First Case Report of an Unusual Echis genus (Squamata: Ophidia: Viperidae) Body Pattern Design in Iran

Document Type: Case Study

Authors

Department of Venomous animal and antivenom production, Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization, Karaj, Iran

Abstract

Three families of venomous snakes exist in Iran including Viperidae, Elapidae, and Hydrophidae. Viperidae family is the only family with a widespread distribution. Saw-scaled vipers are important poisonous snakes in Asia and Africa. This name is given to this snake due to the presence of obliquely keeled and serrated lateral body scales. Distribution of this genera is mostly reported in the central and southern regions of Iran. This genus has four main clades: the Echis carinatus, E. coloratus, E. ocellatus, and E. pyramidum. Design pattern in Echis species plays an important role in camouflage and variety of habitat. In the present report, we investigated a specimen from the eastern region of Iran; we examined 25 specimens of Echis that were collected from the eastern region of our country. Among them, only one specimen with a different pattern was found compared with the other 24 specimens by surveying meristic, mensural, and design pattern characters using valid key identifiers. The similarities between the specific Echis with a different pattern and other 24 specimens were also studied and compared. The results of this investigation clearly showed that although the pattern of the lateral white line and block on dorsal body of the specific Echis snake was different, since the meristic and mensural characters were similar to other Echis snakes it can be concluded that this specimen is not a different species; the difference in these patterns may be due to a minor genetic mutation of that specimen. It is the first case report of Echis carinatus sochureki Stemmler, 1969 from Iran with a different pattern.

Keywords

Main Subjects


Article Title [French]

Premier Rapport d’un Cas de Motifs Corporels Inhabituels du Genre Echis (Squamata: Ophidia: Viperidae) en Iran

Abstract [French]

Il existe trois familles de serpents venimeux en Iran: Viperidae, Elapidae et Hydrophidae. La famille Viperidae est la seule famille à avoir une distribution étendue. Les vipères en écailles de scie sont des serpents toxiques importants en Asie et en Afrique. Ce nom est donné à ce serpent en raison de la présence d'écailles latérales à corps caréné et à carénage oblique. La distribution de ce genre est principalement signalée dans les régions centrale et méridionale de l'Iran. Ce genre comprend quatre clades principaux: Echis carinatus, E. coloratus, E. ocellatus et E. pyramidum. La conception des motifs corporels des espèces d’Echis joue un rôle important dans le camouflage et la variété de l’habitat. Dans ce rapport, nous avons étudié un spécimen provenant de la partie orientale iranienne. Parmi les 25 spécimens d’Echis prélevés, un spécimen présentait un motif différent selon les caractères méristiques, mensuels et la comparaison des motifs à l'aide d’uneclé d’identification validée. Les similitudes entre le spécimen montrant un motif spécifique et les 24 autres spécimens ont également été étudiées. Nos résultats démontraient clairement que malgré les différences au niveau du motif de la ligne blanche latérale et du bloc sur le corps dorsal du serpent, les caractères méristiques et mensuraux étaient similaires à ceux des autres serpents appartenant au genre Echis. On peut donc en conclure que ce spécimen n'est pas une espèce différente; les différences observées peuvent être due à une mutation génétique mineure de ce spécimen. Il s’agit du premier cas signalé de l’espèce Echis carinatus sochureki Stemmler (1969) en Iran, montrant un motif corporel différent.

Keywords [French]

  • Echis
  • Design pattern
  • Viperidae
  • Iran
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