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Ctenophorus modestus (AHL, 1926)

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Amphibolurinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymAmphibolurus modestus AHL 1926: 187 (fide COGGER 1983)
Ctenophorus modestus — STUART-FOX et al. 2020
Ctenophorus modestus — DONG et al. 2021 
DistributionAustralia (South Australia)

Type locality: “Australien”, without further details  
TypesLectotype: ZMB 54516, subadult male; paralectotype: ZMB 30092, adult female, designated by Dong et al. 2021. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Ctenophorus modestus is a member of the C. decresii species group (Houston, 1974; Houston and Hutchinson, 1998). Within the C. decresii species group, C. modestus is distinguishable by the following combination of characters: snout scales smooth to longitudinally keeled; vertebral scales flat; a smooth-edged dark lateral stripe, sometimes interrupted to form a separate blotch posterior to the tympanum; and in males, throat coloration is polymorphic (orange, yellow, orange-yellow, or gray) with or without an overlay of gray reticulations and a small central black patch (Dong et al. 2021).

Description. A moderately sized lizard reaching a maximum SVL of approximately 85 mm and total length of 255 mm. Head and body depressed. Tail long and tapered to a fine tip. Forelimbs moderately long, almost reaching groin when adpressed. Hindlimbs long and reaching or almost reaching snout when adpressed. Finger lengths: 4 > 3 > 5 > 2 > 1; toe lengths: 4 > 3 > 5 > 2 > 1. Characteristic of the genus, a distinct row of enlarged keeled scales extending from the nostril, below the eye to above the tympanum (Houston and Hutchinson, 1998). Ear membranes exposed and scale-free. Scales on snout are smooth to longitudinally keeled. 13–18 supralabial scales; 13–18 infralabial scales; 4–6 scales between rostral and nasal; 4–6 scales between supralabial and nasal; 9– 13 internasal scales; 19–27 subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe (McLean et al., 2013). Small clustered pale yellow to orange spines anterior to tympanum. Dorsal crest is small, no more than a series of keeled scales, becoming smaller posteriorly and not reaching base of tail. Nuchal crest low or absent. Scales on the dorsal surfaces of the limbs and tail are keeled. The gular fold is strongly developed and extends across the shoulders. 34–45 femoral and precloacal pores are arranged in a straight line along the thighs. Pores are present but smaller in females.
Adult male base color varies from gray-blue to brown, with pale blue flanks (Figs. 1H, 4C). The dorsolateral surface of the head is brown, with orange around the eyes, nostrils, and along the upper jaw, and beneath the tympanum terminating at the neck. The extent of this coloration varies among individuals and depends on location. A broad black lateral stripe begins posterior to the eye, becoming thicker posterior to the tympanum and terminating at the groin. A thin cream, yellow, or orange stripe begins at the tympanum and terminates just posterior to the shoulder (Figs. 1H, 4C). On the ventral surface, males are cream with orange flushes on the belly, hindlimbs, and the length of the tail during the breeding season. A dark chest patch tapers to a point midbody and sometimes extends along the undersides of theforelimbs.Thisdarkpatchmayvaryinintensity,from black to gray. Male throat coloration varies among individuals with distinct gray, orange, yellow, and orange-yellow morphs (Teasdale et al., 2013; Fig. 1D–G). Base throat color sometimes overlain with gray reticulations or with a distinct black mark in the center of the throat.
Adult females are cryptically colored, predominantly gray-brown to orange-brown, densely patterned with darker and lighter speckling (Fig. 4D) and sometimes a thin, pale vertebral line. Similar to males, a black lateral stripe runs along the flanks, but sometimes less prominently than in males. White to cream on the ventral surface, with varying degrees of gray reticulations on the throat. Orange to yellow flushes on the belly and gular region during the breeding season. Juveniles resemble adult females in coloration and pattern. Color patterning remains visible in fresh spiritpreserved specimens but fades with time (Dong et al. 2021). 
CommentWells and Wellington (1985) previously resurrected C. modestus (Ahl, 1926) from synonymy with C. decresii and nominated the larger of the two syntypes as a lectotype. However, they provided no rationale or evidence to support this decision. See Dong et al. 2021 for a discussion why they regard Wells and Wellington’s (1985) recognition of C. modestus as unavailable. 
Etymologynamed after an island, “Ce Grammatophore a été trouvé par Péron et Lesueur, dans l'île de Decrès, en Australasie” (Duméril & Bibron, 1837: 474). 
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