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Neusticurus arekuna KOK, BITTENBINDER, VAN DEN BERG, MARQUES-SOUZA, SALES-NUNES, LAKING, TEIXEIRA JR, FOUQUET, MEANS, MACCULLOCH & RODRIGUES, 2018

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Higher TaxaGymnophthalmidae (Cercosaurinae), Sauria, Gymnophthalmoidea, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymNeusticurus arekuna KOK, BITTENBINDER, VAN DEN BERG, MARQUES-SOUZA, SALES-NUNES, LAKING, TEIXEIRA JR, FOUQUET, MEANS, MACCULLOCH & RODRIGUES 2018 
DistributionVenezuela (Bolívar), Brazil (Roraima)

Type locality: summit of Angasima-tepui (Bolívar state, Venezuela, 5°02.5833N, 62°04.8667W, ca. 2200 m elevation  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: IRSNB 2687, an adult female collected on 11 May 2011 at 9:20 am by PJRK.
Paratypes (n = 8): VENEZUELA. Bolívar state, summit of Angasima-tepui, (5°02.5833N, 62°04.8667W, ca. 2200 m elevation), one adult male (IRSNB2690) collected on 14 May 2011 by Brad Wilson and two juveniles (IRSNB2688 [formerly IRSNB 18151], IRSNB 2689) collected on 12 May and 13 May 2011, respectively, by PJRK. BRAZIL. Roraima state, Pacaraima (4° 27.6333N, 61°08.7W, 900 m elevation), two adult males (MZUSP 106223, MZUSP106226), two adult females (MZUSP 106224, MZUSP106227), and one juvenile (MZUSP 106225) collected in May 2011 by MTR, SMS, AF, MTJ, Augustín Camacho and Renato Recoder. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Neusticurus arekuna sp. nov. is characterised by the following combination of characters: (1) size moderate (maximum known SVL 74.5 mm in the holotype, IRSNB2687); (2) tail 1.7–2.1 times SVL; (3) tympanum moderately recessed, auditory meatus short; (4) lower eyelid with semi-transparent disc of 5–6 palpebrals; (5) frontonasal single; (6) occipital scales in contact with posterior edge of parietals and interparietal 4–7; (7) enlarged dorsal tubercles arranged in continuous, although sometimes poorly defined, longitudinal rows containing 40–44 scales; (8) flanks with large trihedral scales surrounded by smaller scales, heterogeneous in size; (9) ventral scales in 25–27 transverse rows; (10) subdigital lamellae under 4th finger 18–21; (11) subdigital lamellae under 4th toe 25–33; (12) total number of femoral pores 45–51 in males, 36–43 in females; (13) tail compressed with 4–5 transverse rows of lateral scales corresponding to two subcaudal scales and 2–3 dorsal tubercles (= verticils), the last dorsal tubercle of each verticil distinctly overlapping the next verticil; (14) hemipenis with lobes enlarged, distinctly capi- tate and detached from the hemipenial body; (15) hemipenis with all lateral flounces separated on the central asulcate face by an enlarged nude stripe that occupies ca. one third of the total asulcate face of the hemipenial body.

Comparison with congeneric species: Neusticurus arekuna sp. nov. is immediately distinguished from N. bicarinatus, N. medemi and N. racenisi in having the tympanum moderately recessed (deeply recessed in N. bicarinatus, N. medemi and N. racenisi), and by a larger number of femoral pores in females (36–43 in N. arekuna vs 4–15 in N. bicarinatus, 9–10 in N. medemi and 10–15 in N. racenisi). Neusticurus arekuna sp. nov. is readily distinguished from N. medemi, N. tatei and N. racenisi in having enlarged tubercles on dorsum (absent in N. medemi, N. tatei and N. racenisi). Further compared with N. tatei, N. arekuna sp. nov. has fewer femoral pores in males (45–51 in N. arekuna vs 60–61 in N. tatei), and a larger number of femoral pores in females (36–43 in N. arekuna vs eight in N. tatei). Neusticurus arekuna sp. nov. is immediately distinguished from N. surinamensis by having a larger number of femoral pores in females (36–43 in N. arekuna vs 6–10 in N. surinamensis) and by having a single frontonasal (divided in N. surinamensis). Neusticurus arekuna sp. nov. can be further distinguished from N. medemi, N. racenisi and N. tatei by having hemipenial lobes enlarged, capitate and detached from the hemipenial body, and in having the flounces of the hemipenial body divided by a nude area at the centre of the asulcate face (hemipenial lobes not enlarged, non-capitate, continuous with the hemipenial body, and flounces not interrupted in N. medemi, N. racenisi and N. tatei). Neusticurus arekuna sp. nov. is most similar to N. rudis from which it can be distinguished by the following combination of characters: enlarged dorsal tubercles arranged in well-defined, contin- uous longitudinal rows (usually arranged in poorly defined, discontinuous longitudinal rows in N. rudis) and last dorsal tubercle of each verticil distinctly overlapping the next verticil (poorly overlapping in N. rudis). Neusticurus arekuna sp. nov. is further distin- guished from N. bicarinatus and N. rudis sensu stricto by having the hemipenial lobular tips ornamented with round knobs (hemipenial lobular tips lacking knobs or other visible ornamentation in N. bicarinatus and N. rudis sensu stricto). 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a noun in apposition honouring the Arekuna tribe (also known as the Pemon tribe) that lives in the region of Pantepui where the new species was collected. 
References
  • Kok, Philippe J. R.; Mátyás A. Bittenbinder, Joris K. van den Berg, Sergio Marques-Souza, Pedro M. Sales Nunes, Alexandra E. Laking, Mauro Teixeira Jr, Antoine Fouquet, D. Bruce Means, Ross D. MacCulloch & Miguel Trefaut Rodrigues 2018. Integrative taxonomy of the gymnophthalmid lizard Neusticurus rudis Boulenger, 1900 identifies a new species in the eastern Pantepui region, north-eastern South America. Journal of Natural History 52: 1029-1066; DOI: 10.1080/00222933.2018.1439541 - get paper here
 
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