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Liolaemus tristis SCOLARO & CEI, 1997

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Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymLiolaemus tristis SCOLARO & CEI 1997: 377 
DistributionArgentina (Santa Cruz)

Type locality: “Meseta de las Lagunas Sin Fondo, 70-80 km south of Las Heras, at about 47 ̊S-69 ̊20'W, west of the Ruta Provincial 501 from Pico Truncado to Laguna Madre e Hija, eastern Santa Cruz Province, Argentina, 900-1100 m [elevation]".  
TypesHolotype: MRSN = Mus. Reg. Sci. Nat. Torino No. R-1204-1. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Liolaemus tristis is a member of the kingii species group, and within this group differs from L. kingii in having a very different chromatism, lacking the well defined dorsal color pattern of L. kingii, with 12-13, blackbordered, white broken bands, showing a notorious central white spot on the flanks and extending on a brownish background from the neck to the proximal portion of the tail. Such a typical "kingii pattern" is replaced on the back of L. tristis by a reddish brown confused coloration, scattered with minute whitish speckles irregularly edging the tips or its scales and assembled in some lighter transverse marks (10-12) on the vertebral-paravertebral region (Color Plate 1). Specific chromatic differences are improved in the female specimens, being their dorsal color pattern quite similar to that of the male in L. kingii, but showing in L. tristis two symmetrical dorso-lateral lighter brownish stripes (two scales each) entering from the neck the proximal portion of the tall, also on a darker ground quite similar to that of the males, although more irregularly speckled with the minute whitish spots (Color Plate 2). A minor morphological characteristic could he included for taxonomic distinction between L. kingii and L. tristis: the more salient and bulky cephalic scales of this latter, mainly in the parieto-occipital region. Although several other metric or meristic characters could suggest some intarspecific differences, a still broader overlap in their ranges prevent them to be considered diagnostic. Liolaemus tristis differs from L. baguali in having a still more distinct dorsal color pattern, contrasting with the impressive homeomorphic color patlern of L. buguali, showing a velvet hlack background with bluish reflcdions when exposed to the sun, crossed hy 9-10 evident white bands (1-2 scales each), chevron-like on the vertebral line: a whole black, or melanic, ventcr and throat is also a peculiar character of L. baguali, absent at all in our new species L tristis. Liolaemus tristis differs from somuncurae in having males slightly larger than females, which are significantly larger than males in L. sumuncurae (Cei and Scolaro, 1981). Liolaemus tristis is also clearly diverging in having a quite distinct color pattern, which in L .somuncurae shows an homeornorphic, almost uniform, brownish background, extending on tail and limbs, finely speckled with many minute yelIowish spots edging the tip of scales and forming transversally some very narrow, somewhat irregular, lighter streaks (16-18) from the neck to the proximal portion of the tail. Characteristic of the L somuncurae pattern is the blackish strongly pigmented area on the occipital region, or "pileus", absent in L. tristis.” (Scolaro & Cei 1997) 
CommentGroup: kingii group. 
  • 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
  • Breitman, M. Florencia; , Luciano J. Avila, Jack W. Sites Jr., and Mariana Morando 2011. Lizards from the end of the world: Phylogenetic relationships of the Liolaemus lineomaculatus section (Squamata: Iguania: Liolaemini). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 59 (2): 364-376 - get paper here
  • Breitman, María Florencia; Mariana Morando and Luciano Javier Avila 2013. Past and present taxonomy of the Liolaemus lineomaculatus section (Liolaemidae): is the morphological arrangement hypothesis valid? Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 168 (3): 612–668 - get paper here
  • Breitman, María Florencia; Minoli, Ignacio; Avila, Luciano Javier; Medina, Cintia Debora; Sites, Jr., Jack Walter; Morando, Mariana 2014. Lagartijas de la provincia de Santa Cruz (Argentina): distribución geográfica, diversidad genética y estado de conservación . Cuad. herpetol. 28 (2): 83-110 - get paper here
  • Scolaro, J. A. and J. M. Cei 1997. Systematic status and relationships of Liolaemus species of the archeforus and kingii groups: a morphological and taxonumerical approach (Reptilia: Tropiduridae). Boll. Mus. Reg. Sci. Nat. Torino 15 (2): 369-406
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