Elliptic Fourier analysis of plastral pigmentation patterns in two populations of Western Hermann's tortoise (Testudo hermanni hermanni)
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Testudo hermanni) is widely distributed in western and southern Europe. As reptiles exhibit strong geographical variation in most morphological, as well as life history traits, gathering data from distant areas is important. Here we used Elliptic Fourier analysis to investigate variation in pigmentation pattern of plastron (ventral shell) of 54 western Hermann's tortoises (T. hermanni hermanni) studied in different private breeders, and belonging to two different Mediterranean populations: Albera (Catalonia, NE Iberian Peninsula, n=14) and Balearic Islands (n=40). Based on this sample, it was shown that plastral pigmentation design -history, but differences appeared between geographical populations. These results provide a baseline for further comparisons in variation of plastral pigmentation pattern.