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Diploderma swild WANG, WU, JIANG, CHEN, MIAO, SILER & CHE, 2019

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Draconinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Swild Mountain Dragon
Chinese: 山地龙蜥 (Pinyin: Shan Di Long Xi) 
SynonymDiploderma swild WANG, WU, JIANG, CHEN, MIAO, SILER & CHE 2019
Japalura dymondi — DENG et al. 1991: 27
Japalura flaviceps — DENG et al. 1991: 27
Japalura dymondi — ZHAO et al. 1999: 110–111
Japalura flaviceps — ZHAO et al. 1999: 111–115
Japalura dymondi — ZHAO 2003: 82–83
Japalura flaviceps — ZHAO 2003: 84 
DistributionChina (Sichuan)

Type locality: Hongbao Village, Yanbian County, Panzhihua District, Sichuan Province, China (WGS 84, E101.558°, N27.104°, 2 318 m a.s.l.).  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: KIZ 034912, adult male, collected by Ben-Fu Miao on October 15, 2017.
Paratype: CIB 1871/105074, adult male from Xichang, Liangshan Prefecture, Sichuan Province, China, collector and collecting time unknown. KIZ 034913, adult female; KIZ 034914, 034894, sub-adult males, collected by Ben-Fu Miao on August 2017. KIZ 040935, adult male, collected by Ben-Fu Miao and Kai Wang on April 10, 2019; KIZ 040124, sub-adult female; KIZ 040125–27, adult females, collected by Kai Wang, Jia-Wei Wu, Gedeng Nima, and Ben-Fu Miao on April 23, 2018. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: The new species can be diagnosed from congeners by a combination of the following morphological characteristics: (1) body length moderate, SVL 59.8 – 71.7mm in adult males, 57.2 – 76.8 mm in adult females; (2) tail long, TAL 224.4% – 239.0% SVL in adult males, 200.4% – 221.0% in adult females; (3) hind limbs moderate, HLL 66.9% – 78.1% SVL; (4) head length, width, and depth moderate, HL 30.8%– 32.5% SVL, HW 64.9%–71.9% HL, HD 50.0%–54.1% HL, HD 73.4%–80.6% HW; (4) MD 35–44; (5) F4S 18–22; (6) T4S 23– 27; (7) tympana exposed; (8) tympana moderate in size, TD 26.7%–49.2% OD; (9) nuchal crest tall, clearly differentiated from dorsal crests, TNC 12.0% – 12.4% HL in adult males, 8.1% – 11.8% in adult females; (10) transverse gular fold present, relatively shallow; (11) ventral scales of head and body distinctively keeled; (12) ventral head and ventrolateral body scales largely homogeneous in size with few enlarged scales scattered randomly; (13) gular spots absent in both sexes; (14) dorsolateral stripes distinct in males, smooth edged, Chartreuse (Color 89) in color; faint or indistinct in females, White, Cream Color (Color 12), or Spectrum Yellow (Color 79) in color; (15) ventral body white with Jet Black (Color 300) speckles or with two wide, parallel, Light Yellow Ocher (Color 13) lateral patches distributed from chest to region anterior to vent; and (16) anterior oral cavity and tongue Light Chrome Orange (Color 76), posterior parts of palate marbled Dark Neutral Gray (Color 299).

