You are not currently logged in.
Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
A New Species of Testudo (Testudines: Testudinidae) from the Middle East, with Implications for Conservation
Journal of Herpetology
Vol. 35, No. 4 (Dec., 2001), pp. 567-582
Published by: Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1565894
Page Count: 16
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
Examination and analysis of over 140 specimens of the endangered tortoise Testudo kleinmanni from all areas within its historical distribution on mainland Africa and the Levant confirmed the existence of two allopatric species in this region. A new tortoise species, occurring east of the Nile delta, and restricted today to the Negev desert (Israel) and to northern Sinai (Egypt), is described. The new species has typically a rounded, considerably wide midbody and a very wide posterior carapace combined with very narrow vertebrals, a relatively modest elevation of the anterior plastron lobe, a gently sloping upper carapacial arch, which is posteriorly depressed, relatively flared, serrated edges of free marginals, a flared supracaudal in both sexes, usually not running in parallel with the posterior carapacial arch, and a short supracaudal in females, among other readily verifiable characteristics. Reflecting these relatively great differences in shell morphology, the new species differs from T. kleinmanni by 17 (male) and 18 (female) morphometric character ratios. The new species is additionally fully diagnosable by using Principal Component Analysis and Linear Discriminant Function Analysis with cross-validation. The previous lectotype designation for T. kleinmanni was not based on a syntype and is, therefore, invalid. A new lectotype is designated. Both species are endangered because of loss of habitat and other anthropogenic factors. The new species is additionally threatened by an introduction programme involving the release of confiscated T. kleinmanni into northern Sinai.
Journal of Herpetology © 2001 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles