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Liolaemus pacha JUÁREZ HEREDIA, ROBLES & HALLOY, 2013

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Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common Names 
SynonymLiolaemus pacha JUÁREZ HEREDIA, ROBLES & HALLOY 2013 
DistributionArgentina (Tucumán)

Type locality: Km 98, Ruta Provincial 307 (Los Cardones), Tafí del Valle Department, Tucumán Province, 26°40’1.5” S 65°49’5.1” W, datum: WGS84, 2725 m elevation. Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
TypesHolotype: FML 02448/1 (Fundación Miguel Lillo), collector, O. Pagaburo, 21/ 04/1999.
Paratypes. FML 2448/3–4/6–9 Km 98, Ruta Provincial 307, Amaicha del Valle, Tafí del Valle Department, Tucumán Province. O. Pagaburo, Col. 21/04/1999. 
CommentSynonymy: L. pacha was originally known as L. darwinii (Bell, 1843) and later redescribed as L. quilmes (Etheridge, 1993).

Diagnosis. Liolaemus pacha sp. nov., belongs to the L. boulengeri group because it has a patch of enlarged scales on the posterior region of the thigh (Etheridge 1995; Abdala et al. 2006). Within this group, it belongs to the L. laurenti group (Abdala 2007) because its posterior teeth have straight edged crowns and sexual dichromatism is evident. Within the L. laurenti group, Liolaemus pacha sp nov. is a member of the L. darwinii group (Abdala 2007) or the darwinii complex (Etheridge 1993) because it has a black line which crosses the eye vertically (except L. chacoensis) and pre-scapular spots in both males and females (Abdala 2007). Within the L. darwinii group (Abdala 2007), L. pacha differs from the members of the L. ornatus group (L. albiceps, L. calchaqui, L. crepuscularis, L. irregularis, L. lavillai, and L. ornatus) because it has an oviparous reproductive mode. It also differs from L. albiceps and L. irregularis because it is smaller (max SVL 67.9 mm vs 82.5 and 86.1 mm, respectively). Liolaemus pacha differs from L. abaucan and L. uspallatensis in having imbricate and keeled dorsal scales, whereas in those two species the dorsal scales are smooth or weakly keeled. Liolaemus chacoensis exhibits keeled temporal scales and mucronate dorsal scales, absent in L. pacha. The presence of a large prescapular spot distinguishes L. pacha from L. abaucan, L. darwinii and L. koslowskyi, which have large and evident postscapular spots. It differs from L. cinereus in having a black stripe in the lateral field and in lacking melanism on the throat. Liolaemus darwinii, L. grosseorum, L. laurenti, L. montanezi and L. olongasta have a black antehumeral arch, absent in L. pacha. Liolaemus pacha sp. nov. differs from L. quilmes mainly because of its size (see below). It has a larger prescapular spot (Fig. 5, left) than L. quilmes (Fig. 6, left) and numerous light blue scales on the sides of the body and tail (Fig. 2). It has a Y-shaped mark on the snout (Fig. 7), reduced in L. quilmes (Table 1). In L. pacha, scales on dorsum are uniformly colored (Fig. 8) whereas in L. quilmes scales on dorsum are irregularly variegated with diffuse spots (Fig. 9). Both species present alternating light and dark spots on supra and infralabials, more diffuse on infralabials in L. pacha sp. nov. (Fig. 10, top), well marked in L. quilmes (Fig. 10, bottom). Anterior limbs with lightly visible bands and posterior limbs without these (Fig. 2 and 5, left), whereas in L. quilmes both anterior and posterior limbs with visible bands (Fig. 6, left). The new species presents yellow dorsolateral spotted bands (Fig. 2), different from L. quilmes which are continuous. Liolaemus pacha sp. nov. has ventrally scattered spots in the jaw area, light yellow on the throat and thigh areas (Fig. 3 and 5, right), in L. quilmes throat with spots that reach to the neck, ventral area white (Fig. 6, right, Table 1). Moreover, among its distinctive characteristics, L. pacha sp. nov. differs significantly from 3 populations of L. quilmes in 10 characters (Table 2, P < 0.05, shown with asterisk): greater snout-vent-lengths in both males and females; higher, wider and longer head in males; larger and wider male torso; longer hand; more scales on average around the body; more gular scales. The new species differs in four other characters (Table 2, P < 0.05, shown without asterisk) from one or two of these populations: in two cases, it differed from El Tio y Las Ruinas de Quilmes but not from Animaná (ventral scales, length of female torso); in one case, it differed from Animaná and El Tio but not from Ruinas de Quilmes (length of humerus); and lastly, it differed from Animaná but not from El Tío and Ruinas de Quilmes (head width of females).
[from JUÁREZ HEREDIA et al. 2013, including all figure and table references). 
EtymologyPacha comes from the Aimara and Quechua indigenous languages from northwestern Argentina. It means “earth” and by extension “world” or “cosmos”. In this part of the country, social gatherings called Pachamama are celebrated every year in the autumn to thank and bless the earth and its products. 
  • Heredia, Viviana Juárez; Natalin Vicente, Cecilia Robles, and Monique Halloy 2014. Mites in the Neotropical Lizard Liolaemus pacha (Iguania: Liolaemidae): Relation to Body Size, Sex and Season. South American Journal of Herpetology Apr 2014, Vol. 9, No. 1: 14-19. - get paper here
  • JUÁREZ-HEREDIA, VIVIANA; CECILIA ROBLES, MONIQUE HALLOY 2013. A new species of Liolaemus from the darwinii group (Iguania: Liolaemidae), Tucumán province, Argentina. Zootaxa 3681: 524–538 - get paper here
  • Vicente, Natalin; Halloy, Monique 2015. Male headbob display structure in a neotropical lizard, Liolaemus pacha (Iguania: Liolaemidae): relation to social context. The Herpetological Journal 25 (1): 49-53 - get paper here
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