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Holcosus undulatus (WIEGMANN, 1834)

IUCN Red List - Holcosus undulatus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaTeiidae, Teiinae, Gymnophthalmoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesHolcosus undulatus dexter (SMITH & LAUFE 1946)
Holcosus undulatus miadis (BARBOUR & LOVERIDGE 1929)
Holcosus undulatus undulatus (WIEGMANN 1834) 
Common NamesE: Rainbow Ameiva
S: Lagartija Metálica 
SynonymCnemidophorus undulatus WIEGMANN 1834: 27
Ameiva undulata — GRAY 1845: 20
Ameiva undulata — COPE 1862: 62
Ameiva undulata — GÜNTHER 1885: 23
Ameiva undulata — BOULENGER 1885: 347
Cnemidophorus amivoides COPE 1894 (fide DUNN 1940)
Ameiva undulata undulata — SMITH & LAUFE 1946: 62
Ameiva undulata undulata — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950
Ameiva undulata — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 172
Ameiva undulata undulata —STUART 1963
Ameiva undulata — PETERS et al. 1970
Ameiva undulata — LINER 1994
Ameiva undulata — KÖHLER 2000: 97
Ameiva undulata — LINER & CASAS-ANDREU 2008: 40
Holcosus undulatus undulatus — HARVEY et al. 2012 (by implication)
Holcosus undulatus — MEZA-LÁZARO et al. 2015
Ameiva undulata — LEMOS-ESPINAL 2015
Holcosus undulatus — JOHNSON et al. 2017

Holcosus undulatus dexter (SMITH & LAUFE 1946)
Ameiva undulata dextra SMITH & LAUFE 1946: 54
Ameiva undulata dextra — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950
Ameiva undulata dextra —STUART 1963
Holcosus undulatus dexter — HARVEY et al. 2012 (by implication)
Holcosus undulatus dexter — MEZA-LÁZARO et al. 2015

Holcosus undulatus miadis (BARBOUR & LOVERIDGE 1929)
Ameiva festiva miadis BARBOUR & LOVERIDGE 1929: 141
Ameiva undulata miadis — DUNN 1940: 119
Ameiva undulata miadis — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950
Ameiva undulata miadis —STUART 1963
Ameiva undulata miadis — ECHTERNACHT 1970
Holcosus undulatus miadis — HARVEY et al. 2012 (by implication)
Holcosus miadis — MEZA-LÁZARO et al. 2015 
DistributionMexico (Pacific slopes of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec as far west as Puerto Ángel, and eastward to Niltepec; Oaxaca).

Type locality: Mexico (by inference). Restricted to Tehuantepec by SMITH 1940.

dextrus: Mexico (Southern slope of the Sierra Madre del Sur. Oaxaca, Guerrero). Type locality: Near Rincón, Guerrero.

miadis: Nicaragua (restricted to Isla del Maíz Grande = Corn Islands). Type locality: “Great Corn Island” [= Isla del Maiz Grande”], Depto. Zelaya, Nicaragua.  
TypesHolotype: ZMB 867-869; Lectotype: USNM 3040, designated in Maslin and Secoy 1986: 39 (undulata)
Holotype: AMNH 16316 [amivoides]
Holotype: EHT-HMS 11966
Holotype: MCZ 26970 [miadis] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A member of the undulata group of Ameiva, with usually one row of preanals (89%) , a median row of abruptly enlarged gulars, one row of granules between supraoculars and superciliaries, third supraocular generally at least partly in contact with median head scales. Most closely similar to u. dextra and u. sinistra, differing from them in the following: reduced number of femoral pores, greater number of rows of preanals, lack of division of the last preanal (from u. dextra only) , presence of tigroid lateral marks, presence of well-developed middorsal markings (from u. u. dextra only), and reduction of the size of the upper lateral light spots. (Smith & Laufe 1946: 62).

