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Petrosaurus slevini (VAN DENBURGH, 1922)

IUCN Red List - Petrosaurus slevini - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaPhrynosomatidae, Sceloporinae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Banded Rock Lizard
S: Lagarto de Roca Bandeado 
SynonymUta slevini VAN DENBURGH 1922
Streptosaurus slevini — MITTLEMAN 1942: 112
Streptosaurus slevini — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 91
Petrosaurus slevini — ETHERIDGE 1964
Petrosaurus slevini — GRISMER 1999
Petrosaurus slevini — JONES & LOVICH 2009
Petrosaurus slevini — WERNING 2014 
DistributionMexico (Baja California: Islas Ángel de La Guarda and Mejía);

Type locality: Mejia Island, Gulf of California, Mexico.  
TypesHolotype: CAS 50506 
DiagnosisDescription. Head considerably depressed, snout elongate, very low. Canthus rostralis well-marked. Nostrils large, opening almost upward in rounded plates, much nearer to end of snout than to orbit. Plates on head large, smooth, and but slightly convex; interparietal largest. Frontal plate usually divided transversely. Two or three posterior series of supraoculars enlarged, separated from frontals by one or two series of granules. Superciliaries long and imbricate. A long, narrow,strongly-keeled subocular, followed and preceded by similar but smaller plates. Rostral very wide and low, as also the five to seven supralabials. Symphyseal plate large and followed by several large chin shields. First infralabials much larger than others. Subiabials long and narrow. Skin on gular region covered with small, smooth, rounded granules, slightly largest centrally and near edge of strong gular fold. A dermal fold on each side between limbs. Back and sides covered with smooth, convex, rounded granules, largest medially, smallest laterally, and changing gradually to small, smooth, slightly imbricate scales on belly. Tail and anterior and upper surfaces of limbs bearing larger imbricate scales each provided with a strong keel ending in a projecting spine. Seventeen to 23 pores forming a series along each thigh; average in 78 thighs, 21.4. Males with enlarged postanal plates.

Coloration: The color above is bluish gray or olive, often strongly tinged with brown, and crossed by irregularly undulate bands of brown or slate, often more or less obsolete. A narrow straight band of intense black crosses from shoulder to shoulder over the back. The spaces between these bands are variously spotted, marbled and reticulated with lighter, and thickly sprinkled with light blue dots or spots. The limbs are irregularly cross-banded with dusky or nearly unicolor. The tail is pale brownish olive with wide more or less obsolete blackish or dark brown cross-bars, its proximal fourth often bluish on the lighter portions. The lower surfaces are greenish or yellowish white, suffused with deep indigo on the belly and flanks, and reticulated with bluish gray or slate on the chin and throat, where the ground color may be yellowish white, grayish or pinkish. The reticulations on the throat are so arranged as to make the throat appear mottled with a tendency to form cross-bars (original description, Van Denburgh 1922: 194). 
CommentGRISMER (1999) elevated Petrosaurus mearnsi slevini to full (evolutionary) species status based on its “darker dorsal color pattern, a nonreticulate opposed to reticulate gular pattern, and larger body size [max. SVL = 101 mm vs. 86 mm] relative to P. m. mearnsi”. 
EtymologyNamed after Joseph Richard Slevin, of the California Academy of Sciences, collector of the holotype. 
  • Etheridge, Richard 1964. The skeletal morphology and systematic relationships of sceloporine lizards. Copeia 1964 (4): 610-631 - get paper here
  • Grismer, L. Lee. 1999. An evolutionary classification of reptiles on islands in the Gulf of California, México. Herpetologica 55 (4): 446-469 - get paper here
  • Jones, L.L. & Lovich, R.E. 2009. Lizards of the American Southwest. A photographic field guide. Rio Nuevo Publishers, Tucson, AZ, 568 pp. [review in Reptilia 86: 84] - get paper here
  • Mittleman,M.B. 1942. A summary of the iguanid genus Urosaurus. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 91: 105-181 - get paper here
  • Smith, H.M. & Taylor,E.H. 1950. An annotated checklist and key to the reptiles of Mexico exclusive of the snakes. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 199: 1-253 - get paper here
  • Van Denburgh, John 1922. The Reptiles of Western North America. Volume I. Lizards. Occ. Pap. Cal. Acad. Sci. (10): 1–612 - get paper here
  • Werning, Heiko 2014. Leguane im „Wilden Westen“. Terraria-Elaphe 2014 (2): 16-25 - get paper here
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