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Microauris aurantolabium (KRISHNAN, 2008)

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Draconinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesOrange-lippedforest lizard 
SynonymCalotes aurantolabium KRISHNAN 2008
Calotes andamanensis ISHWAR & DAS 1998 (part)
Microauris aurantolabium — PAL et al. 2018: 440 
DistributionIndia (Western Ghats)

Type locality: Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve Tamil Nadu, India.  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesHolotype: BNHS (was BNHM) 1436, Bombay Natural History Society 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus). Microauris gen.nov. differs from all other members of draconinae lizards from the Indian subcontinent in having the smallest tympanum. Microauris gen.nov. differs from Mantheyus phuwuanensis by the absence of femoral pores (Manthey & Nabhitabhata, 1991; Ananjeva & Stuart 2001); from the members of the genus Bronchocela by the absence of a fold of skin from angle of jaw to shoulder (Hallermann & Böhme 2000). Microauris gen. nov. can be easily diagnosed from the genera Otocryptis, Sarada and Sitana by the presence of a well-developed fifth toe (Smith, 1935; Deepak et al, 2016); from Cophotis, Ceratophora, Lyriocephalus, Ptyctolaemus, Phoxophrys, Japalura otai, J. planidorsata, J. sagittifera and Otocryptis by the presence of external tympanum (Boulenger, 1885; Smith, 1935; Inger, 1960; Pethiyagoda & Manamendra-Arachchi 1998; Schulte II et al. 2004; Bahir & Silva 2005; Manamendra-Arachchi et al. 2006; Samarawickrama et al. 2006). Microauris gen. nov. can be diagnosed from other members of genus Japalura by the absence of heterogenous dorsal scales and short and thick nuchal scales; from Salea by the absence of enlarged plate like scales between the eye and tympanum (Smith, 1935). Microauris gen. nov. can be diagnosed from the members of Psammophilus and Monilesaurus by the absence of a well developed antehumeral fold. Microauris gen. nov. can be diagnosed from Complictus nigrigularis, Hypsicalotes kinabaulensis, Malayadracon robinsonii, Oriocalotes, Pseudocophotis and Pseudocalotes by the absence of enlarged row of suborbital scales (Smith, 1935; Taylor 1963; Ota & Hikida, 1991; Manthey & Denzer 1992; Inger & Steubing 1994; Ota & Hikida, 1996; Hallermann & Böhme 2000; Manthey & Denzer, 2000; Hallermann & McGuire 2001; Leong 2001; Manamendra-Arachchi et al. 2006; Samarawickrama et al. 2006; Ananjeva et al. 2007; Hallermann & Böhme 2007; Das & Lakim 2008; Hallermann et al. 2010; Mahony 2010; Harvey et al. 2014; Denzer et al. 2015; Grismer LL et al. 2016; Harvey et al. 2017).
Microauris gen.nov. can be distinguished from the members of the genus Calotes (C. bachae, C. bhutanensis, C. calotes, C. ceylonensis, C. chincollium, C. desilvai, C. emma, C. grandisquamis, C. hutunwini, C. irawadi, C. jerdoni, C. liocephalus, C. liolepis, C. versicolor, C. manamendrai, C. maria, C. medgoensis, C. minor, C. mystaceus, C. nemoricola, C. nigrilabris, C. nigriplicatus and C. pethiyagodai) and Lophocalotes (Günther, 1872) in having the smallest tympanum (Hardwicke & Gray, 1827; Duméril and Bibron, 1837; Gray, 1845; Jerdon, 1854; Günther, 1864; Günther, 1870, Günther, 1872, Günther, 1875; Boulenger, 1885; Biswas, 1975; Zhao & Li, 1984; Hallerman, 2000; Vindum et al. 2003; Hallerman et al. 2004; Bahir & Maduwage, 2005; Zug et al. 2006; Manthey, 2008; Krishnan, 2008; Hartmann et al. 2013; Amarasinghe et al. 2014a,b; Deepak et al. 2015).

Diagnosis. Calotes aurantolabium is diagnosed by having an orange streak above each row of supralabials, green body; acutely keeled scales over body (dorsally and ventrally), head, and throat; posteroventral orientation of the dorsal scales; antehumeral pit absent; 63 scales around midbody; small tympanum (5.5% HL); toe III and IV subequal. Distinguished from Calotes andamanensis in having acutely keeled dorsals, all of which are directed posteroventrally; antehumeral pit absent; acutely keeled ventrals, limb and head scales; smaller occipital, nuchal, temporal regions. Distinguished from all known species of the Calotes versicolor group in having posteroventral orientation of dorsal scales (posterodorsal in C. versicolor group). Distinguished from species of the Calotes liocephalus group in lacking antehumeral pit, and in having a proportionately smaller head, ulnar length proportionately longer, tibial length proportionately shorter (unpubl. data). Distinguished from C. rouxi and C. elliotti in lacking antehumeral folds and spines; toe-IV longer than III in C. rouxi and C. elliotti (Krishnan 2008).

Diagnosis. A medium sized light green agamid lizard with a distinct orange streak from above the lip scales till behind the jaw; a moderately broad head with a pointed snout; very small tympanum relative to the orbit diameter (TymD/OrbD = 0.14–0.19); acutely keeled scales over the body and throat; scales on head small, sub-triangular (vs. uniform shield like in members of genus Calotes); 3rd and 4th toe almost equal in length; dorsal and lateral body scales oriented backwards and downwards; nuchal crest indistinct, poorly developed; supratympanic and postorbital spines absent and a long and slender tail (Pal et al. 2018). 
CommentType species: Calotes aurantolabium KRISHNAN 2008 is the type species of the genus Microauris PAL et al. 2018.

Conservation: very rare species, known from only a few specimens, all of which are female (Pal et al. 2018). 
EtymologyThe genus name is derived by adding the word ‘Micro’ as a prefix to the Latin word ‘auris’ meaning ear, referring to the extremely small tympanum of this genus.

The specific epithet is derived from the Neo-Latin aurantium,meaning golden, and the Latin labium, meaning lip, in reference to the orange upper lip. 
References
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  • Ananjeva, Natalia B;Nikolai L. Orlov, Quang Truong Nguyen and Roman A. Nazarov. 2007. A new species of Pseudocophotis (Agamidae: Acrodonta: Lacertilia: Reptilia) from central Vietnam. Russ. J. Herpetol. 14 (2):153-160 - get paper here
  • Bahir, M.M. & A. Silva 2005. Otocryptis nigristigma, a new species of agamid lizard from Sri Lanka. Raffles Bull. Zool., Suppl. No. 12: 393-406 - get paper here
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