The genus Chalcides comprises about 30 species of scincid lizards mainly distributed across north Africa, its taxonomic status and distribution as described in the literature has fluctuated in recent years. in May 2014, the authors found a skink of the Chalcides type in Théniet el Had national Park (Algeria) initially classified as Chalcides mertensi Klausewitz, 1954, based on its morphological similarity and distribution. A region of 396-bp of the cytochrome b mitochondrial gene was sequenced as a reference against a preexisting phylogeny of the genus Chalcides. Surprisingly, this skink was genetically closely related with specimens of Chalcides minutus Caputo, 1993, found 300 km away. Comparison of the morphology between the new record and the original descriptions showed that this skink is likely to represent a new species of Chalcides, and that a major revision of Algerian skinks is needed to unravel the phylogeny of the C. minutus-mertensi species complex.
Montero-Mendieta S, Ferrer J, Hammou MA, Dahmani W, Sanuy D & Camarasa S (2017) Another record or a new taxon? A candidate species of Chalcides Laurenti, 1768, in North Africa (Squamata: Sauria: Scincidae). Herpetozoa. Volume 29 (3/4): 155-161[PDF]
Hi, I am Santi. This blog series was mainly created to include a summary of each of my publications. However, this blog is also a place where I will write about science and my life as researcher in the field of evolutionary biology.