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Liolaemus absconditus VEGA, QUINTEROS, STELLATELLI, BELLAGAMBA, BLOCK & MADRID, 2018

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Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymLiolaemus absconditus VEGA, QUINTEROS, STELLATELLI, BELLAGAMBA, BLOCK & MADRID 2018 
DistributionArgentina (Buenos Aires)

Type locality: Estancia Paititi, Sierra de la Peregrina, Partido de General Pueyrredón, (37º 55´ 40.74´´ S; 57º 49´ 05.84´´ W). Buenos Aires Province. Argentina  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: UNMdP 1817. Male. (Fig. 3 in VEGA et al. 2018) . 22 May 2013. Stellatelli, O., Block, C. & Isacch, J.P. cols. Paratypes. UNMdP 0565. Sierra de los Padres (37º 56´ 30.74´´ S; 57º 48´ 05.15´´ W), Partido de General Pueyrredón, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. 01 July 1985; Vega, L. & Bellagamba P. cols. UNMdP 0566. Sierra de los Padres (37º 56´ 30.74´´ S; 57º 48´ 05.15´´ W), Partido de General Pueyrredón, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. 02 November 1986; Vega, L. & Bellagamba, P. cols. UNMdP 1782, IBIGEO-R 5459 (ex UNMdP 1783). Sierra La Brava (37º 53´ 53.15´´ S; 58º 00´ 01.70´´ W), Partido de Balcarce, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. May 2009; Larrubia, L. & Stellatelli, O. cols. UNMdP 1817. Estancia Paititi (37º 55´ 40.74´´ S; 57º 49´ 05.84´´ W), Sierra de La Peregrina, Partido de General Pueyrredón. Buenos Aires Province. Argentina. 22 May 2013; Stellatelli, O., Block, C. & Isacch, J.P. cols. UNMdP 1818. Estancia Paititi (37º 55´ 04.10´´ S; 57º 49´ 15.73´´ W), Sierra de La Peregrina, Partido de General Pueyrredón, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. 08 June 2013; Stellatelli, O. col. UNMdP 1823. Estancia Paititi. (37º 55ʹ 35.40ʹʹ S; 57º 49ʹ 09.20ʹʹ W). Sierra de la Peregrina, Partido de General Pueyrredón, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. 05 May 2013; Stellatelli, O. & Rocca, C. cols. UNMdP 1824. Estancia Paititi. (37º 55ʹ 35.40ʹʹ S; 57º 49ʹ 09.20ʹʹ W), Sierra de la Peregrina, Partido de General Pueyrredón, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. 05 May 2013; Stellatelli, O. col. UNMdP 1825. Sierra La Vigilancia (37º 52ʹ 00.01ʹʹ S; 58º 01ʹ 24.90ʹʹ W), Partido de Balcarce, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. 23 March 2014; Stellatelli, O. & Rocca, C. cols. UNMdP 1826–27. Sierra de los Difuntos (37º53ʹ19.53ʹʹ S; 57º50ʹ21.23ʹʹ W), Partido de Gral Pueyrredón, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. 30 March 2014; Bellagamba, P., Vega, L., Stellatelli, O. & Block, C. cols. IBIGEO-R 5460 (ex UNMdP 1830). Sierra de los Difuntos (37º 53ʹ 21.38ʹʹ S; 57º 50ʹ 27.64ʹʹ W). Partido de General Pueyrredón, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. 05 March 2015; Stellatelli, O. & Villalba, A. cols. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Liolaemus absconditus sp. nov. is a small (Max SVL 58.3 mm), slender species member of the L. alticolor-bibronii group. It is a member of the L. alticolor-bibronii group because exhibits the character states proposed by Quinteros (2012, 2013) for this group. As a member of this group, L. absconditus sp. nov. differs in color pattern from the species members of L. belli, L. chillanensis, L. elongatus, L. kriegi, L. leopardinus, L. monticola, L. nigromaculatus, and L. pictus groups. Some of the members of the L. gravenhorsti and L. robertmertensi groups show a similar color pattern, but those species differ from those of the L. alticolor-bibronii group in the maximum SVL (65 mm in those two groups, and, 60 mm in L. alticolor-bibronii group). The members of the L. alticolor-bibronii group also have well-devolved neck folds, which are absent in some species of the L. robertmertensi and L. gravenhorsti groups. L. absconditus sp. nov. is phenetically and geographically close to L. tandiliensis and L. gracilis. But the new species exhibits a combination of character states which distinguish it from these and from all other species of the group. Specimens of L. absconditus sp. nov. show dorsal scales with an evident mucron, whereas the mucron is absent in dorsal scales of L. tandiliensis. Temporal scales of L. absconditus sp. nov. are slightly keeled whereas in L. gracilis are smooth. Besides, temporal scales in the new species are in less number than in L. tandiliensis (Table 1). Neck scales of L. absconditus sp. nov. are laminar and keeled, distinguishing from laminar and smooth neck scales of L. gracilis. Neck scales in a L. absconditus sp. nov. are in less number than in L. tandiliensis and L. gracilis as well (Table 1). Subocular scale is whitish (lighter than loreal region) in L. tandiliensis, whereas in. L. absconditus sp. nov. and L. gracilis the subocular scale shows the same color than loreal region. Paravertebral spots are evident in L. tandiliensis, but absent in L. gracilis and in the new species. In L. absconditus sp. nov., dorsolateral stripes are absent or barely visible without black border, being evident in L. tandiliensis, and evident, bordered in black, and wider in L. gracilis. Vertebral line is absent in L. absconditus sp. nov. distinguishing from L. gracilis (evident and segmented) and from L. tandiliensis (evident in some specimens). Vertebral line in dorsal surface of the tail is evident in L. gracilis and L. tandiliensis, but absent in L. absconditus sp. nov. Throats of L. tandiliensis and L. absconditus sp. nov. are immaculate (spotless), differing from males of L. gracilis (black lines in throat). Dorsal scales of L. absconditus sp. nov. show an evident mucron, differing from L. alticolor, L. chavin, L. pachacutec, L. paulinae, and L. tacnae (without mucron). Upper temporal scales are slightly keeled in L. absconditus sp. nov., being smooth in L. bibronii, L. paulinae, L. pachacutec, L. puna, L. tacnae, and L. walkeri; and markedly keeled in L. alticolor, L. aparicioi, L. bitaeniatus, L. cyaneinotatus, L. lemniscatus, L. sanjuanensis, L. saxatilis, and L. variegatus. Scales of neck are laminar and keeled in L. absconditus sp. nov., distinguishing from L. bibronii, L. exploratorum, and L. yalguaraz (laminar and smooth), from L. abdalai, L. curicensis, and L. puna (some scales are keeled), from L. alticolor and L. yanalcu (laminar and weakly keeled), and from L. chungara (which exhibits both granular and laminar scales). Subocular scale is whitish (lighter than loreal region) in L. alticolor, L. bibronii, L. bitaeniatus, L. pagaburoi, L. ramirezae, L. variegatus, and L. walkeri, whereas L. absconditus sp. nov. exhibits the same color than loreal region. Dorsal surface of the head is smooth in L. absconditus sp. nov., being slightly rough in L. exploratorum and L. pagaburoi and markedly rough in L. bitaeniatus, L. lemniscatus, L. saxatilis, L. tacnae, and L. variegatus. In L. absconditus sp. nov. there are two scales between canthal and nasal, being one scale in L. alticolor, L. bibronii, L. bitaeniatus, L. chaltin, L. fuscus, L. incaicus, L. lemniscatus, L. pagaburoi, L. paulinae, L. puna, L. pyriphlogos, L. ramirezae, L. tacnae, L. variegatus, L. walkeri, and L. yalguaraz. Lack of precloacal pores in females distinguishes the new taxon from L. aparicioi, L. bitaeniatus, L. incaicus, L. ramirezae, L. variegatus, and L. yanalcu (females exhibit precloacal pores). The absence of paravertebral markings, distinguishes the new taxon from L. abdalai, L. bibronii, L. exploratorum, L. incaicus, L. lemniscatus, L. pagaburoi, L. robertmertensi, L. sanjuanensis, L. saxatilis, and L. variegatus. Vertebral line is absent in L. absconditus sp. nov. differing from L. alticolor, L. aparicioi, L. bibronii, L. chavin, L. curicencis, L. cyaneinotatus, L. gracilis, males of L. incaicus, L. pachacutec, females of L. puna, L. pyriphlogos, L. sanjuanensis, L. tacnae, L. variegatus, L. walkeri, and L. wari. Throat of the new species is immaculate, differing from L. alticolor, L. chungara, L. pagaburoi, L. puna, L. pyriphlogos, L. variegatus, L. walkeri, and L. yalguaraz. Males of L. chavin, L. pachacutec, L. wari, and L. walkeri exhibit partial or total ventral melanism, which is absent in L. absconditus sp. nov.  
CommentSimilar species: closely related to L. tandiliensis 
EtymologyThe name absconditus comes from Latin and means hidden, concealed, and secret. This name refers to the secretive and underexposed habits of this lizard.  
References
  • VEGA, LAURA ESTELA; ANDRÉS SEBASTIÁN QUINTEROS, OSCAR ANÍBAL STELLATELLI, PATRICIO JUAN BELLAGAMBA, CAROLINA BLOCK, ENRIQUE ALBERTO MADRID 2018. A new species of the Liolaemus alticolor-bibronii group (Iguania: Liolaemidae) from East-central Argentina. Zootaxa 4379 (4):539-555 - get paper here
 
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