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Petrosaurus thalassinus (COPE, 1863)

IUCN Red List - Petrosaurus thalassinus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaPhrynosomatidae, Sceloporinae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Baja California Rock Lizard
G: Blauer Felsenleguan
S: Lagarto de Roca de San Lucas 
SynonymUta thalassina COPE 1863: 104
Uta thalassina —VAN DENBURGH 1895
Petrosaurus thalassinus — BOULENGER 1885: 205
Uta repens VAN DENBURGH 1895: 102
Uta thalassina — COPE 1900
Uta repens — COPE 1900
Petrosaurus thalassinus — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 90
Petrosaurus thalassinus — ETHERIDGE 1964
Petrosaurus thalassinus — STEBBINS 1985: 239
Petrosaurus thalassinus — LINER 1994
Petrosaurus thalassinus — LINER 2007 
DistributionMexico (Cape Region, Islas Espíritu Santo and Partida Sur)

repens: Mexico (Baja California); Type locality: Comondu, Baja California, Mexico;

Type locality: Cape San Lucas, Baja California.  
TypesHolotype: USNM 5302
Holotype: CAS 633, W. E. Bryant, April, 1889 [repens] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Petrosaurus is distinguished from other sceloporine lizards by the presence of enlarged supraoculars in 2 or 3 rows, 8 or 9 superciliaries, 160-250 rows of smooth concave dorsal scales, more than 100 rows of smooth hexagonal ventral scales, and four sternal ribs [Jennings 1990].

Diagnosis (genus): “Enlarged supraoculars in 2 or 3 rows; superciliaries 8 or 9; dorsals homogeneous, small, granular, not keeled, more than 160; ventrals more than 100; supranasal always present; subcaudals never keeled; body size large (maximum 175 mm); internasals not in contact with rostral; total femoral pores 32 to 50; interfemorals 12 to 31; gulars more than 60; 1-2 subnasals; frontonasals not enlarged, occurring in 2 rows 6 scales across or in single row with medium one enlarged and lateral ones bifurcated diagonally; four sternal ribs.” (Ballinger & Tinkle 1972: 18).

Diagnosis (genus): Mittleman 1942: 110

Definition. Petrosaurus thalassinus is a very large oviparous sceloporine lizard (adults 87-175mm SVL) with a flattened head and body, 160-250 rows of smooth rounded dorsal scales, 2 complete gular folds, a single narrow black collar, a banded tail almost twice as long as the body, normally 3 supraocular rows and 15-21 femoral pores. The upper surfaces of the tail and limbs have weakly keeled,smooth-edged scales.The dorsal color consists of various intensities of blue on the head, shoulders, and tail, and yellow-salmon on the lower back with numerous dusky vermiculations.Some individuals have orange or red spots on the head, neck, and shoulders. The body has 2-3 distinct crossbands, edged at the rear with a lighter color. The ventral color is dull whitish to pale beige with dusky blotches. The throat is yellow-orange with a central dark patch (Jennings 1990). 
CommentSubspecies: Petrosaurus thalassinus repens has been elevated to full species status (HR 27: 153 and GRISMER 1999).

