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Sceloporus aurantius GRUMMER & BRYSON, 2014

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Higher TaxaPhrynosomatidae, Sceloporinae; Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Southern Occidental Bunchgrass Lizard
S: Lagartija de Pastizal Sur Occidental 
SynonymSceloporus aurantius GRUMMER & BRYSON 2014
Sceloporus scalaris — MCCRANIE & WILSON 2001: 20 (part)
Sceloporus scalaris — VAZQUEZ-DIAZ & QUINTERO-DIAZ 2005: 155 (part)
Sceloporus scalaris brownorum — SMITH et al. 1997: 290 (part)
Sceloporus scalaris brownorum — WATKINS-COLWELL et al. 2006: 814.1 (part)
Sceloporus scalaris brownorum — BRYSON et al. 2012: 448 (part)
Sceloporus scalaris brownorum — GRUMMER et al. 2014: 120 (part)
Sceloporus aurantius — CRUZ-SÁENZ et al. 2017 
DistributionMexico (SW Aguascalientes, S Zacatecas: Sierra Madre Occidental, Jalisco)

Type locality: Mexico: Aguascalientes: Municipio Calvillo, Los Alisos, Sierra del Laurel (N 21°43’32.2”, W102°42’01.4”; 2419 m elevation. Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
 
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: MZFC 28392 (field number RWB 1042; Fig. 4). Adult female. 20 July 2010. Robert W. Bryson, Jr.
Paratypes. Thirteen specimens. Mexico: Aguascalientes: Same locality as the holotype. 20 July 2010. Robert W. Bryson, Jr., José Carlos Arenas-Monroy, and Michael Torocco. MZFC 25101–25106 (field numbers RWB 1019–1024). Four adult females, two adult males (Fig. 5). Ciénega [Sierra del Laurel] (N 21°45’0.0”, W 102°43’01.2”; 2370 m). 4 August 1979. Larry Wilson. USNM 346561–346564. Two adult females, two adult males. Jalisco: 1 mi NE Villa Hidalgo [foothills of the Sierra del Laurel]. 24 October 1950. KUH 29636. Juvenile male. Zacatecas: Ojo de Agua, 2.5 km NW Rancho Los Adobes (N 21°44’53.86”, W 103°29’42.9”; 2140 m). 27 April 2008. Iván T. Ahumada Carrillo. MZFC 24818. Adult male (Fig. 6). 3.4 km S La Estancia (N 21°41’44.2”, W 103°28’56.1”; 2228 m). 26 May 2008. Iván T. Ahumada Carrillo. MZFC 24831. Adult male. 
CommentSynonymy: after Grummer et al. 2014.

Similar species: S. aurantius is a highly variable species. It was previously confused with S. brownorum but differs from this and all but one species within the S. scalaris group by a lack of blue belly patches in males. It shares with S. chaneyi an absence of blue belly patches, but differs from this species in size, number of dorsal scales, number of scales around midbody, and presence of an un-patterned morph. The new species further differs from S. chaneyi, and all other species in the S. scalaris species group, by unique phylogenetic position revealed through species delimitation based on multi-locus nuclear DNA. Females are difficult to distinguish from other regional species of bunchgrass lizard such as S. brownorum.

Diagnosis. Sceloporus aurantius sp. nov. belongs to the S. scalaris species group, sharing with other species in that group the following characters: parallel lateral scale rows (except in S. goldmani), femoral pore series in contact or separated by no more than two scales, females with smooth preanal scales, and males with lateral abdominal color patches (Smith 1939; Smith et al. 1997; Watkins-Cowell et al. 2006). Sceloporus aurantius sp. nov. differs from all S. scalaris group species except S. chaneyi by the lack of blue belly bars in adult males. Sceloporus aurantius sp. nov. differs from S. chaneyi in adult size (mean snout-to-vent length 49.8 mm vs. 45.7 mm), number of dorsal scales (mean of 39.2 vs. 42.3), number of scales around midbody (mean of 37.9 vs. 40.4), and presence of an un-patterned morph (absent in S. chaneyi). Although not a diagnostic character state, Sceloporus aurantius sp. nov. further differs from S. chaneyi, and all other species in the S. scalaris species group, by unique phylogenetic position revealed through species delimitation (Grummer et al. 2014; Fig. 2). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is formed by the Latin adjective aurantius, which means “orange colored”, in reference to the orange dorsolateral streak of males. 
References
  • Bryson, Robert W., Jr. 2016. Nature Notes. Seasonal polymorphism in male coloration of Sceloporus aurantius. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3 (1): 149–151 - get paper here
  • Carbajal-Márquez, Rubén Alonso and Gustavo E. Quintero-Díaz 2015. Sceloporus aurantius. Coloration. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2 (4): 521 - get paper here
  • Carbajal-Márquez, Rubén Alonso  and Gustavo E. Quintero-Díaz 2014. Sceloporus aurantius Grummer and Bryson, Jr. 2014. Mexico, Zacatecas. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2(3): 355–357 - get paper here
  • Cruz-Sáenz, D., F. J. Muñoz-Nolasco, V. Mata-Silva, J. D. Johnson, E. García-Padilla, and L. D. Wilson. 2017. The herpetofauna of Jalisco, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation status. Mesoamerican Herpetology 4(1): 23–118 - get paper here
  • GRUMMER, JARED A. & ROBERT W. BRYSON JR. 2014. A new species of bunchgrass lizard (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae) from the southern sky islands of the Sierra Madre Occidental, Mexico. Zootaxa 3790 (3): 439–450 - get paper here
 
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