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Eremias nigrocellata NIKOLSKY, 1896

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Higher TaxaLacertidae, Eremiadinae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Black-Ocellated Racerunner 
SynonymEremias nigrocellata NIKOLSKY 1896
Eremias intermedia var. nigrocellata NIKOLSKY 1900
Eremias intermedia (part.) BOULENGER 1921
Ommateremias nigrocellata — LANTZ 1928
Eremias (Ommateremias) nigrocellata — BISCHOFF 1978
Eremias nigrocellata — ANDERSON 1999
Eremias nigrocellata — SZCZERBAK 2003
Eremias (Eremias) nigrocellata — SINDACO & JEREMČENKO 2008
Eremias nigrocellata — NASRABADI et al. 2017 
DistributionSE Turkmenistan, S Uzbekistan, SW Tadzhikistan, NE Iran, NE Afghanistan

Type locality: Siestan, Iran; “Sistan, Iran” fide ANDERSON 1999 [restricted by Szcerbak 1974:191]  
TypesLectotype: ZISP (ZIL) 8800 (designated by Szczerbak 1974:191) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Three nasals, lower in contact with 2 or 3 anterior supralabials; subocular not bordering mouth; fourth toe without distinct fringe, with 2 rows of subdigital scales, internal much the larger; tympanic scale usually small or indistinct; fourth supraocular usually indistinct (Anderson 1999: 219, Fig. 102).

Color pattern: Dorsum gray with fairly large light gray or nearly white circular spots bordered with black in 6-10 more or less regular longitudinal rows, ocelli faint or absent on middorsum; venter white. Young and adults similarly marked, young most prominently (Anderson 1999: 219, Fig. 105a).

“Guibe's (1957:139) specimens from Mahneh, which he identified as Eremias arguta, are E. nigrocellata. They differ most notably from Iranian specimens of their nearest relative, E. intermedia in the following characters: snout-vent length/tail length = 0.70-0.85; supraoculars in contact with frontal; fourth toe with row of subdigital scales and row of ventrolateral, somewhat smaller scales, sometimes incomplete, and complete or nearly complete row of dorsolateral scales; 17-20 (mean 19.2) ventrals in longest transverse row; ocelli on dorsum, limbs, and tail distinct, larger than in E. intermedia. In all Iranian specimens I have examined (and in 2 from Tajikistan) the tympanic shield, while small, is distinct, and the fourth supraocular is broken up.
Subsequent to his original description ofthe form, Nikolsky came to regard nigrocellata as a subspecies of E. intermedia and Boulenger regarded the two as synonymous. It is not possible, without examining the specimens, to be sure that the material examined by Boulenger from Astrabad belongs to E. nigrocellata rather than to E.intermedia.The character of the subdigital scales is difficult to use and subject to interpretation. Although he regarded E. nigrocellata a subspecies of E. intermedia, the types of nigrocellata are not among the material listed by Nikolsky under intermedia (1915:443-444). I have examined one specimen (BMNH from Nikolsky's type series. The supraoculars are in contact with the frontal and the toes are as described for the specimens from Mahneh. The tympanic scale is small, but distinct, and the supraocular is broken up. I am not persuaded, on the basis of the very limited material that I have seen, that E. nigrocellata is distinct from E. intermedia (Anderson 1999: 219). 
CommentSynonymy partly after KHALIKOV & ANANJEVA (pers. comm.)

Distribution: See map in SMID et al. 2014 for distribution in Iran.

