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Mesaspis moreletii (BOCOURT, 1872)

IUCN Red List - Mesaspis moreletii - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaAnguidae (Gerrhonotinae), Diploglossa, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
SubspeciesMesaspis moreletii moreletii (BOCOURT 1872)
Mesaspis moreletii fulva (BOCOURT 1872)
Mesaspis moreletii rafaeli (HARTWEG & TIHEN 1946)
Mesaspis moreletii salvadorensis (SCHMIDT 1928)
Mesaspis moreletii temporalis (HARTWEG & TIHEN 1946) 
Common NamesMorelet's Alligator Lizard 
SynonymGerrhonotus moreletii BOCOURT 1872
Gerrhonotus moreletii — O’SHAUGHNESSY 1873: 48
Gerrhonotus moreletii - GÜNTHER 1885: 41
Gerrhonotus moreletii — BOULENGER 1885: 278
Gerrhonotus moreletii — WERMUTH 1969: 22
Mesaspis moreleti — LINER 1994
Mesaspis moreleti — KÖHLER 2000: 43
Mesaspis moreletii — PIANKA & VITT 2003: 235
Mesaspis moreletii — SOLANO-ZAVALETA et al. 2016

Mesaspis moreletii fulva (BOCOURT 1872)
Gerrhonotus fulvus BOCOURT 1872: 104
Barisia moreleti fulva — TIHEN 1949
Gerrhonotus moreletii fulvus — WERMUTH 1969: 23
Gerrhonotus moreletii fulvus — PETERS et al. 1970: 126
Mesaspis moreleti fulva — GOOD 1988: 86
Mesaspis moreleti fulvus — GOOD et al. 1993
Mesaspis moreletii fulvus — SOLANO-ZAVALETA et al. 2016

Mesaspis moreletii rafaeli (HARTWEG & TIHEN 1946)
Gerrhonotus moreletii rafaeli HARTWEG & TIHEN 1946
Barisia moreletii rafaeli — TIHEN 1949: 223
Barisia moreletii rafaeli — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 199
Gerrhonotus moreletii rafaeli — WERMUTH 1969: 23
Gerrhonotus moreletii rafaeli — PETERS et al. 1970: 126
Mesaspis moreleti rafaeli — GOOD 1988: 86
Mesaspis moreletii rafaeli — SOLANO-ZAVALETA et al. 2016

Mesaspis moreletii salvadorensis (SCHMIDT 1928)
Gerrhonotus salvadorensis SCHMIDT 1928: 196
Gerrhonotus moreletii salvadorensis — DUNN 1932
Barisia moreleti salvadorensis — TIHEN 1949
Barisia moreleti salvadorensis — MERTENS 1952: 53
Gerrhonotus moreletii salvadorensis — WERMUTH 1969: 23
Gerrhonotus moreletii salvadorensis — PETERS et al. 1970: 126
Mesaspis moreleti salvadorensis — GOOD 1988: 86

Mesaspis moreletii temporalis (HARTWEG & TIHEN 1946)
Gerrhonotus moreletii temporalis HARTWEG & TIHEN 1946: 10
Barisia moreletii temporalis — TIHEN 1949: 224
Barisia moreletii temporalis — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 199
Gerrhonotus moreletii temporalis — WERMUTH 1969: 23
Mesaspis moreleti temporalis — GOOD 1988: 86
Mesaspis moreletii temporalis — SOLANO-ZAVALETA et al. 2016 
DistributionS Mexico (Chiapas), Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala

Type locality: “le Peten, ainsi que les forets de pins de la Haute Vera-Paz (Guatemala), à une altitude de 1.440 m [elevation].”

fulvus: Guatemala; Type locality: “les forets de pins de Totonicapan, Guatemala, à une altitude de 2.460 m [elevation]”.

rafaeli: high mountains of S Chiapas. Type locality: 16 km south of Siltepec, Chiapas, 2,300 m elevation

salvadorensis: El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua; Type locality: Los Esesmiles, 6000-8000 ft elevation, Dept. Chalatenango, El Salvador.

temporalis: Mexico (Chiapas); Terra typica; 11 km southeast of Ciudad de las Casas, Chiapas, 2,300 m elevation.

Type locality: Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
 
Reproductionviviparous 
TypesSyntype: ZMB 7225; Syntypes : MNHN 1267, MNHN 1994.1690, MNHN 1188, MNHN 1991.1826, MNHN 1991.1827 (5 specimens) (moreletii)
Holotype: UMMZ 88228 [rafaeli]
Holotype: UMMZ 94910 [temporalis]
Syntypes: ZMB 7576, MNHN 2006, MNHN 2007 [fulvus] 
CommentSubspecies: The validity of the subspecies has been questioned because of morphological variation (Good 1988, Vesely & Köhler 2001). M. m. fulvus is not listed by Campbell 1989 for Guatemala.

Nomenclature: the gender of Mesaspis appears to be feminine, so fulvus probably should be fulva, and cuchumatanus may have to be changed to cuchumatana.

