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Liolaemus thermarum VIDELA & CEI, 1996

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Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Las Damas River Lizard [riodamas]
S: Lagarto del Rio Las Damas [riodamas] 
SynonymLiolaemus thermarum VIDELA & CEI 1996
Liolaemus thermarum — ESPINOZA, LOBO & CRUZ 2000
Liolaemus riodamas ESQUERRÉ, NÚÑEZ & SCOLARO 2013
Liolaemus thermarum — ESQUERRÉ et al. 2022 
DistributionArgentina (S Mendoza), elevation 2400-2500 m

Type locality: “Baños de Azufre, 2500 m, 10 km from Peteroa Volcano, Malargüe Department, Mendoza Province, Argentina".

riodamas: C Chile; Type locality: Las Damas River, Termas del Flaco, Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins Region; S 34°56'714-887 ́ ́ W 70°23 ́634 - 682’’ ́ 2012-2057 m elevation.  
Reproductionviviparous (phylogenetic imputation, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: MACN 36681 (= Mus. Argent. Cien. Nat.)
Holotype: MNHNC (= MNHNCL) 4684, male. Collected by Damien Esquerré and Herman Núñez, between February 1 and 2, 2011. Paratypes. MNHNC (= MNHNCL) 1962 to 1966 and MNHNCL-4682, 4683, 4685 and 4686. MNHNCL-1962, 4682 and 4686 are males and MNHNCL-1963, 1964, 1965, 1966 and 4685 are females. MNHNCL 4682-4686 same data as holotype. MNHNCL-1962-1966 same locality, collected by Herman Núñez and Antonieta Labra, February 24, 1985. MNHNCL-1964 and 4683 were used for diaphanisation [riodamas] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (thermarum). A medium-size, stout Liolaemus, belonging to the "chiliensis" group, being characterized by high scale number at midbody, softly keeled dorsal scales medially thickening on a vertebral line, absence of precloacal pores and a peculiar coloration stressed by a very wide and dark, bilateral lower stripe on the flanks. It is easily recognizable from the several species of the "chiliensis" group, except coeruleus, bellii neuquensis and cristiani in having a different color pattern and lacking precloacal pores in males. It is distinguishable
from Liolaemus coeruleus and Liolaemus bellii neuquensis, also lacking pre-cloacal pores, in having a larger and stouter body, higher scale number at mid-body and a very different dorsal and ventral coloration (Col. Pl. 1 and 2). In accordance with the original description of L. cristiani (Nunez et al., 1991; Navarro and Nuñez, 1992) it differs from this Chilean form in having a very different lepidosis and dorsal coloration: no scale numbers at midbody are reported in the original description of L. cristiani.
Liolaemus ramonensis Müller and Hellmich 1932 has been reported as lacking precloacal pores (Navarro and Nuñez, 1992), but in the original description (Müller and Hellmich, 1932) of the two male paratypes "... 5 Präanalporen" and “... 6 Präanalporen auf der Hinterseite des Randes der Analklappe gelegen ...” are clearly indicate. The holotype of L. ramonensis was L. a female specimen. (Videla & Cei 1996)

Diagnosis. See also entry of Liolaemus punmahuida.

Diagnosis (riodamas). Medium to large-sized lizard, with a mean SVL of 80.9 mm and a maximum of 85.5 mm. Sturdy aspect, robust limbs and a strongly folded neck. Tail about 1.5 times the length of the body. 83–96 scales around midbody. General background coloration brown to dark gray, with no defined pattern. Dorsal coloration of the head dark brown to black. Some specimens have individual yellow scales scattered on the posterior region of the dorsum. A light-yellow coloration is observed at the ventral region of some live specimens that extends to the sides of the tail. This species presents the characteristic dorsal squamation pattern of the kriegi group, with small rounded and juxtaposed scales, and tiny granular scales in the interstitial region. The dorsal scales are weakly keeled and only around the vertebral line. It completely lacks precloacal pores, which makes it distinct from almost all of the species of the elongatus-kriegi complex. It is important, therefore, to differentiate this species from all of the species lacking these glands. First, because of this trait, is can be said that this species is not L. ceii as was previously suggested (Núñez & Torres-Mura 1992). Furthermore L. ceii has 102–115 scales around midbody, in contrast with the 83–96 scales in L. riodamas. From the original description of L. thermarum (Videla & Cei 1996), where it is described lacking precloacal pores, it differs in that L. thermarum would exhibit a dark bilateral stripe on the flanks, absent in the uniform pattern of L. riodamas. According to Avila et al. (2010), L. thermarum has two to three precloacal pores and a dorsal stripe, both traits absent in L. riodamas, however in a recent article (Avila et al. 2012) that sample of lizards is assigned to L. smaug. L. riodamas differs from L. neuquensis and L. coeruleus because these species have a lower number of scales around midbody (68–74 and 63–69 respectively, after Videla & Cei (1996) and Scolaro et al.(2007)), presence of dorsal pattern and a blue/greenish ventral coloration. From L. cristiani it differs because this species has a black stripe along the sides of the trunk, and a smaller body size much smaller, body size (mean SVL of 70.7 vs. 80.9 mm in L. riodamas). The species differs from L. flavipiceus because the latter has a lower number of scales around midbody (73–81). In addition L. riodamas lacks the body melanism of L. flavipiceus, and the red ventral coloration in some specimens of L. flavipiceus. From L. punmahuida it differs because this species is larger (maximum SVL of 95 mm in L. punmahuida vs. 85 mm in L. riodamas); furthermore L. punmahuida has an ochre background coloration, and bright red-yellowish coloration in the cloacal region, in contrast to the brown to gray dorsal coloration, and the occasional and slight yellow pigmentation in the cloacal region of L. riodamas. L. riodamas differs from L. tregenzai because this species has a green-bluish ventral coloration, and an evident sexual dichromatism, both traits not observed in L. riodamas. Some L. leopardinus males lack precloacal pores, but this species is clearly distinct from L. riodamas because of the leopard-like dorsal pattern of L. leopardinus. L. capillitas males also lack precloacal pores sometimes, but this species has only 58–67 scales around midbody, and a red cloacal coloration in females, not observed in L. riodamas (ESQUERRÉ et al. 2013) 
CommentGroup: Belongs to the Liolaemus elongatus group (fide ESPINOZA et al. 2000). Belongs to the “neuquensis” group of Liolaemus according to CEI & VIDELA 2003.

