n African Journal of Herpetology - A new species of (Squamata: Cordylidae) from the Marungu Plateau of south-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

Volume 61, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2156-4574
  • E-ISSN: 2153-3660
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Currently there are 20 recognised species of the widespread lizard genus , which is distributed throughout sub-Saharan Africa's non-forested habitats from Ethiopia to South Africa. Most recent taxonomic work has focused on forms in southern Africa, where several subspecific taxa have been elevated to full species status. Herein, we focus on the widespread species , which occurs from Mozambique (its type locality) to south-eastern Kenya and Tanzania, and west to Katanga Province of Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). We sequenced 3 779 bp from two mitochondrial (12S, 16S) and four nuclear (MYH, Kif24, PrLR and MC1R) genes from multiple samples of and several sympatric species; these data were analysed with maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference optimality criteria. One morphologically and genetically distinct clade of from the Marungu Plateau of Katanga Province, DRC is described as a new species. The new species was found under rocks in montane grassland, but further study is needed to assess populations in the lowlands of Katanga. We also provide the first detailed morphometric data for the poorly known species , which was described from a single specimen that has since been destroyed.

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