Phylogenetic relationships of Semaphore geckos (Squamata: Sphaerodactylidae: Pristurus) with an assessment of the taxonomy of Pristurus rupestris

Arnaud Badiane, Joan Garcia-Porta, Jan Červenka, Lukáš Kratochvíl, Roberto Sindaco, Michael D. Robinson, Hernan Morales, Tomáš Mazuch, Thomas Price, Fèlix Amat, Mohammed Y. Shobrak, Thomas Wilms, Marc Simó-Riudalbas, Faraham Ahmadzadeh, Theodore J. Papenfuss, Alexandre Cluchier, Julien Viglione, Salvador Carranza*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


A molecular phylogeny of the sphaerodactylid geckos of the genus Pristurus is inferred based on an alignment of 1845 base pairs (bp) of concatenated mitochondrial (12S) and nuclear (acm4, cmos, rag1 and rag2) genes for 80 individuals, representing 18 of the 23-26 species, and the three subspecies of P. rupestris. The results indicate that P. rupestris is poly-phyletic and includes two highly divergent clades: the eastern clade, found in coastal Iran and throughout the Hajar Moun-tain range in northern Oman and eastern UAE; and the western clade, distributed from central coastal Oman, through Yemen, Saudi Arabia and north to southern Jordan. Inferred haplotype networks for the four nuclear genes show that the eastern and western clades of "P. rupestris" are highly differentiated and do not share any alleles. Moreover, although the two clades are differentiated by a morphological multivariate analysis, no one character or set of characters was found to be diagnostic. Based on the molecular analysis of specimens from the type locality of P. rupestris rupestris, the name P. rupestris is applied to the eastern clade. The name that should apply to the western clade cannot be clarified until morpho-logical and genetic data for "P. rupestris" is available from the vicinity of Bosaso, Somalia, and therefore we refer to it as Pristurus sp. 1. The phylogenetic tree of Pristurus supports the hypothesis that P. celerrimus is sister to all the other spe-cies in the analyses and that the Socotra Archipelago was independently colonized a minimum of two times.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-58
Number of pages26
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Arabia
  • Gecko
  • Mitochondrial DNA
  • Nuclear DNA
  • Phylogeny
  • Socotra Archipelago
  • Systematics
  • Taxonomy


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