Synonymy: ESQUERRÉ et al. 2022 synonymized Liolaemus riodamas with L. thermarum. 
EtymologyNamed after the Latin word thermae, thermarum, in reference to the sulfureous thermal springs from its montane Andean habitat, near to the still active Peteroa Volcano.

Liolaemus riodamas was named after the type locality, Rio Las Damas. 
  • 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
  • Abdala, Cristian Simón; Andrés Sebastián Quinteros, Romina Valeria Semhan, Ana Lucia Bulacios Arroyo, James Schulte, Marcos Maximiliano Paz, Mario Ricardo Ruiz-Monachesi, Alejandro Laspiur, Alvaro Juan Aguilar-Kirigin, Roberto Gutiérrez Poblete, Pabl 2020. Unravelling interspecific relationships among highland lizards: first phylogenetic hypothesis using total evidence of the Liolaemus montanus group (Iguania: Liolaemidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 189 (1): 349–377 - get paper here
  • Avila, L.J.; Morando, M.; Perez, D.R. & Sites Jr., J.W. 2010. A new species of the Liolaemus elongatus clade (Reptilia: Iguania: Liolaemini) from Cordillera del Viento, northwestern Patagonia, Neuquén, Argentina. Zootaxa 2667: 28–42 - 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
  • Avila,L.J.; Perez, C.H.F. & Morando,M. 2003. A new species of Liolaemus (Squamata: Iguania: Liolaemidae) from Northwestern Patagonia (Neuquén, Argentina). Herpetologica 59 (4): 534–545 - get paper here
  • Cei, J.M. & Videla, F. 2003. A new species of Liolaemus lacking precloacal pores in males from the Andean south-eastern mountains of Mendoza Province, Argentina (Liolaemidae, Iguania, Lacertilia, Reptilia). Boll. Mus. Reg. Sci. Nat. Torino 20: 275-290
  • Demangel, Diego 2016. Reptiles en Chile. Fauna Nativa Ediciones, Santiago, 619 pp - get paper here
  • Demangel, Diego 2016. Guía de Campo - Reptiles del centro sure de Chile. Corporación Chilena de la Madera, Concepción, Chile 187 pp. - get paper here
  • Espinoza, R.E. & Lobo, F. 2003. Two new species of Liolaemus lizards from northwestern Argentina: speciation within the Northern subclade of the elongatus group (Iguania: Liolaemidae). Herpetologica 59 (1): 89-105 - get paper here
  • Espinoza,R.E.; Lobo, F. & Cruz,F.B. 2000. Liolaemus heliodermis, a new lizard from northwestern Argentina with remarks on the content of the elongatus group (Iguanaia: Tropiduridae). Herpetologica 56 (4): 507-516 - get paper here
  • ESQUERRÉ, DAMIEN; HERMAN NÚÑEZ & JOSÉ ALEJANDRO SCOLARO 2013. Liolaemus carlosgarini and Liolaemus riodamas (Squamata: Liolaemidae), two new species of lizards lacking precloacal pores, from Andean areas of central Chile. Zootaxa 3619 (4): 428–452 - get paper here
  • Esquerré, Damien; J Scott Keogh, Diego Demangel, Mariana Morando, Luciano J Avila, Jack W Sites, Jr., Francisco Ferri-Yáñez, Adam D Leaché 2022. Rapid Radiation and Rampant Reticulation: Phylogenomics of South American Liolaemus Lizards. Systematic Biology 71 (2): 286–300 - get paper here
  • Esquerré, Damien; Jaime Troncoso-Palacios, Rodrigo Barros 2016. Liolaemus riodamas Esquerré, Núñez & Scolaro, 2013 (Reptilia: Squamata: Liolaemidae): new record for the Maule Region in Chile. Check List 12 (2): - get paper here
  • Gagliardi, Jorge et al. 2016. Fotografías herpetológicas. Boletín Chileno de Herpetología. 3: 40-52. PDF - get paper here
  • Gagliardi-Álvarez, Jorge 2019. Sintopía entre los lagartos del valle del río de las Damas, Región de O’Higgins, Chile. Boletín Chileno de Herpetología. 6: 67-68 - get paper here
  • PINCHEIRA-DONOSO, DANIEL & J. ALEJANDRO SCOLARO 2007. Iguanian species-richness in the Andes of boreal Patagonia: Evidence for an additional new Liolaemus lizard from Argentina lacking precloacal glands (Iguania, Liolaeminae). Zootaxa 1452: 55-68 - get paper here
  • Varela, Esperanza Amalia 1999. Tipos de la colección herpetológica del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia”, Buenos Aires, Argentina. [type catalog] Iheringia, Sér. Zool., Porto Alegre (87): 57-74
  • Videla, F., and J. M. Cei. 1996. A new peculiar Liolaemus species of the "chiliensis" phyletic group from the volcanic cordilleran landscapes of southern Mendoza province, Argentina (Iguania, Lacertilia, Reptilia). Boll. Mus. Reg. Sci. Nat. Torino 14: 505-516.
  • 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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