Lebanon, Syria, northern Jordan, southern Türkiye and possibly in the northwestern Zagros Mountains. 


Mesalina microlepis  (ANGEL, 1936)


Eremias brevirostris   BOULENGER, 1921

Eremias brevirostris microlepis   ANGEL, 1936

Mesalina brevirostris microlepis   SZCZERBAK, 1989

Mesalina microlepis   ŠMÍD et al., 2017


Holotype: MNHN-RA 1935.0285

Terra Typica:

“Haouarine” 55 km southeast of Homs, (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:

  • Angel, F. (1936) -  Reptiles et batraciens de syrie et de Mésopotamie récoltés par m. P. Pallary. -  Bulletin de L’Institut D’Egypte, 18: 107-116.  

  • Haas, G. & Werner, Y.L. (1969) -  Lizards and snakes from Southwestern Asia, collected by Henry Field. -  Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College, 138: 327-406.  

  • Ilgaz, C. & Baran, I. & Kumlutaş, Y. & Avei, A. (2005) -  A new record of Mesalina brevirostris (Reptilia: Sauria: Lacertidae) from Southeastern Anatolia. -  Russian Journal of Herpetology, Moscow, 12 (3): 230-236.    

  • 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.