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Liolaemus diaguita ABDALA, QUINTEROS, ARIAS, PORTELLI & PALAVECINO, 2011

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Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymLiolaemus diaguita ABDALA, QUINTEROS, ARIAS, PORTELLI & PALAVECINO 2011
Liolaemus quilmes — ETHERIDGE 1993: 137 
DistributionArgentina (Salta)

Type locality: 61 Km N of Cafayate, on National Road 34, 400 m S of Río Las Conchas, Quebrada de las Conchas; Guachipas Department, Salta Province. 25°49'07.1''S; 65°41'26.1''W. 1328 m elevation. Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
 
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: MCN 3247. Arias, F., Palavecino, A., Portelli, S. & Quinteros, S. cols. 27/01/2010. 
CommentDiagnosis. Liolaemus diaguita sp nov., belongs to the L. boulengeri group because it has a patch of enlarged scales on posterior region of thigh (Etheridge, 1995; Abdala et al. 2006). Within this group, it belongs to the L. laurenti group (Abdala, 2007) because its posterior teeth have straight edged crowns and sexual dichromatism is evident. Within the L. laurenti group, Liolaemus diaguita sp nov. is a member of the L. darwinii group (Abdala, 2007) or the darwinii complex (Etheridge, 1993) because it has a black line which crosses the eye vertically (except L. chacoensis) and pre-scapular spots in both males and females (Abdala, 2007). Tooth shape and the line crossing the eye distinguish the new taxon from all members of the L. melanops group [Abdala, 2007 (L. boulengeri, L can- queli, L. cuyanus, L. donosobarrosi, L. fitzingerii, L. inacayali, L. josei, L. mapuche, L. martorii, L. melanops, L. morenoi, L. loboi, L. sagei, L. rothi, L. senguer, L. tehuelche, L. telsen, and L. xanthoviridis)]; also the presence of sexual dichromatism distinguish L. diaguita from L canqueli, L. cuyanus, L. chehuachekenk, L. goestchi, L. fitzingerii, L. martorii, L. morenoi, L. sagei, and L. xanthoviridis. It differs from L. canqueli and L. melanops, because L. diaguita lacks cephalic melanism, and from L. canqueli, L. cuyanus, L. mapuche, L. morenoi, L. fitzingerii and L. xanthoviridis because those species show gular and antehumeral melanism, absent in L. diaguita. The new species has four scales contacting the mental scale, differing from L. cuyanus and all the members of the L. wiegmannii group (L. arambarensis, L. azarai, L. cranwelli, L. cuyumhue, L. lutzae, L. multimaculatus, L. occipitalis, L. rabinoi, L. riojanus, L. salinicola, L. scapularis and L. wiegmannii), which have six scales contacting the mental and from L. josei and L. mapuche where the mental scale can contact 4 to 6 scales. Also, the members of the L. wiegmannii group have two rows of lorilabial scales, while L. diaguita has one row. The new taxon differs from species of the L. anomalus group (L. anomalus, L. ditadai, L. lentus, and L. pseudoanomalus - sensu Abdala, 2007) because its tail is longer than snout-vent length (same length in L. anomalus group), head larger than wide (wider than long in L. anomalus group), enlarged superior cilliaries absent (present in L. anomalus group), larger number of precloacal pores in males and females, and lack of pterigoid teeth. Within the L. darwinii group (Abdala, 2007), L. diaguita differs from the members of the L. ornatus group (L. albiceps, L. calchaqui, L. crepuscularis, L. irregularis, L. lavillai, and L. ornatus) because it has an oviparous reproductive mode and it lacks precloacal pores in females. Also it differs from L. albiceps and L. irregularis because it is smaller (Max SVL 49.7mm vs 82.5 and 86.1 mm respectively). Liolaemus diaguita differs from L. abaucan and L. uspallatensis in having imbricate and keeled dorsal scales, while in those two species the dorsal scales are smooth or weakly keeled. Liolaemus chacoen- sis exhibits keeled temporal scales and mucronate dorsal scales, absent in L. diaguita. The presence of a small post- scapular spot distinguishes L. diaguita from L. abaucan, L. darwinii and L. koslowskyi which have a large and evident postscapular spots. It differs from L. cinereus in having a black stripe in the lateral field and in lacking mel- anism on the throat. Liolaemus darwinii, L. grosseorum, L. laurenti, L. montanezi and L. olongasta have a black antehumeral arch, absent in L. diaguita. Liolaemus espinozai shows spots located posterior to the postscapular spot and a lateral line in males and females, while both are absent in L. diaguita specimens. Liolaemus diaguita differs from L. quilmes because it has a small prescapular spot and a black stripe in the lateral field, both absent in L. quilmes.
Males and females of Liolaemus diaguita have a unique dorsal color pattern formed by paravertebral and lat- eral spots which can join together forming paravertebral and lateral stripes respectively. Additionally, the specimens lack spots on throat and belly. These character states distinguish the new taxon from all members of the L. laurenti group. 
EtymologyThe epithet diaguita comes from native people denominated Diaguitas, who inhabit Northwestern Argentina, especially in Valles Calchaquies, since the year 850. These communities developed a rich culture, and at present there are more than 60,000 people in Northwestern Argentina who belong to this ethnic group. 
References
  • ABDALA, CRISTIAN SIMÓN; ANDRÉS SEBASTIÁN QUINTEROS,, FEDERICO ARIAS, SABRINA PORTELLI & ANTONIO PALAVECINO 2011. A new species of the Liolaemus darwinii group (Iguania: Liolaemidae) from Salta Province, Argentina. Zootaxa 2968: 26–38 - 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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