Gopherus evgoodei EDWARDS, KARL, VAUGHN, ROSEN, MELÉNDEZ-TORRES & MURPHY, 2016
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Gopherus evgoodei?
|Higher Taxa||Testudinidae, Testudinoidea, Testudines (turtles)|
|Common Names||Goode’s Thornscrub Tortoise|
|Synonym||Gopherus evgoodei EDWARDS, KARL, VAUGHN, ROSEN, MELÉNDEZ-TORRES & MURPHY 2016|
Xerobates agassizii COOPER 1861 (partim)
Gopherus agassizii — STEJNEGER 1893 (partim)
Scaptochelys agassizii — BRAMBLE 1982 (partim)
Xerobates lepidocephalus — OTTLEY & VELÁZQUES-SOLIS 1989 (in error)
Xerobates lepidocephalus — CRUMLY & GRISMER 1994 (in error)
Gopherus morafkai — MURPHY et al. 2011 (partim)
Type locality: Alamos (approximate location 27°02'N, 108°55'W, elevation 433 m), Sonora, Mexico
|Types||Holotype: AMNH 64160 (American Museum of Natural History); adult male, collected on 27 August–2 September 1942 by Charles M. Bogert and preserved in ethanol (Figs 6–14). Paratypes. AMNH 64157, an adult male; AMNH 64158, an adult female; and ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) 53301 (formerly AMNH 64159), an adult female; all with same collecting data as the holotype and all preserved in ethanol.|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. Molecular data can readily diagnose all species of Gopherus and their hybrids (Murphy et al. 2011; Edwards et al. 2016). Morphologically, G. evgoodei, G. agassizii and G. morafkai (the agassizii group) can be separated generally from both G. flavomarginatus Legler and G. polyphemus (Daudin) in having relatively smaller front feet. Whereas the distance from the bases of the first to fourth claws is the same on all feet in the agassizii group, in the latter two species the distance from the bases of the first and third claws on the forelimb is about the same as the distance between the bases of the first and fourth claws on the hindlimb (Auffenberg and Franz 1978). Living captive specimens of the agassizii group and G. berlandieri cannot all be dis- tinguished morphologically because of extensive hybridization (Edwards et al. 2010) and developmental abnormalities in shell, head and limb integument from poor nutri- tion (Donoghue 2006). However, in native non-hybrid individuals, G. berlandieri can be separated from the agassizii group in having a wedge-shaped snout when viewed from above in contrast to a rounded snout (Fig. 12) (Auffenberg and Franz 1978). Further, the gular projections of G. berlandieri often diverge in large males and the species often exhibits paired axillary scales preceding each bridge. In contrast, the gular projections do not normally diverge in the agassizii group and there is a single axillary scale. Morphological characters among the agassizii group exhibit overlap (Germano 1993; McLuckie et al. 1999) and characters like coloration in desert tortoises can be highly variable (Legler and Vogt 2013). However, G. evgoodei differs from G. morafkai and G. agassizii (Table 1). Gopherus evgoodei is flatter in shell profile (Fig. 2). It has rounded foot pads, multiple enlarged spurs on the radial-humeral joint (Fig. 3). The new species has short tails (Fig. 4), orange tones in the integument (skin) and shell (Fig. 5), and a distinctly shallower concavity on the plastron of males.|
|Comment||Distribution: see map in Murphy et al. 2016: 133.|
Hybridization: Gopherus evgoodei hybridizes with G. morafkai in C Sonora.
|Etymology||The new species is a patronym, a noun in the genitive case, in rec- ognition of Eric V. Goode, a conservationist, naturalist, and founder of the Turtle Conservancy. He has contributed generously to the conservation of this species via the preservation of land in Mexico, and he actively pursues the conservation of turtles and tortoises on a global scale. Eric sets an important precedent by complementing this taxonomic description with a tangible action that contributes to the conservation of the new species in its native habitat.|
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