Similar species: E. arguta. 
  • ANANJEVA, NATALIA B.; KONSTANTIN D. MILTO, ANDREI V. BARABANOV, EVGENY A. GOLYNSKY 2020. An annotated type catalogue of amphibians and reptiles collected by Nikolay A. Zarudny in Iran and Middle Asia. Zootaxa 4722 (2): 101–128 - get paper here
  • Anderson, S. C. & A. E. Leviton 1969. Amphibians and reptiles collected by the Street expedition to Afghanistan, 1965. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (4) 37: 25-56 - get paper here
  • Anderson, Steven C 1999. The lizards of Iran. Contributions to Herpetology Volume 15, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Saint Louis, Missouri: i-vii, 1-442 [review in Copeia 2000 (4): 1144] - get paper here
  • Baig, Khalid Javed and Rafaqat Masroor 2006. A New Species of Eremias (Sauria: Lacertidae) from Cholistan Desert, Pakistan. Russ. J. Herpetol. 13 (3): 167-174
  • Bischoff, W. 1978. Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Echsen des Kaukasus. Salamandra 14 (4): 178-202 - get paper here
  • Bondarenko D. A., Ergashev U. H. 2022. Reptiles of the Southwestern Tajikistan desert plains: Spatial distribution, population density and communities structure. [in Russian] Current Studies in Herpetology 22 (1-2): 17 - get paper here
  • Eremchenko, V.K. & Panfilov, A.M. 1999. Taxonomic situation of multiocellated racerunner of the Eremias multiocellata complex of Kyrgyzstan and neighbour China (Sauria: Lacertidae: Eremias). [in Russian] Science and New Technologies - Nauka i Novye Tekhnologii, Ser. Biol., 4: 112-124
  • Jablonski D, Regan JM, Holzheuser C, Farooqi J, Basit A, Masroor R 2019. Additional data to the herpetofauna of Afghanistan. Herpetozoa 32: 177-193 - get paper here
  • Kamali, Kamran 2020. A Field Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Iran. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main, Germany ( 574 pp.
  • Langerwerf, B. 1980. De herpetofauna van Oezbekistan (5). Lacerta 38 (12): 123-124 - get paper here
  • Molavi, Farahnaz; Toba M. Kalat, Morteza Yazdanpanah, Bahram H. Kiabi and Haji Gh. Kami 2017. Eremias intermedia or Eremias nigrocellata? Is morphology sufficient? Journal of Wildlife and Biodiversity 1(2): 56-59 - get paper here
  • NASRABADI, REZA; NASRULLAH RASTEGAR-POUYANI, ESKANDAR RASTEGAR-POUYANI, AHMAD GHARZI 2017. A revised key to the lizards of Iran (Reptilia: Squamata: Lacertilia). Zootaxa 4227 (3): 431–443 - get paper here
  • Nikolsky, A. M. 1896. Diagnoses reptilium et amphibiorum novorum in Persia orientali a N. Zarudny collectorum. Annuaire Musée Zoologique de l’Académie Impériale des Sciences de St.-Pétersbourg, 1:369-372. - get paper here
  • Nikolsky, A. M. 1897. Les reptiles, amphibiens et poissons recueillis (part.) Mr. N. Zaroudny dans la Perse orientale [in Russian]. Annuaire Musée Zoologique de l’Académie Impériale des Sciences de St.-Pétersbourg 2: 306-348 - get paper here
  • RASTEGAR-POUYANI, NASRULLAH; HAJI GHOLI KAMI, MEHDI RAJABZADEH, SOHEILA SHAFIEI AND STEVEN CLEMENT ANDERSON 2008. Annotated Checklist of Amphibians and Reptiles of Iran. Iranian Journal of Animal Biosystematics 4 (1): 7-30
  • Sindaco, R. & Jeremcenko, V.K. 2008. The reptiles of the Western Palearctic. Edizioni Belvedere, Latina (Italy), 579 pp. - get paper here
  • ŠMÍD, JIŘÍ; JIŘÍ MORAVEC, PETR KODYM, LUKÁŠ KRATOCHVÍL, SEYYED SAEED HOSSEINIAN YOUSEFKHANI, ESKANDAR RASTEGAR-POUYANI & DANIEL FRYNTA 2014. Annotated checklist and distribution of the lizards of Iran. Zootaxa 3855 (1): 001–097 - get paper here
  • Szczerbak, N.N. 2003. Guide to the Reptiles of the Eastern Palearctic. Krieger, Malabar, FL, 260 pp. - get paper here
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