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SEXUAL DIMORPHISM IN PSEUDOPUS APODUS (REPTILIA: SAURIA: ANGUIDAE) FROM THE STEPPE CRIMEA

Oleg V. Kukushkin, Igor V. Dovgal

Abstract


The current paper is focused on sexual dimorphism of a giant glass lizard, or sheltopusik, Pseudopus apodus apodus (Pallas, 1775) from its northernmost populations inhabiting the Crimea. In total, 72 P. apodus individuals (45 males and 27 females) were collected at the Kerch Peninsula during 2013–2017. To estimate the variability, 13 morphometric parameters and 18 indices characterizing the head and body proportions were used. It was found that males and females differed significantly by means of almost all parameters, except the body and tail sizes. Besides that, the differences by 10 ratios characterizing head proportions were revealed as well. However, a reliable determination of the lizard sex using linear sizes and/or ratios values seems to be impossible because of the strong overlap of the variability ranges in both sexes. At the same time, the use of the canonical discriminant analysis by the complex of morphometric parameters and by ratios has shown that the males and females in both datasets are classified correctly basing on the sex with an accuracy approximating 100%. The differences in the allometric growth of males and females partially define the sexual dimorphism of P. apodus on head size and shape. A sex-related differences in the development of at least one pair of parameters (head and snout lengths) were clearly evident, since isometry was established for males, while allometry ‒ for females. Moreover, the systems of correlation between the body and head parts differ in both sexes. Thus, male characterisitics correlate significanly, while the female ones were less toughly connected, and some pairs of parameters did not correlate at all.

Keywords


sheltopusik; external morphology; morphometry; sex differences; Kerch Peninsula.

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