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

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Higher TaxaGymnophthalmidae (Cercosaurinae), Sauria, Gymnophthalmoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Green-striped cuilanes
S: Cuilanes de franjas verdes 
SynonymPholidobolus samek PARRA, SALES-NUNES & TORRES-CARVAJAL 2020 
DistributionEcuador (Zamora-Chinchipe)

Type locality: Ecuador, Provincia Zamora-Chinchipe, Cerro Plateado Biological Reserve, Cerro Plateado plateau, 4.6159S, 78.7870W, WGS84, 2844 m  
TypesHolotype: QCAZ 14955, adult male, 23 September 2016, collected by Diego Almeida, Eloy Nusirquia, Fernando Ayala, Javier Pinto, Alex Achig and Malki Bustos.
Paratypes (6). Ecuador: Provincia Zamora-Chinchipe: QCAZ 14954 (adult female), same data as holotype; QCAZ 14956 (adult female), Cerro Plateado Biological Reserve, 4.6050S, 78.8167W, WGS84, 2320 m, 28 September 2016; QCAZ 14969– 70, 14976–77(hatchlings) Cerro Plateado Biological Reserve, 4.6179S, 78.7838W, WGS84, 2873 m, 24 September 2016, same collectors as holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Pholidobolus samek is unique among its congeners, except P. condor sp. nov., in having green dorsolateral stripes on the head. However, adult males of P. samek differ from those of P. condor sp. nov. in having brighter dorsolateral head stripes and lacking a reddish venter. In addition, P. affinis, P. prefrontalis, P. macbrydei, P. dolichoderes sp. nov., and P. montium differ from P. samek (character states of P. samek in parentheses) in having a loreal scale frequently in contact with the supralabials (loreal scale not in contact with supralabials), and dorsal scales finely wrinkled (slightly keeled). Pholidobolus ulisesi and P. hillisi differ from P. samek in having a diagonal white bar along the rictal region (white rictal bar absent). Pholidobolus samek can be distinguished from P. dicrus by lacking a bifurcating vertebral stripe at midbody. Pholidobolus affinis, P. prefrontalis, P. dicrus, P. hillisi, and P. vertebralis further differ from P. samek in having well defined prefrontal scales (if present, prefrontal scales poorly differentiated). Additionally, P. samek has fewer dorsal scales (27−29) than P. affinis (45−55), P. montium (35−50), P. prefrontalis (37−46), P. macbrydei (31−43), P. fascinatus sp. nov. (32−37), and P. dolichoderes sp. nov. (35−40). Pholidobolus samek can be further distinguished from P. fascinatus by having widened medial scales on collar, and from P. dolichoderes sp. nov. by having fewer temporals (4–5 and 7–9, respectively), fewer ventrals (19–21 and 25–27), and fewer gulars (15–18 and 22–23). 
CommentConservation. Pholidobolus samek is only known from Cordillera del Cón- dor. The population size for this species is unknown, but our sampling suggests low abundances. Because of the small known distribution, as well as habitat destruction through mining activities nearby (Van Teijlingen 2016), Parra et al. 2020 suggest assigning P. samek to the Critically Endangered category under criteria B1a, b(iii); C1; D, according to IUCN (2012) guidelines.

Similar species: P. condor. These species can be easily distinguished from each other by coloration in adult males, although the sample size for comparison was small (N = 7 and 4, respectively) and includes only one adult male per species. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet samek means green in the Shuar language, in al-
lusion to the green dorsolateral head stripes distinguishing the new species from other congeners. The type locality of Pholidobolus samek lies within territory of Shuar indigenous people, who inhabit the Amazonian rainforest in Ecuador and Peru. 
  • 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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