The geographic variability of the dorsal pattern (DP) of the Italian wall lizard, Podarcis siculus, across its native range was studied with the aim of understanding whether the distributions of this phenotypic trait were more shaped by allopatric differentiation rather than adaptive processes. A total of 1298 georeferenced observations scattered across the Italian peninsula and the main islands (Sicily, Corsica and Sardinia) were obtained from citizen science databases and five DPs were characterized by different shapes of the dark pattern (“reticulated”, “campestris”, “reticulated/campestris” and “striped”) or by absence of it (“concolor”). Frequencies of different DP phenotypes differ between the two main mtDNA lineages settled in central-northern and in southern Italy, respectively. This pattern may be indicative of a role of long-term allopatric historical processes in determining the observed pattern. The analysis also identified a putative wide area of secondary contact, in central southern Italy, characterized by high diversity of the DP. Generalized Linear Models (GLMs), used to estimate a possible association between bioclimatic variables and the observed phenotypic variation, showed that each of the five DPs is correlated to different environmental factors and show a different distribution of areas with high probability of occurrence. However, for all but one of the DPs, the area with the greatest probability does not correspond exactly to the real distribution of the DP. Conversely, the “concolor” phenotype does not seem related to any particular mtDNA lineage and it shows a preference for areas with high temperature and low rainfall. This is in agreement with the expectation of low amount of melanin of the dorsal pattern that, in the study areas, is characterized by a light uniform coloration which could confer a better thermoregulation ability in high temperatures environments to avoid overheating.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.