Acanthodactylus aureus GÜNTHER, 1903
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|Higher Taxa||Lacertidae, Eremiadinae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||E: Golden Fringe-fingered Lizard|
|Synonym||Acanthodactylus inornatus aureus GÜNTHER 1903: 298|
Acanthodactylus scutellatus aureus — BONS 1959
Acanthodactylus inornatus aureus — BONS & GIROT 1964
Acanthodactylus aureus — SALVADOR 1982: 122
Acanthodactylus aureus — SCHLEICH, KÄSTLE & KABISCH 1996: 396
Acanthodactylus aureus— HARRIS & ARNOLD 2000
Acanthodactylus aureus — SINDACO & JEREMČENKO 2008
|Distribution||Atlantic coastal regions from SW Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal.|
Type locality: Rio de Oro, Western Sahara. Restricted to ‘Villa Cisneros’ [ = Dakhla], Western Sahara, by lectotype designation.
|Types||Lectotype: MNHN-RA 1918-11, an adult male from ‘Villa Cisneros’ (= Dakhla), Western Sahara (designated by CROCHET et al. 2003). Paralectotypes: BMNH 19126.96.36.199-26, USNM 33109-33111, MNHN-RA 1918.11-12 (and others, see also CROCHET et al. 2003). The syntypes from Southern Algeria are most likely specimens of A. taghitensis (CROCHET et al. 2003).|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: Medium-sized, slender body. Sharply pointed snout. Four supralabials anterior to the subocular. Four entire supraoculars. Temporals keeled. Low number of dorsals. 14 oblique longitudinal rows of ventrals. Four series of scales on fingers. Row of granules between the supraoculars and superciliaries usually absent, at times one. Third pair of submaxillaries separated or only partially in contact. Reticulate color pattern (Salvador 1982: 122).|
Acanthodactylus aureus can be distinguished from all other members of the scutellatus group except A. taghitensis by a peculiar head scalation: in this species two supralabials only are in contact with the subocular, as a result of the fusion of the third and fourth (rarely the fourth and fifth) supralabials. This character was absent in only one of the A. aureus in our sample (n = 77), and was present in only one A. scutellatus and one A. dumerili (out of 746 specimens that do not belong to A. aureus or A. taghitensis). In addition, we found other diagnostic characters in colour pattern and habitus (see systematic account below). Acanthodactylus aureus, based on our sample, is thus a clearly diagnosable and easy to identify taxon (Crochet et al. 2003).
|Comment||A. aureus is the most common lacertid on the whole oceanic side of Western Sahara. Animals from Fderik (Mauritania) are referable to Acanthodactylus taghitensis.|
|Etymology||Named after the Latin adjective aureolus (=aureus) = "golden".|
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