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Anolis otongae AYALA-VARELA & VELASCO, 2010

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Higher TaxaDactyloidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common Names 
SynonymAnolis otongae AYALA-VARELA & VELASCO 2010
Dactyloa otongae — NICHOLSON et al. 2012 
DistributionEcuador (western slopes of the Andes)

Type locality: Ecuador, Provincia Cotopaxi, Cantón Sigchos, Reserva de Bosque Integral Otonga, near San Francisco de Las Pampas, 0°25'8.04"S, 79°0'14.04"W, 2000−2200 m elevation. Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
TypesHolotype: QCAZ 2051, adult male, 30 August 1993, collected by Néstor Acosta, Paola Ramón, César Tapia and Luis A. Coloma. 
CommentDiagnosis. According to Etheridge (1959) and Williams (1976a,b) the new species belongs to the alpha section of anoles by lacking transverse processes on most or all of the autotomic caudal vertebrae (distinctive, slender, transverse processes that are usually oriented forwardly lie posterior to the autotomy septum and are present on all or most caudal vertebrae in beta section of anoles), and it belongs to the punctatus subsection (Williams 1976a) by having an arrow-shaped interclavicle (T-shaped in carolinensis-subsection). Within the punctatus subsection, Anolis otongae is a member of the latifrons series (Etheridge 1959) by having at least four parasternal chevrons attached to the dorsal ribs, and the lateral processes of the interclavicle divergent from the proximal parts of the clavicles. Anolis otongae belongs to the aequatorialis species group (Williams 1976a) by being of moderate to large size with narrow toe lamellae.
According to Savage and Guyer (1989) Anolis otongae is a member of the Dactyloa clade by the presence of caudal autotomy and ≤ 8 septate caudal vertebrae, and member of the aequatorialis series (i.e., aequatorialis species group of Williams 1976a).
Anolis otongae differs from most species in the punctatus and tigrinus species group (Williams 1992) by having relatively small head scales, from the laevis species group (Williams 1976a) by lacking a soft, multi- scaled proboscis (sensu Williams 1979), from the roquet species group (Williams 1976a) by lacking supraorbital semicircles in contact with each other, interparietal in contact with supraorbital semicircles and posterior border of mental straight (sensu Poe 2004), and from the latifrons species group (Williams 1976a) by having a snout-vent length less than 100 mm and lacking a T-shaped interclavicle (sensu Savage 2002).
We assign Anolis otongae to the eulaemus-subgroup (Williams & Duellman 1984) because it has a typical Anolis digit, in which the distal lamellae of phalanx II distinctly overlap the proximal scales of phalanx I. Anolis aequatorialis, A. kunayalae Hulebak et al., A. mirus Williams, and A. parilis Williams belong to aequatorialis-subgroup (Williams & Duellman 1984) by having a Norops-type digit, in which the distal lamellae of phalanx II not distinct from first phalanx. Among species in the eulaemus-subgroup, A. otongae differs from A. antioquiae Williams in lacking a canthal ridge projecting above the loreal region (very sharp canthal ridge projecting above the loreal region in A. antioquiae), and females dewlap absent (female dewlap moderate extending to the level of the arms in A. antioquiae). The new species differs from A. eulaemus Boulenger in having the male dewlap skin white or pale-yellow and greenish-yellow anteriorly (male dewlap skin brown with a pale brown border in A. eulaemus), female dewlap absent (female dewlap rudimentary with a dark skin in A. eulaemus), and adults with snout-vent length < 70 mm (adults with snout-vent length > 80 mm in A. eulaemus). Anolis otongae can be distinguished from A. fitchi Williams and Duellman by lacking a dewlap in females (females with moderate dewlap size in A. fitchi), by having a dewlap with rows of 3−6 scales separated by naked skin (dewlap with large scales in rows of one scale separated by naked skin in A. fitchi). Anolis otongae is most similar to A. gemmosus but differs from it by the following features (character states of A. gemmosus in parentheses): side of the head with a stripe dark coppery-brown (stripe absent), females with dark brown dorsal chevrons extending onto flanks (chevrons absent), male dewlap skin white or pale-yellow and greenish-yellow anteriorly with pale-green gorgetals rows and white sternals rows (male dewlap skin dull yellowish green on the basal area, shading to dull greenish yellow on the outer part; or dewlap skin dull greenish yellow outer part, but the basal part was bluish green with six narrow sharply defined white stripes diverging from a center on the anterior basal portion), dewlap with wide scale rows of three to six scales per row (narrow scale rows of 2−3 scales per row), if present, interparietal scale surrounded by relatively enlarged flat scales (interparietal surrounded by small swollen scales), and enlarged postanal scales separated by 1−2 scales (postanal scales separated by 3−5 scales). Additionally, PCA analyses (Table 1−2, Fig. 4) with morphological variables showed that PC1 (36.9% of total variation) represented mainly snout-vent length and head length. Specimens of A. otongae showed a tendency to have larger bodies (SVL) and longer heads than A. gemmosus. The PC2 (30.7% of total variation) represented mostly hindlimb length. The Wilk’s lambda test showed a significant separation in morphological space between both species (Wilk’s λ = 0.176, P < 0.001).
Anolis otongae can be distinguished from A. maculigula Williams and A. megalophitecus Rueda- Almonacid in having the male dewlap skin white or pale-yellow and greenish yellow anteriorly (male dewlap skin in the base with orange stripes on blue gray ground, anterior third pale bluish rose, posterior portion white becoming pale blue toward the belly in A. maculigula; male dewlap skin sepia with red narrow and irregulars stripes to each side of rows in A. megalophitecus). Anolis otongae differs from A. ventrimaculatus Boulenger by having a dewlap with rows of 3−6 scales separated by naked skin (large scales with rows of 1 or 2 scales separated by naked skin in A. ventrimaculatus) [from AYALA-VARELA & VELASCO 2010].

Species groups: Dactyloa punctata species group (fide NICHOLSON et al. 2012). 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. The indigenous name “Otonga” was inspired by either the giant earthworm Onoreodrillus spp. or by limbless amphibians Caecilia pachynema Günther, C. guntheri Dunn, and Epicrionops bicolor Boulenger. These animals are the most conspicuous and striking of this wildlife reserve, sharing burrowing habits and considered uneatable food by indigenous people. 
  • Ayala-Varela FP, Troya-Rodríguez D, Talero-Rodríguez X, Torres-Carvajal O. 2014. A new Andean anole species of the Dactyloa clade (Squamata: Iguanidae) from western Ecuador. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 8 (1) [Special Section]: 8–24 - get paper here
  • Ayala-Varela, F.P.; Velasco, J.A. 2010. A new species of dactyloid anole (SQUAMATA: IGUANIDAE) from the western Andes of Ecuador. Zootaxa 2577: 46–56 - get paper here
  • NICHOLSON, KIRSTEN E.; BRIAN I. CROTHER, CRAIG GUYER & JAY M. SAVAGE 2012. It is time for a new classification of anoles (Squamata: Dactyloidae). Zootaxa 3477: 1–108
  • Poe, S. 2013. 1986 Redux: New genera of anoles (Squamata: Dactyloidae) are unwarranted. Zootaxa 3626 (2): 295–299 - get paper here
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