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Sceloporus formosus WIEGMANN, 1834

IUCN Red List - Sceloporus formosus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaPhrynosomatidae, Sceloporinae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Mexican Emerald Spiny Lizard
S: Chintete Verde 
SynonymSceloporus formosus WIEGMANN 1834: 50
Tropidolepis formosus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1837: 303
Tropidolepis Formosus — DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 270
Sceloporus formosus smaragdinus BOCOURT 1873 (?)
Sceloporus formosus — BOULENGER 1885: 222
Sceloporus formosus formosus — WETTSTEIN 1934
Sceloporus viviparus COPE 1885: 398
Sceloporus formosus formosus — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 108
Sceloporus formosus — LINER 1994
Sceloporus formosus — BELL et al. 2003
Sceloporus formosus — MATA-SILVA et al. 2015 
DistributionMexico (Guerrero, Puebla, Oaxaca south of the Balsas River, CW Veracruz)

viviparus: Type Locality: Mirador, Veracruz, Mexico.

Type locality: Mexico. Restricted to Acultzingo, Veracruz, by SMITH & TAYLOR 1950.  
Reproductionviviparous (all species of the formosus group are [ovo-] vivparous) 
TypesLectotype: ZMB 635, F. Deppe collector, designated by Smith and Pérez-Higareda (1992).
Holotype: USNM 25073 etc, collected by C. Sartorius [viviparus] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A Sceloporus of moderate size, maximum snout-vent measurement 88 mm.; a pair of black shoulder spots, each with a narrow dorsal extension which fails to meet its fellow by five to six scale rows; dorsal scales average 34; ventral scales average 46; scales around body average 39; femoral pores average 16; median frontonasal in contact with lateral frontonasals; internasal area covered with relatively large scales, usually arranged in one, two, or three pairs; supraoculars small, in one or two rows; usually two, rarely one, canthal, the first usually not forced above canthal ridge; frontal usually in contact with interparietal; usually one loreal; throat bluish or orange or both; sides of belly blue, black-bordered, the borders sometimes fusing and the black extending over chest and middle of abdomen; nuchal collar complete ventrally in males; latter usually without a light line down the center of each dorsal scale row (present only in Guerrero specimens) (Smith 1939: 35).

