Recent phylogeographical analyses using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences indicate that the Tarentola geckos from the Cape Verde archipelago originated from a propagule that dispersed from the Canary Islands approximately 7.7 Mya and that underwent a fast evolutionary radiation. Molecular analyses carried out to date clearly show some incongruences with the current taxonomy of Tarentola from the Cape Verde Islands, with some species being paraphyletic or polyphyletic, and several independently evolving lineages needing formal taxonomic recognition. The aim of this study was to clarify the systematics of this group to unravel its taxonomy by applying an integrative approach based on information from three independent sources: mtDNA, nuclear genes, and morphology. As a result of this taxonomic revision, two novel species for the islands of S. Nicolau and Fogo are described and eight subspecies are upgraded to species level. Moreover, an identification key for the genus Tarentola from the Cape Verde archipelago is presented. This study reconciles taxonomy and phylogeny in this group, provides a better understanding of diversity patterns, new insights on evolutionary hypotheses, and supports the basic framework for the future management and conservation of this unique reptile radiation.
© 2012 The Linnean Society of London, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2012, 164, 328–360.