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Alopoglossus meloi RIBEIRO-JÚNIOR, 2018

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Higher TaxaAlopoglossidae, Sauria, Gymnophthalmoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymAlopoglossus meloi RIBEIRO-JÚNIOR 2018
Alopoglossus angulatus — ÁVILA-PIRES 1995: 308
Alopoglossus meloi — HERNÁNDEZ-MORALES et al. 2020 
DistributionBrazil (Pará)

Type locality: Porto Trombetas, Aramã Plateau (1°52'25"S, 56°24'55"W), Terra Santa municipality, State of Pará, Brazil  
Reproductionoviparous (manual imputation, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: MPEG 24372 (Figs. 1, 2 in Ribeiro-Júnior 2018), an adult male, collected on 29 January 2007 by E. Pereira and team. Field number R138. Paratypes. Brazil: State of Amazonas: CZPB-RP 0027, adult female, collected on 22 September 2011 by A. Almeida, D. Oliveira, L. Frazão, S. Marques and T. Hrbek, at São José do Jatobá Village, Igarapé do Tabocal, eastern Jatapú River, São Sebastião do Uatumã (1°55'53"S, 58°15'21"W), field number CZPB-2940; MHNCI 13588, adult female, collected on June 2009 by F. Oliveira, at Saracá-Taquera National Forest, Oriximiná (1°44'11"S, 56°24'36"W); MPEG 29381, adult female, collected on 05 October 2009 by R. Ávila, at Marajatuba, Urucará (2°22'47"S, 57°38'42"W), field number M3 R74. State of Pará: MPEG 15348, MPEG 16201, adult female and young respectively, collected on 06 December and 11 December 1988 by M. Hoogmoed, T. Ávila Pires and R. Rocha, at Cruz Alta, 6 km south of Trombetas River, Oriximiná (1°30'56"S, 56°45'51"W), field number TCAP 1153 and TCAP 1213; MPEG 28271, adult male, collected on 29 June 2008 by R. Pinto and team, at Porto Trombetas, Saracá-Taquera National Forest, Saracá Plateau, Oriximiná (1°41'20"S, 56°29'35"W), field number R 212; MPEG 19880, adult male, collected on 10 October 2001 by U. Galatti and J. Bernardi, at Porto Trombetas, Saracá Mine, in a reforestation area, Oriximiná (1°40'41"S, 56°23'57"W), field number TROMBE 058; MPEG 24373, adult female, collected on 05 February 2007 by E. Pereira and team, at Porto Trombetas, Greig Plateau, Terra Santa (1°50'39"S, 56°31'42"W), field number R 201. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Alopoglossus meloi sp. nov. is distinguished from all other species in the genus Alopoglossus by the combination of the following characters: (1) scales on sides of neck keeled, imbricate (at least posterior ones phylloid); (2) four pairs of chin shields (well-developed fourth pair); (3) third pair of chin shields irregularly trapezoidal (heptagonal), separated from gulars by large scales; (4) scales on sides of neck in 6–8 transverse rows; (5) gulars smaller, but similar in shape to dorsals, pointed, imbricate, phylloid (except the first transverse row is smooth, almost rounded); (5) keeled temporal scales; (6) ventrals smooth to feebly keeled, mucronate and imbricate, with posterior margin bluntly pointed; (7) total number of femoral pores 20–23 in males.

Comparisons with other species. Alopoglossus meloi sp. nov. differs from A. atriventris, A. buckleyi, A. copii, A. embera, A. festae, A. lehmanni, and A. viridiceps (in parenthesis) in having scales on sides of neck similar in shape to dorsals, nongranular, keeled, imbricate (granular in A. atriventris and A. buckleyi; mostly granular in A. embera, A. festae, A. lehmanni, and A. viridiceps; conical with apparent bare skin between conical scales in A. copii). It also differs from A. embera, A. festae, and A. viridiceps in having gulars not in two longitudinal rows (vs. a double longitudinal row of widened gular scales); from A. lehmanni in having dorsal scales rhomboidal, in oblique rows (vs. dorsal scales hexagonal with parallel lateral edges, in transverse rows). Alopoglossus meloi sp. nov. differs from A. angulatus (in parentheses) in having four pairs of chin shields (vs. three pairs), and third pair of chin shields irregularly trapezoidal, separated from gulars by large scales (vs. third pair of chin shields with rounded posterior margins, in direct contact with gulars or separated from them by a row of small, rounded or granular scales) (Fig. 3). 
CommentDistribution: see map in RIBEIRO-JÚNIOR 2018: 33 (Fig. 5).

Habitat: leaf litter, predominantly in a more open, dry forest, compared with typical Amazonian dense forest. MHNCI 13588 and 13950 were collected in lowland dense forest, near water. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a noun in the genitive case honoring André Renato de Melo Teixeira, for his great contribution motivating and supporting the present study. I have a special debt of gratitude for his help, tenderness, and encouragement. 
  • Hernández-Morales, C., Sturaro, M.J., Nunes, P.M.S., Lotzkat, S. and Peloso, P.L. 2020. A species‐level total evidence phylogeny of the microteiid lizard family Alopoglossidae (Squamata: Gymnophthalmoidea). Cladistics - get paper here
  • Ribeiro-Junior, M. A., Choueri, E., Lobos, S., Venegas, P., Torres-Carvajal, O. and Werneck, F. 2020. Eight in one: morphological and molecular analyses reveal cryptic diversity in Amazonian alopoglossid lizards (Squamata: Gymnophthalmoidea). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 190 (1): 227–270 - get paper here
  • Ribeiro-Júnior, Marco Antônio; Shai Meiri, Antoine Fouquet 2020. A New Species of Alopoglossus Boulenger (1885) (Squamata, Alopoglossidae) from the Lowlands of the Eastern Guiana Shield, with Assessment of the Taxonomic Status of A. copii surinamensis. Journal of Herpetology 54 (4): 427-445 - get paper here
  • Ribeiro-Júnior, Marco A. & Silvana Amaral 2016. Diversity, distribution, and conservation of lizards (Reptilia: Squamata) in the Brazilian Amazonia. Neotropical Biodiversity, 2:1, 195-421 - get paper here
  • Ribeiro-Júnior, Marco Antônio 2018. A new species of Alopoglossus lizard (Squamata, Alopoglossidae) from the Southern Guiana Shield, northeastern Amazonia, with remarks on diagnostic characters to the genus. Zootaxa 4422 (1): 025–040 - get paper here
  • Ribeiro‐Júnior, M. A., Sánchez‐Martínez, P. M., Moraes, L. J. C. D. L., Oliveira, U. S. C. D., Carvalho, V. T. D., Pavan, D., ... & Meiri, S. 2021. Uncovering hidden species diversity of alopoglossid lizards in Amazonia, with the description of three new species of Alopoglossus (Squamata: Gymnophthalmoidae). Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research - get paper here
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