Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details


IMPACT FACTOR 2015: 0.719
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.740

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.322
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.510
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.786

See all formats and pricing

Select Volume and Issue


Is Testudo werneri a distinct species?

1Department of Biology and Wildlife Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Palackého 1-3, CZ-61242, Brno, Czech Republic

2Museum of Zoology (Museum für Tierkunde), Natural History State Collections Dresden, Königsbrücker Landstr. 159, D-01109, Dresden, Germany

© 2007 Institute of Zoology, Slovak Academy of Sciences. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Citation Information: Biologia. Volume 62, Issue 2, Pages 228–231, ISSN (Online) 1336-9563, ISSN (Print) 0006-3088, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-007-0036-1, April 2007

Publication History

Published Online:


Sequence variation of a 1066 bp long mtDNA fragment (cytochrome b gene, adjacent part of tRNA-Thr gene) of four known-locality samples of Testudo kleinmanni (Tripolitania, Libya) and of four samples of T. werneri (Negev, Israel) is compared with additional five sequences of pet trade tortoises allegedly representing T. kleinmanni. Four haplotypes, differing in one to four mutation steps occur. The most common haplotype was shared by all known-locality samples of T. kleinmanni and three T. werneri. Sequence variation within each nominal species and in the pooled sample of T. kleinmanni, T. werneri and pet trade tortoises is the lowest known for any Testudo species. We conclude there is no support for the validity of T. werneri Perälä, 2001.

Keywords: Testudo kleinmanni; Testudo werneri; mtDNA; sequence variation; systematics; taxonomy; Israel; Libya

  • [1] Baha el Din S. 2006. A Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Egypt. The American University in Cairo Press, Cairo and New York, xvi, 359 pp.

  • [2] Bour R. 1996. Une nouvelle espèce de tortue terrestre dans le Péloponnèse (Grèce). Dumerilia 2 (1995): 23–54.

  • [3] Bringsøe H. & Buskirk J.R. 1998. Distribution of Testudo kleinmanni Lortet, 1883 and Testudo graeca Linnaeus, 1758 in the Negev Desert, southern Israel. Faunist. Abh. Mus. Tierkd. Dresden 21(Suppl.): 23–30.

  • [4] Carretero M.A., Znari M., Harris D.J. & Macé J.C. 2005. Morphological divergence among populations of Testudo graeca from west-central Morocco. Anim. Biol. 55: 259–279. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570756054472854 [Crossref]

  • [5] Chkhikvadze V.M. 1988. O sistematicheskom polozhenii sovremennykh sukhoputnykh cherepakh Sredneĭ Azii i Kazakhstana. Izv. Akad. Nauk GSSR, Ser. Biol. 14: 110–113.

  • [6] Chkhikvadze V.M., Amiranashvili N.G. & Ataev Ch. 1990. Novyĭ podvid sukhoputnoĭ cherepakhi iz yugo-zapadnogo Turkmenistana. Izv. Akad. Nauk Turkmensk. SSR, Ser. Biol. 1: 72–75.

  • [7] Chkhikvadze V.M. & Bakradze M.A. 1991. O sistematicheskom polozhenii sovremennoĭ sukhoputnoĭ cherepakhi iz doliny reki Araks. Trudy Tbilissk. Gosud. Univ. 305: 59–63.

  • [8] Chkhikvadze V.M. & Bakradze M.A. 2002. Novyĭ podvid sukhoputnoĭ cherepak hi iz Dagestana. Trudy Inst. Zool. Akad. Nauk Gruzii 21: 276–279.

  • [9] Chkhikvadze V.M. & Tuniyev B.S. 1986. O sistematicheskom polozhenii sovremennoĭ sukhoputnoĭ cherepakhi zapadnogo Zakavakazya. Soobshch. Akad. Nauk Gruzinsk. SSR 124: 617–620.

  • [10] Clement M., Posada D. & Crandall K.A. 2000. tcs: a computer program to estimate gene genealogies. Mol. Ecol. 9: 1657–1660. http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-294x.2000.01020.x [Crossref]

  • [11] Crandall K., Templeton A.R. & Sing C.F. 1994. Intraspecific phylogenetics: problems and solutions, pp. 273–297. In: Scotland R.W., Siebert D.J. & Williams D.M. (eds), Models in Phylogeny Reconstruction, Clarendon Press, Oxford.