Type species: Uta thalassina COPE 1863 is the type species of the genus Petrosaurus BOULENGER 1885. 
EtymologyThe specific name thalassinus is derived from the Greek thalassinos, meaning sea-green, which apparently refers to the "sea-green" dorsal coloration of the holotype (Cope, 1863). 
  • Aguilars S., M. A.; Sites, J. W., Jr.;Murphy, R. W. 1988. Genetic variability and population structure in the lizard genus Petrosaurus (Iguanidae). Journal of Herpetology 22 (2): 135-145 - get paper here
  • Akeret, Beat 2014. Echsen und Sukkulenten im Wintergartenterrarium. Draco 16 (56): 67-79 - get paper here
  • Alibardi, L. 2021. Limb regeneration in lizards under natural and experimental conditions with considerations on the induction of appendages regeneration in amniotes. Annals of Anatomy-Anatomischer Anzeiger, 151844. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Vol. 2, Second edition. London, xiii+497 pp. - get paper here
  • Burré, G. 2004. Auf der Suche nach dem Blauen Felsenleguan. Iguana Rundschreiben 17 (1): 25-28
  • Carbajal-Márquez, R. A. & Valdez-Villavicencio, J. H. 2012. Petrosaurus thalassinus (San Lucas banded rock lizard) limb regeneration. Herpetological Review 43: 649-650 - get paper here
  • Cardona-Botero, Victoria E.; Rafael A Lara-Resendiz, Patricia Galina-Tessaro 2020. Field and selected body temperatures of the San Lucan rock lizard (Petrosaurus thalassinus) in Baja California, Mexico. Herpetology Notes 13: 485-486 - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1863. Descriptions of new American Squamata in the Museum of the Smtihsonian Institution. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 15 [1863]: 100-106 - get paper here
  • Dickhoff, A. 2003. Petrosaurus thalassinus (COPE 1863) - der Blaue Felsenleguan. Reptilia (Münster) 8 (41): 72-79 - get paper here
  • Foster, C D; Sharp, S; Greene, S & Tietgen, M; 2019. Husbandry and breeding of the Baja Blue Rock Lilzard (Petrosaurus thalassinus) at the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation's Phoenix Zoo. Herpetological Review 50 (1): 79-83 - get paper here
  • Hernandez-Gallegos, Oswaldo; Casas-Andreu, Gustavo; Rodriguez-Romero, Felipe; Mendez, Fausto R. 2004. Petrosaurus repens (Central Baja California banded Rock Lizard). Scale Variation. Herpetological Review 35 (4):394-395 - get paper here
  • Jennings M R 1990. Petrosaurus Boulenger. Rock lizards. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles 494: 1-2 - get paper here
  • Jennings, M.R. 1990. Petrosaurus thalassinus. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles ( 496: 1-3 - 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
  • Jungnickel, J. 2004. Notizen zur Fortpflanzung des Felsenleguans Petrosaurus repens (VAN DENBURGH, 1895). Sauria, Berlin 26 (2): 3-7 - get paper here
  • Kober, I. & Geissel, U. 2006. Welcher Typ passt zu mir? Die verschiedenen Lampen in der Terraristik. Terraria 1 (1): 17-21
  • Kracht, M. 2004. Erfahrungen bei der Zucht von Petrosaurus repens. Iguana Rundschreiben 17 (2): 14
  • Leviton, Alan E.; Banta, Benjamin H. 1964. Midwinter reconnaissance of the herpetofauna of the Cape Region of Baja California, Mexico. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 30 (7): 127-156 - get paper here
  • Liner, Ernest A. 2007. A CHECKLIST OF THE AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES OF MEXICO. Louisiana State University Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural Science 80: 1-60 - get paper here
  • Mocquard, M.F. 1899. Contribution a la faune herpétologique de la Basse-Californie. Nouv. Arch. Mus. Hist. Natur.Paris, 4th Series, Vol. 1: 297-343 + plates XI-XIII - get paper here
  • Schulz, J. 2015. Die Haltung und Nachzucht des Blauen Felsenleguans (Petrosaurus thalassinus) im Terrarium. Reptilia (Münster) 20 (115): 52-64 - get paper here
  • Schulze Niehoff, Peter 2014. Immer an der Wand lang: Der Baja-California-Felsenleguan, Petrosaurus repens, im Terrarium. Terraria-Elaphe 2014 (2): 38-45 - get paper here
  • Stebbins,R.C. 1985. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston
  • Van Denburgh,J. 1895. A review of the herpetology of Lower California. Part I - Reptiles. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (2) 5: 77-163 - get paper here
  • Werning, Heiko 2014. Leguane im „Wilden Westen“. Terraria-Elaphe 2014 (2): 16-25 - get paper here
  • Wirth, Michael W 2013. Alle Jahre wieder – Ökologie der Überwinterung von Amphibien und Reptilien. Draco 14 (55): 6-25 - get paper here
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