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Liolaemus nazca AGUILAR-PUNTRIANO, RAMÍREZ, CASTILLO, MENDOZA, VARGAS & SITES JR, 2019

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Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymLiolaemus nazca AGUILAR-PUNTRIANO, RAMÍREZ, CASTILLO, MENDOZA, VARGAS & SITES JR
Liolaemus “Nazca” — AGUILAR-PUNTRIANO et al. 2016 
DistributionPeru (Ica)

Type locality: Marcona District, Nazca Province, Department of Ica, Peru, 15.120 S, 75.338 W, 466 m elevation  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. MUSM 31523: adult male collected on 17 January 2013 by César Aguilar, César Ramírez and Alejandro Mendoza.
Paratypes. MUSM 16100, 31520, 31526, 31541: four adult males, same data as holotype. MUSM 31,521, 31,525, 16,101: three adult females, same data as holotype. MUSM 31524, 31527, 31522: three juveniles, same data as holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Liolaemus nazca belongs to the L. montanus group because it lacks a patch of enlarged scales on the posterior thighs. Liolaemus nazca forms a clade with other Pacific coast species, L. insolitus, L. poconchilensis and L. chiribaya sp. nov. It differs from L. poconchilensis in being larger (with a maximum SVL of 59.8 mm; 55.9 mm in L. poconchilensis) and lacking enlarged serrate ciliary scales. L. nazca differs from L. insolitus and L. chiribaya sp. nov. by having slightly keeled dorsal scales on the body, which become more conspicuous towards the vertebral line. Liolaemus nazca also differs from L. poconchilensis and L. chiribaya sp. nov. by lacking a “phrynosauroid” or “toad-like” head. Liolaemus nazca presents an intense orange or yellow ventral region with dark spots, in contrast to L. insolitus and L. poconchilensis, both of which have clearer ventral regions, and L. chiribaya sp. nov. which has two orange lateral stripes on venter.
Liolaemus nazca is distinguished from other Peruvian species of the L. montanus group by its bright green and turquoise scales on body flanks surrounded by yellow and black scales. Liolaemus nazca also differs from L. aymararum, L. evaristoi, L. melanogaster, L. polystictus, L. robustus, L. thomasi and L. williamsi in having a smaller SVL (65.9 mm versus 70.1–103.0 mm). Liolaemus nazca has fewer scales around midbody (53–62) than L. signifer (67–110), and the number of vertebral scales (between the occiput and anterior level of hind limbs) in L. nazca is smaller (53–57 scales) than L. evaristoi and L. signifer (60–129 scales), and greater than those of L. aymararum, L. ortizii and L. thomasi (30–53). Liolaemus nazca differs from L. etheridgei, L. ortizii and L. thomasi, all of which have noticeably keeled scales. Liolaemus nazca females differs from L. melanogaster, L. polystictus and L. thomasi females by having vestigial precloacal pores. Liolaemus nazca males have fewer precloacal pores (3–6) than males of L. annectens (6–7) and L. etheridgei (6–9). 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet nazca is a noun in apposition and is given in honor to the Nazca culture (100–800 A.D.). Among the famous Nazca lines, there is a lizard geoglyph. 
References
  • Aguilar, Cesar; Perry L. Wood Jr, Mark C. Belk, Mike H. Duff and Jack W. Sites Jr 2016. Different roads lead to Rome: Integrative taxonomic approaches lead to the discovery of two new lizard lineages in the Liolaemus montanus group (Squamata: Liolaemidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, DOI: 10.1111/bij.12890 - get paper here
  • Aguilar-Puntriano, César, César Ramírez , Ernesto Castillo, Alejandro Mendoza, Victor J. Vargas and Jack W. Sites, Jr. 2019. Three New Lizard Species of the Liolaemus montanus Group from Perú. Diversity 11(9): 161 - get paper here
 
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