  • [12] Fritz U., Široký P., Kami H. & Wink M. 2005. Environmentally caused dwarfism or a valid species — Is Testudo weissingeri Bour, 1996 a distinct evolutionary lineage? New evidence from mitochondrial and nuclear genomic markers. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 37: 389–401. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2005.03.007 [Crossref]

  • [13] Fritz U., Auer M., Bertolero A., Cheylan M., Fattizzo T., Hundsdörfer A.K., Martín Sampayo M., Pretus J.L., Široký P. & Wink M. 2006. A rangewide phylogeography of Hermann’s tortoise, Testudo hermanni (Reptilia: Testudines: Testudinidae): implications for taxonomy. Zoologica Scripta 35: 531–543. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1463-6409.2006.00242.x [Crossref]

  • [14] Fritz U., Hundsdörfer A.K., Široký P., Auer M., Kami H., Lehmann J., Mazanaeva L.F., Türkozan O. & Wink M. 2007. Phenotypic plasticity leads to incongruence between morphology-based taxonomy and genetic differentiation in western Palaearctic tortoises (Testudo graeca complex; Testudines, Testudinidae). Amphibia-Reptilia 28: 97–121. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/156853807779799135 [Web of Science] [Crossref]

  • [15] Fritz U. & Buskirk J.R. 1997. The occurrence of Testudo kleinmanni in Tripolitania. Čas. Národ. Muz., Řada Přírod. 167: 143–144.

  • [16] Fu Y.-X. & Li W.-H. 1993. Statistical tests of neutrality of mutations. Genetics 133: 693–709. [PubMed]

  • [17] Hall T.A. 1999. bioedit: a user-friendly biological sequence alignment editor and analysis program for Windows 95/98/NT. Nucl. Acids Symp. Ser. 41: 95–98.

  • [18] Harris D.J., Znari M., Macé J.-C. & Carretero M.A. 2003. Genetic variation in Testudo graeca from Morocco estimated using 12S rRNA sequencing. Rev. Esp. Herpetol. 17: 5–9.

  • [19] Highfield A.C. 1990. Tortoises of north Africa; taxonomy, nomenclature, phylogeny and evolution with notes on field studies in Tunisia. J. Chelon. Herpetol. 1(2): 1–56.

  • [20] Highfield A.C. & Martin J. 1989a. A revision of the Testudines of North Africa, Asia and Europe. Genus: Testudo. J. Chelon. Herpetol. 1(1): 1–12.

  • [21] Highfield A.C. & Martin J. 1989b. Testudo whitei Bennett 1836. New light on an old carapace — Gilbert White’s Selborne tortoise re-discovered. J. Chelon. Herpetol. 1(1): 13–22.

  • [22] Highfield A.C. & Martin J. 1989c. Description of a miniature tortoise Testudo flavominimaralis n. species from North Africa. The Tortoise Trust/Tortoise Survival Project, London, 4 pp.

  • [23] Kumar S., Tamura K. & Nei N. 2004. MEGA3: Integrated software for Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis and sequence alignment. Briefings Bioinform. 5: 150–163. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bib/5.2.150 [Crossref]

  • [24] Le M., Raxworthy C.J., McCord W.P. & Mertz L. 2006. A molecular phylogeny of tortoises (Testudines: Testudinidae) based on mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 40: 517–531. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2006.03.003 [Crossref]

  • [25] Mayer R. 1992. Europäische Landschildkröten. Leben — Haltung — Zucht. Agrar Verlag Allgäu, Kempten, 127 pp.

  • [26] Parham J.F., Macey J.R., Papenfuss T.J., Feldman C.R., Türkozan O., Polymeni R. & Boore J. 2006. The phylogeny of Mediterranean tortoises and their close relatives based on complete mitochondrial genome sequences from museum specimens. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 38: 50–64. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2005.07.015 [Crossref]

  • [27] Perälä J. 1996. Etelä-Turkin maakilpikonnista. Morfologisia ja ekologisia eroja (Testudo ibera Pallas 1814 & Testudo ibera anamurensis Weissinger 1987) sekä uuden maakilpikonnalajin kuvaus + 15 kuvaa, pp. 14–26. In: Perälä J., Vikberg J. & Kanza M. (eds), Virallinen kongressijulkaisu. Herpetokongressi I, Suomen herpetologinen yhdistys ry, Helsinki.