Type species: Gerrhonotus moreletii BOCOURT 1872 is the type species of the genus Mesaspis COPE 1878: 96. 
EtymologyNamed after Pierre Arthur Morelet (1809-1892), French naturalist. 
References
  • Akeret, B. 2006. Kellerschachtterrarien. Draco 7 (26):70-78 - get paper here
  • Alvarez DEL TORO, M. 1982. Los Reptiles de Chiapas. 3rd ed. México: Tuxtla Gutiérrez, 248 pp.
  • Bocourt 1872. Description de quelques Gerronotes nouveaux provenant du Mexique et de l’Afrique Centrale. Bull. Nouv. Arch. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 7 (4): 101-108 [1871] - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Vol. 2, Second edition. London, xiii+497 pp. - get paper here
  • Brygoo, E. R. 1987. Les types d'Anguidés (Reptiles, Sauriens) du Museum national d'Histoire naturelle Catalogue critique. Bulletin du Museum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris, 4e ser., 9, sect. A (Zool., BioI. & Ecol. anim.), (2), supplement, 3-20. - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1878. Tenth contribution to the herpetology of Tropical America. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 17: 85-98 [1877] - get paper here
  • Dunn, Emmett Reid & Emlen, John T. 1932. Reptiles and amphibians from Honduras. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 84 : 21-32 - get paper here
  • García-Padilla, Elí and Vicente Mata-Silva 2014. Noteworthy distributional records for the herpetofauna of Chiapas, Mexico. Mesoamerican Herpetology 1 (2): 293 - get paper here
  • Good, D.A. 1988. Phylogenetic relationships among gerrhonotine lizards; an analysis of external morphology. Univ. of Calif. Publs. in Zool. 121: 139 pp. - get paper here
  • Good, David A.; Bauer, Aaron M.;Günther, Rainer 1993. An Annotated Type Catalogue of the Anguimorph Lizards (Squamata: Anguidae, Helodermatidae, Varanidae, Xenosauridae) in the Zoological Museum, Berlin. Mitt. Zool. Mus. Berl. 69 (1): 45-56
  • Günther, A. C. L. G. 1885. Reptilia and Batrachia. Biologia Centrali-Américana. Taylor, & Francis, London, 326 pp. [published in parts from 1885-1902; reprint by the SSAR 1987] - get paper here
  • Gutsche, A. 2012. Bewohner des Elfenwaldes: Herpetofauna am Pico La Picucha im Nationalpark Sierra de Agalta, Honduras. Terraria-Elaphe 2012 (5): 68-71
  • Hartweg, N., & TIHEN, J. E. 1946. Lizards of the genus Gerrhonotus from Chiapas, México. Occ. Pap. Mus. Zool. Univ. Michigan No. 497: 1-5
  • Johnson, Jerry D.; Vicente Mata-Silva, Elí García Padilla, and Larry David Wilson 2015. The Herpetofauna of Chiapas, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2 (3): 272–329. - get paper here
  • Köhler, G. 2000. Reptilien und Amphibien Mittelamerikas, Bd 1: Krokodile, Schildkröten, Echsen. Herpeton Verlag, Offenbach, 158 pp.
  • Köhler, G. 2008. Reptiles of Central America. 2nd Ed. Herpeton-Verlag, 400 pp.
  • 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
  • Mertens, R. 1952. Die Amphibien und Reptilien von El Salvador. Abh. senckenb. naturf. Ges. (Frankfurt) (No. 487): 120 pp.
  • O’Shaughnessy, A. W. E. 1873. Herpetological notes. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (4) 12: 44-48 - get paper here
  • Pianka, E.R. & Vitt, L.J. 2003. Lizards - Windows to the Evolution of Diversity. University of California Press, Berkeley, 347 pp. [review in Copeia 2004: 955] - get paper here
  • Schlüter, U. 2007. Lebensweise, Pflege und Nachzucht der Alligatorschleiche Mesaspis moreletii (BOCOURT, 1871). Draco 7 (27): 74-77 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, Karl P. 1928. Reptiles collected in Salvador for the California Institute of Technology. Zoological Series of Field Museum of Natural History 12 (16): 191-201 - get paper here
  • Solano-Zavaleta, Israel; Adrián Nieto-Montes de Oca,Jonathan A. Campbell 2016. A New Species of Mesaspis (Squamata: Anguidae) from the High Cuchumatanes of Guatemala Journal of Herpetology 50 (2): 327-336 - get paper here
  • Solís, José Mario; Rony E. Valle, Luis A. Herrera, Carlos M. O’Reilly, and Roberto Downing. 2015. Range extensions and new departmental records for amphibians and reptiles in Honduras. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2 (4): 557 - 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
  • Stuart, L. C. 1948. The amphibians and reptiles of Alta Verapaz Guatamala. Miscellaneous Publications, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan 69: 1-109 - get paper here
  • Sunyer, J. & Köhler, G. 2007. New county and departmental records of herpetofauna in Nicaragua. Salamandra 43 (1): 57-62 - get paper here
  • Sunyer, Javier 2014. An updated checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Nicaragua. Mesoamerican Herpetology 1 (2): 186–202. - get paper here
  • Tihen, Joe A. 1949. A review of the lizard genus Barisia. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 33 (3): 217-254 - get paper here
  • Vesely, M. & Köhler, G. 2001. Zur Kenntnis von Mesaspis moreletii (BOCOURT 1871) in El Salvador. Salamandra 37 (3): 185-192 - get paper here
 
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