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Nucras damarana PARKER, 1936

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Higher TaxaLacertidae, Eremiadinae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymNucras intertexta damarana PARKER 1936: 135
Nucras tessellata — WERNER 1910: 329 [part]
Nucras intertexta holubi — FITZSIMONS 1943: 320 [part]
Nucras taeniolata ornata — BROADLEY 1972: 13 [part]
Nucras taeniolata holubi — JACOBSEN 1989: 453 [part]
Nucras holubi — BATES 1996: 35 [by implication]
Nucras holubi — BRANCH 1998: 169 [for Namibian populations]
Nucras damarana — BAUER et al. 2020 
DistributionN Namibia, Angolan (probably)

Type locality: Sessekab [=Sissekab], N.W. of Otavi, 1,300 m  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.8.6.17–24 [originally 1936.8.1.534–541]. Coll. Karl Jordan, 10–12 November 1933 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A small Nucras (maximum 57.6 mm SVL) with eight longitudinal series of enlarged ventral plates, a series of small granules between the supraoculars and supraciliaries, occipital scale reduced or absent, and enlarged plates on the underside of the forearm. Adult dorsal color pattern characterized by three distinct pale longitudinal stripes extending from the nape to the tail base, an additional pale stripe at ventrolateral margin of flanks, flank markings comprise spots or horizontal dashes typically in a single line, and tail not brightly colored (Figs. 3A, 4A).
The new species may be distinguished from N. lalandii by the presence of enlarged plates under the forearms and from N. lalandii and N. boulengeri by the presence of a series of small granules between the supraoculars and supraciliaries. In its color pattern (see above), it is distinct from N. aurantiaca (no dorsal markings), N. scalaris (dark crossbands), N. lalandii (dark blotches or ocelli or both, forming transverse bands, but never stripes), N. intertexta (pale dorsal spots and/or irregular thin crossbands or reticulations), N. livida (six stripes on nape), N. tesellata (two or four stripes on nape, stripes generally not extending to sacrum; tail and hindbody reddish), N. broadleyi (usually four stripes on nape, see section on this taxon below), N. taeniolata (8–11 stripes on nape), N. caesicaudata (5–7 pale dorsal stripes; tail pale blue), and Nucras ornata (vertebral line often lacking; markings on flanks oriented
vertically; tail reddish). Nucras damarana is most similar to N. holubi, with which it has long been confused. Both taxa share three prominent pale stripes and other basic pattern elements. However, the former species is much smaller, reaching only 57.6 mm SVL, whereas true N. holubi may reach 73 mm SVL (Jacobsen 1989), and has a lower number of midbody dorsal scale rows (34–42 (36–40 in our sample of five)) versus 41–65 in N. holubi in the former Transvaal (Jacobsen 1989) and 44–58 in Botswana (Broadley 1972). In addition, the vertebral stripe in N. damarana does not typically have crisply demarcated edges (Figs. 3A, 4A; vs. cleanly demarcated by a dark brown border in N. holubi, Fig. 4B) and flank markings in N. damarana generally form a single line of irregularly shaped pale spots, sometimes anteriorly the spots are connected (vs. frequently forming two or rarely more lines of irregularly shaped pale spots in N. holubi) (Bauer et al. 2020). 
CommentDistribution: see map in Bauer et al. 2020: 245 (Fig. 5)

Synonymy and references: see Bauer et al. 2020 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality in "Damaraland" [NC Namibia] 
  • Bauer AM, Murdoch M, Childers JL. 2020. A reevaluation of records of Sandveld lizards, Nucras Gray, 1838 (Squamata: Lacertidae), from northern Namibia. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 14(3) [Taxonomy Section]: 231–250 (e271) - get paper here
  • Parker, H.W. 1936. Dr. Karl Jordan's expedition to South-West Africa and Angola: herpetological collections. Novitates Zoologicae 40: 115-146 - get paper here
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