C-Banded Karyotype and Cytotaxonomy of Mertensiella caucasica (WAGA, 1876) (Caudata: Salamandridae) Matilde Ragghianti, Stefania Bucci-Innocenti and Giorgio Mancino Istituto di Istologia ed Embriologia, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy Abstract. Chromosome number, karyotype and chromosomal banding pattern of Mertensiella caucasica were studied in differentially stained mitotic preparations. The main feature of the C-banded appearance concerns the centromere regions, which are heavily stained by the Giemsa and are outlined by proximal C-bands. This morpho-structural character seems to be peculiar of the genome of M. caucasica, when compared with the C-banding pattern shown by the chromosomes of Salamandra, considered the most closely related form. Therefore, a preliminary cytotaxonomic survey seems to support the opinion that the Caucasian salamander can be referred to a well defined genus Mertensiella rather than a subgenus of Sala- mandra. Introduction Mertensiella was established as a distinct genus by WOLrERSTORFF ( 1 925), whose opin- ion was shared by MERTENS (1942). It comprises 2 species: M. caucasica and M. lus- chani. Differently from prior workers, 6zETi (1967) and OzEri and WAKE ( 1969) have more recently pointed out that M. caucasica and Salamandra share some main osteological characters, which does not justify the elevation of Mertensiella to
Amphibia-Reptilia – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1982
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