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Podarcis galerai »

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Higher TaxaLacertidae, Lacertinae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
DistributionSE Spain

Type locality: village of Galera (Granada province, Spain)  
TypesHolotype: CHUS 01140319 (Colección Herpetológica de la Universidad de Salamanca), adult male, captured by Ana Pérez-Cembranos and Valentín Pérez-Mellado on 14 September 2019. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A small wall lizard with <53 mm of SVL (see Table S2 for averages, maximum and minimum values of morpho-metric and scalations characters). Dorsal pattern and colour very variable among localities and even within a given population. Dorsum always light or dark brown, greyish or even reddish, never green. Light dorsolateral stripes that can continue or not over parietal plates of the head. Supra-dorsolateral stripes dark brown or black, present in almost all individuals. As in other Iberian Podarcis, light dorsolateral stripes are better defined in adult females. Upper half of flanks with a light brown spotted with small dark brown or black dashes, profusely reticulated with black spots or uniformly black, particularly in adult females. Lower half of flanks with a light brown sparsely spotted with brown or black small spots. Between upper and lower half of flanks, frequently there is a light brown stripe, again better defined in adult females. Vertebral line is present in only a half of individuals (Table S2). When present, vertebral line is frequently bifurcated, especially on the upper half of dorsum. In a majority of adult individuals (Table S2), belly is white or grey. However, a minor proportion of lizards shows a yellowish or even an orange belly (Table S3 and Figure S1). More than 40% of adult males have blue ocelli on outer ventral scales. Masseteric plate is absent. Juveniles, many adult females and even some adult males, can have a blue or greenish tail, sharply contrasted with brown dorsum (Bassitta et al. 2020: 679).

Comparisons: Table S3 in Bassitta et al. 2020 shows the main differences between P. hispanicus and P. galerai sp. nov., comparing coloration and design traits of both species with descriptions by Geniez et al. (2007). Body size and general aspect of P. hispanicus and P. galerai sp. nov. are quite similar. Males of P. galerai sp. nov. show a wider head width and a lower number of femoral pores than P. hispanicus. Both sexes of P. galerai sp. nov. show a higher ventralia. In addition, in P. galerai sp. nov. we observe a more pointed snout and a more flattened head (Figure S1). There are several individuals that lack a vertebral line. When present, vertebral line is bifurcated in less than a half of adult lizards (Table S3 and see above the diagnosis of P. galerai sp. nov.). In P. galerai sp. nov., belly is normally white as in P. hispanicus, but there are individuals with yellowish or even orange bellies. In addition, in several adult males it is possible to observe blue ocelli on outer ventral scales, a trait only observed in a minority of P. hispanicus males (Bassitta et al. 2020: 679). 
CommentDistribution: see map in Bassitta et al. 2020: 670 (Fig. 1).

Status: the status of this species is somewhat doubtful because P. galerai and P. hispanicus are not reproductively isolated and show high levels of introgression. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Bassitta, Marta; Joana M. Buades, Ana Pérez‐Cembranos, Valentín Pérez‐Mellado, Barbara Terrasa, Richard P. Brown, Pilar Navarro, Javier Lluch, Jesús Ortega, Jose A. Castro, Antònia Picornell, Cori Ramon 2020. Multilocus and morphological analysis of south‐eastern Iberian Wall lizards (Squamata, Podarcis). Zool Scr. 2020;49:668–683 - get paper here
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