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Sarada deccanensis (JERDON, 1870)

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Draconinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Deccan Fan-throated Lizard
French: Sitane du Deccan 
SynonymSitana deccanensis JERDON 1870: 76
Sitana ponticeriana deccanensis — DERANIYAGALA (1953)
Sitana minor — SCHLEICH & KÄSTLE (1998)
Sitana minor — SCHLEICH et al. (1998)
Sitana minor — ANDERS & KÄSTLE (2002) [partim]
Sitana ponticeriana — DAS & DE SILVA (2005) [partim]
Sitana ponticeriana — MANTHEY (2010) [partim]
Sitana deccanensis — AMARASINGHE et al. 2015
Sarada deccanensis — DEEPAK et al. 2016 
DistributionSW India (Karnataka, Maharashtra), elevation 357-639 m.

Type locality: “India”  
Reproductionoviparous. One of the first mentions of the breeding color and season of this species was by Blanford (1870), who observed them breeding during April. Deepak et al. 2016 and May also observed breeding males in May. Near Gangapur Dam, Nashik District. 
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.8.27.39, Male, SVL 67.6 mm, India, presented by J. E. Gray; male, BMNH 1946.8.27.40, SVL 60.0 mm, India, presented by J. E. Gray. Amarasinghe et al. 2014 discovered the original type series of S. deccanensis (comprising two syntypes) among the syntypes of S. minor Günther, 1864 and they probably got mixed up later (probably after 1870). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus). Sarada gen. nov. can be easily diagnosed from all other agamid lizards from the Indian subcontinent except Sitana in having five fingers and four toes. Sarada gen. nov. is closely related to two genera from Indian subcontinent, Otocryptis Wagler 1830 and Sitana Cuvier (1829). Sarada gen. nov. can be easily differentiated from Otocryptis by the absence of fifth toe and exposed tympanum. Sarada gen. nov. can be diagnosed from Sitana by following unique combina- tion of characters: breeding males with iridescent blue, orange and black colour with yellow stripes, the orange colour in some individuals extending all the way to the vent; absence of enlarged scale on the thigh; scales on flanks homogeneous, absence of enlarged scales on the lateral side of the body, absence of enlarged, strongly keeled scales around the tympanum; additionally Sara- da gen. nov. can be distinguished from the Sitana siva- lensis complex by the following set of characters: large body size (range 52.9-74.4 mm SVL males; range 43.6- 64.3 mm SVL females); very large dewlap with en- larged overlapping scales extending all the way to mid- dle of the abdomen (mean 51% up to 73% of TRL). Osteologically, Sarada gen. nov. can be distinguished from Sitana ponticeriana and Sitana spinaecephalus clades by the additional phalange on the fourth finger and in having one less trunk vertebra (Fig. 7 and Table 6). Dorsum pale brown to dark brown with four black brown-edged rhomboidal markings, the one on the nuchal region is darker than the remainder, and the back is bordered on each side with a thin cream coloured band. One prominent buff coloured line begins below the eye extending to the forearam, and another is com- paratively broad and extends from behind the eye to the neck; a prominent dark brown interorbital patch is pre- sent but does not reach the eyes. Limbs and tail with dark brown or black bands of variable widths [DEEPAK et al. 2016: 103].

Diagnosis. Sarada deccanensis comb. nov. is closed related to the congeners S. superba sp. nov. and S. darwini sp. nov. due to similar colour and body size. Sarada deccanensis comb. nov. can be distinguished from S. superba sp. nov. and S. darwini sp. nov. in having proportionally longer hind limbs (exceeding the SVL). Sarada deccanensis comb. nov. are large in size, males (62.2 ± 3.8) and females (52.2 ± 4.2). Details on mor- phometric data and body ratios of select characters for multiple samples are given in Tables 2 and 8. Further- more, Sarada deccanensis comb. nov. is a species in- habiting northern parts of Maharashtra, whereas the other two species are found only in southern Maharashtra [DEEPAK et al. 2016: 103].

