Plestiodon lotus PAVÓN-VÁZQUEZ, NIETO-MONTES DE OCA, MENDOZA-HERNÁNDEZ, CENTENERO-ALCALÁ, SANTA CRUZ-PADILLA & JIMÉNEZ-ARCOS, 2017
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|Higher Taxa||Scincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Synonym||Plestiodon lotus PAVÓN-VÁZQUEZ, NIETO-MONTES DE OCA, MENDOZA-HERNÁNDEZ, CENTENERO-ALCALÁ, SANTA CRUZ-PADILLA & JIMÉNEZ-ARCOS 2017|
Plestiodon brevirostris brevirostris — FERIA-ORTIZ et al. 2011:40ff (in part)
Plestiodon brevirostris — FERIA-ORTIZ et al. 2011:46 (in part)
Plestiodon indubitus — FERIA-ORTIZ & GARCÍA-VÁZQUEZ 2012: 57ff (in part)
Plestiodon lotus — PALACIOS-AGUILAR 2020
|Distribution||Mexico (Balsas Basin of Guerrero, Morelos, Oaxaca, Puebla), elevation 1074–1770 m|
Type locality: 5.6 km N Xixila, Municipality of Olinalá, Guerrero, Mexico, 17°59'42'' N, 98°50'32'' W (datum = WGS84), 1525 m elevation
|Types||Holotype: MZFC HE 30621. Adult male. Collected by Víctor H. Jiménez-Arcos on 30 October 2011. Paratypes. Thirteen specimens. GUERRERO: Municipality of Arcelia: Cañada El Limón, Campo Morado, 18°11'40'' N, 100°10'2'' W, 1173 m elevation (MZFC HE 19787); Municipality of Atlixtac: 0.2 km from Petatlán graveyard (CNAR 24264); 0.3 km from Petatlán graveyard (CNAR 24265); Municipality of Leonardo Bravo: 3 km N La Escalera (CNAR 6585); Municipality of Olinalá: 2.7 km N Xixila, 17°58'1'' N, 98°50'38'' W, 1545 m elevation (MZFC HE 30620); 5.3–5.4 km N Xixila, 17°59'36'' N, 98°51'2'' W, 1490 m elevation (MZFC HE 30624), 17°59'36'' N, 98°51'3'' W, 1493 m elevation (MZFC HE 30625), 17°59'34'' N, 98°51'4'' W, 1535 m elevation (MZFC HE 30626). MORELOS: Municipality of Temixco: Acatlipa (CNAR 1774); Municipality of Tepalcingo: Sierra de Huautla, near Estación El Limón, 18°33'26'' N, 98°56'43'' W, 1420 m elevation (MZFC HE 30622). OAXACA: Municipality of Santiago Tamazola: La Casita, Santiago Tamazola, 17°41'39'' N, 98°14'39'' W, 1770 m elevation (MZFC-HE 17503); Municipality of Silacayoápam: 5 km NE Santiago Tamazola, 17°42'46'' N, 98°12'22'' W, 1629 m elevation (MZFC HE 30623). PUEBLA: Municipality of Chiautla: 11 km ESE Chiautla de Tapia, dirt road to San Juan de los Ríos, 18°14'15'' N, 98°29'32'' W, 1074 m elevation (MZFC HE 30627).|
|Diagnosis||Plestiodon lotus can be distinguished from the other members of the P. brevirostris group as follows: from P. bilineatus and P. dicei, by the presence of a primary temporal (versus primary temporal absent in 89.4% [n = 52] of P. bilineatus and 98% [n = 52] of P. dicei); additionally from P. bilineatus by having a tendency towards more Toe-IV lamellae (13–15 [X̄ = 13.81, n = 27], versus 11–13 [X̄ = 11.7, n = 54] in P. bilineatus); and from P. dicei by having the interparietal enclosed posteriorly by the parietals (versus interparietal not enclosed posteriorly by the parietals in 94.2% [n = 52] of specimens in P. dicei). Plestiodon lotus differs from P. brevirostris, P. copei, P. nietoi, P. ochoterenae, and P. parviauriculatus by having the primary lateral dark lines separated medially by the six median dorsal scale rows and upper half of the adjacent row on each side at the level of midbody (versus primary lateral dark lines separated medially by the median six dorsal scale rows or less invariably in the other species, except for 9.01% of the specimens [n = 122] of P. brevirostris); additionally from P. brevirostris, P. copei, P. ochoterenae, and P. parviauriculatus by having the interparietal enclosed posteriorly by the parietals (versus interparietal not enclosed posteriorly by the parietals in 82.64% [n = 122] of P. brevirostris, 96.77% [n = 62] of P. copei, 85.71% [n = 7] of P. ochoterenae, and 97% [n = 27] of P. parviauriculatus); and from P. brevirostris, P. copei, and P. nietoi by having a faint lower secondary dark line at the level of the neck (versus lower secondary dark line conspicuous at the level of the neck in the other species). Plestiodon lotus differs from P. colimensis by having limbs that do not overlap when adpressed against the body (versus limbs overlapping when adpressed against the body in P. colimensis), a tendency towards fewer longitudinal dorsal scale rows around midbody (23–26 [X̄ = 24.43, n = 14], versus 26–28 [X̄ = 27, n = 4] in P. colimensis), and a tendency towards fewer Toe-IV lamellae (13–15 [X̄ = 13.81, n = 27], versus 13–17 [X̄ = 15.38, n = 8] in P. colimensis); from P. dugesii by having four supraoculars (versus three in P. dugesii); from P. indubitus and Plestiodon sp. Colima-Jalisco by having a solid lateral light line at level of neck (versus lateral light line replaced by a series of scales with white anterior edges and centers and black posterior borders in 90.91% [n = 33] of P. indubitus and 100% [n = 35] of Plestiodon sp. Colima-Jalisco); additionally from P. indubitus by having the light coloration of the supralabials extending to the lip border (versus light coloration separated from lip border on the sixth and seventh supralabials); from P. lynxe belli, P. l. lynxe and P. sumichrasti by having the interparietal enclosed posteriorly by the parietals (versus interparietal not enclosed posteriorly by the parietals in 100% [n = 36] of P. l. belli, 94.74% [n = 92] of P. l. lynxe, and 85.71% [n = 21] of P. sumichrasti) and lacking a light median line in all growth stages (versus dorsum bearing a light median line that is conspicuous in juveniles and faint in large adults); and from P. parvulus by having a relatively long dorsolateral light line extending posteriorly to the anterior fourth of the body or beyond (versus dorsolateral light line extending barely posteriorly past the shoulder in P. parvulus).|
|Comment||Habitat: oak and tropical deciduous forests, under rocks or fallen logs, sometimes active on leaf litter.|
Activity: lizards were only seen between June and February. This suggests a reduction in activity in the warmer months (March to May) associated with the dry season.
|Etymology||The specific Latin name is treated as a participle in the nominative singular and means bathed, clean, elegant. It makes reference to the appearance of the new species, characterized by having fainter lines than its geographically closest congeners.|
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