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Adolfus masavaensis WAGNER, GREENBAUM & BRANCH, 2014

IUCN Red List - Adolfus masavaensis - Near Threatened, NT

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Higher TaxaLacertidae, Eremiadinae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Western alpine meadow lizard 
SynonymAdolfus masavaensis WAGNER, GREENBAUM & BRANCH 2014
Adolfus masavaensis — SPAWLS et al 2018: 184 
DistributionKenya (Mount Elgon)

Type locality: Mount Elgon, Kenya, near Koitobos Guest House [coordinates approximately: 1.040983, 34.783645], 3372 m elevation.  
TypesHolotype: ZFMK 75011 (75001 in Wagner et al. 2014), adult female; paratypes: CAS, FMNH, MCZ, ANSP 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: This species is unique by the following combi- nation of characters: small size (SVL 38.9–55.5 mm), low number of temporal scales (3–12; Mt. Elgon: 8–12, Aber- dares: 3–5), low number of scales around midbody (19–23), and a vertebral stripe often including the occipital scale.

Differential diagnosis: From A. jacksoni, the new species differs in having fewer scale rows around midbody (19– 23 versus more than 35), fewer temporal scales (3–12 large scales versus < 40 small scales), no granular scales beneath the collar (present in A. jacksoni), and a lower number of lamellae under the 4th toe (15–21 versus 22–26).
From A. africanus, the new species differs in having no granular scales beneath the collar or between the supra- ciliaries and supraocular (versus granular scales present in both cases), vertebral scales not distinctly larger than those on the flanks (versus vertebral scales distinctly larger), few (3–12) and smooth temporal scales (versus many [< 40] keeled ones), and fewer collar scales (4–5 versus 7–9).
From A. alleni, the new species differs mainly in its smaller snout–vent length (38.9–55.5 mm versus 54.3– 62.8 mm), the lower number of temporal scales (3–9 ver- sus 8–12), and a lower number of longitudinal dorsal scales (below 50 versus more than 50), whereas other characters are overlapping (Tab. 4) [from WAGNER et al. 2014]. 
EtymologyThe English name of ‘Mount Elgon’ refers to the indigenous tribe of the Elgonyi who live on the southern slopes of the mountain. ‘Masava’ is the local name for Mount Elgon used by the tribes on the Ugandan side of the mountain, and is used to form the species name for the taxon described herein. 
  • Böhme, Wolfgang 2014. Herpetology in Bonn. Mertensiella 21. vi + 256 pp. - get paper here
  • Greenbaum, Eli; Stephanie Dowell Beer, Daniel F. Hughes, Philipp Wagner, Christopher G. Anderson, Cesar O. Villanueva, Patrick K. Malonza, Chifundera Kusamba, Wandege M. Muninga, Mwenebatu M. Aristote, and William R. Branch 2018. Phylogeography of Jackson's Forest Lizard Adolfus jacksoni (Sauria: Lacertidae) Reveals Cryptic Diversity in the Highlands of East Africa. Herpetological Monographs 32 (1): 51-68 - get paper here
  • Kwet, Axel 2015. Liste der im Jahr 2014 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Terraria-Elaphe 2015 (3): 50-64 - get paper here
  • Spawls, Steve; Kim Howell, Harald Hinkel, Michele Menegon 2018. Field Guide to East African Reptiles. Bloomsbury, 624 pp. - get paper here
  • Wagner, P., E. Greenbaum, P. Malonza & B. Branch 2014. Resolving sky island speciation in populations of East African Adolfus alleni (Sauria, Lacertidae). Salamandra 50 (1): 1-17 - get paper here
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