Phrynocephalus helioscopus ( Pallas, 1771 ),

Šmíd, Jiří, Moravec, Jiří, Kodym, Petr, Kratochvíl, Lukáš, Yousefkhani, Seyyed Saeed Hosseinian, Rastegar-Pouyani, Eskandar & Frynta, Daniel, 2014, Annotated checklist and distribution of the lizards of Iran, Zootaxa 3855 (1), pp. 1-97: 10

publication ID

publication LSID


persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Phrynocephalus helioscopus ( Pallas, 1771 )


Phrynocephalus helioscopus ( Pallas, 1771) 

LECTOTYPE. ZMB 781View Materials, designated by Denzer et al. (1997). 

TYPE LOCALITY. Originally “in deserti australioris collibus ardentissimis” ( Pallas 1771); restricted to the “Inderskija Gory, Gebiet des unteren Uralflusses” [region of lower Ural River, W Kazakhstan] by Mertens & Müller (1928). This restriction was not accompanied by a lectotype or neotype designation and is therefore not valid as such ( Uetz 2013).

DISTRIBUTION. SE part of European Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, NW China and Mongolia.

DISTRIBUTION IN IRAN. Fig. 14View FIGURES 14–19. 14. Occurs only by the borders with Turkmenistan by the Caspian Sea.

HABITAT. Clay and stony deserts, sometimes sandy areas with high admixture of pebbles, usually in areas of sparse vegetation.

REMARKS. Phrynocephalus persicus  was separated from P. helioscopus  on the basis of the analysis of allozyme variation ( Mezhzherin & Golubev 1989). There is an immense chaos regarding the form horvathi Méhely  which was originally described as a subspecies of P. helioscopus  from the foothills of Ararat, Armenia ( Méhely 1894) and which is endemic to E Anatolia, S Armenia, Azerbaijan and NW Iran. In Iran it is restricted to the vicinity and north of the Lake Urmia ( Melnikov et al. 2008). Some authors treat this form as it was described—a subspecies of P. helioscopus  ( Rastegar-Pouyani et al. 2008; Tosunoğlu et al. 2011), some as a subspecies of P. persicus  ( Barabanov & Ananjeva 2007; Arakelyan et al. 2011; Solovyeva et al. 2011; Milto & Barabanov 2012) and yet others as a full species ( Çiçek et al. 2011). According to Anderson (1999), P. horvathi  appears to be a younger synonym of P. persicus  . This assumption is in accordance with the results of mtDNA analyses of P. helioscopuspersicus  complex by Solovyeva et al. (2011) which proved horvathi  to be an inner lineage of P. persicus  . The name horvathi  was stabilized by Melnikov et al. (2013), who designated neotype (see remarks by P. persicus  below).

REFERENCES. Anderson (1999); Ananjeva et al. (2006); Melnikov et al. (2008); Arakelyan et al. (2011); Solovyeva et al. (2011).