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Marisora roatanae HEDGES & CONN, 2012

IUCN Red List - Marisora roatanae - Critically Endangered, CR

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Mabuyinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common NamesRoatán Skink 
SynonymMarisora roatanae HEDGES & CONN 2012
Mabuya mabouya mabouya — DUNN, 1936:544 (part)
Mabuya brachypodus — TAYLOR, 1956:308 (part)
Mabuya brachypoda — WEBB, 1958:1311 (part)
Mabuya mabouya mabouya — PETERS & DONOSO-BARROS, 1970:200 (part)
Mabuya mabouya — WILSON & HAHN, 1973:116 (part)
Mabuya unimarginata — VILLA et al., 1988:54 (part)
Mabuya brachypoda — CAMPBELL, 1998:167 (part)
Mabuya unimarginata — LEE, 1996:247 (part)
Mabuya unimarginata — SAVAGE, 2002:503 (part)
Mabuya unimarginata — MCCRANIE et al. 2005: 114 (part) 
DistributionHonduras (Roatán)

Type locality: Jonesville, Isla de Roatán, Islas de la Bahía, Honduras, 3 m  
TypesHolotype: TCWC 21955, an adult female, collected on 11 April 1965 (collector unknown).
Paratype (n = 1). Isla de Roatán, Honduras. UTA R55232, an adult male from Oak Ridge, Isla de Roatán, Islas de la Bahía, Honduras (collected by Gary Ferguson in 1979). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Marisora roatanae sp. nov. is characterized by (1) maximum SVL in males, 74.7 mm; (2) maximum SVL in females, 90.2 mm; (3) snout width, 2.38–2.96% SVL; (4) head length, 15.7–19.0% SVL; (5) head width, 12.6–14.1% SVL; (6) ear length, 0.95–1.15% SVL; (7) toe-IV length, 8.39–10.5% SVL; (8) prefrontals, two; (9) supraoculars, four; (10) supraciliaries, four (67%), five (33%); (11) frontoparietals, two; (12) supralabial below the eye, five; (13) nuchal rows, one; (14) dorsals, 57–58; (15) ventrals, 65–67; (16) dorsals + ventrals, 122–125; (17) midbody scale rows, 32; (18) finger-IV lamellae, 13–15; (19) toe-IV lamellae, 15–18; (20) finger-IV + toe-IV lamellae, 28–33; (21) supranasal contact, Y; (22) prefrontal contact, N; (23) supraocular-1/ frontal contact, Y (33%), N (67%); (24) parietal contact, Y; (25) pale middorsal stripe, N; (26) dark dorsolateral stripe, N; (27) dark lateral stripe, Y; (28) pale lateral stripe, Y; and (29) palms and soles, dark (Tables 3–5).

Marisora roatanae sp. nov. differs from all other species in the Genus Marisora in having a small supraciliary- 1 scale (1.04–1.29% SVL versus 1.35–2.00% in other species; Fig. 50A). It also differs from individual species in other characters. From M. alliacea, it differs in having shorter limbs (arm + leg length, 54.9–56.2% SVL versus 58.0–70.0%; Fig. 49), more midbody scale rows (32 versus 26–29), more dorsals plus ventrals (122–125 versus 113–121), and no dark dorsolateral stripes (present in M. alliacea). From M. unimarginata, it differs in having two pairs of chin shields in contact with infralabials (versus usually one pair). From M. magnacornae sp. nov., it differs in having short limbs (arm + leg length 54.9–56.2% SVL versus 62.3%; Fig. 49), more midbody scale rows (32 versus 30), and more dorsals plus ventrals (122–125 versus 117 in M. magnacornae sp. nov.).
Marisora roatanae sp. nov. is most closely related to M. brachypoda (Fig. 5). From M. brachypoda, it differs in having more midbody scale rows (32 versus 28–30 in M. brachypoda). One of the 36 M. brachypoda examined, from Guanacaste, Costa Rica (TCWC 80536), has 32 midbody scale rows, although this specimen from Guanacaste may represent an undescribed species (see Remarks for Marisora) and therefore has been removed from summary counts for that species. Marisora roatanae sp. nov. also has small ear openings (0.95–1.15% SVL; both ears of both specimens) compared with M. brachypoda (1.22–2.18% SVL; Fig. 53). The holotype of M. roatanae sp. nov. also has unusually small eyelid windows (1.36–1.37% SVL versus 1.50–2.82% in other species of Marisora), although the paratype has more normal eyelid windows (1.79–1.85% SVL). Specimens of M. brachypoda from neighboring islands of Utila and Guanaja have supraciliary-1 scales, midbody scale counts, and ear lengths typical of M. brachypoda. Two recently collected, uncataloged, specimens of Marisora roatanae sp. nov. (James R. McCranie, personal communication) agree with the type and paratype in having > 30 midbody scale rows (one has 32 and the other has 31 or 32 midbody scale rows). That character separates M. roatanae sp. nov. from other Middle American species (M. alliacea, M. brachypoda, and M. magnacornae sp. nov.), which have 26–30 midbody scale rows, except M. unimarginata from lower Middle America (28–32 rows) and a possible new species from Costa Rica with 32 rows (see Remarks for Marisora).
In pattern Marisora roatanae sp. nov. has the basic elements of Marisora (wide, dark lateral stripe above a narrow, pale lateral stripe) but differs from other species of the genus in having a mostly unspotted, gray-brown dorsum in life. Base (dorsal zone) coloration, in life, in M. brachypoda and other species usually is tan, coppery brown, or reddish-brown with more spotting, and in some cases (M. alliacea), dorsolateral stripes. The pale ventrolateral stripes that extend onto the hindlimbs of M. roatanae sp. nov. (Fig. 47C) are distinctive in the holotype (but not in the paratype) and absent in nearly all other preserved specimens of Marisora except some M. brachypoda from Honduras (TCWC 19211–12; CM 63581–87); in those cases they are less well-developed and do not extend onto the hindlimbs [HEDGES & CONN 2012]. 
CommentSynonymy: Pinto-Sánchez et al. (2015) suggested to synonymize unimarginata, brachypoda and alliacea and roatanae into Marisora unimarginata. 
EtymologyThe species name (roatanae) is a feminine genitive singular noun referring to the distribution of the species on the island of Roatán. 
  • Hedges, S.B. & Conn, C.E. 2012. A new skink fauna from Caribbean islands (Squamata, Mabuyidae, Mabuyinae). Zootaxa 3288: 1–244 - get paper here
  • McCranie, James R. 2015. A checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras, with additions, comments on taxonomy, some recent taxonomic decisions, and areas of further studies needed. Zootaxa 3931 (3): 352–386 - get paper here
  • McCranie, James R. 2018. The Lizards, Crocodiles, and Turtles of Honduras. Systematics, Distribution, and Conservation. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Special Publication Series (2): 1- 666 - get paper here
  • Pinto-Sánchez, Nelsy Rocío; Martha L. Calderón-Espinosa, Aurelien Miralles, Andrew J. Crawford, Martha Patricia Ramírez-Pinilla 2015. Molecular phylogenetics and biogeography of the Neotropical skink genus Mabuya Fitzinger (Squamata: Scincidae) with emphasis on Colombian populations. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2015.07.016 - get paper here
  • Solís, J. M., L. D. Wilson, and J. H. Townsend. 2014. An updated list of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras, with comments on their nomenclature. Mesoamerican Herpetology 1: 123–144 - get paper here
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