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Podarcis vaucheri (Sauria: Lacertidae) far away from home: a new invasive species in Greece

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

In this study we aimed to clarify the identity of a wall lizard population that deviates phenotypically from the other Podarcis lizards that occur in the broader area (Athens, Greece). To this end we used molecular techniques. Most surprisingly, we identified the focal population as Podarcis vaucheri, a species far away from its natural range. Molecular results suggest an Iberian origin of this population. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of P. vaucheri outside its original range. The new population should be attributed to human-mediated introduction. The future interaction of this introduced species with native lizards, many of which are endemic to Greece, is of critical importance.

Affiliations: 1: 1Natural History Museum of Crete, School of Sciences and Engineering, University of Crete, Knossos Avenue, Irakleio 71409, Greece ; 2: 2Department of Biology, School of Sciences and Engineering, University of Crete, Vassilika Vouton, Irakleio 70013, Greece ; 3: 3Section of Genetics, Development and Molecular Biology, Department of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece ; 4: 4Section of Zoology and Marine Biology, Department of Biology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 157 84 Panepistimioupolis, Ilisia, Athens, Greece ; 5: 532, N. Plastira str., Agioi Anargyroi, Athens, Greece

*Corresponding author; e-mail:

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