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Liolaemus alticolor BARBOUR, 1909

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Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Brilliant Tree Iguana 
SynonymLiolaemus alticolor BARBOUR 1909
Liolaemus lativittatus WERNER 1904 (fide MÜLLER & HELLMICH 1938 ?)
Liolaemus alticolor — RENDAHL 1937
Liolaemus alticolor alticolor — DONOSO-BARROS 1966: 198
Liolaemus alticolor alticolor — PETERS & DONOSO-BARROS 1970: 178
Liolaemus alticolor — CEI 1993
Liolaemus alticolor — DIRKSEN & DE LA RIVA 1999
Liolaemus (Liolaemus) alticolor — PINCHEIRA-DONOSO & NÚÑEZ 2005: 193
Liolaemus lativitattus — LOBO et al. 2010 (in error)
Liolaemus alticolor — OCAMPO et al. 2012 
DistributionBolivia (La Paz); elevations 3600-4800 m, N Chile (Putre, Parinacota, Caquena) [S. Quinteros, pers. comm., 22 Apr 2013], Peru

Type locality: Tihauanacu [= Tiaguanaco], Bolivia, elevation 13,100 feet.  
TypesLectotype: MCZ R-169004, paralectotype: MCZ-R 7287, designated by Quinteros 2012. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Liolaemus alticolor is a small (maximum SVL 54.1 mm), slender species of Liolaemus and is a member of the alticolor– bibronii group. It differs from L. bitaeniatus and L. variegatus in the shape of dorsal scales (rhomboidal in these two species; lanceolated in L. alticolor). The presence of sharply pointed dorsal scales in L. alticolor distinguishes it from L. paulinae and L. tacnae (dorsal scales without sharp points). It differs from L. yanalcu in that this species has the canthal scale separated from the nasal by two scales, whereas in L. alticolor the canthal is separated by one scale. In L. pagaburoi and L. tacnae, there are three scales between the subocular and nasal, and in L. alticolor there are at least four scales. Temporal scales are weakly keeled in L. alticolor, whereas L. paulinae, L. tacnae, and L. walkeri have smooth temporal scales, and L. bitaeniatus and L. variegatus have markedly keeled temporal scales. The dorsal surface of the head in L. alticolor is immaculate (without spots), whereas in L. ramirezae, L. pyriphlo- gos sp. nov. (see below), L. variegatus, L. walkeri, and L. yanalcu there are spots on the dorsal surface of head. In L. alticolor, a black line surrounds the interparietal scale (Fig. 1), whereas this line is absent in L. bitaeniatus, L. incaicus, L. paulinae, L. pagaburoi, L. ramir- ezae, L. tacnae, L. variegatus, and L. walkeri. The subocular scale is white in L. alticolor (differing from background coloration of the loreal region), but this scale exhibits the same color as the loreal region in L. incaicus, L. paulinae, L. puna, L. pyriphlogos, and L. yanalcu. Liolaemus bitaeniatus, L. incaicus, L. paulinae, L. pyriphlogos, L. pagaburoi, and L. variegatus show paravertebral spots, which are absent in L. alticolor. Liolaemus alticolor exhibits dorsolateral stripes, which are absent in L. tacnae and L. yanalcu. A vertebral line is present in L. alticolor, but absent in L. bitaeniatus and L. tacnae, in females of L. incaicus, and in males of L. puna. The throat background color in L. alticolor is light gray, whereas in L. bitaeniatus, L. chaltin, and L. pagaburoi it is cream-white, and in L. tacnae it is melanistic. Also, the throat in L. alticolor shows black spots, which differs from the immaculate throat of L. chaltin, L. incaicus, and L. ramirezae. The reproductive mode distinguishes L. alticolor (viviparous) from L. bitaeniatus, L. chaltin, L. pyriphlogos, L. ramirezae, and L. yanalcu (oviparous). Lio- laemus alticolor is geographically isolated from L. araucaniensis, L. bibronii, L. cur- icencis, L. exploratorum, L. fuscus, L. gracilis, L. lemniscatus, L. saxatilis, and L. tandiliensis. Liolaemus alticolor also has a different num- ber of scales around midbody (39–47) from L. araucaniensis and L. exploratorum (50–76). The number of scales on the dorsum (from the occiput to hind limbs) distinguishes L. alticolor (38–43) from L. araucaniensis, L. bibronii, and L. exploratorum (50–73). Lio- laemus alticolor has 62–73 ventral scales, compared with 78–115 ventrals in L. arauca- niensis, L. bibronii, L. exploratorum, and L. fuscus. Temporal scales are weakly keeled in L. alticolor, whereas they are smooth in L. araucaniensis, L. bibronii, and L. gracilis. Paravertebral spots are present in L. arauca- niensis, L. bibronii, L. exploratorum, L. fuscus, L. lemniscatus, L. saxatilis, and L. tandiliensis, but are absent in L. alticolor. 
CommentThe status and validity of Liolaemus lativittatus is unclear but may have priority over Liolaemus alticolor.

