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Sceloporus zosteromus COPE, 1863

IUCN Red List - Sceloporus zosteromus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaPhrynosomatidae, Sceloporinae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesSceloporus zosteromus zosteromus COPE 1863
Sceloporus zosteromus monserratensis VAN DENBURGH & SLEVIN 1921
Sceloporus zosteromus rufidorsum YARROW 1882 
Common NamesE: Central Baja Spiny Lizard, Monserrat Island Spiny Lizard
S: Bejori del Centro Peninsular [monserratensis]
E: Red-backed Spiny Lizard, Mexican Desert Spiny Lizard [rufidorsum]
S: Bejori de Espalda Roja [rufidorsum]
E: Baja Spiny Lizard, San Lucan Spiny Lizard [zosteromus]
S: Bejori de San Lucas [zosteromus] 
SynonymSceloporus zosteromus COPE 1863: 105
Sceloporus zosteromus — BOULENGER 1885: 225
Sceloporus zosteromus —VAN DENBURGH 1895: 108
Sceloporus magister zosteromus — LINSDALE 1932
Sceloporus magister zosteromus — SMITH 1939: 170
Sceloporus magister zosteromus — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 115
Sceloporus magister zosteromus — LEVITON & BANTA 1964
Sceloporus zosteromus — LINER 1994
Sceloporus zosteromus zosteromus — BELL et al. 2003
Sceloporus zosteromus zosteromus — LINER & CASAS-ANDREU 2008

Sceloporus zosteromus monserratensis VAN DENBURGH & SLEVIN 1921
Sceloporus monserratensis VAN DENBURGH & SLEVIN 1921: 396
Sceloporus magister monserratensis — SMITH 1939: 165
Sceloporus magister monserratensis — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 115
Sceloporus magister monserratensis — STEBBINS 1985: 128
Sceloporus zosteromus — GRISMER & MCGUIRE 1996
Sceloporus monserratensis — LINER 1994
Sceloporus zosteromus monserratensis — BELL et al. 2003
Sceloporus zosteromus monserratensis — LINER & CASAS-ANDREU 2008

Sceloporus zosteromus rufidorsum YARROW 1882
Sceloporus rufidorsum YARROW 1882
Sceloporus magister rufidorsum — LINSDALE 1932
Sceloporus magister rufidorsum — SMITH 1939: 161
Sceloporus magister rufidorsum — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 442
Sceloporus magister rufidorsum — ZWEIFEL 1958
Sceloporus magister rufidorsum — STEBBINS 1985: 128
Sceloporus magister zosteromus — STEBBINS 1985: 128
Sceloporus zosteromus — GRISMER & MCGUIRE 1996
Sceloporus rufidorsum — LINER 1994
Sceloporus zosteromus rufidorsum — BELL et al. 2003
Sceloporus zosteromus rufidorsum — LEACHÉ & MULCAHY 2007
Sceloporus zosteromus rufidorsum — LINER & CASAS-ANDREU 2008 
DistributionMexico (Cape region of Lower California = Baja California)

monserratensis: Mexico (Baja California, southern edge of the Vizcaino Desert, southward to the southern end of the Sierra de la Gigante; islands adjacent to the coast except Santa Catalina); Type Locality: Monserrate Island, Gulf of California, Mexico.

rufidorsum: Mexico (N Baja California, Cedros Island, Coronados Island); Type Locality: San Quintín Bay, Baja California, Mexico.

Type locality: Cape San Lucas, Baja California  
TypesSyntypes: USNM 5298; 69472-69488, INHS (= UIMNH)

Type: CAS 50509, collected 24 May 1921 by J. R. Slevin [monserratensis]

Holotype: USNM 11981, collected in 1882 by L. Belding, macerated, only bones left (Cochran, 1961) [rufidorsum] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (zosteromus): Smith 1939: 170

Diagnosis (rufidorsum): Smith 1939: 161

Diagnosis (monserratensis): Smith 1939: 165
CommentBelongs to the S. magister complex.

Grismer and McGuire (1996) concluded that an interbreeding continuity of populations, often referred to as S.monserratensis, S. rufidorsum, and S. zosteromus, extends throughout most of Baja California; hence they are conspecific (as was thought by Smith, 1939). Grismer (2002) regarded the three populations as pattern classes rather than subspecies. 
EtymologyEtymology (monserratensis): This taxon is named for its island type locality.

