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Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common NamesE: Beautiful lizard
Spanish: Lagartija hermosa 
DistributionChile (Llullaillaco National Park, Antofagasta Region), probably adjacent Argentina

Type locality: quebrada Zorritas (24°37’17.75”S, 68°35’12.73”E, 4200 m elevation)

Elevation: 4170 to 4250 m.  
TypesHolotype: Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, Chile (MNHNCL)-4737, Male, preserved in 80% Ethanol. Collected on April 5th, 2012, by Diego Demangel, Cristian Sepúlveda, Denise Donoso and Herman Núñez.
Paratypes, males MNHNCL-4740, 4741, and 4742; females 4736, 4738, and 4739, same data as holotype, plus MNHNCL-4944 male, and 4945 female. Collected in Quebrada Zorritas, on November 12, 2012, by H. Núñez, D. Demangel and Alfredo Ugarte. 
CommentDiagnosis. This species is a Liolaemus because it satisfies all diagnostic features given by Cei (1986: 189) and Pincheira-Donoso & Núñez (2005), e.g., flat body, without dorsal crest of scales, gular area without folds, no swelling fold toward sides, sub cylindrical fingers with keeled lamellae, small and smooth cephalic scales, cilindro conical tail; tricuspid lateral teeth, within other characters (our translation from Cei 1986: 189).
This species belongs to the Eulaemus subgenus because has a bladelike process (Figure 5) as- sociated to the enlargement of the tibialis anticus muscle, the Liolaemus montanus section (see Etheridge 1995, Pincheira- Donoso y Núñez 2005, Abdala et al. 2006 and also Lobo et al. 2010, and Schulte et al. 2000). External character is a large number of supralabial scales, all of them straight, short, no one curved upward, and more than five precloacal pores. According to Lobo et al. (2010: 282) the andinus subgroup of Liolaemus montanus sectios is (sic) “characterized by having very small, juxtaposed or subimbricate dor- sal round scales. Lateral scales of their neck are granular, the temporal scales are smooth, and they show strong sexual dichromatism”, all these features are present in L. omorfi, therefore, could be assigned to this lineage. The species belonging to the boulengeri group (sensu Etheridge 1995) have a patch of enlarged scales on the posterior side of the thigh, a feature not observed in L. omorfi.Liolaemus omorfi differs from L. cazianiae, because the last one “has 6-10 dorsolateral bright red spots” (sic, see Lobo et al. 2010: 282), also this character is present in L. nigriceps; instead, no such pattern is found in L. omorfi. Furthermore both species are larger, the largest L. nigriceps individual vouchered in MNHNCL has 93.5 mm snout-vent length (MNHNCL-2174); Lobo et al. (2010) reported 76 mm for specimens of L. cazianiae. L. nigriceps has the head with a strong melanism, non present in anyone L. omorfi individuals.
Liolaemus omorfi is smaller than L. foxi, (Núñez et al. 2000) and L. patriciaiturrae (Navarro and Núñez 1993); recently Núñez et al. (2012) described a population of small individuals preliminary assigned to L. foxi, nevertheless the dorsal pattern is strikingly different, these new population of L. foxi has huge patches of jet black areas, feature not present in L. omorfi which is multicolored. According to Lobo et al. (2010), the species L. multicolor, L. ruibali, L. orko, and L. pulcherrimus have slightly keeled to strongly keeled scales on dorsum, while the scales in L. omorfi have a completely flat surface.
Liolaemus audituvelatus and L. manueli have the auditive meatus covered partially or fully with scales, whereas L. omorfi has naked tympanum; L. stolzmanni (ex L. reichei, see Langsthrot 2011), L. torresi and L. poconchilensis have short snout, and, the “eyelids” are swelling scales like a comb, whereas these traits are not seen in L. omorfi, which shows short palpebrals scales. L. rosenmanni has more than 100 scales around midboby (Núñez and Navarro 1992), L. halonastes has 80-97, L. andinus has 88-99, L. andinus has 98-110 (see Lobo et al. 2010: 287; however, see Troncoso-Palacios 2014, who considers “L. andinus” as nomen dubium); L duellmani has 86-90 (Cei 1986: 227); L. vallecurensis has 85 to 95 (Pereyra 1992); L. robertoi has 85-94 scales (Pincheira-Donoso and Núñez 2004); L. pleopholis has 86-93 sales (this paper); L. omorfi has 65, and this last feature is enough to differentiate this species from the related species. L. omorfi is the species that exhibits the least amount of scales around midbody among the species so far included into this group. Liolaemus omorfi has 14-16 scales along the midline over the dorsum of the head; L. eleodori has 24-35 (see Lobo et al. 2010: 283). Liolaemus huacahuasicus has larger adult size reaching 75 mm, L. omorfi is shorter (see Table 1); dorsal scales in L. huacahuasicus are imbricate, slightly keeled, according with the Figure 6 (Laurent 1985: 242) those scales are almost triangular, in L. omorfi are smooth, juxtaposed, and those from dorsal surface are definitively quiet smaller than the ventral scales, feature non present in L. huacahuasicus.
Cei (1986) reported for L. famatinae, these features: keeled dorsal scales, imbricate, usually the nasal scale is contacted with the rostral one. L. omorfi has smooth scales, juxtaposed, and, least the sample we have do not show any evidence of contacting rostral-nasal scales.
Liolaemus omorfi differs from L. dorbignyi, L. jamesi, L. pleopholis, L. puritamensis, L. schrocchi y L. signifer, because all of them have an adult SVL larger than 70 mm. L. omorfi differs from L. porosus and L. islugensis, because the latter two species are more plump and the adults exceeds 65 mm SVL and sometimes exceed 70 mm. L. omorfi is slender and shorter. In addition, those two species have a higher number of midboby scales, as well as a different dorsal pattern.
The only two specimens that can be attributed to L. schmidti are the holotype and a paratype, and both have greater number of midbody (70 and 84 respectively), while the holotype of L. omorfi has 63. Moreover, the holotype of L. schmidti has the tail longer than one and a half body length, in L. omorfi the tail is noticeably short, and throughout the type serie is shorter. In L. omorfi tail ratio relative to body decreases as the specimens get greater size and with only two known specimens in L. schmidti can be seen that this relationship is reversed. In addition, according to on the location provided by Marx (40 miles east of San Pedro de Atacama) both locations are separated by 220 km in a straight line and a fairly rugged terrain [Demangel et al. 2015]. 
EtymologyLiolaemus means “smooth throat”, the Greek term omorfi (όμορφη) means beautiful, gorgeous. It is pronounced “ómorfi”. Given the intense coloration presented by this species, particularly in the adult males, we propose to give it the common name “Beautiful lizard” and in Spanish “Lagartija hermosa”. 
  • Demangel, Diego; Cristian Sepúlveda, Manuel Jara, Daniel Pincheira-Donoso<br />and Herman Núñez 2015. Liolaemus omorfi, A NEW LIZARD SPECIES FROM THE ANDES OF NORTHERN CHILE (SAURIA, LIOLAEMIDAE). Boletín del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, Chile, 64: 139-155 - get paper here
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