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Etudes sur les Acanthodactyles de Tunisie: VII - Les Acanthodactyles de l'Extrême-Sud tunisien

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

A multidimensional analysis of 34 characters of the colouring and scale pattern, providing 101 mathematical variables, applied to 77 Acanthodactylus collected in ten field stations in the Saharien Far-South of Tunisia, reveals a gradual and continuous morphological variation from populations of Acanthodactylus inornatus (with the back and sides of their body blackly reticulated and short legs) to populations with a A. longipes habitus (orange light body with small dorsal white spots, faint or nul black marks on their flanks and longer legs). Variation axis, approximately directed from North to South, also express an habitat difference between the populations dwelling on the reg nebkhas and sandy knolls in the beds and edges of the rivers (oueds) and those restricted to the high sand dunes of the Great Eastern Erg. The taxonomic status of the Acanthodactylus populations living in the Southern Tunisia should obviously be revised in relation with a high and mostly uncorrelated variability of the morphological characters of diagnostic use.

Affiliations: 1: Laboratoire de Zoogéographie - Université Montpellier 3 - F 34032 Montpellier Cedex


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