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Ophisops kutchensis AGARWAL, KHANDEKAR, RAMAKRISHNAN, VYAS & GIRI, 2018

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Higher TaxaLacertidae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesKutch small-scaled snake-eye 
SynonymOphisops kutchensis AGARWAL, KHANDEKAR, RAMAKRISHNAN, VYAS & GIRI 2018 
DistributionIndia (Gujarat)

Type locality: near Vithon, Kutch district, Gujarat, India (23.3430556°N 69.354444°E, 195 m asl  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: NCBS AU760, adult female, collected by A. Khandekar and C. Daniel on 19 April 2017.
Paratypes. BNHS 2024, adult female, near Tera, Kutch District, India (23.34664°N 69.00720°E; 55 m asl), collected by A. Datta-Roy, T. Khichi and I. Agarwal 2009; NCBS AU756, NCBS AU762–764 adult males & NCBS AU755, NCBS AU757–761, NCBS AU765 adult females, same collection data as holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Ophisops kutchensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from Indian congeners by the same characters that diagnose O. microlepis – large body size (SVL up to 53.4 mm), 50–58 scales around midbody and 113–129 DS (see diagnosis for O. microlepis for opposing character states for other Indian Ophisops spp.). Ophisops kutchensis sp. nov. is most closely related to O. microlepis and O. pushkarensis sp. nov. and can be diagnosed from these species by the lower number of scales in the longitudinal vertebral series (mean DSR 120.9, range 113–129 versus mean 129.6, range 122–136 in O. microlepis and mean DSR 139.1, range 133–148 in O. pushkarensis sp. nov.) and fewer scales around midbody (mean RBS 52.7, range 50–58 versus 57.7, 56–61 in O. microlepis and 58.7, 57–62 in O. pushkarensis sp. nov.). Ophisops kutchensis sp. nov. has a narrow, indistinct dorsolateral stripe (versus broader, distinct ventrolateral stripes in both O. microlepis and O. pushkarensis sp. nov.) and strong mottling between the dorsolateral stripes, which almost meet on the vertebral region (versus mottling only close to the dorsolateral stripe, widely separated in vertebral region in O. microlepis and O. pushkarensis sp. nov.). 
CommentSimilar species: O. microlepis; reports of O. microlepis from Gujarat likely represent O. kutchensis. 
EtymologyThe name is for the type locality of the new species, in Kutch District, India. 
References
  • Agarwal, Ishan; Akshay Khandekar, Uma Ramakrishnan, Raju Vyas & Varad B. Giri 2018. Two new species of the Ophisops microlepis (Squamata: Lacertidae) complex from northwestern India with a key to Indian Ophisops. Journal of Natural History 52: 819-847; DOI: 10.1080/00222933.2018.1436203 - get paper here
 
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