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Liolaemus leftrarui TRONCOSO-PALACIOS, DIAZ, PUAS & RIVEROS-RIFFO & ELORZA, 2016

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Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Leftraru`s Lizard
S: Lagarto de Leftraru 
SynonymLiolaemus leftrarui TRONCOSO-PALACIOS, DIAZ, PUAS & RIVEROS-RIFFO & ELORZA 2016 
DistributionChile (Araucanía Region)

Type locality: Laguna Verde (38°12'S - 71°44'W, elevation 1405 m), approximately 13.5 km NW of the summit of the Tolhuaca volcano, Araucanía Region, Chile Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
 
ReproductionVivparous. Females collected in January had several small oocytes but a female collected in September carried one embryo. 
TypesHolotype. SSUC Re 646 (Fig. 6a, b). Male.. Collected by J. Troncoso-Palacios, F. Urra and H. Díaz. January 5, 2014.
Paratypes. SSUC Re 647–48, 716 (Fig. 6). Three females. Same data as the holo- type. SSUC Re 732–734. Two males and one female. Near Lagunillas, Araucanía Re- gion, Chile (38°12'S - 71°46'W, 1483 masl), approximately 4 km NW from the type locality. Collected by J. Troncoso-Palacios & E. Villarroel. September, 2016. 
CommentDiagnosis. Liolaemus leftrarui is closely related to L. villaricensis. This species is characterized by 1) lack of precloacal pores in either sex, 2) large size Liolaemus (max. SVL = 81.8 mm), 3) high amount of midbody scales (80–88), 4) light blue dots on the dorsum, and 5) absence of ventral melanism. We provide a diagnosis in regards to L. villaricensis, plus four unrelated species that occur geographically near to L. leftrarui and that also feature the absence of precloacal pores. Based on seven specimens.
Liolaemus leftrarui has more dorsal scales than L. villaricensis (77–87 vs. 80–89) (t = -2.5, DF = 11, P < 0.05). Moreover, L. villaricensis has a marked lateral black band and a fragmented vertebral stripe, whereas in L. leftrarui these two color features are inconspicuous or less marked than in L. villaricensis. Liolaemus villaricensis has no light blue dots, which are in all specimens of L. leftrarui. Finally, although they are sister species, the average uncorrected pairwise distance between the two taxa is 7.3%, more than double that value proposed for identification of candidate species in Liolaemus.
Additionally, PCA results show that both species only marginally overlap in morpho- logical space when ellipses are generated with the two first PCs (Fig. 3).
Liolaemus leftrarui is larger (max. SVL = 81.8 mm) than L. coeruleus (males SVL = 58.7 ± 3.2 mm; females SVL = 58.2 ± 2.8 mm) and L. neuquensis (males SVL = 57.4 ± 3.5 mm; females SVL = 58.2 ± 1.9 mm). Moreover, L. coeruleus males feature black ventral color and some L. neuquensis males also feature a black ventral color, a feature absent in L. leftrarui. Females of L. coeruleus and L. neuquensis have a brown dorsal color, but females of L. leftrarui have a bluish brown dorsal color. Finally, in our phylogeny L. neuquensis is not closely related to L. leftrarui and although we have no molecular data for L. coeruleus, this last species and L. neuquensis are probably con- specific (Avila et al. 2003).
Liolaemus leftrarui has more midbody scales (80–88 vs. 67–81) than L. punma- huida. Dorsal color in L. punmahuida is ochre and this species is patternless, whereas L. leftrarui has brown dorsal color with dispersed light blue dots. Liolaemus punmahuida has reddish color around the cloaca, feature absent in L. leftrarui. The species are not closely related according to our phylogeny.
Liolaemus leftrarui differs from L. tregenzai in that this last species features black color on the throat, chest and abdomen of males and gray color on the throat, chest and abdomen of females, features totally absent in L. leftrarui. The species are not closely related according to our phylogeny.

Sympatry: Liolaemus leftrarui was found in syntopy with L. septentrionalis, L. tenuis, L. janequeoae and Pristidactylus torquatus at the type locality. Near Lagunillas it was found in syntopy with L. septentrionalis and L. tenuis. In this zone the presence of Tachymenis chilensis was also recorded.

Diet: insects 
EtymologyThis species is named after Leftraru, the most prominent Lonko (tribal chief) of the Mapuche people, who fought against colonial Spaniards in the Arauco war, carried out mainly in the Araucanía Region where we discovered Liolaemus leftrarui. He was captured when he was eleven by Pedro de Valdivia (Governor of the Kingdom of Chile) and became his personal servant. He learned the military strategy of the Spanish and then escaped. Later, he ambushed and killed Valdivia, and won the most remark- able victories over the Spaniards. Finally, he was surrounded and died in battle. 
References
  • Troncoso-Palacios J, Diaz HA, Puas GI, Riveros-Riffo E, Elorza AA 2016. Two new Liolaemus lizards from the Andean highlands of Southern Chile (Squamata, Iguania, Liolaemidae). ZooKeys 632: 121-146 - get paper here
 
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