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Liolaemus uniformis TRONCOSO-PALACIOS, ELORZA, PUAS & ALFARO-PARDO, 2016

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Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymLiolaemus uniformis TRONCOSO-PALACIOS, ELORZA, PUAS & ALFARO-PARDO 2016
Liolaemus altissimus altissimus — MELLA 2005: 38 (in part?)
Liolaemus monticola? — NÚÑEZ et al. 2010: 57 
DistributionChile (Aconcagua)

Type locality: west shore of the Chepical Lagoon (32°15'S – 70°30'W), approximately 30 km NE Alicahue, San Felipe de Aconcagua Province, Valparaíso Region, Chile. Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
 
ReproductionVivparous. 
TypesHolotype. SSUC Re 674. Adult male. Collectors: J. Troncoso-Palacios and E. Alfaro. December, 2012.
Paratypes (Fig. 2C, D, E, F). SSUC Re 675, male. SSUC Re 676–78, three fe- males. SSUC Re 679, juvenile. The same data as the holotype. 
CommentDiagnosis. Liolaemus uniformis is larger than L. constanzae (Mann–Whitney U = 0.5, P < 0.01, Table 1). Liolaemus constanzae has sexual dichromatism, a feature absent in L. uniformis. Males of L. constanzae have a black vertebral line and black spots on the par- avertebral fields (Fig. 3A), whereas L. uniformis has no dorsal pattern. Additionally, the southern distributional limit of L. constanzae in Agua Verde, Antofagasta Region, Chile (Ortiz 1975), is more than 750 km north of the type locality recorded for L. uniformis.
Liolaemus uniformis differs from L. isabelae (Fig. 3C), because in the latter the nasal and the rostral scales are in contact only in 25% of specimens, whereas in L. uniformis, these scales are always in contact. Males of L. isabelae have black ventral coloration, a yellow dorsal color with a black vertebral line, black bars in the paravertebral fields, and a black lateral band, or some males have a completely black dorsal color; all traits that are absent in L. uniformis. Additionally, the southern distributional limit of L. isabelae in Salar de Pedernales, Atacama Region, Chile (Pincheira-Donoso and Núñez 2005) is more than 650 km north of the type locality recorded for L. uniformis.
Liolaemus uniformis resembles L. lorenzmuelleri (Fig. 3E) and L. juanortizi (Fig. 3D), species suggested as conspecific (Pincheira-Donoso and Núñez 2005). However, the dorsal scales in L. lorenzmuelleri and L. juanortizi are noticeably larger than those of L. uniformis, and have a distinct “ovoid” shape. Liolaemus uniformis has more dorsal scales (60.0 ± 2.9) than L. lorenzmuelleri (48.4 ± 4.2) (t = -5.4, P < 0.01). On the other hand, while only one specimen of L. juanortizi was examined, this one has 52 dorsal scales, which is below of the range for L. uniformis (Table 1). Liolaemus uniformis has more midbody scales (60.4 ± 1.7) than L. lorenzmuelleri (54.9 ± 4.5) (t = 2.6, P < 0.05) and L. juanortizi (56.7 ± 2.1) (t = 3.2, P < 0.05). Liolaemus lorenzmuelleri has a dark vertebral line and dark transversal lines running from the paravertebral fields to the flanks, whereas L. uniformis has no dorsal pattern. The dorsal pattern of L. juanortizi is very similar to L. lorenzmuelleri, but some specimens have a black ventral coloration, a black lateral band, and the lack of a dark vertebral line, whereas L. uniformis has no black ventral color or black lateral band. Additionally, the southern distributional limit of L. lorenzmuelleri (Embalse La Laguna, Coquimbo Region, Chile) is more than 240 km north of the type locality recorded for L. uniformis; and the southern distributional limit of L. juanortizi in Quebrada Contrabando, Atacama Region, Chile (MNHNCL collection catalog, unpublished) is more than 520 km north of the type locality re- corded for L. uniformis.
Liolaemus uniformis differs from L. melanopleurus (a species with only three known specimens from an undetermined location, Fig. 3B) in that the latter has a blue-gray dorsal coloration (Philippi 1860) and a black lateral band running from the axilla to the midbody, features absent in L. uniformis. Although the type locality of L. melanopleurus is undetermined, the syntypes were collected by Philippi in his journey through the Ata- cama Desert, between the vicinities of Copiapó (27°23'S) and San Pedro de Atacama (22°54'S), more than 530 km north of the type locality recorded for L. uniformis.
