Head shape variation in Darevskia lizards

Project focus

 Caucasian rock lizards of the genus Darevskia are a diverse group of small lizards mainly living in the Greater and the Lesser Caucasus. The phylogenetic relationships between Darevskia species have not been fully resolved and have been a challenge due to the possible reticulate speciation, overlapping geographic distribution pattern and intensive hybridization between the species. In the present project, we aim to find the links between the phylogenetic relationships and morphology of Darevskia.  We focus on matrilineal phylogeny and geometric morphometric techniques (two-dimensional Fourier outline shape analysis and landmark-based three-dimensional analysis). More specifically we aim to reveal the shape variations which are species-specific and follow the species evolutionary divergence pattern. 

Darevskia lizards


 Darevskia – rock lizards – Caucasus – phylogenetic relationships – Geometric morphometrics – evolution – morphology

Researchers: Mariam Gabelaia, David Tarkhnishvili (PI), Dominique Adriaens (co-PI)