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Pseuderemias savagei (GANS, LAURENT & PANDIT, 1965)

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Higher TaxaLacertidae, Eremiadinae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymEremias savagei GANS, LAURENT & PANDIT 1965: 39
Pseuderemias mucronata savagei — LANZA 1983
Pseuderemias savagei — SZCZERBAK 1989
Pseuderemias mucronata savagei — LANZA 1990
Mesalina savagei 
DistributionNE Somalia

Type locality: Somalia, Kandala  
TypesHolotype: MCZ R-71844; paratypes: RMCA 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: An Eremias of the Pseuderemias subgenus, with four nasals, ventral plates in 10 straight longitudinal series, compressed toes, unicarinate lamellae interiorly, frontal separated from the supraoculars by small granules, upper head shields smooth, subocular reaching the lip, 55-72 smooth dorsal scales across the body, upper caudals strongly keeled, posterior subcaudals smooth, five longi­tudinal but often broken out dark dorsal stripes. (Gans et al. 1965)

Description of Holotype: Head and body strongly depressed. Head about 1 2/3 times as long (12.9 mm) as broad (8 mm), its length 3.87 times in length to vent (50 mm), its depth (4.9 mm) smaller than the distance between the center of the eye and the tympanum (6.2 mm). Snout acutely pointed, longer (5.7 mm) than the postocular part of the head (4.5 mm); nasals slightly swollen; canthus sharp; lores feebly concave; a well-marked concavity on the upper surface of the
snout, extending along the frontal shield (fig. 7).
Neck as broad as head. Hind limb reaching the eye. Foot 1.45 times as long (18.7 mm) as the head; toes slender, strongly compressed. Tail 2.3 times as long (115 mm) as head and body.
Upper head shields, smooth on the snout, somewhat pitted in the posterior part of the head. Nasals in contact behind the rostral, the suture between them (0,72 mm) about 1/3 the length of the fronto-nasal (2.33 mm) which is a little longer than broad (2 mm); prefrontals longer (2.5 mm) than broad (1.46 mm), forming a suture in the middle; frontal shorter (3.5 mm) than its distance from the end of the snout (4.6 mm), 2.06 times as long as broad (1.70 mm), narrow behind, separated from the supraoculars by a series of small scales; parietals a little broader (2.9 mm) than long (2.5 mm), hardly longer than fronto-parietals (2.4 mm); interparietal small, separated from the small occipital by one shield. Three supraoculars in contact with each other, first a little longer (1.80 mm) than the second (1.62 mm); 7 supraciliaries, first longest, separated from the second and third supraoculars by one series of small scales. Four nasals, two upper and
two lower; anterior loreal longer (1.17 mm) than deep (0.81 mm), much shorter than the second (2.18 mm). 6 upper labials anterior to subocular, the three first in contact with the lower nasals; subocular keeled below the eye, bordering the mouth. A long and narrow upper temporal, followed by 1 or 2 (left side) small shields; temporal scales smooth, granular; a narrow tympanic shield; no auricular denticulation. Lower eyelid somewhat translucent, but not transparent,
covered with small scales.
4 pairs of chin shields, the 2 anterior in contact in the middle; 32 gular scales in a straight line between the symphysis of the chin shields and the median collar plate; a gular fold. Collar not very distinct, composed of 9 scales.
Dorsal scales granular, juxtaposed, smooth, 59 across the middle of the body. Ventral plates in 10 longitudinal series, the lateral series being reduced; and in 28 transversal series (between the axillar level and the preanal pores). Two enlarged preanal plates surrounded by other scales decreasing in size.
Upper surface of fore limb with moderately enlarged (larger than in smithi, smaller than in mucronatd) hexagonal plates; two series of enlarged plates under the forearm. Upper surface of tibia with rhombic keeled scales, the size of them regularly decreasing toward the sides, all larger than dorsals, lower surface with one row of very large and one of small plates. 16-17 femoral pores. 23 unica- rinate lamellae under the fourth toe.
Upper caudal scales oblique, truncate behind, strongly and diagonally keeled; lower caudal scales smooth; 20 scales in the fifth whorl. (Gans & Laurent 1965)

Coloration: Greyish beige, the head lighter, the back sprinkled with dark dots; a discon­ tinuous grey stripe in the middle of the back, forming the axis of a middorsal, a lighter zone bordered by two light lines. Then, on each side, a rather brownish band containing roundish lighter spots, next a pale area and lastly a latero-dorsal grey zone with rather indistinct light spots. Upper parts of hind limbs grey with distinct round lighter spots. Under parts and sides of the head whitish.

Some specimens, generally the largest, are almost uniform. Others, often the small individuals, have the dark longitudinal zones more sharply outlined; the median is usually very thin, without or with only few light spots; the four others are wider with many light spots. The blackish dots observed in the holotype can be lacking, and they also can be superimposed on the striped pattern (pl. V) (Gans & Laurent 1965)

Variation: The variation of the morphological characters has been exami­ ned on one intact series of 26 females and 29 males among the paratypes (table 2; figs. 8, 9). (Gans & Laurent 1965)

For a table of characters in males and females see Gans & Laurent 1965: 43.

Comparisons: For a comparison of P. svagei, mucronata, smithi, semptemstriata, and erythrosticta, see Gans & Laurent 1965: 44 (Table 3). 
CommentGans et al. 1965: 44 present a comparison of the Somali species of Eremias. 
EtymologyNamed after Dr. Jay Mathers Savage (b. 1928), a herpetologist, Emeritus Professor of Biology at the University of Miami and Adjunct Professor at San Diego State University. He took all his degrees at Stanford (1950,1954, and 1955). 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Gans, C.; LAURENT, R.F. & PANDIT, H. 1965. Notes on a herpetological collection from the Somali Republic. Ann. Mus. Roy. Afr. Centr., Sér. 8vo, Tervuren, (80) Zool., (134): 1-93
  • Lanza, B. 1983. A list of the Somali amphibians and reptiles. MONITORE ZOOLOGICO ITALIANO, new Ser., SUPPL. 18 (8): 193-247 - get paper here
  • Lanza, B. 1990. Amphibians and reptiles of the Somali Democratic Republic: check list and biogeography. Biogeographia, 14: 407-465 [1988] - get paper here
  • Stephen Spawls; Tomáš Mazuch& Abubakr Mohammad 2023. Handbook of Amphibians and Reptiles of North-east Africa. Bloomsbury, 640 pp. - get paper here
  • Szczerbak, Nikolai N. 1989. Catalogue of the African Sand lizards (Reptilia: Sauria: Eremiainae: Lampreremias, Pseuderemias, Taenieremias, Mesalina, Meroles). Herpetozoa 1 (3/4): 119-132. - get paper here
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