Liolaemus uniformis differs from L. maldonadae (Fig. 3F), because males of the latter have a yellowish or reddish dorsal color with black transverse dorsal and ventral bars and black lateral band, whereas L. uniformis has no dorsal pattern or black transverse ventral bars. Dorsal scales in L. maldonadae are noticeably larger than found in L. uniformis, and they have an “ovoid” shape. Dorsal and ventral scale counts in L. mal- donadae do not overlap with the same scale counts in L. uniformis (Table 1). Finally, the southern distributional limit of L. maldonadae in Los Molles (Núñez et al. 1991) is more than 150 km north of the type locality of L. uniformis.
Liolaemus uniformis is found in sympatry with L. nigroviridis (Fig. 4), but is larger than L. nigroviridis (Mann–Whitney U = 8.0, P < 0.05, Table 1). Liolaemus uniformis also has more dorsal scales (60.0 ± 2.9) than L. nigroviridis (49.4 ± 2.7) (t = 7.4, P < 0.01). Liolaemus nigroviridis has strongly mucronated dorsal scales, whereas L. uni- formis has no mucrons (Fig. 5). Liolaemus nigroviridis has sexual dichromatism, absent in L. uniformis. Males of L. nigroviridis have a bluish or yellowish green dorsal color with black reticulation, and females have a brown dorsal color with a black lateral band, black vertebral line, and black paravertebral spots. In contrast, L. uniformis has a brown dorsal color without any pattern.
Molecular data show that Liolaemus uniformis is not closely related to L. monti- cola (Fig. 1). Moreover, L. monticola is smaller (maximum SVL = 65.6 mm) than L. uniformis (max. SVL = 89.1 mm) (t = 3.9, P < 0.01) according to our samples, and although Pincheira-Donoso and Núñez (2005) recorded a max. SVL = 67.3 mm for L. monticola, the difference between both species is marked. Moreover, L. monticola exhibit a characteristic black lateral band between the axilla and midbody (diffuse in females), and males have white dots dispersed on the dorsum and a series of small black spots on the dorsum (Fig. 6). All these traits are absent in L. uniformis. The upper altitudinal limit of Liolaemus monticola distributions is 2000 m a.s.l. (Espinoza et al. 2004, Fuentes and Ipinza 1979), whereas L. uniformis has a lower altitudinal distribu- tion limit of 2820 m a.s.l.
Molecular data show that Liolaemus uniformis is not closely related to L. bellii (Fig. 1). Moreover, L. bellii is smaller (maximum SVL = 80.8 mm) than L. uniformis (max. SVL = 89.1 mm) (t = 2.7, P < 0.05). Liolaemus uniformis has more midbody scales (60.4 ± 1.7) than L. bellii (52.9 ± 2.6) (t = 6.1, P < 0.01); more dorsal scales (60.0 ±2.9) than L. bellii (43.3 ±3.1) (t = 10.2, P < 0.01); and more ventral scales (96.2 ±4.8) than L. bellii (89.7 ±4.6) (Mann–Whitney U = 10.5, P < 0.05). Dorsal scales in L. bel- lii are strongly keeled and mucronated, whereas there are no mucrons in L. uniformis. Moreover, L. bellii exhibit a characteristic series of black dorsal “W” o “V” shaped spots (Fig. 6), whereas L. uniformis has no dorsal pattern. 
EtymologyThe species name “uniformis” (Latin) refers to the lack of dorsal pat- tern and uniform color found for both males and females. 
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
  • Mella JE 2005. In: Peñaloza APG, Novoa F, Contreras M (Eds) Guía de Campo Reptiles de Chile: Zona Central. Ediciones del Centro de Ecología Aplicada Ltda
  • Núñez, H., A. Veloso, P. Espejo, C. Veloso, A. Cortés, and S. Araya 2010. Nuevas especies de Phymaturus (grupo palluma) para la zona Cordillerana Central de Chile (Reptilia, Sauria, Liolaemidae). Boletín del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Chile 59: 41–74.
  • PINCHEIRA-DONOSO, Daniel & HERMAN NÚÑEZ 2005. The Chilean species of the genus Liolaemus Wiegmann, 1834 (Iguania, Tropiduridae, Liolaeminae). Taxonomy, systematics and evolution [in Spanish] Mus Nac Hist Nat Chile Publ Ocas 59: 1-486
  • Troncoso-Palacios J, Elorza AA, Puas GI, Alfaro-Pardo E 2016. A new species of Liolaemus related to L. nigroviridis from the Andean highlands of Central Chile (Iguania, Liolaemidae). ZooKeys 555: 91-114, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.555.6011 - get paper here
 
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