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Liolaemus cuyumhue AVILA, MORANDO, PEREZ & SITES, 2009

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Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common Names 
SynonymLiolaemus cuyumhue AVILA, MORANDO, PEREZ & SITES 2009 
DistributionArgentina (Neuquén)

Type locality: sand dunes near Ruta Provincial 7, 28.7 km NW Añelo, Añelo Basin, Añelo Department, Neuquén Province, Argentina (38° 11’ S, 69° 01’ W, 259 m elevation). Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
TypesHolotype: MACN 38981 (Fig. 1), an adult male, collected 2 February 2003 by L. J. Avila, M. Morando, C. H. F. Perez, and K. Dittmar. 
CommentDiagnosis. Liolaemus cuyumhue is a member of the wiegmannii group of Liolaemus lizards, characterized by the presence of two or more rows of lorilabials scales rather than one between subocular and supralabilals, smaller in size than in other Liolaemus; flat or concave rather than convex infralabials, mental scale narrower anteriorly than posteriorly; and with the exception of L. cuyanus and L. mapuche, six scales in contact with the mental (Etheridge, 1995, 2000; Abdala, 2002). Liolaemus cuyumhue is distinguished from L. riojanus because its background coloration is yellow-cream to a light red-brick tonality rather than orange-brick or light ochre; dorsal spots are larger than in L. riojanus, and usually have few blue iridescent scales distributed on the dorsolateral areas of the body, rather than mostly grouped into small clumps of 2–4 scales on the sides of the body. L. cuyumhue never have suprascapular spots and series of dorsolateral yellow spots as is observed in some populations of L. riojanus. Another difference from L. riojanus, females of L. cuyumhue always lack precloacal pores. L. cuyumhue males are smaller than L. multimaculatus males (61.7 mm vs 72 mm SVL), with smaller dorsal scales, and fewer scales around midbody (62–71 vs 68–92). L. cuyumhue lack the dark brown/black scapular spots always present in L. multimaculatus. L. cuyumhue have smaller circular brown spots, speckles of smaller white dots, and a low density of blue iridescent scales distributed on the dorsolateral areas of the body instead of rhomboidal to circular gray, tan, or brown spots, speckles of white scales, and blue iridescent scales scattered irregularly on a gray or brown background, observed in L. multimaculatus. L. cuyumhue never have the general coloration of grey and blue scales observed in L. rabinoi, and never have iridescent blue scales clumped into small patches of 3–11 scales each on the sides of the body. Liolaemus cuyumhue lack the sexual dichromatism observed in L. wiegmannii, have smooth or slightly keeled dorsal head scales instead of rugose and protruded, dorsal narines instead of lateral, more supralabial (8–11 vs 4–6) and infralabial scales (7–10 vs 5–7), and smaller body scales (midbody scale counts 64–71 vs 38–60, dorsal body scale counts 78–90 vs 42–62). L. wiegmannii females sometimes have precloacal pores (0–6) but these are completely absent in L. cuyumhue females. Dorsal scales in L. cuyumhue are smooth to slightly keeled and juxtaposed to slightly imbricated instead of strongly keeled and imbricated as in L. wiegmannii. L. cuyumhue males lack dorsolateral and lateral dark spots, paravertebral lines, numerous and larger blue scales in lateral areas, and bright yellow or orange scales, all characteristics of L. wiegmannii. L. cuyumhue always lack pre and postscapular spots or paravertebral lines observed in L. azarai, body size is larger (maximum SVL in males 61.7 vs 54.3 mm; in females 59.9 vs 48.7 mm), and have smaller body scales (midbody scale counts 64–71 vs 32–42, dorsal body scales 78–90 vs 42–60). L. cuyumhue males have higher number of precloacal pores (7–9 vs 5–6) but in females these always are absent (2–3 in L. azarai females). L. cuyumhue is slightly larger than L. arambarensis (maximum SVL 60 vs 56 mm in males, 54.3 vs 48.7 mm in females), have smaller dorsal scales, with more scales around midbody (64–71 vs 60–66), and along the trunk (78–90 vs 57– 64). L. cuyumhue lack a mid-dorsal white line and two dorsolateral stripes, with two series of paravertebral brown marks resembling triangles bordered by a white bar, as observed in L. arambarensis. L. cuyumhue is considerably smaller than L. lutzae (males 61.7 mm vs 84.0 mm, females 59.9 mm vs 69.0 mm), dorsal coloration lacks the conspicuous wide vertebral band bordered with dark paravertebral spots, and wide gray dorsolateral stripes observed in L. lutzae. L. cuyumhue is smaller (males 61.7 mm vs 70.0 mm, females 59.9 mm vs 60.0 mm), lacks strongly keeled and imbricate dorsal scales, lacks a dark longitudinal bar above the forelimb insertion, and lacks the ventral sexual dimorphism observed in L. occipitalis. L. cuyumhue is smaller than L. salinicola and L. scapularis (61.7 vs 76 vs 77 mm in males, 59.9 vs 68 vs 65 mm in females) and lacks stripes and gray throat observed in L. salinicola and the scapular mark characteristic of L. scapularis (from AVILA et al. 2009). 
EtymologyNamed in reference to the characteristics of the substrate of the type locality; cuyumhue is a Mapuche word meaning sandy place. 
  • Avila, L.J.; Morando, M.; Perez, D.R. & Sites, J.W. 2009. A new species of Liolaemus from Añelo sand dunes, northern Patagonia, Neuquén, Argentina, and molecular phylogenetic relationships of the Liolaemus wiegmannii species group (Squamata, Iguania, Liolaemini). Zootaxa 2234: 39–55 - get paper here
  • AVILA, LUCIANO JAVIER; LORENA ELIZABETH MARTINEZ & MARIANA MORANDO 2013. Checklist of lizards and amphisbaenians of Argentina: an update. Zootaxa 3616 (3): 201–238
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