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Liolaemus crandalli AVILA, MEDINA, PEREZ, SITES & MORANDO, 2015

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Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymLiolaemus crandalli AVILA, MEDINA, PEREZ, SITES & MORANDO 2015 
DistributionArgentina (Neuquén: Patagonian Steppe vegetation environments found between 1300–2100 m elevation in the Auca Mahuida Volcanic Field, Añelo and Pehuenches Departments)

Type locality: near Park Ranger Station, on rocky outcrops on the roadside of the main unpaved road to the Auca Mahuida volcano summit, 25.9 km SW junction Provincial Road 6, Area Natural Protegida Auca Mahuida, Pehuenches Department, Neuquén, Argentina (37°42’06.7” S, 68°51’28.8” W, 1560 m elevation)  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. MLP.S 2631 (ex-LJAMM-CNP 12219, Figs. 2, 3), an adult male collected by L. J. Avila, M. Kozykariski, F. Breitman, 14 November 2009.
Paratypes. LJAMM-CNP 10470-10471 (male) and 10472 (female) collected at Gravel Quarry 10, YPF petroleum company, Area Natural Protegida Auca Mahuida, Pehuenches Department, Neuquén, Argentina (37o44’07.0” S, 68o54’21.3” W, 1841 m), by C.H.F. Pérez, D. Pérez, C. Poblete, L. Moreira, 7 March 2008. LJAMM-CNP 12158, 12218, 12220-12221 (male) and 12159-12160, 12222-12226 (female), same locality as holotype. Collected by L. J. Avila, M. Kozykariski, F. Breitman, 14 November 2009. LJAMM-CNP 12295, 12299 (male) and 12296 (female) collected at an unnamed site, Area Natural Protegida Auca Mahuida, Pehuenches Department, Neuquén, Argentina (37o43’01.9” S, 68o55’50.9” W, 1851 m), by L. J. Avila, M. Kozykariski, F. Breitman, 15 November 2009. LJAMM-CNP 12302 (male) and 12303-12304 (female) collected on Cerro de las Antenas, Area Natural Protegida Auca Mahuida, Pehuenches Department, Neuquén, Argentina (37o44’25.5”S, 68o53’42.4”W, 1935 m). Collected by L. J. Avila, M. Kozykariski, F. Breitman, 15 November 2009. 
CommentDiagnosis. Liolaemus crandalli sp. nov. can be distinguished from other members of the L. elongatus clade by a combination of characters: large size, number of dorsal and ventral scales, general body coloration, as well as by its genetic distinctiveness. Liolaemus crandalli sp. nov. is larger than L. burmeisteri, L. chillanensis and L. smaug (93.4 vs 85.2, 70.3 and 68.3 mm) but smaller than L. antumalguen, (93.4 vs 107.7 mm), and similar in size to L. choique, L. elongatus and L. shitan. Average number of scales around midbody is lower in L. crandalli sp. nov. (84.5±4.9) than in L. chillanensis (87.45.0±8.49), but is higher than in L. antumalguen (77.0±1.9), L. burmeisteri (76.2±2.7), L. choique (78.9±5.0), L. elongatus (77.5±4.0), L. smaug (74.1±2.6) and L. shitan (78.1±3.9). Average number of dorsal scales (between occiput to rump) in L. crandalli sp. nov. is lower than L. burmeisteri (77.9±4.3 vs 81.1±2.8) but higher than in L. antumalguen (73.0±1.9), L. chillanensis (74.09±4.61), L. choique (72.6±6.2), L. elongatus (73.4±5.2), L. smaug (70.3±3.2) and L. shitan (70.6±3.9). Average number of ventral scales is higher in L. crandalli sp. nov. than in all other species of the clade: 131.9±4.9 vs 108.6±4.3 in L. antumalguen, 104.7±2.8 in L. burmeisteri, 117.1±7.43 in L. chillanensis, 123.7±5.2 in L. choique, 108.1±5.6 in L. elongatus, 111.9±4.1 in L. smaug and 120.6±5.9 in L. shitan. General body coloration in L. crandalli sp. nov. is patternless, at full sun, with an ochre-dark green dorsum with scales borders slightly edged in yellow; dorsal coloration usually extending to the tail; dorsal head scales are almost all covered by black, surrounded by red-brown edges. In head and lateral body areas, coloration becomes more dark brown, ventral areas usually gray with scales in the cloacal apron, inferior femoral areas and lower belly yellow. This coloration is usually found in males and females of L. crandalli and this combination is not found in others members of the species group. Liolaemus crandalli has no evident sexual dichromatism as is observed in L. smaug, and as weakly present in L. shitan.

Syntopy: Liolaemus austromendocinus.

Sympatry: Bothrops ammodytoides, Philodryas trilineata, Pseudotomodon trigonatus and Micrurus pyrrocryptus. L. cyaneinotatus Martinez et al., 2011, L. sitesi Avila et al., 2013 and Phymaturus sitesi Avila et al., 2013 have been described from Auca Mahuida region. Liolaemus cuyumhue Avila et al., 2009 was described from the live dunes of nearby southern lowlands, the Bajo de Añelo.

Diet: Orthoptera, Coleoptera, Formicidae, sand grains, Asteraceas tubular flowers, Stipa sp. caryopsis, and indeterminate parts of other arthropods. 
EtymologyThe specific name is to honor our colleague Keith A. Crandall, an evolutionary biologist from George Washington University, Washington, D.C. As former professor at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA, he strongly supported MM and LJA in our studies of Patagonian herpetofauna with Dr. J.W. Sites Jr. 
References
  • AVILA, LUCIANO JAVIER; CINTIA DEBORA MEDINA, CRISTIAN HERNAN FULVIO PEREZ, JACK W. SITES, JR. & MARIANA MORANDO 2015. Molecular phylogenetic relationships of the lizard clade Liolaemus elongatus (Iguania: Liolaemini) with the description of a new species from an isolated volcanic peak in northern Patagonia. Zootaxa 3947 (1): 067–084 - get paper here
 
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