Preliminary analysis of dorsal pattern variation and sexual dimorphism in Montivipera latifii (Mertens, Darevsky and Klemmer, 1967) (Ophidia: Viperidae)

Mehdi Rajabizadeh, Ali Yazdanpanah, Sylvain Ursenbacher


In this study, sexual dimorphism and dorsal patterns were investigated in Latifi’s viper (Montivipera latifii) from Iran. Sexual dimorphism was evaluated in 13 males and 15 females using 12 morphological characteristics. Despite the low sample size, the results showed that both sexes significantly differ in the number of subcaudal scales, the number of outer circumocular scales and tail length. In a limited area, the Lar National Park, three different dorsal patterns were observed (n=26 specimens): about 50% displayed a complete zigzag dorsal pattern, 15% of the individuals displayed a striped dorsal pattern, and about 35% had an incomplete zigzag dorsal pattern. These findings confirmed partially results from former published studies. Finally, we hypothesised that the four pattern described in M. latifii could be a combination of only two genetically define dorsal marks.

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