Lacertidae) from southern Iran.- Zootaxa 3722 (3): 333–346

A new subspecies of Tarentola neglecta has been described:

Tarentola neglecta lanzai BSHAENA & JOGER, 2013

Bshaena, I. & U. Joger (2013): A new gecko from Libya: Tarentola neglecta lanzai n. ssp. .- Amphibia-Reptilia 34: 353-362

A new gecko from Iran:
Tropiocolotes naybandensis KRAUSE, AHMADZADEH, MOAZENI, WAGNER & WILMS, 2013

KRAUSE, V., F. AHMADZADEH, M. MOAZENI, PH. WAGNER & T.M. WILMS (2013): A new species of the genus Tropiocolotes Peters, 1880 from western Iran (Squamata: Sauria: Gekkonidae). - Zootaxa 3716 (1): 022 – 038

A new subspecies of Darevskia praticola:
Darevskia praticola loriensis TUNIYEV, DORONIN, TUNIYEV, AGHASYAN, KIDOV & AGHASYAN, 2013

Tuniyev, S.B., I.V. Doronin, B.S. Tuniyev, A.L. Aghasyan, A.A. Kidov & L.A. Aghasyan (2013): NEW SUBSPECIES OF MEADOW LIZARD, Darevskia praticola loriensis ssp. nov. (REPTILIA: SAURIA) FROM ARMENIA.- Russian Journal of Herpetology 20(3): 223 – 237.

The Italian lineage of Slow Worms:
The first proposed name Anguis cinerea has been replaced by the older name Anguis veronensis, POLLINI, 1818.

Gvozdík, V., N. Benkovsky, A. Crottini, A. Bellati, J. Moravec, A. Romano, R. Sacchi & D. Jandzik (2013): An ancient lineage of slow worms, genus Anguis (Squamata: Anguidae), survived in the Italian Peninsula.- Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (in press).

We have a new viper species, distributed in the east of the Caucasus Isthmus: Vipera shemakheninsis


Three new Fan-footed Geckos from the Near East:
Ptyodactylus ananjevae from south Jordan, Ptyodactylus orlovi and Ptyodactylus dhofarensis from Oman.


A new species of Amphibians Triturus ivanbureschi has been described. The new species replaces the European populations of Triturus karelinii.
Triturus arntzeni has been synomized with Triturus macedonicus-

WIELSTRA, B., S.N. LITVINCHUK, B. NAUMOV, N. TZANKOV & J.W. ARNTZEN (2013): A revised taxonomy of crested newts in the Triturus karelinii group (Amphibia: Caudata: Salamandridae), with the description of a new species.- Zootaxa 3682 (3): 441–453

The Italian Slow Worms have been split off the Central and Western European main stem of Anguis fragilis.
They are now Anguis cinerea RISSO, 1826

Gvozdík, V., N. Benkovsky, A. Crottini, A. Bellati, J. Moravec, A. Romano, R. Sacchi & D. Jandzik (2013): An ancient lineage of slow worms, genus Anguis (Squamata: Anguidae), survived in the Italian Peninsula.- Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (in press).

A new genus for the Palaestinian or Hula Painted Frog Discoglossus nigriventer.
Now Latonia nigriventer.

Biton, R., E. Geffen, M. Vences, O. Cohen, S. Bailon, R. Rabinovich, Y. Malka, T. Oron, R. Boistel, V. Brumfeld & S. Gafny (2013): The rediscovered Hula painted frog is a living fossil.- NATURE COMMUNICATIONS | 4:1959

Pseudotrapelus jensvendumi MELNIKOV, ANANJEVA & PAPENFUSS, 2013 and Pseudotrapelus dhofarensis MELNIKOV & PIERSON added.

Melnikov, D.A., N.B. Ananjeva & T.J. Papenfuss (2013): A NEW SPECIES OF Pseudotrapelus (AGAMIDAE, SAURIA) FROM NIZWA, OMAN.- Russian Journal of Herpetology 20(1): 79 – 84

Melnikov, D. & T. Pierson (2012): A NEW SPECIES OF PSEUDOTRAPELUS (AGAMIDAE, SAURIA) FROM DHOFAR, OMAN.- Current Studies in Herpetology 12(3/4): 143 - 151

A new subspecies of the Maghrebian Fire salamander, Salamandra algira splendens has been described, and for the endemic toad of Morocco, former Bufo brongersmai, a new genus Barbarophryne has been established, so now Barbarophryne brongersmai.

BEUKEMA, W., PH. DE POUS, D. DONAIRE-BARROSO, S. BOGAERTS, J. GARCIA-PORTA, D. ESCORIZA, O.J. ARRIBAS, EL H. EL MOUDEN & S. CARRANZA (2013): Review of the systematics, distribution, biogeography and natural history of Moroccan amphibians.- Zootaxa 3661 (1): 001–060

Van Bocxlaer, I., S.D. Biju, S.P. Loader & F. Bossuy (2009): Toad radiation reveals into-India dispersal as a source of endemism in the Western Ghats-Sri Lanka biodiversity hotspot.- BMC Evolutionary Biology 2009, 9:131

Taxonomic changes:

Bufo dhufarensis => Duttaphrynus dhufarensis
Bufo dodsoni => Duttaphrynus dodsoni
Bufo olivaceus => Duttaphrynus olivaceus
Bufo scorteccii => Duttaphrynus scorteccii
Bufo stomaticus => Duttaphrynus stomaticus

BAUER, A.M., R. MASROOR, J. TITUS-MCQUILLAN, M.P. HEINICKE, J.D. DAZA & T.R. JACKMAN (2013): A preliminary phylogeny of the Palearctic naked-toed geckos (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae) with taxonomic implications.- Zootaxa 3599 (4): 301–324

Taxonomic changes:

Tropiocolotes helenae => Microgecko helenae
Tropiocolotes latifi => Microgecko latifi
Tropiocolotes persicus => Microgecko persicus
Mediodactylus amictophole => Mediodactylus amictopholis
Mediodactylus heterocercum => Mediodactylus heterocercus
Cyrtopodion caspium => Tenuidactylus caspius
Cyrtopodion fedtschenkoi => Tenuidactylus fedtschenkoi
Cyrtopodion longipes => Tenuidactylus longipes
Cyrtopodion turcmenicum => Tenuidactylus turcmenicus

Baig, K.J., P, Wagner, N.B. Ananjeva & W. Böhme (2012): A morphology-based taxonomic revision of Laudakia Gray, 1845 (Squamata: Agamidae).- Vertebrate Zoology 62(2): 213 – 260.

Split of the former Genus Laudakia into Laudakia, Paralaudakia and Stellagama

Taxonomic changes:

Laudakia caucasia => Paralaudakia caucasia
Laudakia lehmanni => Paralaudakia lehmanni
Laudakia microlepis => Paralaudakia microlepis
Laudakia erythrogastra => Paralaudakia erythrogastra
Laudakia stellio => Stellagama stellio