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Microlophus occipitalis (PETERS, 1871)

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Higher TaxaTropiduridae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Knobbed Pacific Iguana 
SynonymLaemopristus occipitalis PETERS 1871: 645
Tropidurus (Laemopristis) occipitalis PETERS 1871 (fide FROST 1992)
Aneuoporus occipitalis — BOCOURT 1874
Craniopeltis occipitalis — COPE 1876
Tropidurus bocourtii BOULENGER 1885: 173
Tropidurus occipitalis — BOULENGER 1885: 173
Tropidurus (Craniopeltis) occipitalis — STEINDACHNER 1902: 99
Tropidurus continentalis MÜLLER 1924: 82
Tropidurus occipitalis — DIXON & WRIGHT 1975: 30
Microlophus occipitalis — BAUER et al. 1995: 67 
DistributionSW Ecuador, N/C Peru

Type locality: “angeblich aus Peru”.  
ReproductionFemales collected in late July, early August and mid-November contained shelled , oviducal eggs. The number of yolked ovarian follicles and oviducal eggs ranges from 2 to 4 (3.5), with unyolked ovarian follicles ranging from 19 to 29 (24.5). Females apparently mature between 45 and 47 mm, and males between 50 and 55 mm snout-vent length [DIXON & WRIGHT 1975]. 
TypesHolotype: ZMB 6646; erroneously given as BMNH 6646, male (fide DIXON & WRIGHT 1975).
Holotype: ZMB 26397 [continentalis] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Tropidurus occipitalis is a small member of the occipitalis group and differs from the other members, koepckeorum and sto/zmanni, by having a distinct dark occipital spot and by lacking both spots and lines in the gular region; differing also from slolzmanni in having distinct dorsal spotting and by having fewer than 70 scales around midbody, rather than 80 or more [DIXON & WRIGHT 1975]. 
CommentHabitat. The majority of specimens were found on or near small boulders, trees, and shrubs. Several were found under debris associated with abandoned human dwellings. Most were found in habitats with some kind of vegetation, such as mesquite, acacia, Capparis scabrida, dense beach shrubs or semiarid woodlands of the foothill slopes. This species is primarily scansorial; most specimens were taken one to three dm above the ground on trees. However, some were taken on the ground in the vicinity of shrubs where they appeared to be foraging for food [DIXON & WRIGHT 1975]. 
  • Bauer, A.M.; Günther,R. & Klipfel,M. 1995. The herpetological contributions of Wilhelm C.H. Peters (1815-1883). SSAR Facsimile Reprints in Herpetology, 714 pp.
  • 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
  • Carvalho, André L.G. 2021. Resolving the Obscure Identity of Steironotus arenarius Tschudi, 1845 and Tropidurus tschudii Roux, 1907 (Squamata: Tropiduridae). South American Journal of Herpetology 19(1), 40-53 - get paper here
  • Cuadrado SS, Loor YA, Narváez AE 2020. Herpetofauna of Engabao, Playas Canton, Ecuador, with notes on the occurrence of Ceratoprhys stolzmanni (Steindachner, 1882). Check List 16(3): 665-674 - get paper here
  • Dixon, J.R. & WRIGHT,J.W. 1975. A review of the lizards of the iguanid genus Tropidurus in Peru. Contributions in Science (Los Angeles) (271): 1-39 - get paper here
  • Goldberg, S.R. & Bursey, C.R. 2009. Helminths from seven species of Microlophus (Squamata: Tropiduridae). Salamandra 45 (2): 125-128 - get paper here
  • HARVEY, Michael B. & RONALD L. GUTBERLET JR 2000. A phylogenetic analysis of the tropidurine lizards (Squamata: Tropiduridae), including new characters of squamation and epidermal microstructure. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 128: 189–233. - get paper here
  • Koch, C. 2010. Geheimnisvolles Peru. Reptilia (Münster) 15 (82): 36-45 - get paper here
  • Müller, L. 1924. Ueber neue oder seltene Mittel- und Südamerikanische Amphibien und Reptilien. Mitt. Zool. Mus. Berlin 11 (1): 75-93 [1923]
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig. 1871. Über einige Arten der herpetologischen Sammlung des Berliner zoologischen Museums. Monatsber. Preuss. Akad. Wiss. Berlin 1871: 644-652 - get paper here
  • ROWE, JOHN WARREN; CHELSEA MARTIN, DAVID CLARK, TYLER GOERGE & WILLIAM MULLIGAN. 2021. Thermal ecology of the Pacific knobbed iguana (Microlophus occipitalis Peters, 1871) in a sand dune habitat of western Ecuador. Herpetology Notes 14: 1305–1311. - get paper here
  • Schlüter, U. 2000. Wüstenkielschwanzleguane aus Peru. Draco 1 (4): 44-49
  • Steindachner, Franz 1902. Herpetologische und ichthyologische Ergebnisse einer Reise nach Südamerika mit einer Einleitung von Therese Prinzessin von Bayern. Denkschriften der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien (Mathematisch-naturwissenschaftliche Klasse) 72: 89–148 - get paper here
  • Torres-Carvajal O, Pazmiño-Otamendi G, Salazar-Valenzuela D. 2019. Reptiles of Ecuador: a resource-rich portal, with a dynamic checklist and photographic guides. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 13 (1): [General Section]: 209–229 (e178) - get paper here
  • Torres-Carvajal, O. 2004. Herpetofauna of Isla de La Plata, Ecuador. Herpetological Review 35 (1): 85 - get paper here
  • Toyama, Ken Sebastian 2016. Evidence of adaptive evolution in the cranial morphology of Tropidurid lizards from coastal Peru. Herpetology Notes 9: 47-53 - get paper here
  • Watkins, G. W. 1996. Proximate causes of sexual size dimorphism in the iguanian lizard Microlophus occipitalis. Ecology 77: 1473-1482 - get paper here
  • Watkins, Graham G. 1998. Function of a secondary sexual ornament: the crest in the South American Iguanian lizard Microlophus occipitalis (Peters, Tropiduridae). Herpetologica 54 (2): 161-169 - get paper here
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