Lima A, Pinho C, Larbes S, Carretero MA, Brito JC , Harris DJ
Recent molecular studies indicate that Podarcis wall lizards occurring in the southern region of the Iberian Peninsula and in North Africa, from south Morocco to eastern Tunisia, constitute a monophyletic group composed of several highly differentiated forms that appear to be incipient species. However, Algerian populations, which are geographically intermediate, have not been investigated so far. In this study we determine the levels of genetic variability between Algerian populations and other North African populations, using a more extensive sampling scheme covering most of the distribution range in this area. Our results show that North African Podarcis present high genetic diversity, comprising at least five highly divergent lineages. Two of these lineages were only detected in Algeria, which harbours most of the genetic diversity found within Podarcis from North Africa.