Subspecies: Liolaemus alticolor walkeri (SHREVE, 1938) has been elevated to full species.

LOBO (2001) suggests the following monophyletic species groups within Liolaemus: alticolor, altissimus, gravenhorstii, hellmichi, kriegi, leopardinus, monticola, nigromaculatus, nigroviridis, pictus and tenuis.

Distribution: not listed for Argentina fide AVILA et al. 2010, or Avila et al. 2013. Argentinian populations may have been assigned to other species. Previously reported from Chile (High Andes of Tarapacá); S Peru; NW Argentina (Jujuy, Salta, Tucuman); but not listed by Ruiz de Gamboa 2016 for Chile. 
  • Abdala, Cristian Simón; Andrés Sebastián Quinteros, and Romina Valeria Semham 2015. A New Species of Liolaemus of the Liolaemus alticolor-bibronii Group (Iguania: Liolaemidae) from Mendoza, Argentina. South American J. Herp. 10 (2): 104-115, doi: 10.2994/SAJH-D-14-00033.1 - get paper here
  • Aguilar, Cesar; Perry Wood, Juan Carlos Cusi, Alfredo Guzman, Frank Huari, Mikael Lundberg, Emma Mortensen, César Ramirez, Daniel Robles, Juana Suarez, Andres Ticona, Victor Vargas, Pablo J. Venegas, Jack Sites 2013. Integrative taxonomy and preliminary assessment of species limits in the Liolaemus walkeri complex (Squamata, Liolaemidae) with descriptions of three new species from Peru. ZooKeys 364 (2013): 47-91; doi: 10.3897/zookeys.364.6109 - get paper here
  • Aparicio, J. 1993. Herpetofauna de Huaraco, un ecosistema andino en el altiplano central de Bolivia. Ecol. Bolivia Doc. Zool.4: 1-38.
  • Barbour, T. 1909. Some new South American cold-blooded vertebrates. Proc. New England zool. Club 4: 47-52 - get paper here
  • Baudoin, M. & L. PACHECO 1991. Reptiles. In: Baudoin, M. & E. Forno (eds.): Historia Natural de un valle en los Andes: La Paz. Instituto de Ecología, UMSA, La Paz. Pp. 421-452
  • Demangel, Diego 2016. Reptiles en Chile. Fauna Nativa Ediciones, Santiago, 619 pp - get paper here
  • Dirksen, L. & De la Riva, I. 1999. The lizards and amphisbaenians of Bolivia (Reptilia, Squamata): checklist, localities, and bibliography. Graellsia 55: 199-215 - get paper here
  • Donoso-Barros, R. 1966. Reptiles de Chile. Santiago: Univ. Chile, 458 + cxlvi pp.
  • Hellmich, Walter 1961. Bemerkungen zur geographischen Variabilität von Liolaemus alticolor Barbour (Iguan.). Opuscula Zoologica 58: 1-6
  • Ibisch, P. & W. BÖHME 1993. Zur Kenntnis der innerandinen Herpetofauna Boliviens (Provinz Arque, Dep. Cochabamba). Herpetofauna 15 (84): 15-26. - get paper here
  • Lehr, E. 2002. Amphibien und Reptilien in Peru. Natur und Tier-Verlag (Münster), 208 pp. - get paper here
  • Lehr, E.; Köhler, G. & Streit, B. 2002. Die Herpetofauna von Mittelperu entlang eines Transektes von der pazifischen Küste bis in die Hochanden (Amphibia et Reptilia). Faun. Abh. Mus. Tierk. Dresden 22 (2): 361-392
  • Lobo, F. and R. E. Espinoza 1999. Two new cryptic species of Liolaemus (Iguania: Tropiduridae) from northwestern Argentina: resolution of the purported reproductive bimodality of Liolaemus alticolor. Copeia 1999 (1): 122-140 - get paper here
