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Rheosaurus sulcarostrum (DONNELLY, MACCULLOCH, UGARTE & KIZIRIAN, 2006)

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Higher TaxaGymnophthalmidae (Cercosaurinae), Sauria, Gymnophthalmoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymEchinosaura sulcarostrum DONNELLY, MACCULLOCH, UGARTE & KIZIRIAN 2006
Rheosaurus sulcarostrum — VÁSQUEZ-RESTREPO et al. 2019
Echinosaura sulcarostrum — LINDKEN et al. 2024 

Type locality: Guyana, Baramita, approximately 1 km S airstrip, 07°22’N, 060°29’W, elevation 100 m.  
TypesHolotype: ROM 22893 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus Rheosaurus): Phenotypic characteristics of Rheosaurus include: (1) dorsal scales heterogeneous, with large or polygonal, longitudinally keeled scales intermixed with small irregular scales; (2) dorsal surface of the head with large, symmetrical scales; (3) internasal divided; (4) frontonasals three; (5) prefrontals paired; (6) frontal single; (7) frontoparietals paired; (8) interparietal well defined; (9) parietals paired; (10) rostral and mental striated; (11) three rows of scales between rostral and frontal scales; (12) postmental absent; (13) large chin shields in three pairs; (14) lower eyelid developed, with a palpebral disc divided into several, unpigmented scales; (15) ventral scales squared, not imbricated; (16) limbs pentadactyl, digits clawed; (17) femoral pores present in males (weakly developed) and absent in females.
Rheosaurus differs from all other cercosaurines, including Echinosaura s.s. and its sister-group, in having striated rostral and mental scales and three rows of scales between rostral and frontal scales, and in lacking a postmental scale. It also differs from other cercosaurines, except Centrosaura, Echinosaura s.s., Gelanesaurus, Neusticurus and Potamites, in having heterogeneous dorsal scalation. For comparisons among related or similar genera see Figure 9 and Table 5 in VÁSQUEZ-RESTREPO et al. 2019. 
CommentThis species is not part of the Echinosaura clade fide TORRES-CARVAJAL et al. 2016 although they do not assign it to any other genus.

Abundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017).

Type species: Echinosaura sulcarostrum DONNELLY, MACCULLOCH, UGARTE & KIZIRIAN 2006 is the type species of the genus Rheosaurus VÁSQUEZ-RESTREPO et al. 2019. 
EtymologyRheosaurus (gender masculine) is derived from the Greek ρέω, rheo (flow or stream) and σαύρα, saura (lizard), in reference to the riparian habit of this lizard.

Named after the Latin words sulcus, meaning furrow or groove, and rostrum, meaning snout. 
  • Cole, Charles J.; Carol R. Townsend, Robert P. Reynolds, Ross D. MacCulloch, and Amy Lathrop 2013. Amphibians and reptiles of Guyana, South America: illustrated keys, annotated species accounts, and a biogeographic synopsis. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 125 (4): 317-578; plates: 580-620 - get paper here
  • Donnelly, M.A.; MacCulloch, R.D., Ugarte, C.A. & Kizirian, D. 2006. A New Riparian Gymnophthalmid (Squamata) from Guyana. Copeia 2006 (3): 396-403 - get paper here
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - get paper here
  • Torres-Carvajal, Omar; Simón E. Lobos, Pablo J. Venegas, Germán Chávez, Vanessa Aguirre-Peñafiel, Daniel Zurita, Lourdes Y. Echevarría 2016. Phylogeny and biogeography of the most diverse clade of South American gymnophthalmid lizards (Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae, Cercosaurinae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 99: 63-75, doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2016.03.006
  • Vásquez-Restrepo, Juan D; Roberto Ibáñez, Santiago J Sánchez-Pacheco, Juan M Daza 2019. Phylogeny, taxonomy and distribution of the Neotropical lizard genus Echinosaura (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae), with the recognition of two new genera in Cercosaurinae. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 189 (1): 287–314 - get paper here
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