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Petracola pajatensis RODRIGUEZ & MAMANI, 2020

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Higher TaxaGymnophthalmidae (Cercosaurinae), Sauria, Gymnophthalmoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymPetracola pajatensis RODRIGUEZ & MAMANI 2020 
DistributionPeru (San Martín)

Type locality: Los Chochos, Rio Abiseo National Park, Provincia Mariscal Cáceres, Departamento San Martín, Peru, approximately 3,230 m asl, 18 km airline from Pataz (7°38’13”S, 77°28’80”W)  
ReproductionOviparous. Multiple nest deposition sites contained elliptical egg shells (9.5–11.0 mm). 
TypesHolotype. MUSM 3829, adult male (Figs. 1–2), collected by Lily O. Rodriguez on 12 July 1987.
Paratypes. Three adult females (MUSM 3830 [Fig. 2], 15986–87), and one subadult male (MUSM 15985), same data as holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. (1) Frontonasal and frontal scales sub-equal; (2) nasoloreal suture present, loreal scale not in contact with supralabials; (3) supraoculars two; (4) superciliaries two, discontinuous, first expanded onto dorsal surface of head; (5) postoculars two; (6) palpebral disc divided in two; (7) three supralabials anterior to the posteroventral angle of subocular; (8) two pairs of genials in contact; (9) dorsal body scales quadrangular, smooth, juxtaposed; (10) transverse dorsal rows 33–35; (11) transversal ventral rows 20–22; (12) a continuous series of small lateral scales separates dorsals from ventrals; (13) posterior cloacal plate scales 2–5; (14) anterior preanal plate scales paired; (15) femoral pores per hind limb in males 6–8, in females three; (16) preanal pores absent; (17) subdigital lamellae on finger IV eight; (18) limbs not overlapping when adpressed against body on adults; (19) pentadactyl, digits clawed; (20) coloration in liquid preservative: in males, dorsum is light-brown with numerous irregular dark-brown spots and venter is dark- brown with some small cream spots on their flanks; in females, dorsum is light-brown with some and irregular dark-brown spots, venter is brown with cream spots that form discontinuous transversal bands from the chest to the anal plate (Fig. 3).
Petracola pajatensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from P. angustisoma by having a robust body, two discontinuous superciliaries, 6–8 femoral pores per hind limb in males, maximum SVL in males 60.5 mm, dorsum is light-brown with irregular dark brown spots not forming longitudinal stripes, venter is brown in preservative (gracile body, three discontinuous superciliaries, nine femoral pores per hind limb in males, maximum SVL in males 43.6 mm, dorsum is brown or olive with seven discontinuous dark brown longitudinal stripes, venter is white with black semicircular black spots on anterior margin of scales); from P. labioocularis by having two supraoculars, absence of precloacal pores, and two pairs of genials in contact (three supraoculars, presence of precloacal pores, and usually three pairs of genials in contact); from P. ventrimaculatus by having 6–8 femoral pores in males, in preservative the venter in males is dark brown with small lateral cream spots, in females it is a combination of cream with brown forming longitudinal bands, and maximum SVL in males 60 mm (2–5 femoral pores in males, in males and females the venter is cream with a bold black transversal band, and maximum SVL in males 71.05 mm); from P. waka by having two discontinuous superciliaries, two genials in contact, and venter in males is a dark brown with lateral cream spots, in females the venter is a combination of cream with brown forming a longitudinal band (four continuous superciliaries, three genials in contact, and the venter in males is white to pale yellow with brown spots).

Color in life. Based on unvouchered specimens, the dorsal coloration is brown with irregular dark spots distributed irregularly, the dorsolateral lines are obscure, and the flanks have more dark spots than the dorsum (Fig. 4).
CommentHabitat: The holotype was taken from the ground in grassland, in a rocky area dominated by bunchgrasses of Calamagrostis sp., Festuca sp., Cortaderla sp., and Stipa sp. (Fig. 6). The habitat of Petracola pajatensis sp. nov. was previously disturbed through overgrazing and is currently undergoing secondary succession, including scattered shrubs (Baccharis). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is an adjective that recognizes Gran Pajatén archaeological remains, which, like Petracola pajatensis sp. nov., occurs in Río Abiseo National Park. 
  • Rodríguez LO, Mamani L. 2020. A new species of Petracola (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from Río Abiseo National Park, San Martín, Peru. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 14(1): 140–146 (e227)
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