The knowledge of a species' population structure is essential for the development of adequate conservation actions as well as for the understanding of its evolution. The population structure is unknown in all species of the Genus Psammodromus, including the Western Sand Racer (Psammodromus occidentalis; a recently described species), the Edward's Sand Racer (P. edwardsianus) and the Spanish Sand Racer (P. hispanicus). In this article, the genetic variability and population structure of Psammodromus edwardsianus, P. hispanicus, and P. occidentalis were studied in the Iberian Peninsula covering their natural geographic distribution. Mitochondrial DNA showed genetically different units in all species with higher genetic variability in their southern populations (latitudinal variation). Genetic differentiation was different among species and contrasted to those of species with similar characteristics. Our results therefore highlight the importance of species-specific studies analysing population structure.
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