Etymology (rufidorsum): The Latin nouns rufus, "red, reddish," and dorsum, "back" refer to the rusty-red dorsal stripe.

Etymology (zosteromus): The Greek zoster, "belt or girdle," and the Latin suffix –ome, "pertaining to the nature of," refer to the black inguinal blotches anterior to the thighs, connecting with black areas on the venter. 
  • 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
  • Cope, E.D. 1863. Descriptions of new American Squamata in the Museum of the Smtihsonian Institution. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 15 [1863]: 100-106 - get paper here
  • Goldberg, Stephen R. 2014. Sceloporus zosteromus (Baja spiny lizard) reproduction. Herpetological Review 45 (1): 135 - get paper here
  • Grismer, L. L. 2002. Amphibians and reptiles of Baja California, including its pacific islands and the islands in the Sea of Cortés. Univ. California Press, Berkeley: 399 pp. - get paper here
  • Grismer, L. L. & J. A. MCGUIRE 1996. Taxonomy and biogeography of the Sceloporus magister complex (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae) in Baja California, México. Herpetologica 52 (3): 416-427. - get paper here
  • Jones, L.L. & Lovich, R.E. 2009. Lizards of the American Southwest. A photographic field guide. Rio Nuevo Publishers, Tucson, AZ, 568 pp. [review in Reptilia 86: 84] - get paper here
  • Köhler, G. & Heimes, P. 2002. Stachelleguane. Herpeton-Verlag (Offenbach), 174 pp.
  • Leaché, A.D. 2010. Species trees for spiny lizards (Genus Sceloporus): Identifying points of concordance and conflict between nuclear and mitochondrial data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 54: 162–171 - get paper here
  • Leaché, A.D. & J.W.Sites, Jr. 2009. Chromosome Evolution and Diversification in North American Spiny Lizards (Genus Sceloporus). Cytogenet Genome Res 127: 166-181 - get paper here
  • Leaché, A.D. & Mulcahy, D.G. 2007. Phylogeny, divergence times and species limits of spiny lizards (Sceloporus magister species group) in western North American deserts and Baja California. Molecular Ecology 16: 5216–5233 - get paper here
  • Leviton, Alan E.; Banta, Benjamin H. 1964. Midwinter reconnaissance of the herpetofauna of the Cape Region of Baja California, Mexico. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 30 (7): 127-156 - get paper here
  • Linsdale, J.M. 1932. Amphibians and reptiles from lower California. Univ. California Publ. Zool. 38 (6): 345-386
  • Mocquard, M.F. 1899. Contribution a la faune herpétologique de la Basse-Californie. Nouv. Arch. Mus. Hist. Natur.Paris, 4th Series, Vol. 1: 297-343 + plates XI-XIII - get paper here
  • Parker W S 1982. Sceloporus magister Hallowell. Desert spiny lizard. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (290): 1-4 - get paper here
  • Schulte II, James A.; J. Robert Macey and Theodore J. Papenfuss 2006. A genetic perspective on the geographic association of taxa among arid North American lizards of the Sceloporus magister complex (Squamata: Iguanidae: Phrynosomatinae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 39 (3): 873-880 - 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
  • Stebbins,R.C. 1985. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston
  • Valdez-Villavicencio, Jorge Heriberto; Anny Peralta-García 2020. FIRST RECORD OF NECROPHILIA IN THE BAJA CALIFORNIA SPINY LIZARD, Sceloporus zosteromus (Phrynosomatidae). Rev. Latinoamer. Herp. 3 (1): 116-117 - get paper here
  • Van Denburgh, J.; Slevin, J. R. 1921. Preliminary diagnoses of more new species of reptiles from islands in the gulf of California, Mexico. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (4) 11 (17): 395-398 - get paper here
  • Van Denburgh,J. 1895. A review of the herpetology of Lower California. Part I - Reptiles. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (2) 5: 77-163 - get paper here
  • Yarrow, H.C. 1882. Description of new species of reptiles and amphibians in the US National Museum. Proc. US Natl. Mus. 5: 438-443 - get paper here
  • Zweifel, Richard G. 1958. Results of the Puritan-American Museum of Natural History Expedition to western Mexico 2. Notes on reptiles and amphibians from the Pacific Coastal Islands of Baja California. American Museum Novitates (1895): 1-17 - get paper here
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