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Liolaemus gardeli VERRASTRO, MANEYRO, DA SILVA & FARIAS, 2017

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Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common Names 
SynonymLiolaemus gardeli VERRASTRO, MANEYRO, DA SILVA & FARIAS 2017 
DistributionUruguay (Tacuarembó)

Type locality: sand dunes in the Tacuarembó department (31°58'43''S, 55°31'18.7''W), Uruguay  
TypesHolotype. ZVC-R 6823, adult male collected by L. Verrastro, R. Maneyro, and G. Scaron on February 21, 2014.
Paratypes. All specimens were collected in the same area and locality: ZVC-R 6824–6831, collected on February 21, 2014, by L. Verrastro, R. Maneyro, and G. Scaron; UFRGS 6630–6637 collected on March 27, 2013, by L. Verrastro and G. Scaron. 
CommentHabitat: Liolaemus gardeli buries easily in the sand to escape predation, as do all other species of the L. wiegmannii group. We have observed some inactive individuals hidden under semi-dry cattle stools at the end of the day. From our in situ observations, this lizard species can easily escape by hiding in herbaceous vegetation, which is thick at the base of the bushes, but it also hides in large dens in dunes. These sand-dune dens seem to belong to armadillos (Dasypus sp.). Several individuals were observed escaping into these wide and open dens and then stood on hind legs, observing our movement. As soon as an observer approached, they often quickly fled deeply into the dens, but sometimes individuals remained at the burrow entrance. No burrow was observed that could have been constructed by this species, as occurs in L. occipitalis and L. lutzae, for example (Verrastro et al. 2017).

Diet: omnivorous, eating Formicidae, Araneae, Hemiptera, Diptera, Coleoptera, and plants (in three stomachs), including fruits of Cyperaceae, seeds of Poaceae (Cenchrus). Additionally, an unidentifiable fibrous material was found in one stomach. 
EtymologyThis new species is named after the famous Uruguayan tango singer, Carlos Gardel, who died in a plane crash in 1935. Gardel’s birthplace was widely disputed and claimed by Uruguay, France, and Argentina, but recent research has confirmed that Gardel is the illegitimate son of a Uruguayan farmer. According to historical data from the book, “Carlos Gardel –el silencio de Tacuarembó,” authored by Selva Ortiz (1994), Gardel was born in the Tacuarembó department (Uruguay), in the same region of the type locality of this newly described species. 
  • VERRASTRO, LAURA; RAÚL MANEYRO, CAROLINE M. DA SILVA, IRAIA FARIAS 2017. A new species of lizard of the L. wiegmannii group (Iguania: Liolaemidae) from the Uruguayan Savanna. Zootaxa 4294 (4): 443–461 - get paper here
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