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Sceloporus asper BOULENGER, 1897

IUCN Red List - Sceloporus asper - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaPhrynosomatidae, Sceloporinae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesS: Espinosa Aspera
E: Asperous Spiny Lizard 
SynonymSceloporus asper BOULENGER 1897: 476
Sceloporus obscurus VAN DENBURGH 1897 (fide SMITH 1939)
Sceloporus asper — SMITH 1939: 51
Sceloporus asper — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 109
Sceloporus asper — LINER 1994
Sceloporus asper — BELL et al. 2003
Sceloporus asper — LINER & CASAS-ANDREU 2008 
DistributionMexico (Nayarit, Jalisco, Michoacán, Guerrero)

obscurus: Type Locality: Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico.

Type locality: La Cumbre de los Arrastrados, Jalisco.  
Reproductionviviparous (ovoviviparous) 
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.8.30.2-7
Holotype: CAS 3213, collected by Gustav Eisen and Frank H. Vaslit, November 1894 [obscurus] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A Sceloporus of moderate size, maximum snout-vent measurement 81 mm.; shoulder spot faint; scales on posterior surface of thigh about two-thirds size of preanal scales; dorsal scales 29 to 35, average 33.3; ventral scales 45 to 56, average 50.3; scales around body 40 to 48, average 43.7; femoral pores 15 to 19, average 16.8; dorsal scales strongly keeled, strongly mucronate; largest median lateral scales two-thirds size of dorsal scales; ventral scales one-fourth size of dorsal scales; supraoculars irregular; two canthals; anterior section of frontal usually longitudinally divided. Gular region of males immaculate; sides of belly pale blue, not dark-bordered; middle of abdomen light (Smith 1939: 52).

Color. In males, olive or hair brown above, with a decided bluish tinge mid-dorsally; limbs faintly banded with darker brown; tail with narrow very light gray bands; an indistinct black spot in front of shoulder. Belly mixed pale blue and pearl blue, lighter medially; chest, throat, and ventral surfaces of limbs and tail dingy white, with a tinge of blue; region anterior to gular fold tinged with brown or black, with irregular small light flecks; a median ventral, narrow line on the throat is dingy white. Females similar to males, except for faint, undulate, darker brown bands, about three in number, extending across back; shoulder spots extending upward, separated from each other medially by about three or four scales; belly dingy white, with a bluish tinge; throat darker than belly, with a narrow, lighter, median ventral band two scales wide (Smith 1939: 53). 
EtymologyNamed after Latin “asper(a)” = rough, referring to the rough-scaled appearance of the species.

The Latin obscurus, "dark," or "indistinct," refers to the bluish steel dorsal color, without collar or other markings.  
  • Bell, E.L.; Smith, H.M. & Chiszar, D. 2003. AN ANNOTATED LIST OF THE SPECIES-GROUP NAMES APPLIED TO THE LIZARD GENUS SCELOPORUS. Acta Zoologica Mexicana (n.s.) 90: 103-174 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1897. A revision of the lizards of the genus Sceloporus. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1897: 474-522 - get paper here
  • Hall, W.P. 2009. Chromosome Variation, Genomics, Speciation and Evolution in Sceloporus Lizards. Cytogenet Genome Res 127: 143-165 - get paper here
  • Köhler, G. & Heimes, P. 2002. Stachelleguane. Herpeton-Verlag (Offenbach), 174 pp.
  • Luja VH, López JA, Cruz-Elizalde R, Ramírez-Bautista A 2017. Herpetofauna inside and outside from a natural protected area: the case of Reserva Estatal de la Biósfera Sierra San Juan, Nayarit, Mexico. Nature Conservation 21: 15-38 - get paper here
  • Palacios-Aguilar, Ricardo & OSCAR FLORES-VILLELA 2018. An updated checklist of the herpetofauna from Guerrero, Mexico. Zootaxa 4422 (1): 1-24 - get paper here
  • Smith, H. M. 1939. The Mexican and Central American lizards of the genus Sceloporus. Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Zool. Ser. 26: 1-397. - get paper here
  • Van DENBURGH 1898. Reptiles from Sonora, Sinaloa, and Jalisco, Mexico, with a description of a new species of Sceloporus. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 1897: 460-464 - get paper here
  • Woolrich-Piña, Guillermo A, Paulino Ponce-Campos, Jesús Loc-Barragán, Juan Pablo Ramírez-Silva, Vicente Mata-Silva, Jerry D. Johnson, Elí García-Padilla and Larry David Wilson. 2016. The herpetofauna of Nayarit, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation status. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3 (2): 376-448 - get paper here
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