Rafaqat Masroor

Rafaqat Masroor
Pakistan Museum of Natural History · Division of Zoological Sciences

PhD

About

66
Publications
40,033
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531
Citations
Introduction
Rafaqat Masroor works at the Zoological Sciences Division, Pakistan Museum of Natural History. Masroor carries out research in the fields of Linnaean Taxonomy, Evolutionary Biology, and Genetics. His most recent publication is "Appearances often deceive in racerunners: integrative approach reveals two new species of Eremias (Squamata: Lacertidae) from Pakistan"
Additional affiliations
January 2005 - present
Pakistan Museum of Natural History
Position
  • Associate Curator
Education
March 2012 - August 2020
University of Peshawar
Field of study
  • Zoology

Publications

Publications (66)
Article
Members of the dwarf geckos of the genus Microgecko Nikolsky, 1907 are distributed from western Iran to northwestern India, with seven currently recognized species. Three taxa have been reported from Pakistan, M. depressus, M. persicus persicus and M. p. euphorbiacola. The former is the only endemic species restricted to Pakistan. Herein, we descri...
Article
A new, morphologically distinctive lacertid lizard of the genus Eremias (Rhabderemias) is described from the arid mountains of northwestern Balochistan Province in Pakistan. Eremias kakari sp. nov. has an isolated distribution and can be easily distinguished from all other species of mainly desert subgenus Rhabderemias (E. andersoni, E. cholistanic...
Article
Full-text available
Eremias Fitzinger, 1834 is a speciose Eurasian genus of true lizards with approximately 40 species. Eremias species occurring in Pakistan have never been examined before using molecular genetics. In the present study, six out of seven morphologically defined taxa distributed in Pakistan (E. acutirostris, E. aporosceles, E. cholistanica, E. kakari,...
Article
Our knowledge of the conservation status of reptiles, the most diverse class of terrestrial vertebrates, has improved dramatically over the past decade, but still lags behind that of the other tetrapod groups. Here, we conduct the first comprehensive evaluation (~92% of the world's ~1714 described species) of the conservation 1 Joint senior authors...
Article
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The genus Heremites Gray, 1845 is endemic to the Western Palearctic region, containing morphologically similar species with a not well resolved taxonomy. The genus has a broad distribution from North Africa to Central Asia, with the only known record from northeastern Afghanistan. Three species are currently recognized in the genus with one, H. sep...
Article
Based on newly provided morphological and previously published genetic data, we describe two new distinctive sympatric lacertid lizards of the genus Eremias (subgenus Aspidorhinus) from the arid mountains of northwestern Balochistan Province, Pakistan. The new species, Eremias killasaifullahi sp. nov. and Eremias rafiqi sp. nov. are distinguished...
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The northern Arabian Sea is highly productive in terms of abundant and diverse fish fauna (≈1,000 species) due to nutrient-rich waters. A total of 303 specimens were collected from the coastal waters of Pakistan, representing 100 genera, 61 families, and 15 orders identifiable to 120 morphological species and 18 others that could not be morphologic...
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A known haven of amphibian diversity, South Asia is also a hotspot of taxonomic confusions. Vastly distributed from Saudi Arabia to Myanmar, the dicroglossid genus Euphlyctis (“skittering” or “skipper” frogs) is a representative example. Combining phylogenetic analyses with 16S barcoding and genome size variation of 403 frogs from 136 localities, w...
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The common Asian toad Duttaphrynus melanostictus (Schneider, 1799) complex has a wide distribution ranging from western foothills of the Himalaya to the easternmost range of the Wallacea, with the evidence of human-mediated introductions to some other areas. In the entire distribution range, the complex is formed by several evolutionary clades, dis...
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The Afghanistan Mountain Salamander, Paradactylodon (Afghanodon) mustersi (Smith, 1940), is an evolutionary old species, listed as Critically Endangered by IUCN Red List. The species is endemic to the Hindu Kush mountain range with records from only a few localities from four central-eastern Afghan provinces (Kabul, Ghazni, Parwan, and Wardak). Due...
Article
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The leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius, is a widely used model organism in laboratory and experimental studies. The high phenotypic diversity in the pet trade, the fact that the provenance of different breeding lines is unknown, and that distinct Eublepharis species are known to hybridize, implies that the continued use of E. macularius as a mod...
