Species diversity of reptiles in the landscapes of the Lesser Caucasus within Azerbaijan S.G. Jafarova1, S.N. Bunyatova2*

Research article: Species diversity of reptiles in the landscapes of the Lesser Caucasus within Azerbaijan 

Author (s): S.G. Jafarova1, S.N. Bunyatova2*

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.29228/jlsb.28  

1Bioecology Department, Baku State University, 23 Academician Z.Khalilov Str., Baku AZ 1148, Azerbaijan

2Institute of Zoology, Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, A.Abbaszade Str., 504 Block, 1128 Pass., Baku AZ1004, Azerbaijan 

*For correspondence: s_bunyatova@mail.ru 


Received: September 27, 2021; Received in revised form: October 18, 2021; Accepted: October 21, 2021


Every landscape zone of the Lesser Caucasus is distinguished by its own reptile species complex. Significant territories of the Lesser Caucasus within Azerbaijan are lowlands. More than 25 species and subspecies of reptiles (54.7% of local reptile fauna) are encountered in this zone. The majority of species inhabiting this landscape zone are xerobionts. All reptile species registered in the semi-desert have also been observed on the foothills. The middle mountainous zone is characterized by the presence of species such as Anguis fragilis, Ablepharus bivittatus, Lacerta media, Darevskia raddei, D.armeniaca, Zamenis hohenackeri, Coronella austriaca, Montivipera raddei. The representatives of the neighboring foothills do also exist here. In total, 20 species and subspecies have been registered in this zone, consisting of 47.6% of reptile fauna in the study area. The high-mountain zone owns less rich herpetofauna, the core of which is mainly composed of the Caucasian autochthons. Paralaudakia caucasia species enters this area from its surroundings. In total 6 species or 13.9% of the Lesser Caucasus’s reptile fauna has been recorded here.


Keywords: Lesser Caucasus, reptiles, herpetofauna, biodiversity, landscapes


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