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Sitana attenboroughii SADASIVAN, RAMESH, PALOT, AMBEKAR & MIRZA, 2018

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Draconinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesAttenborough’s fan-throated lizard 
SynonymSitana attenboroughii SADASIVAN, RAMESH, PALOT, AMBEKAR & MIRZA 2018 
DistributionIndia (Kerala)

Type locality: Trivandrum, Kerala, India (8.313387°, 77.070933°, elevation 9 m  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: BNHS 2481, adult male, collected by Muhamed Jafer Palot, 15.06.16. Paratypes (n=2).—Adult male, BNHS 2482 collected by Muhamed Jafer Palot, Kalesh Sadasivan and Ramesh
M. B, on 15.06.16.; adult female, BNHS 2483, from the same locality and collectors 15.06.16. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A moderately large sized species in relation to other members of the genus, SVL 55.6 mm. Dewlap colouration in breeding male iridescent blue and bright orange. Enlarged scales on dewlap moderately serrated. Dewlap moderately large, extending up to 36% of the trunk. More than 72–74 ventral scales and 35–38 vertebral scales. Sitana attenboroughii sp. nov. differs from members of the genus Sarada by having an enlarged spine-like scale on the thigh and maximum SVL of 55.7 mm (vs. SVL >60 mm and an enlarged spine-like scale absent on the thigh in Sarada deccanensis, Sarada darwini and Sarada superba); differs from members of the genus Sitana in the dewlap coloration being vibrant orange and blue (vs. dewlap coloration yellowish white and may bear a faint blue line in S. sivalensis complex, S. laticeps and S. spinaecephalus); dewlap extending to over 36% of the trunk length (vs. 56% in S. visiri, 33% in S. devakai, 29% in S. bahiri, 46% in S. ponticeriana, 64% in S. marudhamneydhal); SVL 45.7–55.8 (vs. SVL 42–54 in S. marudhamneydhal, 36.36–44.5 in S. ponticeriana, 41.7– 48.5 in S. laticeps); DWL 25.8–33.3 (vs. 37.3–40.5 in S. marudhamneydhal, 22.4–29.2 in S. ponticeriana, 24.5–39 in S. visiri, 26.1–32.6 in S. spinaecephalus, 20.7–27.1 in S. laticeps); ventral scales 72 or 73 (86–89 S. bahiri, 100– 108 in S. devakai, 75–81 in S. laticeps, 80–84 in S. marudhamneydhal). The new species is most similar to S. visiri in general appearance from which it differs in possessing higher ventral counts 72–74 (vs. 65–69 in S. visiri). Other characters which may be used to distinguish the new species are presented in the key to the genus and an overview of selected characters are presented in Table 2. 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a noun honoring the celebrated naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Frederick Attenborough for his contribution towards natural history documentation and wildlife conservation. 
References
  • SADASIVAN, KALESH; M. B. RAMESH, MUHAMED JAFER PALOT, MAYURESH AMBEKAR, ZEESHAN A. MIRZA 2018. A new species of fan-throated lizard of the genus Sitana Cuvier, 1829 from coastal Kerala, southern India. Zootaxa 4374 (4): 545-564 - get paper here
 
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