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Cnemidophorus murinus (LAURENTI, 1768)

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Higher TaxaTeiidae, Teiinae, Gymnophthalmoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Curaçao Whiptail, Laurent's Whiptail 
SynonymSeps murinus LAURENTI 1768: 63
Cnemidophorus murinus — WAGLER 1830
Cnemidophorus murinus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 126
Cnemidophorus murinus — BOULENGER 1885: 361
Cnemidophorus murinus murinus — MASLIN & SECOY 1986
Cnemidophorus murinus — DEARING & SCHALL 1994
Cnemidophorus murinus — HARVEY et al. 2012 
DistributionCuracao, Bonaire I (Trinidad and Guianas fide BOULENGER 1885)

Type locality: in error; restricted to Curaçao by Burt (1935)  
TypesHolotype: unknown (based on illustration in Seba 1735: fig. 2, 111) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Cnemidophorus is the only genus of Teiidae with a single pair of preanal spurs in males and proximal hemipenial laminae ornamented in short papillae. Female Cnemidophorus can be distinguished from all other teiids by the combination of long first supraciliaries, long first supralabials with straight ventral margins, subtriangular to subcircular nostrils, five regular parietals, smooth ventrals, and a continuous postaxial row of keeled, serrate scales separating the digital lamellae of all five toes.

Diagnosis: A species of Cnemidophorus distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) maximum SVL in males 159 mm (Lammere ́e, 1970); (2) nostril usually centered within nasal suture, occasionally slightly anterior to it; (3) rostral scale bluntly rounded; (4) frontonasal hexagonal or octagonal, forming slightly angular sutures with nasals; (5) first supraciliary usually separated from prefrontal, occasionally in contact; (6) scales of circumorbital semicircles 8–14 (total of both sides) in contact with supraoculars, extending to posterior portion of third or to anterior portion of fourth supraocular; (7) 60–92 (total of both sides) scales in a doubled or tripled row between supraoculars and supraciliaries; (8) mesoptychials barely to slightly enlarged; (9) ventrals usually in 10, rarely 12, longitudinal and 35–39 transverse rows; (10) bisexual (gonochoristic); (11) brachials barely enlarged and restricted to small patch near elbow; (12) males with one anal spur at each side; spur broad and short, extending very close to body; (13) 2–3 medium-size scales between anal spur and preanal shield; (14) subcaudals near base of tail smooth; (15) traces of vertebral and paravertebral stripes only present in juveniles; (16) adult males in life uniformly brown or gray with 14–23 large white or pale blue spots on flanks, greenish or bluish tint on head, and short, pale longitudinal stripes on temporal and supratemporal regions; (17) females in life uniformly gray-brown without greenish or bluish cast on head, and with 5–17 spots on flanks; (18) juvenile color pattern similar to that of adults but often with traces of dorsal striping [from UGUETO & HARVEY 2010]. 
CommentType species: Seps murinus LAURENTI 1768 is the type species of the genus Cnemidophorus WAGLER 1830.

‘‘Cnemidophorus’’ murinus is more closely related to Kentropyx than to ‘‘C.’’
lacertoides, ‘‘C.’’ longicaudus, and/or ‘‘C.’’ ocellifer (REEDER et al. 2002).

Subspecies: Cnemidophorus murinus ruthveni BURT 1935 has been elevated to full species status.

The original type locality was given as “Java”, obviously in error. 
EtymologyApparently named after Latin mus, muris = mouse, probably because of its grey color reminescent of a mouse, but possibly also because of the fast running that mice show.

