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Phymaturus sitesi AVILA, PÉREZ, PEREZ & MORANDO, 2011

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Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymPhymaturus sitesi AVILA, PÉREZ, PEREZ & MORANDO 2011 
DistributionArgentina (NW Patagonia: Neuquén)

Type locality: rocky cliffs on the northeastern slope of Sierra de Auca Mahuida mountain (37° 43’ S, 68° 55’ W, 1983 m, datum = WGS 84), near Cerro de las Antenas, Auca Mahuida Natural Protected Area, Pehuenches Department, Neuquén province, Argentina Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
 
Reproductionvivparous 
TypesHolotype: MLP S 2605, adult male, C.H.F. Perez collector. 
CommentDiagnosis. Phymaturus sitesi is a robust and medium sized member of the clade referred to as the patagonicus group by Etheridge (1995), because it has flat imbricate superciliaries, non-rugose dorsal scales on tail, and the subocular scale is usually not fragmented. This new species is allopatric from and differs from all other members of the clade in its unique dorsal pattern of small white dots occupying only 1–2 scales on a light-gray to brown-gray background. Phymaturus sitesi can be distinguished from other species of the patagonicus group (P. agilis, P. cal- cogaster, P. castillensis, P. ceii, P. desuetus, P. etheridgei, P. excelsus, P. felixi, P. indistinctus, P. manuelae, P. patagonicus, P. somuncurensis, P. spurcus, P. spectabilis, P. videlai, P. tenebrosus) by colour pattern features and disjunct geographical distribution. Absence of sexual dichromatism differentiated Phymaturus sitesi from P. payuniae, P. zapalensis, and Phymaturus sp. nov. (described below). Dorsal pattern of P. sitesi is composed by small white spots uniformly distributed (occupying 1 scales, a few occupy 2 scales) scattered along head, limbs and trunk, a pattern never observed in P. payuniae. Ventral coloration in P. sitesi is darker than in P. payuniae, and dor- sal coloration becomes grayish along the throat, forelimbs, and sides of chest and venter. Reticulated pattern in ven- tral areas and gular zones observed in P. payunie is not present in P. sitesi. Dorsal pattern of P. zapalensis is composed by irregular white spots (between 5–14 scales each, sometimes fused) scattered along head and trunk but not in limbs and tail, white spots become smaller in lateral areas, and then lateral dark areas turn into dark bands between shoulder and rump, a pattern never observed in P. sitesi. Ventral coloration in P. zapalensis is similar to that observed in P. sitesi, but the gular region has irregular black spots sometimes fused to form a reticulated pat- tern. Females of P. payuniae and P. zapalensis have dorsal or lateral patterns of bands never found in P. sitesi. Phy- maturus nevadoi has a dorsal pattern similar to P. sitesi but dorsal dots usually occupy more scales (4–9 scales vs 1–2), they become larger on flanks (not in P. sitesi), and form a reticulated pattern in the edges of the ventral region between limbs. Phymaturus sitesi has some overlap in midbody scale count (210–238 vs 198–217 in P. nevadoi). Phymaturus sitesi can be distinguished from the new species described below by the dorsal pattern described above. Scales count around midbody are higher in P. sitesi than in Phymaturus sp. nov. (210–238 vs 198–227) and lower in ventral scales showing some overlap (160–190 vs 174–202). 
EtymologyThe species is dedicated to honor Jack Walter Sites, Jr. an herpetologist and evolutionary biologist from Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA, who strongly supported and collaborated with the authors on studies of Patagonian herpetofauna for the last 10 years. 
References
  • 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
  • GONZÁLEZ-MARÍN, ANDREA; CRISTIAN hERNÁN FULVIO PÉREZ, IGNACIO MINOLI, Mariana Morando, Luciano Javier Avila 2016. A new lizard species of the Phymaturus patagonicus group (Squamata: Liolaemini) from northern Patagonia, Neuquén, Argentina. Zootaxa 4121 (4): 412–430
  • Lobo, Fernando; Santiago Javier Nenda 2015. Discovery of two new species of Phymaturus (Iguania: Liolaemidae) from Patagonia, Argentina, and occurrence of melanism in the patagonicus group. Cuad. herpetol. 29 (1): 5-25
 
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