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Selvasaura brava MORAVEC, ŠMID, ŠTUNDL & LEHR, 2018

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Higher TaxaGymnophthalmidae (Cercosaurinae), Sauria, Gymnophthalmoidea, Squamata (lizards) 
Common NamesE: Brave forest microtegu
S: Microtegu selva brava 
SynonymSelvasaura brava MORAVEC, ŠMID, ŠTUNDL & LEHR 201 
DistributionPeru (Región Junín, Provincia de Chanchamayo, Pui Pui Protected Forest)

Type locality: border of the Pui Pui Protected Forest (11.211S, 74.958W; WGS84), 1700 m elevation, Distrito Pichanaqui, Pro- vincia Chanchamayo, Región Junín, Peru.  
TypesHolotype: MUSM 32738 (sample code IWU 381; MorphoBank pictures: M485668–M485671, (Figs 5, 6 in Moravec et al. 2018), an adult male, collected on 19 May 2014 by Edgar Lehr and Jiří Moravec.
Paratypes. (Fig. 7). Five: two adult males: NMP6V 75653 (sample code IWU 380; MorphoBank pictures: M485674–M485678), NMP6V 75654 (sample code IWU 382) and one juvenile MUSM 32739 (not included in the genetic analyses), all col- lected at the type locality on 19 May 2014 by Edgar Lehr and Jiří Moravec; one adult female MUSM 32718 (sample code IWU 339; MorphoBank pictures: M485672– M485673) and one juvenile NMP6V 75655 (sample code IWU 340; MorphoBank pictures: M485679–M485680), both collected at the border of the Pui Pui Protected Forest (11.208S, 74.955W; WGS84), 1678 m elevation, Distrito Pichanaqui, Provincia Chanchamayo, Región Junín, Peru, on 12 May 2014 by Edgar Lehr and Jiří Moravec. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus). Phenotypic synapomorphies are not known for this genus. Morphologically, Selvasaura gen. n. can be distinguished from all other genera of Cercosaurinae by the combination of the following characters: lower palpebral disc transparent, not divided (divided in Andinosaura, Euspondylus, Gelanesaurus, Oreosaurus, Petracola, Riama, and most Anadia and Placosoma species; opaque in Pholidobolus); dorsal scales slightly rugose (smooth in Anadia; keeled in Cercosaura; strongly keeled and tuberculate in Echinosaura, Gelanesaurus, Neusticurus, Potamites; minute tubercles on posterior dorsal scales in Placosoma); lateral scales distinctly smaller than dorsal scales (lateral scales not distinctly reduced in size in Macropholidus); lateral scales adjacent to ventrals non-granular (granular in Proctoporus) (see e.g., Oftedal 1974; Cadle and Chuna 1995; Altamirano-Benavides et al. 2013; Kok et al. 2013; Torres-Carvajal and Mafla-Endara 2013; Echevarría et al. 2015; Borges-Nojosa et al. 2016; Chávez et al. 2017; Sánchez-Pacheco et al. 2017b). Genetically, the genus is differentiated from the other cercosaurines by distances given in Table 3 and 4.

Definition. (1) head shields smooth; (2) frontoparietal and parietal shields paired; (3) frontonasal, frontal and interparietal shields single; (4) prefrontal shields present; (5) lower palpebral disc transparent, not divided; (6) loreal shield present; (7) scale organs on labials present; (8) anteriormost supraocular and anteriormost superciliary shields fused; (9) dorsal surface of the tongue covered by scale-like papillae; (10) nuchal scales smooth; (11) dorsal scales rectangular, slightly rugose; (12) ventral scales squared to rectangular, smooth; (13) limbs pentadactyl, digits clawed; (14) femoral pores present in males, absent in females; (15) hemipenial lobes large, distinct from the hemipenial body.

Diagnosis (species). A small gymnophthalmid (SVL 42.1–45.9 mm, n = 4), which can be characterised by the following combination of characters: 1) body slender, slightly depressed, maximum SVL 45.9 mm in males, 42.1 mm in a single female; 2) head relatively short, pointed, about 1.5 times longer than wide; 3) ear opening distinct, moderately recessed; 4) nasals separated by undivided frontonasal; 5) prefrontals, frontal, frontoparietals, parietals, postparietals and interparietal present; 6) parietals slightly longer than wide; 7) supraoculars four, anteriormost fused with anteriormost superciliar; 8) superciliar series complete, consisting of four scales; 9) nasal shield divided above and below or behind the nostril; 10) loreal separated or in contact with second supralabial; 11) supralabials seven; 12) genials in four pairs, first and second pair in contact; 13) collar present, containing 9–11 enlarged scales; 14) dorsals in 33–36 transverse rows, rectangular, nearly twice as long as wide, subimbricate, rugose in adults, slightly keeled in juveniles; 15) ventrals in 22–25 transverse rows, squared to rectangular, smooth, juxtaposed; 16) scales around mid-body 32–34; 17) lateral scales at mid-body reduced in 4–7 lines; 18) limbs pentadactyl, all digits clawed, forelimb reaching anteriorly to third supralabial; 19) subdigital lamellae under Finger IV 14–16, under Toe IV 18–22; 20) femoral pores in males 7–9; 21) four large preanal plate scales; 22) tail about 1.5–1.7 times longer than body (in juveniles); 23) caudals subimbricate, rugose to slightly keeled dorsally in adults, slightly keeled in juveniles, smooth ventrally; 24) lower palpebral disc transparent, undivided; 25) in life, dorsal surface of head, body and limbs light brown with fine dark brown speckling, dorsal surface of tail light brown with a reddish tint or reddish-brown markings; a tan or yellowish brown vertebral stripe bordered laterally by dark brown, vertebral stripe extends on head anteriorly and on tail caudally (inconspicuous in the female); a narrow dirty white to tan dorsolateral line extending on each side from above the tympanum to pelvic region (discontinuous caudally from the level of forelimbs in adults, reaching posterior edge of orbit in some individuals); a narrow dirty white to tan stripe running from above the orbit across parietals and first postparietals up to the neck (connected with the dorsolateral line in some individuals); a narrow white stripe extending from below of orbit to insertion of forelimbs (bordered dorsally by black in juveniles and some adults); minute ocelli-like white spots on flanks (most conspicuous at forearm insertion, absent in some adults); ventrolateral parts of flanks whitish brown; throat and belly creamy white with fine dark grey speckling inside the individual scales (yellowish white with black speckling in juveniles); ventral surfaces of limbs, anal area and tail yellowish white in males and juveniles, white in the female; iris tan with orange tint in males, tan in the female. 
CommentType species. Selvasaura brava is the type species of the genus Selvasaura MORAVEC et al. 2018. 
EtymologyThe generic name Selvasaura is derived from the Spanish noun ‘selva’ (forest) and the Greek noun σαύρα (lizard; saura is the feminine form) and refers to the habitat (montane rainforest) of the type species.

The species epithet brava is derived from the Spanish adjective bravo (brave, courageous, wild; brava the feminine form) and refers to Río Bravo, the largest river in the area of occurrence of the new species, as well as to the fearless nature of the lizard to share shelter with people. 
  • Moravec J, Šmíd J, Štundl J, Lehr E 2018. Systematics of Neotropical microteiid lizards (Gymnophthalmidae, Cercosaurinae), with the description of a new genus and species from the Andean montane forests. ZooKeys 774: 105-139 - get paper here
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