Cnemidophorus is derived from the Greek knemidotos (with leggings) and phoreus (bearer, carrier). Wagler (1830a: 154) stated the name meant ‘‘ocreis armatus,’’ which translates to equipped with protective armor for the shins. The name alludes to the several rows of large scales on the dorsal surface of the foreleg of the members of this genus (McCranie 2018: 400). 
  • Bennett, A.F. & T.T. Gleeson 1979. Metabolic Expenditure and the Cost of Foraging in the Lizard Cnemidophorus murinus Copeia 1979 (4): 573-577. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Vol. 2, Second edition. London, xiii+497 pp. - get paper here
  • Burt, C. E. 1931. A study of the teiid lizards of the genus Cnemidophorus with special reference to their phylogenetic relationships. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 154: 286 pp. - get paper here
  • Burt, Charles E. 1935. A new lizard from the Dutch Leeward Islands (Cnemidophorus murinus ruthveni). Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan (324): 1-3 - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1885. Twelfth contribution to the herpetology of tropical America. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 22: 167-194 [1884] - get paper here
  • Dearing, M.D. 1993. An Alimentary Specialization for Herbivory in the Tropical Whiptail Lizard Cnemidophorus murinus Journal of Herpetology 27 (1): 111-114. - get paper here
  • Dearing,M.D. & Schall,J.J. 1994. Atypical reproduction and sexual dimorphism of the tropical Bonaire island whiptail lizard, Cnemidophorus murinus. Copeia 1994: 761-766 - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron. 1839. Erpétologie Générale on Histoire Naturelle Complète des Reptiles. Vol. 5. Roret/Fain et Thunot, Paris, 871 pp. - get paper here
  • HARVEY, MICHAEL B.; GABRIEL N. UGUETO & RONALD L. GUTBERLET, Jr. 2012. Review of Teiid Morphology with a Revised Taxonomy and Phylogeny of the Teiidae (Lepidosauria: Squamata). Zootaxa 3459: 1–156 - get paper here
  • Hughes, Daniel F. and Pablo R. Delis. 2014. Cnemidophorus murinus murinus (Laurent's whiptail) myiasis. Herpetological Review 45 (1): 126-127 - get paper here
  • Hummelinck, P. W. 1940. Studies on the fauna of Curacao, Aruba, Bonaire and the Venezuelan Islands: No. 2. A survey of the mammals, lizards and mollusks. ['Gymnophthalmus laevicaudus: 80]. Studies on the Fauna of Curacao and other Caribbean Islands. 1:59—108
  • Laurenti, J. N. 1768. Specimen medicum, exhibens synopsin reptilium emendatam cum experimentis circa venena et antidota reptilium austracorum, quod authoritate et consensu. Vienna, Joan. Thomae, 217 pp. - get paper here
  • Maslin, T. & Secoy, D.M. 1986. A checklist of the lizard genus Cnemidophorus (Teiidae). Contr. Zool. Univ. Colorado Mus. 1: 1-60
  • Presch, W. 1971. Tongue structure of the teiid lizard genera Ameiva and Cnemidophorus with a reallocation of Ameiva vanzoi. Journal of Herpetology 5 (3-4): 183-185 - get paper here
  • REEDER, T.W.; CHARLES J. COLE AND HERBERT C. DESSAUER 2002. Phylogenetic Relationships of Whiptail Lizards of the Genus Cnemidophorus (Squamata: Teiidae): A Test of Monophyly, Reevaluation of Karyotypic Evolution, and Review of Hybrid Origins. American Museum Novitates 3365: 1-64 - get paper here
  • Schall, J.J. 2000. Learning in Free-Ranging Populations of the Whiptail Lizard Cnemidophorus murinus Herpetologica 56 (1): 38-45. - get paper here
  • Schall, J.J. & M.D. Dearing 1994. Body Temperature of the Herbivorous Bonaire Island Whiptail Lizard (Cnemidophorus murinus) Journal of Herpetology 28 (4): 526-528. - get paper here
  • Ugueto, Gabriel N. and Michael B. Harvey 2010. Southern Caribbean Cnemidophorus (Squamata: Teiidae): Description of New Species and Taxonomic Status of C. murinus ruthveni Burt. Herpetological Monographs 24 (1): 111-148 - get paper here
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