Coloration. The salient features of the pattern in males are as follows: young with numerous middorsal dark spots decreasing in size and number anteriorly; in adults these spots disappear completely or nearly sO; dorsolateral light stripes not evident except feebly in juveniles; upper lateral dark stripe broken by narrow vertical light streaks narrower than, or not more than subequal to the dark spaces between; even in the youngest specimens the dark band is as described for the adults; sides with irregular light markings or with narrow vertical light lines which frequently are fused with the light streaks in the upper lateral zone, forming a rather bold, barred pattern of alternating broad dark bands and narrow light streaks. Throats suffused with orange. There appears to be less sexual dimorphism in this race than in any other in México in dorsal pattern. The middorsal spotting is more prominent in the females and does not disappear in the adults. The sides, however, are marked much as in the males, although perhaps more dimly. In females the throat is not marked with orange. (Smith & Laufe 1946: 63).

Scutellation. There is a strong tendency for the gulars to be arranged in a single median row. The median preanals are arranged in a single row, with the exception of the posterior -scale which is frequently divided (52%). Hartweg and Oliver (1937:7) record that there is a single row of median enlarged, preanal scales in 91.5 percent of their specimens (47). The discrepancy between their percentage and ours can be attributed to the difficulty of determining which is the last row of preanals. Preceding the anus is one row of small scales varying greatly in size, some times nearly equalling the other preanals. They vary more in disposition than the others, as indicated by our counts. To eliminate the variation caused by consideration of the small posterior row we have arbitrarily selected the 5th row from the abdominals as the eritical one, disregarding the form of the following rows. Thus the fifth (or the last if less than five) median preanal is entire in 33 out of our 37 specimens (89.2%). Our largest male slightly exceeds Hartweg and Oliver's (1937:7) figure, measuring 116 mm. snout to vent. Their maximum measure ment for females (95 mm.) remains the record. Variation in the number of femoral pores and preanal rows is presented in Table 22.” (Smith & Laufe 1946: 64).

Comparisons: Harvey et al. 2012: 120 (Table 13) 
CommentDistribution of subspecies mainly from SMITH & TAYLOR 1950. See map in Smith & Laufe 1946 (Fig. 7) and Meza-Lázaro et al. 2015 (Fig. 1). Not in Nuevo León fide Nevárez-de los Reyes et al. 2016. Lemos-Espinal 2015 listed the species for Tamaulipas but that seems to be based on older concepts of the species.

Subspecies: Echternacht (1971) suggested not to recognize any subspecies. By contrast, Meza-Lázaro et al. 2015 elevated all subspecies of H. undulatus to (evolutionary) species status, which is followed by many recent authors. However, they did not have data for miadis but concluded that its morphological differencess justify (evolutionary) species status. The status of H. u. dexter remains unclear; south-easstern populations assigned to dexter may be synonymous to undulatus.

Synonymy: Schmidt & Stuart (1941) noted that the specimens of A. u. quadrilineata of Barbour & Noble (1915) actually represented A. pulchra.Echternacht (1971) synonymized H. u. thomasi with H. chaitzami. Meza-Lázaro et al. 2015 consider as an incontrovertible population of H. chaitzami only that from its type locality, and tentatively assigned the specimens from Comitán, Chiapas and Huehuetenango, Guatemala, to H. u. thomasi following Smith & Laufe (1946). Meza-Lázaro et al. 2015 synonymized amphigrammus and podargus. They also found several additional lineages that may be cryptic species. Southeastern H. u. dextrus formed a clade with H. u. undulatus and northwestern dextrus formed a clade with sinister. However, these populations were not formally synonymized. Similarly, Mexican, Guatemalan, and Honduran parvus formed a clade that included thomasi as sister to Mexican parvus. See Figs. 2 and 4 in Meza-Lázaro et al. 2015 for phylogenetic analyses.

Illustrations: The photo legends of Mesoscincus managuae and Ameiva undulata in Leenders (2004) have been mixed up.

Species group: The H. undulatus group contains six species (Harvey, Ugueto & Gutberlet, 2012): H. chaitzami Stuart, 1942, H. festivus (Lichtenstein & Von Martens, 1856), H. leptophrys (Cope, 1893), H. niceforoi (Dunn, 1943), H. quadrilineatus (Hallowell, 1860) and H. undulatus (Wiegmann, 1834). (Harvey et al. 2012: 124).

Relative abundance in Honduras: infrequent 
EtymologyThe specific name undulatus is a Latin word meaning wavy or undulating, in reference to the dorsolateral pattern. 
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