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Higher TaxaScincidae, Mabuyinae (Mabuyini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Venezuelan Mountain Skink
S: Lisa 
Orosaura nebulosylvestris — HEDGES & CONN 2012 
DistributionVenezuela (highlands of the coastal range and the Andean Cordillera of Mérida)

Type locality: Hotel Casa de Campo Tovar (10°24′35″N, 67°17′27″W), 1.5 km from Colonia Tovar, Pico Codazzi, Vargas state, Venezuela.  
Reproductionviviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: MHNLS 17093. An adult male with extruded hemipenis; collected on 5 May 2005 by G. Rivas, A. Miralles, and O. Lasso-Alcalá. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis in Miralles et al. 2009.

Diagnosis (genus). The species in this genus is characterized by (1) frontoparietals, two, (2) supraciliaries, four (rarely five or six), (3) supraoculars, four, (4) prefrontal contact, absent or rare, (5) parietal contact, present (or rarely no contact), (6) rows of nuchals, one, (7) dorsals + ventrals, unavailable (48–56 dorsals and 27–38 ventrals, counted by a different method; Miralles et al. 2009), (8) total lamellae, unavailable, (9) a dark middorsal stripe, absent, (10) dark dorsolateral stripes, unknown (see Remarks), (11) a dark lateral stripe, present, and (12) dark ventral striping, absent. The maximum body size for this species is 97 mm SVL (Table 2).
The presence of two frontoparietals (unfused) separates Orosaura from Exila, Notomabuya, and Panopa (one frontoparietal). The presence (versus absence) of dark lateral stripes distinguishes this genus from Alinea. From Capitellum (5–6 supraciliaries), Orosaura differs in having four supraciliaries (rarely 5–6). From Copeoglossum, Orosaura differs by having parietal contact (versus usually no contact) and a higher number of dorsals + ventrals (127 versus 105–120). In having four supraoculars, Orosaura is separated from two genera with three supraoculars: Aspronema (rarely four) and Mabuya (rarely two or four). The presence of a single nuchal row separates this genus from Exila and Panopa (2–5 nuchal rows) and from most Spondylurus (usually 2–3 rows, rarely one). Orosaura also differs from Spondylurus in having poorly-defined dorsolateral dark and pale stripes (well-defined in Spondylurus). Orosaura differs from Psychosaura in having a typical mabuyine head shape (subacuminate) versus a prominent, acuminate head shape in Psychosaura. From Aspronema and Manciola it differs in lacking a dark middorsal stripe. Orosaura has what appears to be a pair of irregular, dark nape stripes or lines of spots immediately adjacent to the pale dorsolateral stripes (Miralles et al. 2009) whereas this pattern is lacking in Maracaiba and Marisora. From Brasiliscincus, Manciola, Notomabuya, and nearly all species of Spondylurus, it differs by having dark (versus pale) palms and soles. In its large maximum body size (to 97 mm SVL) it differs from Aspronema, Capitellum, Exila, Panopa, and Psychosaura (all < 86 mm SVL) [HEDGES & CONN 2012]. 
CommentType Species: Mabuya nebulosylvestris Miralles et al., 2009:603 is the type species of the genus Orosaura HEDGES & CONN 2012. 
EtymologyNamed after the nebula forests (Latin silva) which this species inhabits.

The generic name (Orosaura) is a feminine noun derived from the Greek oro (mountain) and saura (lizard), referring to the distribution of the genus in the mountains of northern Venezuela. 
  • Carvajal-Cogollo, J.E.; L.E. Rojas-Murcia. & G. Cárdenas-Arévalo 2020. Reptiles del Caribe colombiano/ Reptiles of the Colombian Caribbean. Tunja: Editorial UPTC, 268 pp. - get paper here
  • Hedges, S.B. & Conn, C.E. 2012. A new skink fauna from Caribbean islands (Squamata, Mabuyidae, Mabuyinae). Zootaxa 3288: 1–244 - get paper here
  • MIRALLES, AURÉLIEN; GILSON RIVAS FUENMAYOR, CÉLINE BONILLO, WALTER E. SCHARGEL, TITO BARROS, JUAN E. GARCÍA-PEREZ, CÉSAR L. BARRIO-AMORÓS 2009. Molecular systematics of Caribbean skinks of the genus Mabuya (Reptilia, Scincidae), with descriptions of two new species from Venezuela. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 156 (3): 598-616 - get paper here
  • RIVAS, GILSON A.; CÉSAR R. MOLINA, GABRIEL N. UGUETO, TITO R. BARROS, CÉSAR L. BAR- RIO-AMORÓS & PHILIPPE J. R. KOK 2012. Reptiles of Venezuela: an updated and commented checklist. Zootaxa 3211: 1–64 - get paper here
  • Señaris, J. Celsa; María Matilde Aristeguieta Padrón, Haidy Rojas Gil y Fernando J. M. Rojas-Runjaic 2018. Guía ilustrada de los anfibios y reptiles del valle de Caracas, Venezuela. Ediciones IVIC, Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas (IVIC). Caracas, Venezuela. 348 pp.
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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