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Liolaemus goetschi MÜLLER & HELLMICH, 1938

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Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymLiolaemus goetschi MÜLLER & HELLMICH 1938
Liolaemus goetschi — ABDALA 2007
Liolaemus goestchi — ABDALA et al. 2008 (in error)
Liolaemus goestchi — TULLI et al. 2009 (in error)
Liolaemus goetschi — AVILA et al. 2010 
DistributionArgentina (Rio Negro)

Type locality: Laguna Playa, approximately 20 km north of General Roca, Río Negro Province, Argentina.  
TypesHolotype: ZSM 4/1938, adult male, collected 1938 by W. Goetsch 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Liolaemus goetschi belongs to the L. boulengeri group because of the presence of the femoral patch of enlarged scales in the posterior surface of the femur (Etheridge 1995). Within this group, L. goetschi is distinguished from the L. anomalus group because of the hypertrophy of the puboischiotibialis muscle (Abdala et al. 2006), higher percentage of tail autotomy, tail longer than snout-vent length (SVL), head longer than wide, outer cilliaries not projecting and higher number of precloacal pores in males. It also differs from the species of the L. wiegmannii group in having a row of lorilabials between subocular and supralabials and four scales surrounding the mental (Etheridge 2000). Liolaemus goetschi differs from species of the L. laurenti group (Abdala 2007), L. abaucan, L. albiceps, L. calchaquí, L. chacoensis, L. crepuscularis, L. darwinii, L. espinozai, L. grosseorum, L. irregularis L. koslowskyi, L. laurenti, L. lavillai, L. olongasta, L. ornatus, L. quilmes and L. uspallatensis in having posterior teeth with strongly cusped crowns and expanded margins, and in the presence of barely evident sexual dichromatism (Abdala 2007). Females of L. goetschi lack precloacal pores; this character distinguishes the species from L. albiceps, L. calachaqui, L. crepuscularis, L. irregularis, L. lavillai and L. ornatus because a high percentage of females of all these species have 1–6 precloacal pores (Abdala 2007). Within the L. melanops group (Abdala 2007), L. goetschi differs from L canqueli, L. fitzingerii, L. melanops, L. rothi, L. sagei, and L. xanthoviridis in having a shorter snout-vent-length (SVL) (max SVL 74.25 mm vs. 89.00– 106.00 mm) and because of the presence of pre and postscapular spots (absent in these species). It also differs from L. canqueli and L. melanops because of the abscence of the cephalic melanism typical of these species It differs from L. rothi and L. sagei in the more conspicuous gular melanism (Abdala 2007) and from L. morenoi in its smaller size and lower number of scales around the midbody (72–85 Mean = 79.00 vs. 62–72 Mean = 66.35). Liolaemus goetschi differs from Liolaemus inacayali by the presence of pre and postscapular spots and a lower number of scales from occiput to tigh (73–84, Mean = 77.50 vs. 83–96, Mean = 88.75) (Abdala 2003). It differs from L. cheuachekenk in having a shorter maximum SVL (74.25 mm vs. 98.30 mm), in the presence of four to six scales in contact with the mental scale (L. cheuachekenk always presents four), in the absence of abdominal and pectoral melanism and in the presence of a different color pattern (Avila et al. 2008). L. goetschi differs from L. puelche in its smaller size (max SVL 74.25 mm vs. 89.00 mm in L. puelche), lower number of scales around midbody (62–72, Mean = 66.35 vs. 67–76, Mean = 70.75), gular melanism and two series of well defined black paraventral spots, absent in L. puelche (Avila et al. 2007). Within the Liolaemus cuyanus clade (Abdala 2007), composed of L. mapuche, L. cuyanus, and L. donosobarrosi, L. goetschi differs from the first two species in having smaller SVL (max SVL 74.25 mm vs. 79.00 and 102.00 mm, respectively) and a clearly different color pattern that never has a black antehumeral arch (Abdala 2002). It differs from L. donosobarrosi in having longer SVL (max SVL 74.25 mm vs. 60.80 mm), a lower number of scales around the midbody (62–72, Mean = 66.30 vs. 79–95, Mean = 85.40) and a different color pattern (Abdala 2005, 2007). Liolaemus goetschi differs from L. boulengeri, L. josei, L. loboi, L. senguer, L. tehuelche and L. telsen, in having a faint prescapular spot and a larger postscapular spot; two black spots usually band -or line- shaped on each side of the gular region; belly in males and females white or light pink, never yellow, red or bright blue; anterior throat in males never melanic and sexual dichromatism absent or barely marked. It also differs from L. martorii in having a longer SVL (max SVL 74.25 mm vs. 67.10 mm), and four to six scales in contact with mental scale (L. martorii always has four); L. goetschi also has a higher number of light blue scales in tail and body; also scapular spots and spots on the sides of body that are larger and more marked (Table 1 in Nori et al. 2010). 
