Heliobolus bivari MARQUES, CERÍACO, HEINICKE, CHEBOURI, CONRADIE, TOLLEY & BAUER, 2022
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|Higher Taxa||Lacertidae, Eremiadinae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||E: Bivar’s bushveld lizard|
Portuguese: lagartixa de Bivar
|Synonym||Heliobolus bivari MARQUES, CERÍACO, HEINICKE, CHEBOURI, CONRADIE, TOLLEY & BAUER 2022|
|Distribution||Angola (southwestern xeric/desertic lowlands)|
Type locality: Virulundo, Namibe Province, Angola (–16.2852°S, 12.9419°E), 718 m elevation
|Types||Holotype: CAS 266287, adult female, collected by Luis M.P. Ceríaco, Suzana A. Bandeira and Ishan Agarwal on 2 December 2016.|
Paratypes (n=16); CAS 266276-266286; PEM R17965, 17966, 21626; 21630, 24128, 24129
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: “A medium-sized lizard, identified to genus by the following combination of charac-ters: well-developed limbs, slender body, elongated snout, long tail, and a distinct collar on ventral region. Heliobolus bivari can be distinguished from other members of its genus by the following combination of characteristics: (1) stout medium-size body (mean SVL 54.6 mm); (2) long-tailed (mean 123.7 mm), tail more than twice the body length; (3) midbody scale rows 64–82 (mean: 71.5); (4) higher number of subdigital lamellae under the fourth toe (mean: 26.6); (5) parietals usually in contact, rarely separated; (6) cranial shields not ornamented and temporal shield smooth; (7) lateral dark marking through the ear to the posterior margin of the eye faded or totally absent; (8) absence of bright yellow dots ventrolaterally.”|
Comparisons: “Heliobolus bivari is distinguished from H. neumanni by possessing a higher number of midbody scale rows (64–82 vs. 40–42). It is distinguished from H. nitidus by possessing a higher number of midbody scale rows (64–82 vs. 52–64) and by color pattern (background light-brown to orange-brown above versus background greenish, especially on the flanks). Heliobolus bivari sp. nov. is distinguished from H. spekii by having the cranial shields not ornamented and temporal shield smooth (vs. cranial shields ornamented and temporal shield keeled). The morphological differences between H. bivari sp. nov. and H. lugubris are more subtle, possibly corresponding to the close phylogenetic relationship between the two species. Molecular phylogenetics and the interpreted distribution (H. bivari sp. nov. in southwestern Angola vs. H. lugubris in eastern Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Mozambique) are the best proxies for identification. However, H. bivari sp. nov. can be distinguished from H. lugubris by the presence of 1–3 rows of granules between the supraoculars and supraciliaries (vs. only one row), on average a lower number of collar plates (6.7 [6–8] vs. 8.5 [6–11]), and, on average, a higher number of subdigital lamellae under the fourth toe (26.6 [21–34] vs. 25.3 [23–28]).”
Variation: “Background colouration varies from orange-brown to light brown, with pale median and dorsolateral stripes. Some specimens, the pale vertebral stripe is bordered laterally by a dark brown longitudinal stripe. Some specimens have a faint to distinct darker brown dorsolateral patch, which extends from the flanks through the ear to the posterior margin of the eye. The yellow vertebral stripe divides on the neck (in a Y-shape) that continues anteriorly to the posterior borders of the parietals and extends posteriorly to the base of the tail, either continuously or interrupted.
Juveniles black above and below, with a continuous yellow vertebral stripe and two broken white-yellow dorsolateral stripes above the arms; tail yellow-orange; symmetrically arranged yellow to orange spots and markings on the top of the head and snout; labials present some white markings.”
Coloration: “Background coloration was light brown to orange-brown, with three visible and continuous light-yellow to beige dorsal stripes, and a series of transverse dark brown markings between these stripes. Dorsolateral dark brown markings from each side of the flanks through the ear to the posterior margin of the eye faded, more visible between limbs. An interrupted whitish band is visible ventrolaterally. Yellow vertebral stripe dividing on the neck (in a Y-shape) that continues anteriorly to the posterior borders of the parietals and extends posteriorly to the base of the tail, continuous, fading on the proximal portion of the tail. Head uniformly light brown to orange-brown with white labials, with darker speckles on the supralabials which become more pronounced posteriorly. The limbs are also light brown to orange-brown, speckled with a series of yellow to white dots on their dorsal surfaces, these being most noticeable on the hindlimbs. Venter homogeneous dirty white, except the palms and soles, which are orangish; darker speckling is present laterally on the outer row of ventral scales.”
|Comment||Distribution: Possibly widespread to neighboring Namibia.|
Diet: Expected to be similar to other Heliobolus species, therefore being oviparous and insectivorous.
Natural history: As commonly observed in juvenile H. lugubris individuals, it is assumed that juveniles of H. bivari mimic Anthia (Carabidae) ground beetles, both through their iconic white and yellow markings on a black body, and by adopting an “arched” position when walking, imitating the general shape of a beetle.
|Etymology||Named after the Portuguese entomologist António Bivar de Sousa (Lisbon, 1946–), a researcher at the recently defunct Instituto de Investigação Ciemtífica Tropical (IICT), Lisboa, Portugal. Bivar de Sousa has had an important role in entomological research in Angola. Specific epithet is a patronym in the masculine genitive singular.|
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