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Proctoporus chasqui (CHÁVEZ, SIU-TING, DURAN & VENEGAS, 2011)

IUCN Red List - Proctoporus chasqui - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaGymnophthalmidae (Cercosaurinae), Sauria, Gymnophthalmoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymEuspondylus chasqui CHÁVEZ, SIU-TING, DURAN & VENEGAS 2011
Proctoporus chasqui — GOICOECHEA et al. 2012 
DistributionC Peru

Type locality: Perú, Ayacucho Department, La Mar Province, Chiquintirca (13°01’59.7’’S; 73°40’46.0’’W), 2780 m elevation  
Reproductionoviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: CORBIDI 06963, Adult male, (Fig. 1a) collected by Germán Chávez on 24 August 2010. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: 1) Head rounded in dorsal and lateral view, frontonasal length usually equal or slightly larger than frontal length; (2) nasoloreal suture present; (3) supraocu- lars four, anteriormost supraocular fused with anteriormost superciliary, all supraocu- lars separated from ciliaries; (4) superciliary series complete, five; (5) supralabial-sub- ocular fusion absent; (6) postoculars three; (7) postparietals three; (8) supratympanic temporals three; (9) genials in two pairs, transverse sutures perpendicular with respect to midline of body; (10) dorsal scales rectangular, juxtaposed, keeled; (11) transverse dorsal count (enlarged rows at midbody) at midbody 20–28 in both sexes; (12) lon- gitudinal dorsal count 35–43 in both sexes; (13) longitudinal ventral count 19–22 in both sexes; (14) lateral scale rows at midbody two or three; (15) femoral pores in males 8–11, in females 7–10; two scales between femoral pores; (16) subdigital scales on 4th finger 10–16, on 4th toe 17–26; (17) limbs overlapping, pentadactyl; digits clawed; forelimb reaching anteriorly to fourth supralabial; (18) anterior preanal plate scales paired; (19) hemipenis acapitate; flounces lacking calcified spines and forming two chevrons on distal half of hemipenis whereas basal half is covered with three transverse flounces; some asulcate flounces separated by a small expansion pleat; sulcate flounces about as wide as asulcate flounces; sulcus spermaticus single, flanked by a broad naked expansion pleat widened distally; (20) dorsum olive green, brown, or reddish brown with a middorsal pale stripe bordered by a discontinous dark line on neck and body more prominent in females than males; lateral ocelli present; ventral surfaces yellow- ish or reddish white; (21) transparent lower palpebral disc an undivided oval; (22) prefrontals present.
Euspondylus chasqui can be distinguished from other Peruvian species currently assigned to Euspondylus by the following character states (condition for E. chasqui in parentheses). E. maculatus and E. guentheri: a lower palpebral disc with vertical sections (palpebral disc an undivided oval), dorsal scales smooth or wrinkled (keeled), and lon- gitudinal dorsal count 32–37 (35–43). E. caideni: by three or four superciliaries (five superciliaries), pale middorsal stripe absent (present), lateral ocelli absent (present), dorsal scales reduced in size above longitudinal band of laterals granules (not reduced), longitudinal dorsal count 41–48 (35–43). E. josyi: by having three supraoculars, ex- ceptionally four, (four supraoculars), pale vertebral stripe absent (present), lateral ocelli absent (present), limb overlapping 10–13 dorsal scales (10–12), longitudinal dorsal count 29–35 (35–43) and SVL to 62.0 mm (74.0 mm). E. rahmi: anteriormost su- praocular not fused with anterior most superciliary (fused), longitudinal dorsal count 49–54 (35–43), dorsal scales reduced in size above longitudinal band of laterals gran- ules (not reduced) and maximum SVL 71.0 mm (74.0 mm). E. simonsii: a pale line between the tympanum and shoulder present (absent), dorsal scales smooth or only faintly keeled on posterior dorsum (all dorsal scales keeled), longitudinal dorsal count 33–39 (35–43) and transversal count at midbody less than 35 (40–48). E. spinalis: head acuminate from the dorsal and lateral view (rounded), prefrontals present or ab- sent (prefrontals present), adpressed limbs overlapping by fewer than 10 dorsal scales rows (adpressed limbs overlapping by 10–12 dorsal scale rows), dorsal scales reduced in size above longitudinal band of laterals granules (not reduced), longitudinal dorsal count 39–46 (35–43), femoral pores on one side in females 1–6 (8–10) and small SVL, according to a population from Oso Playa, Pasco Department, ranging between 44.0–55.0 mm (SVL ranging between 50.7–74.0 mm). E. nellycarrillae: dorsal scales subhexagonals (rectangular), and longitudinal dorsal count 41–49 (35–43), femoral pores of one side 12–15 in males, 12–14 in females (7–10 in females, 8–11 in males), and maximum SVL = 60.0 mm (74.0 mm).
Euspondylus chasqui can be distinguished from all species currently assigned to Petracola, Proctoporus and Riama by the presence of prefrontal scales (absent in all species in these three genera). E. chasqui can be further distinguished by the following character states (condition for E. chasqui in parentheses). All Bolivian and Peruvian species of Proctoporus except P. pachyurus and P. bolivianus: longitudinal dorsal count fewer than 36 scale rows (35–43 scale rows). P. pachyurus: longitudinal dorsal count 49–59 scale rows (35–43 scale rows). P. bolivianus: 4–8 femoral pores in males (7–11 femoral pores). All Petracola and Riama species: lower palpebral disc with vertical sec- tions (palpebral disc an undivided oval). Northern Ecuador species of Riama excluding R. columbiana: no band of granular scales along the sides of body between dorsal and ventral scales (granular scales present). R. columbiana: limbs not overlapping when adpressed against body in adults (limbs overlapping), superciliary series incomplete (complete), and some supraoculars in contact with ciliaries (all supraoculars separated from ciliaries).
Euspondylus chasqui can be distinguished from Opipeuter xestus (condition for E. chasqui in parentheses): smooth dorsal scales (keeled); a single large elongate subocular (several small subocular scales); and in hemipenis morphology, large spines at the base of the sulcus spermaticus (no such spines present in E. chasqui) [from CHÁVEZ et al. 2011]. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is based on the Quechua word “chasqui”, which refers to the messengers of the Incan empire, men who, on foot, carried the messages throughout the imperial territory in the Cordillera de los Andes where these lizards are found. 
  • Chávez, Germán;, Karen Siu-Ting, Vilma Duran, Pablo J Venegas 2011. Two new species of Andean gymnophthalmid lizards of the genus Euspondylus (Reptilia, Squamata) from central and southern Peru. ZooKeys 109: 1–17 - get paper here
  • Goicoechea, Noemí; José M. Padial, Juan C. Chaparro, Santiago Castroviejo-Fisher, Ignacio De la Riva 2012. Molecular phylogenetics, species diversity, and biogeography of the Andean lizards of the genus Proctoporus (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 65 (3): 953–964 [print version published in 2013],
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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