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Liolaemus calliston AVILA, FULVIO-PEREZ, MINOLI, MEDINA, SITES & MORANDO, 2017

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Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymLiolaemus calliston AVILA, FULVIO-PEREZ, MINOLI, MEDINA, SITES & MORANDO 2017 
DistributionArgentina (Neuquén)

Type locality: 4.4 km SE Aguada Pichana Main Camp Total Oil Company, ~30 km S junction Provincial Road 7, Añelo Department, Neuquén province, Argentina (38º25’43.7”S, 69º09’31.3”W, 431 m elevation)  
Reproductionoviparous; 
TypesHolotype: LJAMM-CNP 10994 (Figs. 10, 11), an adult male, collected by C.H.F. Perez, J. Nittmann, F. Farinaccio and D.R. Perez, 28
October 2008.
Paratypes. LJAMM-CNP 10995–10996, MLP.S 2624 (females) from same locality as holotype, collected by
C.H.F. Perez, J. Nittmann, F. Farinaccio and D.R. Perez, 28 October 2008. LJAMM-CNP 12420–12422 (females)
from same locality as holotype, collected by L.J. Avila and C.H.F. Perez, 4 December 2009. LJAMM-CNP 12417–
12419 (males) from same locality as holotype, collected by L.J. Avila and C.H.F. Perez, 4 December 2009. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Liolaemus calliston sp. nov. is a robust but small sized member of the clade of Liolaemus referred to as the boulengeri group by Etheridge (1995) and is a member of the Liolaemus donosobarrosi group (Avila et al. 2006, 2007, Olave et. al 2014, 2016), that includes L. cuyanus, L. donosobarrosi, L. mapuche, L. josei, L. puelche and several other potential species still undescribed. Liolaemus tirantii sp. nov. can be distinguished from all other species of its group of Liolaemus by a combination of genetic and morphological characteristics. Liolaemus calliston sp. nov. can be differentiated from L. cuyanus for having smaller size (61.0 mm vs 92.5 mm maximum SVL), have higher number of midbody scales (X = 76.8 vs X = 66.7; min.–max. 70–84 vs 60–76, Blum 2012) with overlap, higher number of dorsal scales (X = 95.3 vs 63.6; min.–max. 86–100 vs 57–74, Blum 2012) with no overlap, only four scales in contact with mental vs six in L. cuyanus, lack of prescapular marks and ventral melanism, and a very different general coloration and coloration patterns. Liolaemus calliston sp. nov. is smaller than Liolaemus mapuche (61.0 mm vs 82.7 mm maximum SVL), have higher number of dorsal scales (X = 95.3 vs 76.2; min.–max. 86–100 vs 70–86) with almost no overlap, only four scales in contact with mental vs six in L. cuyanus (more common state, Abdala 2002), and lacks of the scapular marks, ventral melanism and lacks of the very different dorsal coloration characterized by a light blue head and scattered blue scales on a light green-blue background, (Abdala, 2002). Liolaemus calliston sp. nov. is smaller than L. puelche (61.0 mm vs 89 mm maximum SVL), have higher number of midbody scales (X = 76.8 vs 70.7; min.–max. 70–84 vs 67–76) with slight overlap and higher number of dorsal scales (X = 95.3 vs 76.7; min.–max. 86–100 vs 74–80) with no overlap. Liolaemus calliston sp. nov. is smaller than L. josei (61.0 mm vs 73.1 mm maximum SVL), have higher number of midbody scales (X = 76.8 vs 69.1; min.–max. 70–84 vs 62–76), have higher number of dorsal scales (X = 95.3 vs X = 73.1; min.–max. 86–100 vs 67–81) with no overlap, lacks of the well-marked gular melanism of L. josei males as well as its more marked dorsal color pattern. Liolaemus calliston sp. nov. can be only be differentiate from L. donosobarrosi in its particular dorsal coloration of colorful transversal bands in live animals, lack of transversal dark bands on the sides of the head, an oval-shaped tympanic opening vs a more quadrangular in L. donosobarrosi, and supralabials and lorilabials scales quadrangular shaped in L. calliston sp. nov. than in L. donosobarrosi. Dorsal coloration pattern in L. tirantii lacks of the banded pattern of L. calliston and the colorful general coloration; series of transversal half-moon dots almost disappear in live animal in L. calliston sp. nov. and are fused each other laterally along the body, given it a ¨wavy¨ appearance. L. calliston sp. nov. have a higher average number of dorsal scales than in L. tirantii sp. nov. (X = 95.3 vs 87.2). Infralabials, supralabial and lorilabials scales more quadrangular shaped in L. calliston sp. nov. than in L. tirantii sp. nov. 
CommentHabitat: sedimentary rocks separated by barren soil and sparse clumps of low bushes

Syntopy: Lizard fauna in this general region include up to six congeners: Liolaemus
darwinii, L. grosseorum, L. gracilis, L. cuyumhue, L. goetschi, L. austromendocinus, the three phyllodactylid geckos Homonota darwinii, H. horrida, H. underwoodi, two leiosaurids, Leiosaurus belli and Pristidactylus fasciatus, and the teiid Aurivela longicauda. Snakes observed at the type locality include Philodryas trilineata, Bothrops diporus, Xenodon semicinctus, Siagonodon borrichianus; at least the first two of these are likely predators of L. calliston sp. nov. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is an adjective of Greek origin (calliston = very beautiful), in reference to the distinct and brightly colorful pattern of dorsal and lateral body of this new species. 
References
  • AVILA, LUCIANO JAVIER; CRISTIAN HERNÁN FULVIO PEREZ, IGNACIO MINOLI, CINTIA DEBORA MEDINA, JACK W. JR. SITES, MARIANA MORANDO 2017. New species of Liolaemus (Reptilia, Squamata, Liolaemini) of the Liolaemus donosobarrosi clade from northwestern Patagonia, Neuquén province, Argentina Zootaxa 4362 (4): 535-563 - get paper here
 
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