Color. Males with dorsal surfaces iridescent, light olive-green or blue-olive, head drab; a prominent black spot on shoulder, widely separated medially (five or six scale rows), uniting across throat; a somewhat broader band of cobalt blue on ventral surface anterior to black throat band; anterior to this a broad area of light orange (in some specimens the orange is absent, and blue covers the entire area anterior to the black gular collar); sides of belly iridescent, pearl blue, bordered medially by a blue or black band, which band expands posteriorly in the region of the groin; chest and middle of belly white, or, in large males, strongly suffused with black, confluent with black gular collar; ventral surfaces of tail white, suffused more or less with pale blue in large males.
In females the dorsal color is brown or brown-olive; the black marks on the shoulders are narrower than in males and extend farther dorsally(separated by two or three scale rows); two parallel dark lines, sometimes broken and usually indistinct, pass from the upper edge of the scapular mark onto the tail; on the sides of body and on the neck are scattered indistinct dark spots; the belly is immaculate, suffused slightly with blue in some specimens (Smith 1939: 38). 
CommentGroup: S. formosus group which contains the following species: acanthinus, adleri, cryptus, druckercolini, formosus, hartwegi, internasalis, lunaei, malachiticus, salvini, scitulus, smaragdinus, stejnegeri, subpictus, taeniocnemis, tanneri (sensu lato, fide PÉREZ-RAMOS & SALDAÑA DE LA RIVA 2008) 
EtymologyThe Latin adjective formosus, "beautiful", refers to the beautiful color of males, with an olive-green or blue-green dorsal coloration, light orange anterior to a ventral cobalt blue throat band, and pearl-blue on sides of venter. 
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  • 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. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Vol. 2, Second edition. London, xiii+497 pp. - get paper here
  • Calzada-Arciniega, Rafael Alejandro; Ernesto Recuero, Mirna Grisel Garcia-Castillo, Gabriela Parra-Olea 2017. New records and an updated list of Herpetofauna from Cerro Piedra Larga, an isolated mountain massif in Oaxaca, Mexico. Herpetology Notes 10: 651-658 - get paper here
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  • Castillo Juárez, Jorge Luis; Vásquez-Cruz, Víctor; Taval-Velázquez, Laura Pamela 2020. Primer registro de cifoscoliosis en Sceloporus formosus (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae) en Veracruz, México. Cuad. herp. 34 (2): - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1885. A contribution to the herpetology of Mexico. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 22: 379-404 - get paper here
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  • Duméril, A. M.C., G. BIBRON & A. DUMÉRIL 1854. Erpétologie générale ou Histoire Naturelle complète des Reptiles. Vol. 9. Paris, XX + 440 S. - get paper here
  • Fitch, H. S. 1978. Sexual size differences in the genus Sceloporus. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 51 (13): 441-461 - get paper here
  • Guillette, L.J., Jr. & W.P. Sullivan 1985. The Reproductive and Fat Body Cycles of the Lizard, Sceloporus formosus Journal of Herpetology 19 (4): 474-480. - get paper here
  • Illescas-Aparicio, M., Clark-Tapia, R., González-Hernández, A., Vásquez-Díaz, Pedro R. & Aguirre-Hidalgo, V. 2016. Diversidad y riqueza herpetofaunística asociada al bosque de manejo forestal y áreas de cultivo, en Ixtlán de Juárez, Oaxaca. Acta Zoológica Mexicana (n.s.) 32(3): 359-369 - get paper here
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  • Mata-Silva, V; Rocha, A; Mata-González, S; Ramírez-Bautista, A; Berriozabal-Islas, C; García-Padilla, E; Johnson, J D & Wilson, L D; 2019. First municipality records and additional information on the herpetofauna of Oaxaco, Mexico. Herpetological Review 50 (3): 533-536 - get paper here
  • Mata-Silva, Vicente, Jerry D. Johnson, Larry David Wilson and Elí García-Padilla. 2015. The herpetofauna of Oaxaca, Mexico: composition, physiographic distribution, and conservation status. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2 (1): 6–62 - 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
  • Pérez-Quintero, Misael J.; Víctor H. Jiménez-Arcos & Raúl Cueva del Castillo 2019. The Allometry of Sexual Dimorphism in Sceloporus formosus (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae). Copeia 107 (3): 475-480 - get paper here
  • Pérez-Ramos, E. & Saldaña de La Riva, L. 2008. Morphological revision of lizards of the formosus group, genus Sceloporus (Squamata: Sauria) of southern Mexico, with description of a new species. Bull. Maryland Herp. Soc. 44 (3): 77-98 - get paper here
  • Peterson, A.T. et al. 2004. A preliminary biological survey of Cerro Piedra Larga, Oaxaca, Mexico: Birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and plants. Anales del Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Serie Zoología 75(2): 439-466
  • Roberts, A. & Minton, S. A. 1968. Zur Fortpflanzung von Sceloporus formosus (Reptilia, lguanidae). Salamandra 4 (1): 1-3 - 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
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  • Smith, H.M. & Taylor,E.H. 1950. An annotated checklist and key to the reptiles of Mexico exclusive of the snakes. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 199: 1-253 - get paper here
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  • Torres-Hernández, LA, Ramírez-Bautista A, Cruz-Elizalde R, Hernández-Salinas U, Berriozabal-Islas C, DeSantis DL, Johnson JD, Rocha A, García-Padilla E, Mata-Silva V, Fucsko LA, and Wilson LD. 2021. The herpetofauna of Veracruz, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation status. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 15(2) [General Section]: 72–155 - get paper here
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  • Wiegmann,A.F.A. 1834. Herpetologia Mexicana, seu descriptio amphibiorum novae hispaniae , quae itineribus comitis de Sack, Ferdinandi Deppe et Chr. Guil. Schiede im Museum Zoologicum Berolinense Pervenerunt. Pars prima, saurorum species. Berlin, Lüderitz, iv + 54 pp. - get paper here
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