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Plica caribeana MURPHY & JOWERS, 2013

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Higher TaxaTropiduridae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Caribbean treerunner 
SynonymPlica caribeana MURPHY & JOWERS 2013: 59
Hypsibatus agamoides – COURT 1858: 440
Uraniscodon plica – BOULENGER 1885, 2: 180 (in part)
Plica plica – BURT & BURT 1931: 282 (in part)
Tropidurus plica – FROST 1992: 1 (in part) 
DistributionVenezuela (eastern Coastal Range: Cordillera de la Costa Oriental, south into Bolivar); Trinidad, the Bocas Islands (Huevos, Monos, and Gaspar Grande); Tobago (Murphy and Downie 2012).

Type locality: Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, Trinidad: San Rafael (~10°34'N; 61°16'W).  
Reproductionoviparous, 2 eggs per clutch (MURPHY & JOWERS 2013) 
TypesHolotype: FMNH 49838, an adult female, 110 mm SVL, 172 mm tail. Collected in 1947 by Frank Wonder. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A Plica with dorsal scales in 92–125 (usually 110–125) rows at midbody; scales on snout imbricate and keeled; dorsolateral and ventrolateral folds well developed; head length 21–22% of the SVL; one longitudinal dewlap fold; and a dorsal pattern of black and green transverse bands. Plica plica has 126–140 dorsal scale rows at mid body and two longitudinal dewlap folds. The middle Orinoco species, P. rayi sp. n. has 180–202 scale rows at mid-body; flat, juxtaposed scales on the snout; and the ventrolateral fold is weakly spinose. The Sierra Acarai Mountain's (Guyana) P. kathleenae sp. n. has 158 scale rows around mid-body; head 29% of SVL; and lacks gular mite pockets (all other species have them). The species from southern Meta, Colombia P. medemi sp. n., has 145 scale rows at mid-body, and a dorsal pattern of six rows of small, bold, dark, irregular spots. The two species, associated with the Venezuelan tepuis (P. lumaria and P. pansticta) have a higher number of scale rows at mid-body (141–164) and smooth scales on the snout.
CommentHabitat: forest and forest-edges, most frequently observed on tree-trunks, rock walls, walls of caves, and buildings. 
EtymologyNamed for its Caribbean Coastal Range distribution. 
  • Auguste, Renoir J. 2019. Herpetofaunal checklist for six pilot protected areas in Trinidad and Tobago. Herpetology Notes 12: 577-585 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Vol. 2, Second edition. London, xiii+497 pp. - get paper here
  • Burt,C.E. & Burt,M.D. 1931. South American lizards in the collection of the American Museum of Natural History. Bull. Amer. Mus. nat. Hist. 61 (7): 227-395 - get paper here
  • Court J 1858. Catalogue of Reptiles. In: DeVerteuil LAAG (Ed) Trinidad: Its Geography, Natural Resources, Administration, Present Condition, and Prospects. Ward and Lock, London, 440–441.
  • Frost, Darrel R. 1992. Phylogenetic analysis and taxonomy of the Tropidurus group of lizards (Iguania: Tropidurudae). American Museum Novitates (3033): 1-68 - get paper here
  • Hedges SB, Powell R, Henderson RW, Hanson S, and Murphy JC 2019. Definition of the Caribbean Islands biogeographic region, with checklist and recommendations for standardized common names of amphibians and reptiles. Caribbean Herpetology 67: 1–53
  • Murphy JC, Jowers MJ 2013. Treerunners, cryptic lizards of the Plica plica group (Squamata, Sauria,Tropiduridae) of northern South America. ZooKeys 355: 49–77 - get paper here
  • Rivas, G. A., Lasso-Alcalá, O. M., Rodríguez-Olarte, D., De Freitas, M., Murphy, J. C., Pizzigalli, C., ... & Jowers, M. J. 2021. Biogeographical patterns of amphibians and reptiles in the northernmost coastal montane complex of South America. Plos one, 16(3): e0246829 - get paper here
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