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Mesalina ercolinii (LANZA & POGGESI, 1975)

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Higher TaxaLacertidae, Eremiadinae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymEremias ercolinii LANZA & POGGESI 1975
Mesalina ercolinii — ARNOLD et al. 1998
Mesalina ercolinii — YOUSEFKHANI et al. 2015
Mesalina ercolini — SPAWLS et al. 2023 
DistributionC Somalia

Type locality: Bud Bud (about 4°12’ N, 46° 28’ E), 70 km S of El Bur, central Somalia.  
TypesHolotype: MZUF 5253 (Museo Zoologico dell’Università di Firenze) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Three nasals; frontal in contact with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd supraoculars; subocular does not contact lip; dorsal head shields nearly smooth; collar straight and free. Dorsal and ventral scales large, in 37 rows across body; scales imbricate and singly keeled at midbody, smooth on flanks; ventral plates in 8 straight longitudinal rows. Toes with three-keeled lamellae; base of tail cov- ered by large and strongly imbricate scales, singly-keeled dorsally and smooth ventrally. Coloration (in preserva- tive): dorsal overall hazel brown; head scalation finely dotted with dark brown or blackish tone; numerous dark brown scales on neck and trunk, some of latter being grouped in 2 paravertebral rows of 9 – 10 spots, each spot edged by 1 – 4 whitish scales laterally and sometimes by 2 – 3 similar scales medially; lateral whitish scales tend to form largely broken supraciliary stripe; irregular, nar- row and indistinct brownish dorsolateral stripe extends from nape to base of tail; continuous whitish subocular stripe with brown edge that runs along neck, consists of 8 – 9 small irregular spots surrounded by some dark brown or blackish scales; limbs dorsally hazel brown; hindlimb has some small whitish, blackish-edged spots which are barely distinct on forelimb; ventrally ivory white (Lanza and Poggesi, 1975; Arnold et al., 1998, Yousefkhani et al. 2015). 
CommentAbundance: only known from the type specimen (Meiri et al. 2017). 
Etymologynamed after Prof. Antonio Ercolini, zoologist at the University of Florence and a colleague of the authors. 
  • Arnold EN, Lanza B, Poggesi M, Corti C 1998. Notes on the anatomy and phylogenetic position of Eremias ercolinii LANZA & POGGESI 1975 (Reptilia: Lacertidae). Tropical Zoology 11 (2): 235-240 - get paper here
  • Hosseinian-Yousefkhani, Seyyed Saeed; Gabriel M.D. Marmol Marin, Nasrullah Rastegar-Pouyani, Eskandar Rastegar-Pouyani 2015. A Bibliographic Recompilation of the Genus Mesalina Gray, 1838 (Sauria: Lacertidae) with a Key to the Species. Russ. J. Herpetol. 22 (1): 23-34 - get paper here
  • Lanza B, Poggesi M 1975. On a new Eremias from central Somalia. Mon. Zool. Ital. (n.s.) Suppl. 6: 305-312 - get paper here
  • Lanza, B. 1990. Amphibians and reptiles of the Somali Democratic Republic: check list and biogeography. Biogeographia, 14: 407-465 [1988] - get paper here
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - get paper here
  • Stephen Spawls; Tomáš Mazuch& Abubakr Mohammad 2023. Handbook of Amphibians and Reptiles of North-east Africa. Bloomsbury, 640 pp. - get paper here
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