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Serological characterization and confirmation of the taxonomic status of Montivipera albizona (Serpentes, Viperidae) with an additional new locality record and some phylogenetical comments

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This is the first record of the presence of Montivipera albizona (Nilson, Andrén & Flärdh 1990), in Kahramanmaraş province, Mediterranean Region of Turkey. Here, one young male specimen was collected and is described. The present record of M. albizona extends its known distribution (Kulmac Mountain Range, Sivas) some 250 km to the south-west, where the Anatolian Diagonal exhibits a bifurcation. Our data based on the electropheoretic analysis of blood-sera, indicate that the M. xanthina populations from the western Anatolia and M. albizona distributed along the Anatolian Diagonal show significant differences, qualitatively and quantitatively. Accordingly, it is concluded that M. albizona should not be included within the polymorphic species M. xanthina which lives in western Anatolia and therefore, it should be accepted as a valid species. Moreover, the actual distributions of the related taxa in Anatolia and the geographic structure of the Anatolian Diagonal were discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Ege University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology, Zoology Section, 35100 Bornova-Izmir, Turkey; 2: Ege University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology, Zoology Section, 35100 Bornova-Izmir, Turkey; Harran University, Faculty of Art and Science, Department of Biology, Zoology Section, Osmanbey Campus, Sanliurfa, Turkey


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