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Phymaturus excelsus LOBO & QUINTEROS, 2005

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Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common Names 
SynonymPhymaturus excelsus LOBO & QUINTEROS 2005
Phymaturus excelsus — SCROCCHI et al. 2010: 179 
DistributionArgentina (Rio Negro)

Type locality: Ruta prov. 6, 1 km NW of Ojo de Agua, Dpto. Ñorquinco, Rio Negro, Argentina. 41°32’30”S; 69°51’33”W; 1141 m elevation.  
TypesHolotype: MCN 1582. L. Avila & M. Morando, collectors. 
CommentGroup: This species belongs to the patagonicus group (fide LOBO et al. 2010). The group sharing the same DNA bar codes formed by Phymaturus spurcus, Phymaturus spectabilis, Phymaturus excelsus, and Phymaturus agilis), are differentiated by low genetic distances which may be attributable to the presence of one species with high polymorphism (Corbalán et al. 2016).

Diagnosis: Phymaturus excelsus belongs to the patagonicus group (sensu Etheridge, 1995) because it has flat imbricate superciliaries, non-rugose dorsal scales on tail, subocular usually not fragmented, and subocularsupralabials separated by one scale row. This new species differs from all other members of this group in its unique dorsal pattern, with a dorsal background in black and a pair of longitudinal series of white occelli (fig. 1C). Similar patterns with a paired series of occelli are found (but in different colors, shapes, and arrengements) in payunae, zapalensis, and spectabilis sp. nov. (described below). Phymaturus payunae and P. zapalensis are sexually dimorphic in dorsal patterns, whereas in excelsus there are no pattern differences between the sexes. Dominant colors in excelsus are black and white, whereas in spectabilis are brown and light brown, and occelli in this latter species are much wider and more symmetrical.

P. excelsus is syntopic with Phymaturus spurcus.

Diet: herbivorous 
EtymologyPhymaturus excelsus is Latin for “distinguished”, which describes the peculiar and distinct pattern exhibited by these lizards. 
  • Abdala, Cristian Simón; Quinteros, Andres Sebastian 2014. Los últimos 30 años de estudios de la familia de lagartijas más diversa de Argentina. Actualización taxonómica y sistemática de Liolaemidae Cuad. herpetol. 28 (2): 55-82 - get paper here
  • AVILA, LUCIANO JAVIER; CRISTIAN HERNAN FULVIO PEREZ, DANIEL ROBERTO PEREZ & MARIANA MORANDO 2011. Two new mountain lizard species of the Phymaturus genus (Squamata: Iguania) from northwestern Patagonia, Argentina. Zootaxa 2924: 1–21 - get paper here
  • Avila, Luciano Javier; Cristian Hernan Fulvio Perez, IGNACIO MINOLI & Mariana Morando 2014. A new lizard of the Phymaturus genus (Squamata: Liolaemidae) from Sierra Grande, northeastern Patagonia, Argentina. Zootaxa 3793 (1): 099–118 - get paper here
  • AVILA, LUCIANO JAVIER; LORENA ELIZABETH MARTINEZ & MARIANA MORANDO 2013. Checklist of lizards and amphisbaenians of Argentina: an update. Zootaxa 3616 (3): 201–238
  • Corbalán, Valeria; Guillermo Deband , José Alejandro Scolaro , and Agustina Ojeda 2016. DNA Barcoding of Phymaturus Lizards Reveals Conflicts in Species Delimitation within the Patagonicus Clade Journal of Herpetology - get paper here
  • Lobo, F. and S. Quinteros 2005. A MORPHOLOGY-BASED PHYLOGENY OF PHYMATURUS (IGUANIA: LIOLAEMIDAE) WITH THE DESCRIPTION OF FOUR NEW SPECIES FROM ARGENTINA. Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia (São Paulo) 45(13):143-177 - get paper here
  • LOBO, FERNANDO; CRISTIAN ABDALA & SOLEDAD VALDECANTOS 2012. Morphological diversity and phylogenetic relationships within a South-American clade of iguanian lizards (Liolaemidae: Phymaturus). Zootaxa 3315: 1–41 - get paper here
  • Perez, C.H.F.; N. Frutos; M. Kozykariski; M. Morando; D.R. Perez; L.J. Avila. 2011. Lizards of Rio Negro Province, northern Patagonia, Argentina. Check List 7 (3): 202-219 - get paper here
  • Scolaro, J. A. and O. F. Tappari. 2009. Una nueva especie del género Phymaturus del “grupo patagonicus” en los afloramientos rocosos del sudoeste de la provincia de Rio Negro, Patagonia Argentina (Reptilia: Iguania: Liolaemidae). Naturalia Patagónica, 4: 81–94
  • Scolaro, J.A. & Ibargüengoyía, N.R. 2008. A new fragment for the understanding of the puzzling evolutive process of the Phymaturus genus: a new species of the patagonicus group from Patagonia, Argentina (Reptilia: Iguania: Liolaemidae). Zootaxa 1939: 38–50 - get paper here
  • Scolaro, J.A. & Pincheira-Donoso, D. 2010. Lizards at the end of the world: Two new species of Phymaturus of the patagonicus clade (Squamata, Liolaemidae) revealed in southern Patagonia of Argentina. Zootaxa 2393: 17–32 - get paper here
  • Scolaro, José Alejandro; Valeria Corbalán, Osvaldo Fabián Tappari<br />and Lorena Obregón Streitenberger 2016. LIZARDS AT THE END OF THE WORLD: A NEW MELANIC SPECIES OF PHYMATURUS OF THE PATAGONICUS CLADE FROM ROCKY OUTCROPS IN THE NORTHWESTERN STEPPE OF CHUBUT PROVINCE, PATAGONIA ARGENTINA (REPTILIA: IGUANIA: LIOLAEMIDAE) Boletín del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, Chile, 65: 137-152
  • Scrocchi, Gustavo J.; Cristian S. Abdala,Javier Nori, Hussam Zaher 2010. Reptiles de la provincia de Río Negro, Argentina Fondo Ed. Rionegrino, 249 pp.
  • Tulli, M.J.; F.B. Cruz, A. Herrel, B. Vanhooydonck, V. Abdala 2009. The interplay between claw morphology and microhabitat use in neotropical iguanian lizards. Zoology 112 (5): 379-392 - get paper here
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