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The genus Calotes Cuvier, 1817 (Agamidae: Draconinae) is highly diverse, with species occurring in South and Southeast Asia, and Oceania. Most species of the subfamily except C. versicolor have narrow geographic distributions. Calotes versicolor is distributed from western Iran in the west to south China and Indonesia in the east and has been intro...
Conference Paper
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Biological invasions are recognized as one of the global problems accompanying the development of human civilization. The red-eared slider, Trachemys scripta elegans, originates from North America. This freshwater terrapin is one of the most popular pet reptiles in Eurasia. Young red-eared slider individuals are small and brightly colored, making t...
Conference Paper
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Reptiles contribute to the global process of biological invasions, one of the problems accompanying the development of human civilization. The red-eared slider, Trachemys scripta elegans is one of the most popular pet reptiles in the world. Uncontrolled releases of this animal into outdoor water bodies represents a conservational issue. We combined...
Article
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A working group focusing on the conservation of the mugger (Crocodylus palustris) has been established.
Article
While the diversity of Scutiger is high in the central and eastern parts of the Himalaya-Tibet orogen, only a single species, Scutiger occidentalis Dubois, 1978, can be found in the westernmost regions, in Northwest India and Pakistan. Little is known about its genetic variation, ecology, and distribution and far less about its larval morphology. H...
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We provide the first comprehensive data on the questionable distribution of the genus Pelophylax and the family Ranidae from Pa-kistan. Based on a literature review and two specimens of the genus from Tasp, Panjgur District in Pakistani Balochistan (USNM 26194-95), stored in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC, USA, w...
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Little is known about the life history, ecology, and distribution of the genus Allopaa (Dicroglossidae) and far less recent data are available about the larvae of this taxon. Here, we provide data on the larval stage of Allopaa hazarensis (Dubois & Khan, 1979) from northern Pakistan based on the examination of three tadpoles. Specimens were obtaine...
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Background The Himalaya-Tibet orogen (HTO) presents an outstanding geologically active formation that contributed to, and fostered, modern Asian biodiversity. However, our concepts of the historical biogeography of its biota are far from conclusive, as are uplift scenarios for the different parts of the HTO. Here, we revisited our previously publis...
Article
Laudakia nuristanica is one of the least-studied agamid lizards distributed in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Only 17 specimens are currently known in five museum collections from two neighbouring provinces of Afghanistan (Nuristan and Kunar) and the Chitral Valley in Pakistan. Our recent collection of agamid lizards from Afghanistan brings additional d...
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Heretofore, the populations of the genus Sphaerotheca Günther, 1859 (Dicroglossidae) in their northern and western borders laying in Pakistan have been assigned to two species, S. breviceps (Schneider, 1799) and S. strachani (Murray, 1884). The genus originated in the Oriental zoogeographic region and comes to close geographic proximity with the Pa...
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Information on the recent herpetological and related parasitological collections are very rarely available for Afghanistan. We examined two species of the family Agamidae, Laudakia nuristanica and Paralaudakia caucasia for the presence of the intestinal helminth fauna. Overall, we examined 13 specimens of these lizards and found three species of he...
Article
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The presented paper reports on the first record of Eremias kakari Masroor, Khisroon, Khan, Jablonski, 2020 for Afghanistan based on morphological data obtained from one specimen stored for 49 years in the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig, Bonn, Germany. Up to now, the species was known only from the type locality in Pakistani Balochistan...
Article
The territory of Pakistan has been influenced by biota from different geographic directions, and is divided zoogeographically into the Palearctic and Oriental regions (Khan 2006; Masroor 2012). This makes Pakistan one of the important territories in Eurasia in the understanding of past biodiversity dynamics. Well-known examples of Oriental elements...
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Reef ecosystem is an important source of recreation and fish diversity. Present study aimed to record the distribution and diversity of fishes from different coral habitats along the coast of Pakistan. Additionally, potential threats and conservation strategies were also discussed. SCUBA diving was conducted at 10 different dive sites along the coa...
Article