Diagnosis (adult males): Sitana deccanensis differs from each congener by having the following characters: S. bahiri sp. nov.: larger SVL above 60.0 mm (vs. smaller SVL 40.0–50.0 mm), snout shorter ES 53.1–53.4% of HW (vs. longer, ES 54.7–57.4% of HW), throat-fan longer ADW 50.3–60.2% of AG (vs. shorter, ADW 28.3–29.2% of AG), femur longer FEL 79.7–82.9% of TBL (vs. shorter, FEL 70.6–75.3% of TBL), foot shorter FOL 131.9–144.6% of HL (vs. longer, FOL 158.9–159.8 of HL), supralabials 12 (vs. 7–8), midbody scales 66–70 (vs. 49–56), subdigital lamellae on toe III 13 (vs. 14–17), subdigital lamellae on toe IV 19–23 (vs. 23–26), enlarged scales above the tympanum absent (vs. present), equal and regular lateral scales without intermediate enlarged scales (vs. unequal and irregular lateral scales with enlarged scales), breeding-males with bright red patch extending to vent (vs. bleached orange colour patch), 3–4 bright stripes from snout and behind the eye up to the shoulders (vs. a single pale stripe from snout up to the shoulder); S. devakai sp. nov.: larger SVL above 60.0 mm (vs. smaller SVL 40.0–45.6 mm), snout shorter ES 53.1–53.4% of HW (vs. longer, ES 57.2–63.2% of HW), throat- fan longer ADW 50.3–60.2% of AG (vs. shorter, ADW 29.9–32.5% of AG), femur longer FEL 79.7–82.9% of TBL (vs. shorter, FEL 72.2–78.4% of TBL), foot shorter FOL 131.9–144.6% of HL (vs. longer, FOL 154.7–180.2 of HL), supralabials 12 (vs. 8–9), midbody scale rows 66–70 (vs. 57–59), ventral scales 82–92 (vs. 100–108), subdigital lamellae on toe III 13 (vs. 15–16), enlarged scales above the tympanum absent (vs. present), lateral scales without intermediate enlarged scales (vs. with enlarged scales), breeding-males with bright red patch extending to vent (vs. bright red colour patch restricted to mid throat-fan), 3–4 bright stripes from snout and behind the eye up to the shoulders (vs. a single pale stripe from snout up to the shoulder); S. ponticeriana: larger SVL above 60.0 mm (vs. smaller SVL 48.0–49.0 mm), snout shorter ES 53.1–53.4% of HW (vs. longer, ES 61.5–68.1% of HW), throat-fan longer ADW 50.3–60.2% of AG (vs. shorter, ADW 31.1–54.7% of AG), foot shorter FOL 131.9–144.6% of HL (vs. longer, FOL 150.9–175.5% of HL), supralabials 12 (vs. 8–10), midbody scale rows 66–70 (vs. 50–54), ventral scales 82–92 (vs. 65–69), no enlarged scales above the tympanum (vs. present), equal and regular lateral scales without intermediate enlarged scales (vs. unequal and irregular lateral scales with enlarged scales), breeding-males with bright red patch extending to vent (vs. bright red colour patch restricted to mid throat-fan); Sitana sivalensis complex: larger SVL above 60.0 mm (vs. smaller SVL of 35.0–44.5 mm), throat-fan extending up to the abdomen (vs. not extending to the level of the axilla), breeding-males with bright red patch extending to vent (vs. no such red colour patch) [Amarasinghe et al. 2014]. 
CommentSynonymy: after Amarasinghe et al. 2014.

Distribution: see map in Deepak et al. 2016: 80 (Fig. 8).

Type species: Sitana deccanensis JERDON 1870 is the type species of the genus Sarada DEEPAK, KARANTH & GIRI in DEEPAK et al. 2016.

Habitat: terrestrial, found in the grass- lands, agriculture fields, and on lateritic terrain in the northern hill ranges and north eastern plains of the Deccan. 
EtymologyThe generic epithet is derived from the word ‘Sarada,’ which is the Marathi word for agamid lizards in Maharashtra and some parts of Karnataka,
where this genus is endemic. 
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