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Cophosaurus texanus TROSCHEL, 1852

IUCN Red List - Cophosaurus texanus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaPhrynosomatidae, Phrynosomatinae, Callisaurini; Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesCophosaurus texanus scitulus (PETERS 1951)
Cophosaurus texanus reticulatus (PETERS 1951)
Cophosaurus texanus texanus TROSCHEL 1850 
Common NamesE: Greater Earless Lizard
E: Chihuahuan Greater Earless Lizard, Southwestern Earless Lizard [scitulus]
E: Texas Earless Lizard [texanus]
S: Lagartijón Sordo 
SynonymCophosaurus texanus TROSCHEL 1852: 289
Holbrookia texana — BAIRD & GIRARD 1852
Holbrookia affinis BAIRD & GIRARD 1852: 125 (fide GÜNTHER 1885)
Holbrookia texana — COPE 1880: 16
Holbrookia texana — BOULENGER 1885: 208
Holbrookia texana — COPE 1900
Holbrookia texana — SCHMIDT 1922
Holbrookia texana — BURT 1935
Holbrookia texana — SMITH 1935
Holbrookia texana — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 85
Cophosaurus texanus — CLARKE 1965
Holbrookia texana — COX & TANNER 1977
Holbrookia texana — CONANT 1978
Cophosaurus texanus — STEBBINS 1985: 116
Cophosaurus texanus — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 99
Cophosaurus texanus — LINER 1994
Cophosaurus texanus texanus — LINER 2007

Cophosaurus texanus reticulatus (PETERS, 1951)
Holbrookia texana reticulata PETERS 1951
Holbrookia texana reticulata — KLUGE 1984
Cophosaurus texanus reticulatus — LINER 2007

Cophosaurus texanus scitulus (PETERS 1951)
Holbrookia texana scitula PETERS 1951: 8
Holbrookia texana scitula — FUGLER 1956
Holbrookia texana scitula — ETHERIDGE 1964
Cophosaurus texanus scitulus — KLUGE 1984
Cophosaurus texanus scitulus — TANNER 1987
Cophosaurus texanus scitulus — LINER et al. 1993
Cophosaurus texanus scitulus — LEMOS-ESPINAL et al. 2004
Cophosaurus texanus scitulus — LINER 2007
Cophosaurus texanus scitulus — CROTHER et al. 2012 
DistributionUSA (SW Arizona, S New Mexico, W Texas),
Mexico (NE Sonora, N Chihuahua, NE Durango, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, W Tamaulipas, N Zacatecas)

scitulus: USA (Arizona, S Texas), Mexico (Coahuila, N San Luis Potosi); Type locality: On rocks at mouth of small arroyo entering Cañada del Oro del Oro, 16 miles north of Tucson, Pima Co., Arizona.

reticulatus: Mexico (Sonora); Type locality: Pilares, Sonora.

texanus: Texas, Oklahoma; NeoType locality: Texas, Comal, NE edge New Braunfels.

Type locality: New Braunfels, on the Guadalupe River, Texas.  
TypesNeotype: UMMZ 100811 (fide Peters 1951)
Holotype: UMMZ 100817 [reticulatus]
Holotype: UMMZ 100818 [scitulus]
Syntype: USNM 2662 [Holbrookia affinis] 
DiagnosisDescription: The tail is dorsoventrally flattened, longer than the head and body, and its ventral surface is white with bold black bands or spots. The legs are long and thin. There are no external ear openings. The lower jaw is recessed into the upper jaw, and the upper labial scales are flared and separated by grooves (Howland in Jones & Lovich 2009: 146).

Description: This species, the most distinct in the genus, is immediately distinguished by the conspicuous broad black bands on the undersurface of the flattened tail, which is carried curled up when running. In the field, it is difficult or impossible to distinguish it from a Callisaurus. It is further characterized by the posterior position of the lateroventral black spots which are long and frequently continued well up on the dorsal surface (Schmidt 1922).

Sexual dimorphism: Males are larger than females, have larger femoral pores, and coloration differs. Males are more brightly colored than females, with 2 pronounced dark bands extending from flank to belly. The ventral surface is white, with a sky-blue to greenish patch surrounding the black bands on each side, and an orange or pinkish wash on chest and throat. Adult females are shades of brown, gray, or greenish, sometimes with a dorsolateral row of darker, irregularly or crescent-shaped transverse blotches on each side. W h e n gravid, females may h ave patches of orange or pink on the throat, armpits, and sides of belly and chest. The belly is otherwise white, often with a hint of the black bands of males (Howland in Jones & Lovich 2009: 146).

Diagnosis: Ventrals from collar to anus 79 or less (80 per cent); number of scales in length 40 or more (86 per cent); sum of fernoral pores 27 or less (83 per cent); (Peters 1951: 5)

Dorsal color, slate gray to dark brown; vertebral spots, when present, not prominent; usually no orange or yellow stippling dorsally, little laterally, where it is confined to the axillary region. Ventral color, cream to dark cream; paired ventrolateral black stripes lighter on sides, but extending almost to vertebral line; chin occasionally with black lines converging toward mid-line posteriorly (Peters 1951: 5)

Diagnosis (scitulus): Peters 1951: 8.

Diagnosis (reticulatus): Peters 1951: 11. 
CommentSynonymy: AXTELL (1958) proposed to separate Cophosaurus from Holbrookia in a PhD thesis (Univ. Texas). Cox & Tanner 1977 proposed to synonymize Cophosaurus with Holbrookia, based on osteological and other evidence (they did not propose anything on reticulatus or scitulus).

Type Species: Cophosaurus texanus is the type species of the genus Cophosaurus TROSCHEL 1852.

Similar species: Callisaurus draconoides. 
EtymologyThe generic name is derived from the Greek words “copho”, meaning deaf, and sauros, meaning lizard, in reference to the absence of an external ear opening. These lizards, however, are not deaf. THe species name “texanus” refers to its occurrence in Texas. The subspecific name “scitulus” is a Latin word meaning "beautiful." 
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