New records and an updated list of the herpetofauna of Kastellorizo and the adjacent islet Psomi (Dodecanese, Greece)

Konstantinos Kalaentzis, Ilias Strachinis, Philippos Katsiyiannis, Peter Oefinger, Christos Kazilas


Based on several recent herpetological surveys on the Kastellorizo archipelago in the Eastern Mediterranean, we present herpetofaunal observations of the area. Active searching and visual encounter surveys on Kastellorizo confirmed the presence of two species of amphibians and thirteen species of reptiles, and in conjunction with the available literature data, brought the terrestrial herpetofauna of the island to a total of 17 species. In addition, during a one-day herpetological survey on Psomi islet, individuals of Anatololacerta sp. and Mediodactylus kotschyi were encountered. Based on the analysis of the mitochondrial marker cytb, the recently discovered lizard population from the settlement of Megisti is identified as Anatololacerta pelasgiana (Mertens, 1959), while that of Psomi islet as Anatololacerta budaki (Eiselt & Schmidtler, 1986), a new addition to the herpetofauna of Greece. The knowledge of the extant herpetofauna of Kastellorizo and Psomi islet is summarized and a species list is prepared, including four new species records for the area, namely A. pelasgiana, A. budaki, Platyceps najadum (Eichwald, 1831), and Telescopus fallax (Fleischmann, 1831). Our results expand our knowledge on the biogeography of the region and the insular distribution of the species, resolve the case of the two Anatololacerta populations from the Kastellorizo archipelago, and provide discussion on possible introduction ways of the non-native lizard A. pelasgiana, recent taxonomic revisions, and possible erroneous records.

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