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Acanthodactylus ilgazi KURNAZ & ŞAHIN, 2021

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Higher TaxaLacertidae, Eremiadinae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymAcanthodactylus ilgazi KURNAZ & ŞAHIN 2021 
DistributionTurkey (Yazıhan, Malatya)

Type locality: Yazıhan, vicinity of Boztepe and Koşar villages, Malatya Province (Lat: 38° 41’ 32” N – Long: 38° 10’ 13” E and about 950 m a.s.l.) in Eastern Anatolia, Turkey.  
TypesHolotype: ZDEU 2/2020-1, Adult Female, collected 16 August 2020, by Muammer Kurnaz and Mehmet Kürşat Şahin.
Paratypes: ZDEU 2/2020-2, Adult Female and Juvenile (ZDEU 2/2020-3), 16 August 2020, by Muammer Kurnaz and Mehmet Kürşat Şahin. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Acanthodactylus ilgazi is medium sized (SVL: 73.60 – 77.40 mm; Total length 144.40 – 157.30 mm) and robust body. The head is relatively more convex in all specimens; parietals and supraoculars are moderately keeled; suboculars on both sides reach the mouth, four supralabials (rarely three) in anterior of suboculars; two supraocular plates on the head, 1st and 4th supraoculars fragmented. One or two rows of granules are present between supraoculars and supraciliaries; four unpectinated scales on the ear opening; medium sized circle of unkeeled temporals; suboculars keeled in upper side; 23–28 gularia between third inframaxillary and collars. The last 3–4 rows of gularia are as collars; generally, 10 longitudinal rows of ventral plates, and 28–31 ventral series in a longitudinal row along the belly between collar and preanal; 48–50 (mean 49) dorsal midbody scales, imbricated and not keeled. They are larger in the middle of the dorsum and are smaller towards the lateral sides; 19 – 23 femoral pores on the right side. The tail length is almost equal to SVL in all specimens. Four rows of scale series on the fingers (one smooth scale in upper side, two pectinated scales in lateral side and one scale with three carina underside); toes with three carinated scales on the subdigital lamellae; 21–22 pectinated lamellae beneath 4th toe (Kurnaz and Şahin, 2021).

Description of the holotype: A robust but not depressed, body shape. Head length (16.71 mm) and head width (13.14 mm); the length-width ratio of the head is 1.27. The ratio of tail length (79.90 mm) to SVL (77.40 mm) is relatively equal, that is 1.03. The ratio of the pileus length (13.78 mm) to width (6.90 mm) is twice higher; scales above and on sides of tail relatively smooth (except for those of the vertebral row which are mostly weakly keeled), and tail includes 85–87 feeble vertebra. Limbs are relatively slender: forelimbs 22.40 mm, about 29% of snout-vent length; hind limbs 38.70 mm, about 1.7 times of forelimbs and 50% of snout-vent length. Forelimbs have larger imbricate shields in dorsal surface and small granules ventrally; conversely, dorsal surface of hind limbs (on thigh and tibia) have small scales, similar to dorsalis, and enlarged, smooth and imbricate shields in ventral surface of hind-limbs. The head shields are relatively convex; supraoculars and parietals moderately keeled. Rostral and frontonasal are not contacted; supranasals block the connection between them with a deep suture. Rostral is rather round, not pointed; snout not very pointed. Nasal region is not swollen. Nostril is bordered by postnasal, supranasal and first supralabial. The frontonasal plate is large with width almost longer than 1.4 times the length. Two intact supraoculars, the second and third; the first and forth supraocular plates fragmented, the first separating prefrontal-supraocular contact; Two prefrontal plates with medial contact; Frontal is wedge shaped, widest anteriorly, bordered by second and third supraocular laterally, by frontonasals anteriorly and by frontoparietals posteriorly; parietals are nearly as wide as their length. Interparietal is small, wedge shaped, widest anteriorly, with a minute parietal foramen; no occipital (Kurnaz and Şahin, 2021).

Comparisons: Acanthodactylus ilgazi is a typical member of the tristrami species-group, differing from the other members of the species-group by the following characters:
Acanthodactylus ilgazi differs from A. orientalis in that there are two unfragmented supraocular plates (vs. three in A. orientalis); four rows of scale series on the fingers (vs. three in A. orientalis); reddish coloration of the underside of the tail, and the white or grayish stripe on the dorsum.
Acanthodactylus ilgazi differs from A. robustus in that the subocular plates contacts the lower lip between 4th and 5th supralabials; lower number of ventral plates (10 vs. 12, respectively); lower number of dorsal scale (max. 50 vs 51-60, respectively) and lower number of unfragmented supraocular plaques (2 vs. 3, respectively).
Acanthodactylus ilgazi differs from A. tristrami in that there is lower number of dorsal scales (max. 50 vs. 52-64); four rows of scale series on the fingers (vs. three in A. tristrami); reddish coloration of the underside of the tail, and the white or grayish stripe on the dorsum (Kurnaz and Şahin, 2021).

Color in life: The base coloration of the dorsum is light brown. There is a clear whitish or grayish stripe in the middle of the dorsum extending from the parietals to the coccyx. Wide dark brown stripes extending laterally from the midbody on both sides of the dorsum. Small white ocelli are scattered on the ends or inner part of the wide brown stripes. The upper head coloration is light brown; the outer margins of the parietals is dark brown. Temporal region is light brown with less maculation. The eye area is light brown to white in background color, with three vertical brown stripes. White ocelli appear faintly on the limbs. Brown and white spots also run along the dorsal side of the tail. The ventral coloration is generally white, sometimes dark grey coloration on the marginals and on the underside of the head. The underside of the tail is orange or reddish coloration. The coloration of juveniles is similar to adults. Brownish pattern is less prominent, while there are much white ocelli. Middle of dorsum is brownish. No striate in both adult or juvenile specimens (Kurnaz and Şahin, 2021). 
EtymologyThe name of the newly described taxon has been dedicated to Prof. Dr. Çetin Ilgaz honoring his long work on the herpetofauna biodiversity in Turkey. 
  • Kurnaz, Muammer, and Mehmet Kursat Şahin 2021. Contribution to the Taxonomic Knowledge of Acanthodactylus (Squamata, Lacertidae): Description of a New Lacertid Lizard Species from Eastern Anatolia, Turkey. Journal of Wildlife and Biodiversity - get paper here
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