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Lepidoblepharis rufigularis BATISTA, PONCE, VESELY, MEBERT, HERTZ, KÖHLER, CARRIZO & LOTZKAT, 2015

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Higher TaxaSphaerodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymLepidoblepharis rufigularis BATISTA, PONCE, VESELY, MEBERT, HERTZ, KÖHLER, CARRIZO & LOTZKAT 2015 
DistributionPanama (Darién)

Type locality: on a hill 1 km north of Río Púcuro (8.057501°N, 77.370217°W, 1043 m elevation), Pinogana, Darién, Panama  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. SMF 50659, Adult male, original field number AB 527 (Figs. 3–5, 11), collected on 08 July 2012 at 22:40 hrs by Abel Batista. 
CommentDiagnosis. Lepidoblepharis rufigularis (our sp. nov. 2) is characterized by the following combination of characters: (1) dorsal scales small, granular, and juxtaposed, ventral scales large, cycloid, flat, and imbricate; (2) scales on head small and granular; (3) four postrostral scales; (4) two short, barely discernible paramedian clefts in the more or less U-shaped posterior mental border; (5) five postmentals, the two median ones larger than the posteriorly adjacent chin scales; (6) 13 lamellae under fourth toe, 11 lamellae under fourth finger; (7) median subcaudals conspicuously wider than long, almost twice as wide as the laterally adjacent scales, with straight posterior margins arranged in a regular tail sequence of 1'1''; (8) ventral escutcheon consisting of 62 scales, almost twice as wide (13 scales) as long (7 scales); (9) subfemoral escutcheon consisting of 3–4 scales per thigh; (10) 17 longitudinal rows of ventral scales at midbody; (11) bilobate hemipenis; (12) SVL 25 mm.

Comparison with other species of the genus. Lepidoblepharis rufigularis can be differentiated from all species in the genus by its small size, number of lamellae under the fourth toe and finger, the reddish throat in males (Fig. 11), and the configuration of the ventral escutcheon. In the following, we present comparisons to all other species within the genus, with the characteristics for L. rufigularis in parentheses. Lepidoblepharis rufigularis can be distinguished from the Panamanian species L. xanthostigma, L. sanctaemartae, L. emberawoundule, and Lepidoblepharis sp. nov. 3 (described below) by a genetic p-distance of 14–23% between individuals in 16S mtDNA. Lepidoblepharis xanthostigma is the most similar species, but has a different chin and throat coloration with dark reticulations on a pale background (orange background), and greatly enlarged median subcaudal scales which are more than two times as wide as the laterally adjacent subcaudal scales (enlarged but less than two times the width of laterally adjacent subcaudals, Fig. 3), usually 21 or more, very rarely 18, scales across snout (19), usually 18 or more, rarely 16 or 17, ventral scales a midbody (17), and an escutcheon long/wide ratio of 67–120% (54%). Lepidoblepharis emberawoundule, L. sanctaemartae, and Lepidoblepharis sp. nov. 3 (described below) have fewer than 10 lamellae under the fourth toe (13) and under the fourth finger (11). Additionally, L. sanctaemartae has large, flat, imbricate dorsal body scales (small, granular, and juxtaposed). To date, seven species of the genus Lepidoblepharis have been reported to possess ten or fewer lamellae under the fourth toe, i.e., to be short-toed (L. miyatai, L. sanctaemartae, L. buchwaldi, L. montecanoensis, L. williamsi, L. peraccae, and L. microlepis), and are therefore readily differentiable from the long-toed L. rufigularis (13 lamellae under the fourth toe). Of the remaining members of the genus, L. colombianus, L. conolepis, L. duolepis, L. festae, L. grandis, L. heyerorum, L. hoogmoedi, L. intermedius, and L. ruthveni are relatively to very large lizards for this genus with adult SVLs between 33 and 56 mm (25 mm). Additionally, L. conolepis and L. grandis have 14–20 lamellae under the fourth toe (13). The dorsal ground color in males of L. heyerorum is black with yellow dorsal markings (no yellow dorsal markings). The two long-toed specimens with granular dorsals reported as L. xanthostigma from Colombia by Ayala & Castro (1983) are similar to L. rufigularis in the number of ventral scales, but they have 22–25 scales across snout (19), an escutcheon with only 25 scales (62), the gular region with blotches (gular region with longitudinal bars), and an occipital pale W-shaped mark (no occipital mark at all). 
EtymologyThe name rufigularis is a compound word that comes from the Latin rufus (red) and gula (throat) referring to the bright orange throat color in this species in life. 
References
  • BATISTA, ABEL; MARCOS PONCE, MILAN VESELY, KONRAD MEBERT, ANDREAS HERTZ, GUNTHER KÖHLER, ARCADIO CARRIZO & SEBASTIAN LOTZKAT 2015. Revision of the genus Lepidoblepharis (Reptilia: Squamata: Sphaerodactylidae) in Central America, with the description of three new species. Zootaxa 3994 (2): 187–221 - get paper here
  • CALDERÓN-ESPINOSA, MARTHA LUCIA & GUIDO FABIAN MEDINA-RANGEL 2016. A new Lepidoblepharis lizard (Squamata: Sphaerodactylidae) from the Colombian Guyana shield. Zootaxa 4067 (2): 215–232
  • Kwet, A. 2016. Liste der im Jahr 2015 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Terraria-Elaphe 2016 (3): 56-67 - get paper here
 
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