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Higher TaxaGymnophthalmidae (Cercosaurinae), Sauria, Gymnophthalmoidea, Squamata (lizards) 
Common NamesCuilanes of Hillis 

Type locality: Ecuador, Provincia Zamora-Chinchipe, near San Francisco Research Station on Loja-Zamora road, 3°57’57”S, 79°4’45”W, WGS84, 1,840 m elevation  
TypesHolotype: QCAZ 4998 (Figs. 1, 2), adult male, 21 July 2012, collected by Santiago R. Ron, Andrés Merino, Fernando Ayala, Teresa Camacho, and Martin Cohen. Paratypes (5): ECUADOR: Provincia Zamora- Chinchipe: QCAZ 4999 (adult male), 5000 (juvenile female), same data as holotype; QCAZ 6840 (adult fe- male), 6842 (adult female), 6844 (adult male), San Fran- cisco Research Station, 3°58’14”S, 79°4’41”W, WGS84, 1,840 m, 29 October 2004, 9 June 2005, and 29 Septem- ber 2005, respectively, collected by Kristin Roos, Alban Pfeiffer, Andy Fries, Ulf Soltau, and Florian Werner. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Pholidobolus hillisi is unique among species of Pholidobolus in having a distinct diagonal white stripe on each side of the chin, extending from the fourth genial to the fore limb (Fig. 3). It further differs from all species of Pholidobolus, except P. affinis, in having three supraoculars (two in P. macbrydei, P. montium, and P. prefrontalis). Pholidobolus affinis differs from the new species by having flanks with black reticulations on a reddish orange ground color (flanks brown in P. hillisi; Fig. 4).
The new species also can be distinguished from P. montium and P. macbrydei by the presence of prefrontal scales (absent in the last two species). While P. hillisi shares with P. affinis and P. prefrontalis the presence of prefrontal scales, it differs from them in having a dark brown dorsum with a conspicuous light brown vertebral stripe (dorsum pale brown without a vertebral stripe in P. affinis and P. prefrontalis; Fig. 4). Furthermore, P. hillisi has fewer dorsal scales in transverse rows (28–31) than P. affinis (45–55), P. montium (35–50), P. prefrontalis (37–46), and P. macbrydei (31–43).
Pholidobolus hillisi shares with all other recognized species of Pholidobolus the absence of a single transparent palpebral disc and the presence of a ventrolateral fold between fore and hind limbs. These characters distinguish members of Pholidobolus from members of its sister clade Macropholidus (Torres-Carvajal and Mafla-Endara 2013). 
CommentAbundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). 
  • Hillis, D. M. 1985. Evolutionary genetics of the Andean lizard genus Pholidobolus (Sauria: Gymnophthalmidae): phylogeny, biogeography, and a comparison of tree contruction techniques. Systematic Zoology 34 (2): 109-126
  • Hurtado-Gómez, Juan P.; Juan C. Arredondo, Pedro M. Sales Nunes and Juan M. Daza 2018. A New Species of Pholidobolus (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from the Paramo Ecosystem in the Northern Andes of Colombia. South American Journal of Herpetology 13 (3): 271–286 - get paper here
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - get paper here
  • Torres-Carvajal O, Venegas PJ, Lobos SE, Mafla-Endara P, Nunes PMS. 2014. A new species of Pholidobolus (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from the Andes of southern Ecuador. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 8 (1) [Special Section]: 76–88 - get paper here
  • Venegas PJ, Echevarría LY, Lobos SE, Nunes PMS, and Torres-Carvajal O. 2016. A new species of Andean microteiid lizard (Gymnophthalmidae: Cercosaurinae: Pholidobolus) from Peru, with comments on P. vertebralis. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 10 (1) [Special Section]: 21–33 (e121) - get paper here
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