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Sitana thondalu DEEPAK, KHANDEKAR, CHAITANYA & KARANTH, 2018

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Draconinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Nagarjuna Sagar fan-throated lizard 
SynonymSitana thondalu DEEPAK, KHANDEKAR, CHAITANYA & KARANTH 2018 
DistributionIndia (Andhra Pradesh: Guntur District), elevation 180 - 200 m

Type locality: East Bank of Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir, Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh, India (16.55557°N, 79.30134°E), 200 m elevation  
Reproductionoviparous. Breeding males were recorded during June and August months. 
TypesHolotype: BNHS 2492, adult male (Fig.13, 14a), collected on 08.08.2015 by V. Deepak, Praveen Karanth, Aniruddha Datta-Roy, Rama Harvey and Aparna Lajmi. Paratypes. CES 141175 adult male (Appendix 9b) and CES 141178 adult female (Appendix 9a) collected on 08.08.2015 by V. Deepak, Praveen Karanth, Aniruddha Datta-Roy, Rama Harvey and Aparna Lajmi both same collection data as holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A large sized Sitana with a maximum SVL of 56.3 mm, distinguished from its congeners by the combination of characters: 1) dewlap feebly serrated without bright orange patches (vs well serrated in S. ponticeriana, S. visiri, S. marudhamneydhal, S. devakai with bright orange patches in breeding males), 2) dewlap extending beyond forearm insertion (vs not extending in S. sivalensis and S. fusca), 3) four prominent enlarged non spine like scales bordering occipital region (vs enlarged spine like scales in S. spinaecephalus); 4) relatively higher head HH/HL: mean 0.53 +/- 0.05 SD and HH/HW: mean 0.79 +/-0.06 (vs relatively depressed head HH/HL: mean 0.50 +/- 0.02 SD and HH/HW: mean 0.73 +/- 0.03 SD in S. gokakensis sp. nov.) (Fig. 15). Although these ratios have overlaps S. gokakensis overall have a depressed head compared S. thondalu sp. nov. (Fig. 15). 5) higher number of vertebral scales in females 49–53 (vs lower 45–47 in S. gokakensis sp. nov. however, this needs further verification with a larger sample size). 6) Geographic location confined to Northern Andhra, Guntur District (vs known only from Gokak plateau S. gokakensis sp. nov.). 7) Sitana thondalu sp. nov. has an uncorrected p-distance of 11% in the ND2 gene and 1.5 % in R35 gene, from its sister species Sitana gokakensis sp. nov. (Appendix 3 & 11 in Deepak et al. 2018). 
CommentHabitat: rocky outcrops with boulders with sparse vegetation predominantly shrubs and few stunted trees (dominated by Mundulea sericea). In the second site Macherla, the habitat is dominated by the invasive Prosopis juliflora.

Sympatry: Calotes versicolor, Eutropis nagarjunensis 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a noun in apposition, derived from the Telugu word thondalu for an agamid lizard in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states. 
References
  • DEEPAK, V.; AKSHAY KHANDEKAR, R. CHAITANYA & PRAVEEN KARANTH 2018. Descriptions of two new endemic and cryptic species of Sitana Cuvier, 1829 from peninsular India. