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Crocodilurus amazonicus SPIX, 1825

IUCN Red List - Crocodilurus amazonicus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaTeiidae, Tupinambinae, Gymnophthalmoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Crocodile Tegu
G: Krokodilschwanzechse
Portuguese: Calango-D’água, Jacarerana, Jacaruxi 
SynonymTupinambis lacertinus DAUDIN 1802: 85
Thorictis lacertinus DAUDIN 1802
Crocodilurus amazonicus SPIX 1825: 19
Crocodilurus ocellatus SPIX 1825: 20
Crocodilurus lacertinus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 46
Crocodilurus lacertinus — PETERS et al. 1970: 102
Crocodilurus lacertina — CRUMP 1971: 20
Crocodilurus lacertinus — GORZULA & SEÑARIS 1999
Crocodilurus amazonicus — DE MASSARY & HOOGMOED 2001
Crocodilurus lacertinus — PIANKA & VITT 2003: 199 
DistributionFrench Guiana, Brazil (Amazonas, Para, Amapa, Rondonia)
Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Suriname ?

Type locality: Islands adjacent to tropical South America.  
TypesHolotype: ZSM 638/0 (given as ZSMH by Avila-Pires 1995) (Crocodilurus amazonicus SPIX 1825)
Lectotype: ZSMH 639/0, designated by Hoogmoed & Gruber, 1983; Paratypes: RMNH 3394 [ocellatus] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Crocodilurus possesses several characters found in no other Teiidae. These include (1) an elongate fifth toe extending beyond the proximal free phalangeal articulation of Toe IV, (2) apical granules on the flanks that point upward and anteriorly from a fold of skin behind each dorsal so that each granule’s pointed apex contacts the apex of the preceding dorsal, and (3) long, styloid apical awns on the hemipenis, each separated from an exceptionally pronounced catchment fold by a deep groove. 
CommentType species: Crocodilurus amazonicus Spix is the type species of the genus Crocodilurus Spix 1825.

Synonymy: DAUDIN (1802: 87) considered Tupinambis lacertinus (“tupinambis lézardet”) as a synonym of Lacerta bicarinata LINNAEUS 1758 (now: Neusticurus bicarinatus), indicating that he was just redescribing and renaming Lacerta bicarinata.
Cuvier (1829) erroneously considered C. amazonicus the same species as Daudin’s lézardet and L. bicarinata LINNAEUS 1758. GRAY (1831: 29) considered L. bicarinata, T. lacertinus, and Crocodilurus amazonicus as identical.
Because the description of. T. lacertinus was actually a redescription of L. bicarinata LINNAEUS by DAUDIN (1802), who expressly stated this, the type of L. bicarinata (UUZM 70) automatically also becomes the type for T. lacertinus. However, the specimen on which DAUDIN based his description has to be considered as lost. DE MASSARY & HOOGMOED 2001 therefore suggest to apply the name C. amazonicus to the taxon known as C. lacertinus. The name Tupinambis lacertinus DAUDIN 1802 would therefore beome a synonym of Neusticurus bicarinatus. See DE MASSARY & HOOGMOED 2001 for more details on this issue.
Crocodilurus ocellatus SPIX 1825 is just a young Crocodilurus amazonicus.

Distribution: Not in Guyana (Cole et al. 2013). 
EtymologyNamed after its origin from the Amazon.

Genus: Spix (1825) did not discuss the etymology of Crocodilurus. The name is likely derived from the Greek nouns krokodeilos originally meaning lizard and oura meaning tail. In his generic description, Spix (1825) emphasized characteristics of the tail, which resembles that of crocodilians. 
  • Avila-Pires, T.C.S. 1995. Lizards of Brazilian Amazonia (Reptilia: Squamata). Zoologische Verhandelingen 299: 1-706 - get paper here
  • Crump, Martha L. 1971. Quantitative analysis of the ecological distribution of a tropical herpetofauna. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural History, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas (3): 1-62 - get paper here
  • Cuvier, G. J. L. N. F. D. 1829. Le Regne Animal Distribué, d'apres son Organisation, pur servir de base à l'Histoire naturelle des Animaux et d'introduction à l'Anatomie Comparé. Nouvelle Edition [second edition]. Vol. 2. Les Reptiles. Déterville, Paris, i-xvi, 1-406 - get paper here
  • Daudin, F. M. 1802. Histoire Naturelle, génerale et particulièredes reptiles, ouvrage faisant suite, a l'histoiure naturelle, générale et particulière composée par LECLERC DE BUFFON, et redigée par C. S. SONNINI, vol. 3. F. Dufart, Paris, 452 pp. - get paper here
  • de Massary, J.C. & M.S. Hoogmoed 2001. Crocodilurus amazonicus Spix, 1825: The Valid Name for Crocodilurus lacertinus Auctorum (nec Daudin, 1802) (Squamata: Teiidae) Journal of Herpetology 35 (2): 353-357. - 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
  • Gonzalez R. C. et al. 2020. Lista dos Nomes Populares dos Répteis no Brasil – Primeira Versão. Herpetologia Brasileira 9 (2): 121 – 214 - get paper here
  • Gorzula, Stefan & Senaris, J. Celsa 1999. In: Contribution to the herpetofauna of the Venezuelan Guayana. I: a data base. Scientia Guaianae, Caracas, No. 8 [1998], 269+ pp.; ISBN 980-6020-48-0
  • Gray, J. E. 1831. A synopsis of the species of Class Reptilia. In: Griffith, E & E. Pidgeon: The animal kingdom arranged in conformity with its organisation by the Baron Cuvier with additional descriptions of all the species hither named, and of many before noticed [V Whittaker, Treacher and Co., London: 481 + 110 pp. [1830]
  • Hoogmoed, M.S., & Lescure, J. 1975. An annotated checklist of the lizards of French Guiana, mainly based on two recent collections. Zoologische Mededelingen 49(13): 141-172. - get paper here
  • Lima Moraes, L. J. C. de, do Nascimento Rainha, R., de Pinho Werneck, F., de Souza Oliveira, A. F., Gascon, C., & de Carvalho, V. T. 2022. Amphibians and reptiles from a protected area in western Brazilian Amazonia (Reserva Extrativista do Baixo Juruá). Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia, 62, e202262054-e202262054 - get paper here
  • Martins, Marcio 2006. Life in the water: ecology of the Jacarerana lizard, Crocodilurus amazonicus. The Herpetological Journal 16: 171-176 - get paper here
  • Massary, J. C. de & Hoogmoed,M.S. 2001. Crocodilurus amazonicus Spix, 1825: The valid name for Crocodilurus lacertinus auctorum (nec Daudin, 1802) (Squamata: Teiidae). Journal of Herpetology 35 (2): 353-357 - get paper here
  • Morato, S.A.A.; Calixto, P.O.; Mendes, L.R.; Gomes, R.; Galatti, U.; Trein, F.L.; Oliveira, F.S.; Ferreira, G.N. 2014. Guia fotográfico de identificação da herpetofauna da Floresta Nacional de Saracá-Taquera, Estado do Pará. Curitiba: STCP Engenharia de Projetos Ltda.; Porto Trombetas: MRN – Mineração Rio do Norte S.A.; 213 p. - get paper here
  • Morato, Sérgio Augusto Abrahão; Guilherme Nunes Ferreira; Michela Rossane Cavilha Scupino (eds.) 2018. Herpetofauna da Amazônia Central: Estudos na FLONA de Saracá-Taquera. Curitiba, Pr: STCP Engenharia de Projetos Ltda.; Porto Trombetas, Pa: MRN – Mineração Rio do Norte S.A., 2018. 210p. - get paper here
  • Pianka, E.R. & Vitt, L.J. 2003. Lizards - Windows to the Evolution of Diversity. University of California Press, Berkeley, 347 pp. [review in Copeia 2004: 955] - get paper here
  • Prudente, A.L.C.; F. Magalhães; A. Menks; J.F.M. Sarmento. 2013. Checklist of Lizards of the Juruti, state of Pará, Brazil. Check List 9 (1):42-50 - get paper here
  • RIBEIRO-JÚNIOR, MARCO A., SILVANA AMARAL 2016. Catalogue of distribution of lizards (Reptilia: Squamata) from the Brazilian Amazonia. III. Anguidae, Scincidae, Teiidae. Zootaxa 4205 (5): 401–430 - 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
  • RIVAS, GILSON A.; CÉSAR R. MOLINA, GABRIEL N. UGUETO, TITO R. BARROS, CÉSAR L. BAR- RIO-AMORÓS & PHILIPPE J. R. KOK 2012. Reptiles of Venezuela: an updated and commented checklist. Zootaxa 3211: 1–64 - get paper here
  • Spix, J. B. von 1825. Animalia nova sive species nova lacertarum quas in itinere per Brasiliam annis MDCCCXVII-MDCCCXX jussu et auspicius Maximiliani Josephi I Bavariae Regis suscepto collegit et descripsit Dr. J. B. de Spix. Lipsiae: T. O. Weigel; F. S. Hübschmanni, Monachii, 26 pp. - get paper here
  • Vaz-Silva, W.; RM Oliveira, AFN Gonzaga, KC Pinto, FC Poli, TM Bilce, M Penhacek, L Wronski, JX Martins, TG Junqueira, LCC, Cesca VY, Guimarães RD. Pinheiro 2015. Contributions to the knowledge of amphibians and reptiles from Volta Grande do Xingu, northern Brazil Braz. J. Biol., 75 (3) (suppl.): S205-S218 - get paper here
  • Viana, Patrik F. and Diego M. M. Mendes. 2015. Crocodilurus amazonicus (crocodile tegu) diet. Herpetological Review 46 (2): 255-256 - get paper here
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