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The southwestern part of the Balochistan Province is a faunal extension of the Iranian Plateau in Pakistan, harboring more than one-third of Pakistan’s known amphibian and reptile species. We carried out field visits in five districts of southwestern Balochistan during 2013–2017 to investigate the scale and hotspots of reptile poaching. We encounte...
Article
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This study provides observation on 21 species of amphibians and reptiles obtained during various field trips in Afghanistan from 2007 to 2018. The core of this study is distributional data collected mostly by the second author of this paper that were systematically evaluated. Our records show a notable expansion of the current distribution range fo...
Article
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Authors' Contribution NA conceived the idea and wrote the manuscript. AA helped in field experimental work. KMK assisted in data analysis and polished the manuscript. RM evaluated the statistical data. NUA analyzed the fish feed. MA and MA helped in literature search. PJAS supervised the work. An experimental feeding trial was conducted to determin...
Article
Finfish composition and seasonal abundance was studied in the world largest arid mangrove ecosystem of the Indus Delta, Pakistan. Sampling was done from February 2010 to July 2011 in a narrow creek with thick mangrove forest and in a wide creek with sporadic patches of mangrove forest along its banks. The sampling revealed 84 fish species, correspo...
Article
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The Persian dwarf snake Eirenis (Pseudocyclophis) persicus (Anderson, 1872) has a wide distribution range in south-western Asia. This species group was comprehensively studied here using traditional biometry, geometric morphometrics, ecological niche modelling, and genetics. Our analyses revealed that E.persicus is split into two clades. A western...
Article
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Geographic variations in phenotype tell us about species adaptations to their environments, as these traits are variously affected by ecological as well as by genetic factors. Paralaudakia caucasia (Eichwald, 1831) is a widely distributed agamid species in the western Palearctic that occupies a region from Pakistan to the lesser Caucasus. To descri...
Article
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Predictive potential distribution modeling is of increasing importance in modern herpetological studies and determination of environmental and conservation priorities. In this article we provided results of analysis and forecasts of the potential distribution of smallscaled rock agama Paralaudakia microlepis (Blanford, 1874) using the distribution...
Article
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The family sparidae is represented in Pakistan by 14 species belonging to eight genera: the genus Acanthopagrus with four species, A. berda, A. arabicus, A. sheim, and A. catenula; Rhabdosargus, Sparidentex and Diplodus are each represented by two species, R. sarba and R. haffara, Sparidentex hasta and S. jamalensis, and Diplodus capensis and D. om...
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A new species of seabream, Sparidentex jamalensis sp. nov., mainly inhabiting the mangrove swamps, is described from eleven specimens, 148-224 mm SL, collected from coastal areas of Sindh, Pakistan. It has been invariably confused with Sparidentex hasta, also occurring in the North Western Indian Ocean. Sparidentex jamalensis sp. nov. differs from...
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Predictive potential distribution modeling is crucial in outlining habitat usage and establishing conservation management priorities. In this paper we provide detailed data on the distribution of the Caucasian rock agama Paralaudakia caucasia, and use species distribution models (MAXENT) to evaluate environmental suitability and potential distribut...
Article
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The Persian Long-tailed Desert Lizard, Mesalina watsonana, is one of the most common and most widely distributed lizards on the Iranian Plateau extending from Iran to Pakistan and Afghanistan. The species is frequently encountered in various types of habitats. We collected over 600 distributional records from available literature, museum collection...
Article
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Based on the recent rediscovery of a dice snake (Natrix tessellata) in the Karakoram mountains of north-central Pakistan (western Karakoram) and the only other records from northwestern Pakistan we utilize contemporaneous information on the ecology of N. tessellata and climate fluctuations during the Holocene to analyze its limited distribution to...
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An updated information on the distribution and ecology of the Caucasian rock agama, Paralaudakia caucasia, is provided from Chitral district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. The comparison of 25 morphometric measurements and scale counts of the collected specimens was carried out with its closely related species. Based on scale counts and descriptiv...
