You are here » home advanced search search results Liolaemus shitan


Can you confirm these amateur observations of Liolaemus shitan?

Add your own observation of
Liolaemus shitan »

Find more photos by Google images search: Google images

Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
Liolaemus elongatus — CEI & AVILA 1998
Liolaemus elongatus — MORANDO et al. 2003
Liolaemus shitan — RUIZ et al. 2021 
DistributionArgentina (Río Negro)

Type locality: Over Provincial route 6, 175 km from General Roca, Estancia Piedras Blancas (40° 17’ 17.8’’ S, 68° 27’ 26.9’’ W), 820 m elevation, Río Negro, Argentina.  
TypesHolotype: FML 19276 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A large size Liolaemus (Max SVL 98.3 mm), which belong to the L. chiliensis group. Inside this group it belongs to the L. elongatus group (sensu Lobo et al. 2010). The new species is distributed far away south from the members of the L. capillitas group (Lobo, 2005) – included in the L. petrophilus group – which inhabit in Northwestern Argentina and differs from it because the lack of the synapomorphies of the L. capillitas group (Lobo, 2005). Liolaemus shitan differs from the southern distributed members of the L. petrophilus group in having a distinct color pattern, entirely melanic. From L. elongatus, L. parvus, and L. gununakuna differs in having more ventral scales (120-132 in L. shitan vs. 96-113 in the other three species). Dorsal scales in L. shitan shows an evident keel, whereas this keel is weak in L. austromendocinus and L. thermarum. Temporal scales are weakly keeled in L. shitan, and smooth in L. austromendocinus and L. smaug. The number of scales around midbody is lower in L. shitan (72-85) than in L. gununakuna and L. thermarum (84-97). Number of dorsal scales in L. gununakuna is larger (83-90) than in L. shitan (64-76). Liolaemus shitan is larger than L. parvus, L. smaug, and L. thermarum. Also, L. shitan exhibit a weakly sexual dichromatism, absent in all members of the L. petrophilus group, with the exception of L. smaug. The lacks of precloacal pores in L. thermarum distinguish it from L. shitan. It differs from the member of the L. kriegi group (Morando et al., 2003) in the lower number of scales around midbody (72-85 vs 85-110 in L. burgeri and L. kriegi); the lower number of dorsal scales (69-83 vs 87-110 in L. kriegi). The presence of red coloration in cloacal region in L. burgeri distinguishes this taxon with L. shitan (without red coloration). 
CommentKWET 2012 says that the ABDALA paper was published in 2011.

Synonymy: populations of L. shitan that show marked melanism are genetically intermixed with individuals of L. elongatus (Medina 2015, PhD thesis). Medina et al 2017 did not find sufficient molecular distinction between L. elongatus and L. shitan, despite morphological distinction between individuals from type localities (Medina 2015). Ruiz et al. 2021 claim that shitan is suffficiently distinguished from elongatus to justify species status. 
EtymologyNamed after the Arabian “Shitan”, meaning “demon”, because this species is extremely aggressive and because of its black dorsal coloration. 
  • Abdala, C.S.; Quinteros, A.S.; Scrocchi, G.J. & Stazzonelli, J.C. 2010. Three new species of the Liolaemus elongatus group (Iguania: Liolaemidae) from Argentina. Cuadernos de Herpetología 24 (2): 93-109 - get paper here
  • AVILA, LUCIANO JAVIER; CINTIA DEBORA MEDINA, CRISTIAN HERNAN FULVIO PEREZ, JACK W. SITES, JR. & MARIANA MORANDO 2015. Molecular phylogenetic relationships of the lizard clade Liolaemus elongatus (Iguania: Liolaemini) with the description of a new species from an isolated volcanic peak in northern Patagonia. Zootaxa 3947 (1): 067–084 - 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
  • Medina, C. D., Avila, L. J., Sites, J. W. and Morando, M. 2017. Phylogeographic history of Patagonian lizards of the Liolaemus elongatus complex (Iguania: Liolaemini) based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences. J Zool Syst Evol Res. 55: 238; doi:10.1111/jzs.12163 - get paper here
  • Moreno Azócar, D. L., Arcos, N. A., Perotti, M. G. & Cruz, F. B. 2020. How and when melanic coloration is an advantage for lizards: the case of three closely-related species of Liolaemus. Zoology 125774 - get paper here
  • Ruiz, S., Ruiz-Monachesi, M. R., Quinteros, S., & Abdala, C. S. 2021. Sobre el estatus taxonómico de Liolaemus shitan (Abdala et al., 2010) lguania: Liolaemidae. Cuadernos de Herpetología 35 (S1): 169-174
  • Vrdoljak, Juan; Kevin Imanol Sanchez, Roberto Arreola-Ramos, Emilce Guadalupe Diaz Huesa, Alejandro Villagra, Luciano Javier Avila, Mariana Morando 2020. Testing repeatability, measurement error and species differentiation when using geometric morphometrics on complex shapes: a case study of Patagonian lizards of the genus Liolaemus (Squamata: Liolaemini). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, blaa079, - get paper here
External links  
Is it interesting? Share with others:

As link to this species use URL address:

without field 'search_param'. Field 'search_param' is used for browsing search result.

Please submit feedback about this entry to the curator