Matobosaurus validus (SMITH, 1849)
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Matobosaurus validus?
|Higher Taxa||Gerrhosauridae (Gerrhosaurinae), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||Common Giant Plated Lizard|
|Synonym||Gerrhosaurus validus validus SMITH 1849|
Gerrhosaurus vallidus SMITH 1849
Gerrhosaurus robustus PETERS 1854: 618
Gerrhosaurus robustus — GRAY 1864: 380
Gerrhosaurus ciprianii SCORTECCI 1930
Gerrhosaurus validus validus — LOVERIDGE 1942
Gerrhosaurus validus validus — BOYCOTT 1992
Gerrhosaurus validus validus — AUERBACH 1987: 118
Gerrhosaurus vallidus vallidus — HARBIG 2003
Gerrhosaurus validus — PYRON & BURBRINK 2013
Matobosaurus validus — BATES et al. 2013
Matobosaurus validus — BATES et al. 2014: 230
|Distribution||Republic of South Africa, Swaziland, S Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia|
Type locality: “Tette” [Mozambique] [Gerrhosaurus robustus PETERS 1854]
|Types||Lectotype: ZMB 1144, designated by BAUER & GÜNTHER 1991 [Gerrhosaurus robustus PETERS 1854]|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis (genus): The monophyly of Matobosaurus is established on the basis of a suite of nuclear and mitochondrial genetic characters (see above). These large, well-armoured lizards have the head and body depressed. Differentiated from the genera Broadleysaurus and Gerrhosaurus by higher numbers of ventral scale rows longitudinally (12–20 versus 8–10) and larger size (maximum total length: sex unknown 690 mm [28 mm SVL + 40 mm tail length], male 681 mm, female 87 mm; versus sex unknown 613 mm, male mm, female 18 mm)―although the tail is not particularly long, maximum SVL is distinctly greater than in the other taxa (28 mm compared to 24 mm in Broadleysaurus and 213 mm in Gerrrhosaurus); also distinguished from Broadleysaurus by its higher numbers of dorsal scale rows transversely (49–8 versus 31–38) and longitudinally (2–34 versus 14– 21), and usually higher numbers of femoral pores on each thigh (14–2 versus 8–17) (Loveridge 1942; FitzSimons 1943, 193; De Witte 193; Laurent 194, 1964; Broadley 1966; De Waal 1978; Jacobsen 1989). These lizards are largely rupicolous and often found in (sometimes large) colonies, compared to Broadleysaurus and Gerrrhosaurus which are mostly terrestrial and found singly or in small groups (Loveridge 1942; FitzSimons 1943; Mertens 19; Broadley 1966; Visser 1984a; Jacobsen 1989) [BATES et al. 2013].|
|Comment||ULBER (1999) states that the correct spelling should be “vallidus”, possibly in honour of the Swedish zoologist Sundevall.|
Subspecies: Gerrhosaurus validus maltzahni DE GRYS, 1938 has been elevated to full species status.
Type species: Gerrhosaurus validus validus SMITH 1849 is the type species of the genus Matobosaurus BATES & TOLLEY 2013.
|Etymology||The genus name is a masculine name derived from the Ndebele word matobo meaning ‘bald heads’, i.e. smooth ‘whaleback dwalas’ formed when granite is forced to the surface, and the Latinised word saurus meaning lizard. The word matobo was the name given by Mzilikazi, founder of the Ndebele nation, to the Matobo (Matopo) Hills area in southern Zimbabwe, characterized by granite hills and wooded valleys, representing prime habitat for lizards in this genus (see Mertens 1955; Broadley 1966; Pienaar et al. 1983).|