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Ecological niche divergence between Darevskia rudis and D. bithynica (Lacertidae) in Turkey

  • Muammer KurnazEmail author
  • Seyyed Saeed Hosseinian YousefkhaniEmail author
Original Article


Darevskia rudis (Bedriaga, 1886) and D. bithynica (Méhely, 1909) are morphologically different species, but they are phylogenetically same species in the D. rudis complex. These species are distributed in northern of Turkey. In the present study, we have evaluated taxonomic status of D. rudis and D. bithynica using ecological niche differentiation. All occurrence data of these species were used to predict and evaluate the suitable areas where they may be expected to be found in Turkey. In order to compare their ecological niches and explain ecological differentiation, niche similarity tests (niche identity and background tests) and point-based analyses were performed. According to results of ecological niche modeling, we found niche differentiation between D. rudis and D bithynica. Ecological niches for the two species differentiated along environmental variables, as precipitation of driest quarter for the two species were most important in determining habitat suitability. This factor is important in niche differentiation between the two species. Finally, our results confirmed the niche differentiation between D. rudis and D. bithynica and added new insights into the taxonomic distinction between D. rudis and D. bithynica that they are two species.


Darevskia Lacertidae Turkey Niche differentiation Reptiles 



Authors thank to Emma Duncan for Language revision.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Zoology, Slovak Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyKaradeniz Technical UniversityTrabzonTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Animal Science, School of BiologyDamghan UniversityDamghanIran

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