Comparisons: The new species is morphologically most similar to, and confused historically with, D. dymondi, in which both species have exposed tympana and green, smooth- edged dorsolateral stripes in males. However, D. swild sp. nov. can be differentiated from D. dymondi by having relatively taller nuchal crest scales (TNC 12.0% – 12.4% HL in males, 8.1% – 11.8% in females vs. 4.6% – 6.6% in males, 4.4% – 6.0% in females), smaller tympana (TD 26.7% – 49.2% OD vs. 49.4% – 61.2%), a distinct coloration of oral cavity (Light Chrome Orange (Color 76) vs. Spectrum Violet (Color 186) or Jet Black (Color 300)), and tongue (Light Chrome Orange (Color 76) vs. Light Flesh Color (Color 250)) (Tables 1, 2), as well as by presence of enlarged scales on the ventral surface of head scales (vs. absent).
Diploderma swild sp. nov. is also similar to D. slowinskii and D. varcoae morphologically, where all three species have exposed tympana. However, the new species can be differentiated from D. slowinskii by having a smaller maximum body size (maximum SVL reaching 76.8 mm vs. reaching 99.5 mm), fewer middorsal scales count (MD 35 – 44 vs. 47 – 53), distinct oral coloration in life (Light Chrome Orange (Color 76) vs. Light Flesh Color (Color 250)), and by the presence of distinct, white lip stripes (vs. absent); and from D. varcoae by having much larger nuchal crest scales (TNC 12.0% – 12.4% HL in males, 8.1%–11.8% in females vs. 4.0%–7.1% in males, 3.8% – 6.1% in females), smaller tympana (TD 26.7% – 49.2% OD vs. 55.1% – 67.3%), different shape and color of dorsolateral stripes in males (Smooth edged, Chartreuse (Color 89) or Yellow Green (Color 103) vs. strongly jagged, Light Buff (Color 2)), different ecology (arboreal vs. terrestrial), and by the presence of a transverse gular fold (vs. absent) (Tables 1, 2).
Compared to other members of the same clade (Clade C, Figure 2), the new species differ from D. flaviceps by having a longer tail (TAL>200.4% SVL vs.<193.9%), taller nuchal crests (TNC 12.0%–12.4% HL in males, ≥8.1% in females vs. ≤6.1% in males, ≤5.6% in females), different shape and coloration of dorsolateral stripes in males (smooth edged, Chartreuse (Color 89) or Yellow Green (Color 103) vs. strongly jagged, Cream Color (Color 12)), as well as by the presence of dark distinct radial stripes around eyes (vs. absent), and by the absence of hollow, rhomboid shaped patterns along dorsal midline of the body (vs. present); from D. micangshanense by having exposed tympana (vs. concealed), different shape and coloration of dorsolateral stripes in males (smooth edged, Chartreuse (Color 89) or Yellow Green (Color 103) vs. strongly jagged, Cream Color (Color 12)), a distinct coloration of oral cavity and tongue (Light Chrome Orange (Color 76) vs. Light Flesh Color (Color 250)), and by the presence of a transverse gular fold (vs. absent); from D. splendidum by having exposed tympana (vs. concealed) and a distinct coloration of oral cavity and tongue (Light Chrome Orange (Color 76) vs. Light Flesh Color (Color 250)); from D. zhaoermii by having exposed tympana (vs. concealed), a distinct shape of dorsolateral stripes in males (smooth edged vs. strongly jagged), a distinct oral coloration in life (Light Chrome Orange (Color 76) vs. Light Flesh Color (Color 250)), and by the absence of distinct gular spots in males (vs. present); and from all island congeners (D. brevipes, D. luei, D. makii, D. polygonatum, and D. swinhonis) by having exposed tympana (vs. concealed) and by the presence of a transverse gular fold (vs. absent).
For congeners in the different Clade (Clade B, Figure 2), the new species differs by having exposed tympana (vs. concealed) and a shallow transverse gular fold (vs. prominent and deep). Additionally, D. swild sp. nov. differs from all members of Clade B except for D. laeviventre (including D. chapaense, D. batangense, D. vela, D. yulongense, and D. yunnanense) by having smooth edged, dorsolateral stripes in males (vs. strongly jagged), and from all but D. chapaense and D. yunnanese by having a distinct coloration of oral cavity and tongue (Light Chrome Orange (Color 76) vs. Light Flesh Color (Color 250)), heterogeneous ventral head scales and ventrolateral body scales (vs. homogeneous), and taller nuchal crests (TNC 12.0%–12.4% HL in males, ≥8.1% in females vs. ≤6.1%). Furthermore, D. swild sp. nov. differs from D. laeviventre by having fewer middorsal scale count (35 – 44 vs. 57 – 59), different scale texture of ventral scales (strongly keeled vs. smooth), and by the absence of distinct gular spots in both sexes (vs. present); and from D. chapaense and D. yunnanense by having a transverse gular fold (vs. absent), and by the absence of distinct W-shaped ridges on occipital head (vs. present) and the absence of gular spots (vs. present).
For congeners that do not have genetic data, the new species differs from all by having exposed tympana (vs. concealed). Additionally, D. swild differs from D. brevicaudum by having a much longer tail (TAL≥200.4% SVL vs. ≤150.0%); from D. drukdaypo by having a longer tail (TAL≥200.4% SVL vs. ≤175.1%), distinctively keeled ventral scales (vs. smooth or feebly keeled), and strongly developed nuchal crests (vs. feebly developed); from D. grahami by having strongly developed nuchal crests (vs. feebly developed) and by the absence of grangular scales on the head and body (vs. present); from D. hamptoni by having parallel dorsolateral stripes (vs. diagonally away from dorsal midline toward posterior direction); from D. iadinum by having a longer tail (TAL≥200.4% SVL vs. ≤196.4%), a distinct dorsal coloration (Clay Color (Color 18) to Warm Sepia (Color 40) vs. Yellowish Spectrum Green (Color 128) to Emerald Green (Color 143)), a distinct coloration of oral cavity and tongue (Light Chrome Orange (Color 76) vs. Light Flesh Color (Color 250)), and by the absence of gular spots in both sexes (vs. present); and from D. fasciatum by having a longer tail (TAL≥200.4% SVL vs. ≤180.5%), a distinct coloration of oral cavity and tongue (Light Chrome Orange (Color 76) vs. Light Flesh Color (Color 250)), and different ornamentation patterns on the dorsal bodies in males and females (two smooth edged dorsolateral stripes vs. single hourglass-shaped transverse marking on mid dorsum).
 
CommentHabitat: arboreal, in broad-leaf forest at elevation between 1 800–2 200 m a.s.l. (Figure 1 in Wang et al. 2019). Individuals were observed foraging both on trees and on the ground during the day, but only resting on twigs or thin stems of bushes at night from about 1 m to 2–3 m above ground. D. swild inhabits the moister, montane area that is further away from the much dryer main course of the Jinsha River, where D. dymondi lives.
 
EtymologyThe specific name "swild", which is a noun, is derived from the name of the Chinese Conservation Organization, Swild Studio ( 西 南 山 地 工 作 室). We name the species after the organization in honoring its continuous contributions on promoting citizen science, nature photography, and public outreach on the wildlife conservation in Southwest China, particularly in the Hengduan Mountain Regions where the new species is native. 
References
  • Deng Q, Yu Z, Zeng F. 1991. Herpetological Survey in Panzhihua City, Sichuan. Sichuan Journal of Zoology, 10(2): 27–29
  • Wang, Kai; Jia-Wei Wu, Ke Jiang, Jin-Min Chen, Ben-Fu Miao, Cameron D. Siler, Jing Che. 2019. A new species of Mountain Dragon (Reptilia: Agamidae: Diploderma) from the D. dymondi complex in southern Sichuan Province, China. Zoological Research 40(5): 456-465 - get paper here
  • Zhao E. M., Zhao K., Zhou K. Y. 1999. Fauna Sinica, Reptilia, Vol. 2, Squamata, Lacertilia. [In Chinese] Beijing: Science Press, 394 pp
  • Zhao, E. (ed.) 2003. Coloured atlas of Sichuan reptiles [in Chinese]. Beijing, China Forestry Publishing House
 
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