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Palearctic naked-toed geckos are a group of gekkonid geckos that range from North Africa to northern India and western China, with their greatest diversity in Iran and Pakistan. Relationships among the constituent genera remain incompletely resolved and the monophyly of key genera remains unverified. Further, competing classifications are in curren...
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The distribution and intraspecific variation of Platyceps karelini are scrutinized in the present study. This species features characteristic morphological conditions allowing a distinction from sympatric Platyceps spp. as well as the geographically separated P. ventromaculatus (gray, 1834). Hybrids between P. karelini and P. rhodorachis (Jan, 1863...
Book
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This book on the Herpetology of nortern Pakistan is built around an intensive, 7-year-long survey of the Margalla Hills National Park—a 175-square-kilometer reserve that surrounds the country's capital city, Islamabad—to-gether with further surveys of adjacent regions. This overall area, lying near the base of the Himalayan Mountains, contains the...
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Natrix tessellata (Dice Snake). PAKISTAN: GILGIT-BALTISTAN: Ghizer District: Gahkuch wetlands (36.171011°N, 73.775341°E; elev. 1845 m). 20 August 2011. Jamshed Iqbal Chaudhry of Pakistan Wetlands Programme (PWP). Verified by Sylvain Ursenbacher. Nine photographic vouchers, University of Basel Switzerland (IMG_0807/14/19/26 and DSC07940/43/46/68/73,...
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An updated checklist of amphibians and reptiles that occur in the Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) is provided. The information provided is based on the collections and observations made in the field from 2003 to 2009. Due to its geographic position of being situated at the junction of high mountains in the north and the southern plains, the par...
Article
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The common bronzeback tree snake Dendrelaphis tristis is reported from the hilly terrain of Margalla Hills National Park, Islamabad. This represents the first well documented record of this species from Pakistan. The status of one specimen housed in the Natural History Museum, London purportedly collected in Pakistan in 1860 is discussed.
Article
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A distinctive new thin-toed gecko, Cyrtopodion dehakroense sp. nov. is described from Deh Akro-II Wetlands Complex, Nawabshah, Sindh, bringing the number of species of this genus in Pakistan to nine. The major diagnostic characters of the new species include the presence of 7-9 very narrow, V-shaped, dark brown, transverse dorsal bands on the body...
Article
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A new species of skink, Eumeces cholistanensis sp. nov. is described from a very remote area of Cholistan Desert, Bahawalpur district, Punjab Province of Pakistan. The major diagnostic characters of the new species include the presence of 7 dark brown stripes separated by alternating light narrower stripes, extending on to the tail, two azygous pos...
Article
Using a nearly range-wide sampling, we investigated phylogeographic differentiation and mitochondrial diversity of Testudo horsfieldii, the only tortoise species confined to Central Asia. We identified three major haplotype clades with mainly parapatric distribution that do not correspond well to the currently recognized three subspecies. One clade...
Article
Using a nearly range-wide sampling, we investigated phylogeographic differentiation and mitochondrial diversity of Testudo horsfieldii, the only tortoise species confined to Central Asia. We identified three major haplotype clades with mainly parapatric distribution that do not correspond well to the currently recognized three subspecies. One clade...
Article
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A new thin-toed gecko, Cyrtopodion baigii is described from the Chilas area in the Chilas Arc Complex of northern Pakistan. The major diagnostic characters of the new species include the presence of two precloacal pores in males, absence of femoral pores, 30-32 rows of ventral scales across midbody and 125-132 scales along ventral midline of body....
Article
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Present studies are aimed to document the herpetofauna of Cholistan Desert and study its ecology. During the last three years from 2001 to 2003, attempts have been made to collect and observe the amphibians and reptiles in different parts of Cholistan Desert. More than four thousand specimens belonging to 44 species have so far been collected�obser...
Article
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The present studies aimed to resolve some systematic issues related to species of the colubrid snake genus Spalerosophis JAN, 1865. The studies were carried out with particular reference to Spalerosophis atriceps FISCHER, 1885 that has been rated controversially since long among other things because of the incorrect identification of the type local...

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