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Hybrids of Darevskia valentini, D. armeniaca and D. unisexualis from a sympatric population in Armenia

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

A unique hybridization zone of rock lizard species of genus Darevskia, with diploid (2n), triploid (3n) and tetraploid (4n) individuals, occurs in the mountain steppe of central Armenia. Our long-term monitoring has showed an increasing birth rate of triploid hybrids in this mixed population. Among these hybrids, the frequency of captured males with fully developed reproductive systems and presumably fertile females also increased significantly. Consequently, intensive microevolution has taken place in this sympatric population. The morphological, ecological, cytological, histological, and parasitological characteristics of the hybrid Darevskia are presented here and compared with parental species.

Affiliations: 1: Yerevan State University, Alek Manukyan 1, Yerevan, 0025 Armenia; 2: Institute of Zoology of National Academy of Science of Armenia, P. Sevak, 7, Yerevan 0014, Armenia


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