  • Lobo, Fernando 2001. A Phylogenetic Analysis of Lizards of the Liolaemus chiliensis Group (Iguania: Tropiduridae). The Herpetological Journal 11 (4):137-150 - get paper here
  • Lobo, Fernando, Espinoza, Robert E. 2004. Two New Liolaemus from the Puna Region of Argentina and Chile: Further Resolution of Purported Reproductive Bimodality in Liolaemus alticolor (Iguania: Liolaemidae). Copeia 2004 (4): 850–867 - get paper here
  • Núñez, H. and A. Veloso 2001. Distribución geográfica de las especies de lagartos de la región de Antofagasta, Chile. Bol. Mus. Nac.Hist. Nat. 50: 109-120
  • Ocampo, Mauricio; Álvaro Aguilar-Kirigin, and Sebastián Quinteros 2012. A New Species of Liolaemus (Iguania: Liolaemidae) of the Alticolor Group from La Paz, Bolivia. Herpetologica 68 (3): 410-417. - get paper here
  • PINCHEIRA-DONOSO, Daniel & HERMAN NÚÑEZ 2005. The Chilean species of the genus Liolaemus Wiegmann, 1834 (Iguania, Tropiduridae, Liolaeminae). Taxonomy, systematics and evolution [in Spanish] Mus Nac Hist Nat Chile Publ Ocas 59: 1-486 - get paper here
  • Pinilla, M.P.R. & R. Laurent 1996. Apparent reproductive bimodality in Liolaemus alticolor alticolor (Reptilia: Sauria) Bull. Maryland Herpetol. Soc., 32(1): 1-13. - get paper here
  • Quinteros, Andrés Sebastián 2012. Taxonomy of the Liolaemus alticolor–bibronii Group (Iguania: Liolaemidae), with Descriptions of Two New Species. Herpetologica 68 (1): 100-120 - get paper here
  • QUINTEROS, ANDRÉS SEBASTIÁN 2013. A morphology-based phylogeny of the Liolaemus alticolor–bibronii group (Iguania: Liolaemidae). Zootaxa 3670: 1-32 - get paper here
  • Quinteros, Andrés Sebastián; Pablo Valladares, Romina Semham, José Luis Acosta, Sebastián Barrionuevo, and Cristian Simón Abdala 2014. A New Species of Liolaemus (Iguania: Liolaemidae) of the alticolor-bibronii Group from Northern Chile. South American J. Herp. 9 (1): 20-29. - get paper here
  • Rendahl, H. 1937. Einige Reptilien aus Ecuador und Bolivia. Ark. Zool. 29 (13): 1-19.
  • SCHULTE II, JAMES A.; J. ROBERT MACEY, ROBERT E. ESPINOZA AND ALLAN LARSON 2000. Phylogenetic relationships in the iguanid lizard genus Liolaemus: multiple origins of viviparous reproduction and evidence for recurring Andean vicariance and dispersal. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 69: 75–102 - get paper here
  • TRONCOSO-PALACIOS, JAIME and RICHARD ETHERIDGE 2012. Distributional range of the poorly known Liolaemus tacnae (Shreve 1941). Herpetological Bulletin (121): 35-38 - get paper here
  • Tschudi,J. J. von 1845. Reptilium conspectum quae in republica Peruana reperiuntur er pleraque observata vel collecta sunt in itenere. Archiv für Naturgeschichte 11 (1): 150-170 [reprint 1968, SSAR; sometimes cited as being published in 1846]. - get paper here
  • VALLADARES, J. PABLO; RICHARD ETHERIDGE, JAMES SCHULTE II, GERMAN MANRIQUEZ & ANGEL SPOTORNO 2002. Nueva especie de lagartija del norte de Chile, Liolaemus molinai (Reptilia: Liolaeminae). Revista Chilena de Historia Natural 75: 473-489 - get paper here
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