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Riolama inopinata KOK, 2015

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Higher TaxaGymnophthalmidae (Riolaminae), Sauria, Gymnophthalmoidea, Squamata (lizards) 
Common Names 
SynonymRiolama inopinata KOK 2015 
DistributionVenezuela (Bolívar)

Type locality: summit of Murisipán-tepui, Bolívar State, Venezuela (5°52′08′′N, 62°04′28′′W; 2400 m elevation.  
TypesHolotype: IRSNB 2679 (field number PK 3660, Fig. 3A, C), a male collected by Philippe J. R. Kok, 19 June 2012 at 11:00 h;Paratype: One male (IRSNB 2680, field number PK 3558, Fig. 3B) collected by Philippe J. R. Kok, 19 June 2012 at 08:45 h, summit of Murisipán-tepui, Bolívar State, Venezuela (5°52′10′′N, 62°04′31′′W; 2413 m a.s.l.). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: In addition to the generic diagnostic features, the new species is characterized by the following unique combination of characters: (1) size small, body slender (maximum known SVL 42.8 mm), neck short (15.4–15.5% of SVL); (2) tail slightly greater than twice as long as body; (3) mid-dorsal scales in 30 or 31 trans- verse rows; (4) ventral scales in 18 or 19 transverse rows; (5) scales around midbody, 28; (6) seven supralabials; (7) five or six infralabials; (8) subdigital lamellae divided in small granular scales; (9) anal plate with four or five scales; (10) femoral pores small, poorly swollen, ten or 11 in males; (11) oblique chevron-shaped plicae covering the dorsal surface of tongue interrupted by a small midsection of imbricate scale-like papillae; (12) hemipenis small, globose, weakly bilobed, sulcus spermaticus flanked by an extensive nude area on each side, apical structure nude, asulcate, and lateral faces of organ with short series of small roughly equidistant feebly developed flounces, each bearing a single medial hook-shaped spine.
Riolama inopinata sp. nov. is immediately distinguished from R. leucosticta, R. luridiventris, and R. uzzelli – the only described species in the genus – by its subdigital lamellae divided in small granular scales (undivided in the aforementioned species, only rarely basally divided in R. leucosticta; for compari- son, see Fig. 4). Riolama inopinata sp. nov. further differs from R. leucosticta in having: (1) more, smaller, and less swollen femoral pores in males (ten or 11 versus seven to nine in R. leucosticta, see Fig. 5A, B in Lok 2015 for comparison); (2) more infralabials (five or six versus three or four in R. leucosticta); (3) the last supralabial more than twice as long as the one before it (subequal in R. leucosticta); (4) a shorter neck (15.4–15.5% of SVL versus 15.8–19.3% of SVL in R. leucosticta); (5) keels on dorsal scales distinctly less pronounced; (6) one row of lateral scales per dorsal scale till mid-flank (usually two rows of lateral scales per dorsal scale on flank in R. leucosticta, see Fig. 5C, D); and (7) slightly deeper auditory meatus. Riolama inopinata sp. nov. further differs from R. luridiventris and R. uzzelli in having: (1) fewer femoral pores in males (ten or 11 versus 14– 17 in R. luridiventris and 13–15 in R. uzzelli); (2) fewer scales around midbody (28 versus 36–39 in R. luridiventris and 34 in R. uzzelli); (3) fewer anal scales (four or five versus ten or 11 in R. luridiventris and nine or ten in R. uzzelli); (4) ventral surfaces of body and hindlimbs black with scattered pale spots in pre- servative (brown to dark brown without well-defined spots in R. luridiventris and R. uzzelli); and (5) chevron- shaped plicae interrupted by a midsection of imbricate scale-like papillae on the dorsal surface of the tongue (tongue reported as completely covered by chevron-shaped plicae in R. luridiventris and R. uzzelli). 
CommentAbundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyThe specific name, meaning ‘unexpected’ in Latin, is considered a noun in apposition and refers to the un- foreseen discovery of a Riolama species on a tepui from the Los Testigos Massif. 
  • Kok, P. J. R. 2015. A new species of the Pantepui endemic genus Riolama (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from the summit of Murisipán-tepui, with the erection of a new gymnophthalmid subfamily. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 174: 500–518. doi: 10.1111/zoj.12241
  • 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
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