Ophisops agarwali PATEL & VYAS, 2020
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|Higher Taxa||Lacertidae, Eremiadinae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||E: Agarwal’s lacerta; Agarwal’s snake-eye|
|Synonym||Ophisops agarwali PATEL & VYAS 2020|
Type locality: plateau near Bhuvero (22.52824°N 74.13162°E; ca. 630 m a.s.l.), Ratanmahal, Dahod district, Gujarat, India
|Types||Holotype. BNHS 2750, adult female, collected by Raju Vyas on 30 April 2000.|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. The new species was morphologically diagnosed as Ophisops based on the absence of a distinct collar, presence of a large transparent disc on the lower eyelid and digits not fringed laterally (Boulenger 1921; Smith 1935). A small bodied Ophisops characterized by (1) snout-vent length up to 40 mm; (2) two frontonasals present; (3) prefrontals not in contact; (4) enlarged tympanic scale absent; (5) 30 scales at mid-body; (6) 19 lamellae underneath the fourth toe; (7) five chin shields, first two in contact medially; (8) 15 scales between symphysis of chin shields and ventral plates; (9) large mental scale, extending beyond second supralabial; (10) females with 9 femoral pores on either side interrupted by three poreless scales.|
Comparison. Here, we provide comparison of the new species with its Indian congeners (Table 2). Morphologically Ophisops agarwali sp. nov. differs from all the large bodied species based on its smaller adult size (SVL up to 40 mm vs. SVL >50 mm in Ophisops leschenaultii, O. microlepis, O. pushkarensis and O. kutchensis).
Ophisops agarwali sp. nov. differs from O. nictans (Fig. 4A, 4B, 4C) in having two frontonasals (vs. single frontonasal); lower eyelid fused with upper eyelid (vs. lower eyelid distinct); five chin shields (vs. six chin shields); 15 gular scales (vs. 17–18) between symphysis of chin shields and ventral plates; 8 supraciliary granules (vs. 11–12) and a dorsolateral stripe from behind the eye onto the tail absent (vs. present).
Ophisops agarwali sp. nov. differs from O. jerdonii (Fig. 4D, 4E, 4F) in having two frontonasals (vs. single frontonasal); five chin shields (vs. six chin shields); four supraciliary scales (vs. three) and a dorsolateral stripe from behind the eye onto the tail absent (vs. present).
Ophisops agarwali sp. nov. is most similar to O. beddomei (Fig. 4G, 4H, 4I) in having single frontonasal but differs in having five chin shields (vs. six chin shields); 15 gular scales (vs. 17–18) between symphysis of chin shields and ventral plates; four supraciliary scales (vs. three); enlarged tympanic scale absent (vs. present); mental extending beyond the second supralabial (vs. mental extending up to or beyond first supralabial) and six dorsal scales (vs. three-four) in contact with each parietal scale.
|Etymology||The specific epithet is a patronym, honouring Dr. Ishan Agarwal for his significant contributions to the study of reptile systematics and biogeography (especially of geckos and lacertids of south Asia), and constant inspiration to the authors.|
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