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Liolaemus sitesi AVILA, OLAVE, PEREZ, PEREZ & MORANDO, 2013

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Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymLiolaemus sitesi AVILA, OLAVE, PÉREZ, PEREZ & MORANDO 2013 
DistributionArgentina (Neuquén: Auca Mahuida Volcano)

Type locality: Park Ranger Post, 25.9 km S junction Provincial Road 6, road to Auca Mahuida volcano, Auca Mahuida Natural Protected Area (37° 42’ S, 68° 51’ W, 1560 m elevation), Pehuenches Department, Neuquén Province, Argentina  
Reproductionoviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: MLP S 2637, an adult male. L.J. Avila, M.L. Kozykariski, and M.F. Breitman, collectors. Paratypes. LJAMM-CNP 11021, 12300, 12243, 12328-30, males, LJAMM-CNP 12301, 12331-4, females, LJAMM-CNP 12335-7, 12212-3, juveniles, same data as the holotype. LJAMM-CNP 12305-6, males, Cerro del Este (37o 46’ S, 68o 53’ W, 1935 m), L.J. Avila, M.L. Kozykariski, and M.F. Breitman collectors. LJAMM-CNP 10566, juvenile, eastern slope of Auca Mahuida volcano (37o 41’ S, 68o 49’ W, 1332 m), C.H.F. Pérez and D.R. Pérez, collectors. LJAMM-CNP 10558, male, northeastern slope of Auca Mahuida volcano (37o 43’ S, 68o 53’ W, 1757 m), C.H.F. Pérez and D.R. Pérez, collectors. All of these localities are located in Auca Mahuida Natural Protected Area, Pehuenches Department, Neuquén Province, Argentina. LJAMM-CNP 13382, female, northern slope of Auca Mahuida volcano (37o 47’ S, 68o 53’ W, 1486 m), LJAMM-CNP 14234, female, 14236, male, track to Punta de Castillo (37o 49’ S, 68o 54’ W, 1366 m), L.J. Avila and I. Minoli, collectors. LJAMM-CNP 14241, female, 0.5 km W La Aguada (37o 45’ S, 68o 54’ W, 1843 m), L.J. Avila, I. Minoli, M. Kozykariski, D. Janish Alvarez and S. Quiroga, collectors. All of these localities are also located in Auca Mahuida Natural Protected Area, Añelo and Pehuenches Departments, Neuquén Province, Argentina. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Liolaemus sitesi is a member of the rothi complex, that includes L. hermannunezi, L. loboi, L. sagei, L. rothi, and L. tromen and several other potential species that require further study (Avila et al. 2006; Morando et al. 2004; Olave unpublished data). Liolaemus sitesi can be easily distinguished from all other members of its clade by its black/dark brown background body coloration with small bright yellow, green or white spots distributed along its dorsal and lateral trunk areas; in full sun males take on a yellow-green iridescent coloration on neck, body, limbs and tail; colors not observed in any other species of the group. Liolaemus sitesi differs from L. rothi, L. sagei and L. tromen by its marked sexual dichromatism. Liolaemus sitesi is smaller than L. rothi (maximum SVL: 79.8 vs. 97.00 mm), has more scales around midbody (72.0 ± 2.9 vs. 64.7 ± 4.27) and more supralabial scales (8.0 ± 0.9 vs. 5.49 ± 0.56). Liolaemus sitesi lacks of the conspicuous yellow spots irregularly distributed along the body of L. rothi. Liolaemus sitesi is larger than L. hermannunezi (maximum SVL: 79.8 vs. 71.4 mm), has more dorsal (82.0 ± 2.5 vs. 71.8 ± 1.1), ventral (101.4 ± 4.2 vs. 87.3 ± 1.0), and supralabial scales (8.0 ± 0.9 vs. 7.1 ± 0.7). Liolaemus sitesi is smaller than L. sagei (maximum SVL: 79.8 vs. 88.00 mm), has fewer scales around midbody (72.0 ± 2.9 vs. 90.3 ± 4.68), fewer dorsal scales (82.0 ± 2.5 vs. 101.2 ± 6.59), more supralabials (8.0 ± 0.9 vs. 5.25 ± 0.60), and fewer infralabial scales (5.6 ± 0.4 vs. 6.22 ± 0.42). Liolaemus sitesi is larger than L. loboi (maximum SVL: 79.8 vs. 72.7 mm), has more scales around midbody (72.0 ± 2.9 vs. 63.7), more dorsal scales (82.0 ± 2.5 vs. 67.1), and fewer infralabials (5.6 ± 0.4 vs. 6.4). Liolaemus sitesi differs from L. tromen by having a slender body, a higher number of scales around midbody (72.0 ± 2.9 vs. 65.8 ± 2.2), more dorsal (82.0 ± 2.5 vs. 72.2 ± 3.1) and supralabial scales (8.0 ± 0.9 vs. 7.0 ± 0.6), and a coloration pattern without suprascapular marks or series of subsquare paravertebral spots fused forming transversal bands. 
EtymologyThe specific name is to honor our friend and colleague Jack Walter Sites, Jr. from Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA, who strongly supported and collaborated with us on studies of Patagonian herpetofauna for the last 12 years. Dr. Sites is a herpetologist and evolutionary biologist and devoted the last 30+ years to collaborate with herpetologists from many Central and South American countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. 
  • AVILA, LUCIANO JAVIER; MELISA OLAVE, CRISTIAN HERNAN FULVIO PEREZ, DANIEL ROBERTO PEREZ, MARIANA MORANDO 2013. Molecular phylogenetic relationships of the Liolaemus rothi complex and a new species of lizard from Auca Mahuida Volcano (Squamata: Liolaemini). Zootaxa 3608 (4): 221–238 - get paper here
  • BRIZIO, M. V., MINOLI, I., PÉREZ, D. R., & AVILA, L. J. 2023. Reptiles of the Auca Mahuida natural protected area, Argentina. Rev. Mus. Argentino Cienc. Nat., n.s. 25(1): 133-142 - get paper here
  • Kwet, Axel 2014. Liste der im Jahr 2013 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Terraria-Elaphe 2014 (3): 56-67 - get paper here
  • Olave, Melisa; Luciano J. Avila, Jack W. Sites Jr, Mariana Morando 2016. Hidden diversity within the lizard genus Liolaemus: genetic vs morphological divergence in the L. rothi complex (SQUAMATA: LIOLAEMINAE). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution - get paper here
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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