Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, south-western Iran, Kuwait, north-eastern Saudi Arabia. 


Mesalina bernoullii  (SCHENKEL, 1901)


Eremias brevirostris   BOULENGER, 1887

Eremias bernoullii   SCHENKEL, 1901

Mesalina brevirostris fieldi   HAAS & WERNER, 1969

Mesalina bernoullii   ŠMÍD et al., 2017


Holotype: NMBA (NMB Basel) 4396
Holotype: MCZ 56617 [fieldi]

Terra Typica:

“Palmyra” (Syria).

Taxonomic notes:

Mesalina microlepis is morphologically very similar to M. bernoullii and, contrary to what ANGEL (1936) suggested it cannot be distinguished from it by the numbers of dorsal and gular scales, and subdigital lamellae. The only morphological character that discriminates the species is the structure of the lower eyelid window. All specimens of M. microlepis (including the holotype) possess a window consisting of more than three roughly equal semitransparent scales whereas the window of M. bernoullii, M. brevirostris s. s. and M. saudiarabica consists of 1–3 larger semitransparent scales (see Fig. 3 in MAYER et al. 2006). Mesalina microlepis and M. bernoullii have been confirmed to occur syntopically in western Syria (MAYER et al. 2006). The presence of M. microlepis in Jordan and Turkey is confirmed based on specimens with similar eyelid window structure (HAAS & WERNER 1969; KUMLUTAŞ et al. 2002).

Source: ŠMÍD et al. 2017.

Relevant taxonomic literature:

  • Schenkel, E. (1901) -  Achter Nachtrag zum Katalog der herpetologischen Sammlung des Basler Museums. -  Verhandlungen der Naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Basel, 13, 142-199.  

  • Haas, G. & Werner, Y.L. (1969) -  Description of Mesalina brevirostris fieldi. – In: “ Lizards and snakes from Southwestern Asia, collected by Henry Field”. -  Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College, 138: 327-406. Pl. 1-21.   

  • Mayer, W. & Moravec, J. & Pavlicev, M. (2006) -  Differentiation within Syrian populatrions of the lizard Mesalina brevirostris. -  In: Corti, C., Lo Cascio, P. & M. Biaggini (eds.): Mainland and insular lacertid lizards: a mediterranean perspective. 125-131.    

  • Šmíd, J. & Moravec, J. & Gvoždík, V. & Štundl, J. & Frynta, D. & Lymberakis, P. & Kapli, P. & Wilms, T. & Schmitz, A. & Shobrak, M. & Hosseinian Yousefkhani, S. & Rastegar-Pouyani, E. & Castilla, A.M. & Els, J. & Mayer, W. (2017) -  Cutting the Gordian Knot: Phylogenetic and ecological diversification of the Mesalina brevirostris species complex (Squamata, Lacertidae). -  Zoologica Scripta, 46 (6): 649-664.