  • [28] Perälä J. 2001. A new species of Testudo (Testudines: Testudinidae) from the Middle East, with implications for conservation. J. Herpetol. 35: 567–582. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1565894 [Crossref]

  • [29] Perälä J. 2002a. The genus Testudo (Testudines: Testudinidae): phylogenetic inferences. Chelonii 3: 32–39.

  • [30] Perälä J. 2002b. Biodiversity in relatively neglected taxa of Testudo L., 1758 s. l. Chelonii 3: 40–53.

  • [31] Perälä J. 2002c. Morphological variation among Middle Eastern Testudo graeca L., 1758 (sensu lato), with a focus on taxonomy. Chelonii 3: 78–108.

  • [32] Perälä J. 2003a. Testudo kleinmanni. In: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org.

  • [33] Perälä J. 2003b. Testudo werneri. In: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org.

  • [34] Pieh A. 2001. Testudo graeca soussensis, eine neue Unterart der Maurischen Landschildkröte aus dem Sousstal (Nordwest-Marokko). Salamandra 36 (2000): 209–222.

  • [35] Pieh A. & Perälä J. 2002. Variabilität von Testudo graeca Linnaeus, 1758 im östlichen Nordafrika mit Beschreibung eines neuen Taxons von der Cyrenaika (Nordostlibyen). Herpetozoa 15: 3–28.

  • [36] Pieh A. & Perälä J. 2004. Variabilität der Maurischen Landschildkröten (Testudo graeca Linnaeus, 1758 — Komplex) im zentralen und nordwestlichen Marokko mit Beschreibung zweier neuer Taxa. Herpetozoa 17: 19–47.

  • [37] Rozas J., Sánchez-del Barrio J.C., Messeguer X. & Rozas R. 2003. dnasp, DNA polymorphism analysis by the coalescent and other methods. Bioinformatics 19: 2496–2497. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btg359 [Crossref]

  • [38] Schleich H.H., Kästle W. & Kabisch K. 1996. Amphibians and Reptiles of North Africa. Koeltz Scientific Books, Königstein, IV, 627 pp.

  • [39] Schneider W. & Schneider C. 2006. Field notes on the Egyptian tortoise, Testudo kleinmanni Lortet, 1883 in Libya. Radiata 15: 11–19.

  • [40] van der Kuyl A.C., Ballasina D.L.P., Dekker J.T., Maas H., Willemsen R.E. & Goudsmit J. 2002. Phylogenetic relationships among the species of the genus Testudo (Testudines: Testudinidae) inferred from mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene sequences. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 22: 174–183. http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/mpev.2001.1052 [Crossref]

  • [41] van der Kuyl A.C., Ballasina D.L.P. & Zorgdrager F. 2005. Mitochondrial haplotype diversity in the tortoise species Testudo graeca from North Africa and the Middle East. BMC Evol. Biol. 5: 29. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-5-29 [Crossref]

  • [42] Vetter H. 2002. Terralog: Turtles of the World Vol. 1. Africa, Europe and Western Asia. Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main, 96 pp.

  • [43] Weissinger H. 1987. Testudo graeca anamurensis ssp. nov. aus Kleinasien. ÖGH-Nachrichten 10/11: 14–18.

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Uwe Fritz, Leandro Alcalde, Mario Vargas-Ramírez, Eric V. Goode, David Uri Fabius-Turoblin, and Peter Praschag
Zoologica Scripta, 2012, Volume 41, Number 3, Page 220
Uwe Fritz, Savel R. Daniels, Margaretha D. Hofmeyr, Juan González, César L. Barrio-Amorós, Pavel Široký, Anna. K. Hundsdörfer, and Heiko Stuckas
Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, 2010, Volume 48, Number 4, Page 348

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.