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Microlophus theresiae (STEINDACHNER, 1901)

IUCN Red List - Microlophus theresiae - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaTropiduridae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Theresia's Pacific Iguana 
SynonymTropidurus theresiae STEINDACHNER 1901
Tropidurus theresiae — STEINDACHNER 1902: 100
Tropidurus theresiae — DIXON & WRIGHT 1975: 12
Microlophus theresiae — TORRES-CARVAJAL 2004 
DistributionWC Peru

Type locality: “Ancon bei Lima” (original description) “Ancón, Lima” (label data) [= Ancón near Lima, Peru].  
TypesHolotype: ZSM 141/1926, adult, collected by Therese Prinzessin von Bayern, no date. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Tropidurus theresiae is a member of the peruvianus group differing from peruvianus. tigris. and thoracicus by having a greenish blue or blue-black throat spot and an orange-red eye ring in adult males, and no enlarged keeled vertebral row of scales [DIXON & WRIGHT 1975]. 
CommentVariation: There is a striking amount of ontogenetic change in color and pattern from juvenile to adult in this species (Fig. 7 and page 14 in DIXON & WRIGHT 1975).

Habitat: Juveniles of this species were taken from sandy beaches on the Paracas Peninsula, and adults were taken from rocky bluffs from Paracas and Punta EI Paraiso. Mertens (1956) indicated that theresiae mainly inhabit sand, but occasionally frequent rocks. Our observations indicate that there is a relatively distinct segregation between juvenile and adult habitats, juveniles prefer sandy substrata while adults prefer rocks. We did not observe this species farther than 500 m from the ocean [DIXON & WRIGHT 1975].

Diet: All stomachs examined were packed with hundreds of aquatic Hemiptera

(waterboatmen) [DIXON & WRIGHT 1975]. 
Etymologynamed after the collector of the type specimens, Therese Prinzessin von Bayern. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Chavez, G. & A. P. Mendoza 2011. Überleben im Sand - Eine Exkursion in die peruanische Wüste. Reptilia (Münster) 16 (92): 40-46 - 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
  • Mendoza A, Pérez J, Alvarado E, Barrera D, Castillo E, Fernandez M, Milla J, Olivera D, Ramirez C, Santa Cruz R, Salazar E, Torres-Ccasani G, Aguilar-Puntriano C. 2023. Anfibios y reptiles del departamento de Ica con comentarios sobre su distribución. Revista peruana de biología 30(1): e23425 001- 014 (Marzo 2023)
  • Schlüter, U. 2000. Wüstenkielschwanzleguane aus Peru. Draco 1 (4): 44-49
  • Steindachner, F. 1901. Herpetologische und ichthyologische Ergebnisse einer Reise nach Südamerika mit einer Einleitung von Therese Prinzessin von Baiern. Anz. Akad. Wiss. Wien 38: 194-196. - get paper here
  • 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. 2004. The abdominal skeleton of Tropidurid lizards (Squamata: Tropiduridae). Herpetologica 60 (1): 75-83 - get paper here
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