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Liolaemus ubaghsi ESQUERRÉ, TRONCOSO-PALACIOS, GARÍN & NÚÑEZ, 2014

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Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Ubaghs’ leopard lizard
S: Lagarto leopardo de Ubaghs 
SynonymLiolaemus ubaghsi ESQUERRÉ, TRONCOSO-PALACIOS, GARÍN & NÚÑEZ 2014
Liolaemus leopardinus leopardinus — NÚÑEZ 1992: 10
Liolaemus elongatus — PINCHEIRA-DONOSO & NÚÑEZ. 2005: 260 
DistributionC Chile (SE of Santiago)

Type locality: Chapa Verde, between the ski field and reservoir, Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins Region, Chile. 34°03'S 70°26'W, 2210 m elevation. Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
 
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. MNHNCL-3813, Male, collected by Herman Núñez, Carlos Garín and Daniel Pincheira-Donoso. On May 22-23, 2003 (Fig. 1).
Paratypes. MNHNCL-3812, 3814 and 3816 males; MNHNCL-3808, 3809, 3810, 3811, and 3815 females (Fig. 2). Same collection data as the holotype. SSUC Re-491 and 492 females, collected by R. Thomson and G. Ugalde. Tranque Barahona, El Teniente Mine, Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins Region, Chile. On April the 15th, 2008. Measurements in Table 1. 
CommentDiagnosis. Liolaemus ubaghsi sp. nov. belongs to the leopardinus clade. This group is composed by medium to large lizards (maximum SVL greater than 89 mm), with prominent neck folds, 72–93 scales around mid-body, juxtaposed or subimbricated rhomboidal keeled dorsal scales, with interstitial granular scales around them, nasal scales not in contact with the rostral scale (with some exceptions), undifferentiated auricular scale and parietal scales with a similar size as interpatietal (with some exceptions, especially in L. frassinettii). Even though the pattern of each species is different, it always involves some kind of dark mottled pattern on a lighter (varying from beige, to olive brown and dark brown) background (see Figs 3–6). All species have leopard-like spots on the dorsum or at least on dorsal surface of the tail (with the exception of Liolaemus ubaghsi sp. nov)
Liolaemus ubaghsi sp. nov. is a medium to large, sturdy lizard. It has a mean SVL of 83.3 mm, and a maximum of 89.6 mm. The head is longer than it is wide, and the neck is as wide or wider than the head due to prominent transversal neck folds. On average, the tail is 1.46 times the length of the body (SVL). It has 72–87 scales around midbody, 62 to 83 dorsal scales (through the vertebral line, from the occiput to the level of the anterior surface of the femoral region) and 111 to 137 ventral scales (from tip of the snout to the cloaca).
It differs from L. valdesianus and L. frassinettii by its dorsal pattern. L. ubaghsi sp. nov. displays an occipital stripe or sometimes a vertebral line and has white dots dispersed on the dorsum, instead of the light green transversal stripes present in L. valdesianus and L. frassinettii. Also, the general background coloration in L. ubaghsi sp. nov. is ochre, while in L. valdesianus and L. frassinettii is olive brown and has a more gray or greenish hue. Furthermore, L. valdesianus and L. frassinettii have leopard-like spots on the dorsal side of the tail, whereas these are absent on L. ubaghsi sp. nov. It also differs from L. valdesianus by having more lamellae on the fourth toe, although there is a small overlap (28–35 in L. ubagshi sp. nov. vs. 25–28 in L. valdesianus), and because the dorsal scales on L. valdesianus are juxtaposed or subimbricated, leaving large spaces between them with abundant interstitial granules (more than in any species of the leopardinus clade). These scales are subimbricated in L. ubagshi sp. nov. , with less interstitial granules (see Fig. 7). Moreover, the infralabial scales in L. ubagshi sp. nov. and L. frassinettii are notoriously enlarged in relation to the supralabial scales, while is L. valdesianus the infralabials are barely larger than the supralabials (see Fig. 8). The dorsal scales on L. ubaghsi and L. frassinettii are notoriously more keeled than on L. valdesianus and L. leopardinus. It additionally differs from L. frassinettii because this species has a black spot that begins at the axilla and continues until about the middle of the flanks, instead of the complete dark flanks in L. ubaghsi sp. nov.. It strongly differs from L. leopardinus and L. ramonensis by its dorsal pattern. Although these two species may present a vertebral line, they never exhibit the occipital wide stripe often observed in L. ubaghsi sp. nov., and their flanks are not as dark as the flanks in L. ubaghsi sp. nov. Aditionally, L. leopardinus never has white dots scattered on the dorsal region, and it has big black leopard-like hollow spots on the dorsal region, which are absent in L. ubaghsi sp. nov. (as well as in the rest of the clade). In the same way, L. ramonensis has small black leopard-like spots absent in L. ubaghsi sp. nov.. In addition to all this diagnostic traits, L. ubaghsi sp. nov. is slightly smaller (maximum SVL=89.6 mm) than L. valdesianus (95 mm), L. ramonensis (94.9 mm) and L. leopardinus (98.2 mm). 
EtymologyThis species is named after Prof. Georges Ubaghs (1916-2005), Belgian paleontologist, who made some of the greatest contributions to the knowledge of Palaeozoic echinoderms in the 20th century. He is also the great-grandfather of the first author of this paper (DE). 
References
  • Demangel, Diego 2016. Guía de Campo - Reptiles del centro sure de Chile. Corporación Chilena de la Madera, Concepción, Chile 187 pp. - get paper here
  • ESQUERRÉ, DAMIEN; JAIME TRONCOSO-PALACIOS, CARLOS F. GARÍN & HERMAN NÚNEZ 2014. The missing leopard lizard: Liolaemus ubaghsi sp. nov., a new species of the leopardinus clade (Reptilia: Squamata: Liolaemidae) from the Andes of the O’Higgins Region in Chile. Zootaxa 3815 (4): 507–525 - get paper here
 
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