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Pholidobolus fascinatus PARRA, SALES-NUNES & TORRES-CARVAJAL, 2020

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Higher TaxaGymnophthalmidae (Cercosaurinae), Sauria, Gymnophthalmoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Haunted cuilanes
S: Cuilanes encantados 
SynonymPholidobolus fascinatus PARRA, SALES-NUNES & TORRES-CARVAJAL 2020 
DistributionEcuador (El Oro)

Type locality: Ecuador, Provincia El Oro, Lake Chillacocha, 3.4984S, 79.6188W, WGS84, 3382 m  
TypesHolotype. QCAZ 15120 (Figs 15, 16), adult male, 20 November 2016, collected by Diego Almeida, Darwin Núñez, Eloy Nusirquia, Santiago Guamán and Guadalupe Calle.
Paratypes (26). Ecuador: Provincia El Oro: QCAZ 15122 (adult male), QCAZ 15121 (adult female), QCAZ 15169−73, 15177−78, 15180, 15193, 15221, 15243−44, 15396−15405 (juveniles), same data as holotype; QCAZ 15118 (adult female), Lake Chillacocha, 3.4986S, 79.6187W, WGS84, 3348 m, 17 November 2016, same collectors as holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Pholidobolus fascinatus is unique among its congeners in lacking widened medial scales on collar (posterior row of gulars). In addition, P. fascinatus differs from P. affinis, P. prefrontalis, P. macbrydei, P. dolichoderes sp. nov., and P. montium in having a loreal scale frequently in contact with the supralabials (loreal scale, if present, not in contact with supralabials in the other species). Pholidobolus ulisesi, P. dicrus, P. hillisi, P. paramuno, and P. vertebralis differ from P. fascinatus in having a conspicuous light vertebral stripe. Pholidobolus samek sp. nov. and P. condor sp. nov. differ from P. fascinatus in having bright green dorsolateral stripes on the head. In addition, P. fascinatus has more dorsals (32–37) and ventrals (21–25) than P. samek sp. nov. (27–29 and 19–21, respectively) and P. condor sp. nov. (26–30 and 18–20); and it has fewer temporals (3–5) and gulars (14–17) than P. dolichoderes sp. nov. (7–9 and 22–23, respectively). 
CommentConservation. Pholidobolus fascinatus is only known from localities around Lake Chillacocha. The population size for this species is unknown, but our sampling suggests average abundances. Because of the small known distribution and lack of additional data, Parra et al. 2020 suggest assigning P. fascinatus to the Data Deficient category, according to IUCN (2012) guidelines. 
EtymologyThe species epithet fascinatus is a Latin word meaning enchanted, in allusion to Lake Chillacocha, also known as the Enchanted Lake. According to local belief, this lake is enchanted and has healing powers. 
  • Parra, V., Nunes, P. M. S., & Torres-Carvajal, O. 2020. Systematics of Pholidobolus lizards (Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae) from southern Ecuador, with descriptions of four new species. ZooKeys 954: 109-156
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