CommentThis species has previously been considered as a synonym of L. melanops but revalidated by CEI & SCOLARO 2003. 
EtymologyNamed after W. Goetsch,the collector of the type. 
  • ABDALA C. S., R. V. SEMHAN, D. L. MORENO AZOCAR, M. BONINO, M. M. PAZ & F. CRUZ 2012. Taxonomic study and morphology based phylogeny of the patagonic clade Liolaemus melanops group (Iguania: Liolaemidae), with the description of three new taxa. Zootaxa 3163: 1–32 - get paper here
  • Abdala, C.S. 2007. Phylogeny of the boulengeri group (Iguania: Liolaemidae, Liolaemus) based on morphological and molecular characters. Zootaxa 1538: 1-84 - get paper here
  • Avila, L.J.; Fulvio Perez, C.H.; Morando, M. & Sites, J.W. 2010. A new species of Liolaemus (Reptilia: Squamata) from southwestern Rio Negro province, northern Patagonia, Argentina. Zootaxa 2434: 47–59 - 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 - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Cei, J.M. & A. Scolaro 2003. RECTIFICACIÓN TAXONÓMICA Y NOMENCLATURAL DEL PRESENTE STATUS DEL TAXÓN Liolaemus melanops BURMEISTER, 1888. Facena 19: 163-16 - get paper here
  • Grummer, J. A., Morando, M. M., Avila, L. J., Sites Jr., J. W., & Leaché, A. D. 2018. Phylogenomic evidence for a recent and rapid radiation of lizards in the Patagonian Liolaemus fitzingerii species group. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution - get paper here
  • Moreno-Azócar, D. L.; M. G. Perotti, M. F. Bonino, J. A. Schulte II, C. S. Abdala and F. B. Cruz 2014. Variation in body size and degree of melanism within a lizards clade: is it driven by latitudinal and climatic gradients? Journal of Zoology 295 (4): 243–253 - get paper here
  • Müller, L. & Hellmich,W. 1938. Liolaemus - Arten aus dem westlichen Argentinien. I. Liolaemus darwini und Liolaemus goetschi. Zool. Anz. 123 (-6): 130-142
  • Nori, J.; Abdala, C.S. & Scrocchi, G.J. 2010. Reptilia, Iguania, Liolaemidae, Liolaemus goetschi Müller and Hellmich, 1938: Distribution extension. Check List 6 (1): 003-004 - get paper here
  • Nori, J.; Abdala, C.S. & Scrocchi, G.J. 2010. Liolaemus goetschi (Iguania: Liolaemidae): redescription and phylogenetic relationships within the L. boulengeri group. Zootaxa 2440: 49–59 - get paper here
  • Perez, C.H.F.; N. Frutos; M. Kozykariski; M. Morando; D.R. Perez; L.J. Avila. 2011. Lizards of Rio Negro Province, northern Patagonia, Argentina. Check List 7 (3): 202-219 - get paper here
  • Scrocchi, Gustavo J.; Cristian S. Abdala,Javier Nori, Hussam Zaher 2010. Reptiles de la provincia de Río Negro, Argentina. Fondo Ed. Rionegrino, 249 pp.
  • Tulli, M.J.; F.B. Cruz, A. Herrel, B. Vanhooydonck, V. Abdala 2009. The interplay between claw morphology and microhabitat use in neotropical iguanian lizards. Zoology 112 (5): 379-392 - get paper here
  • Winchell, S. 2010. Die Reptilien Argentiniens. Reptilia (Münster) 15 (83): 20-27 - get paper here
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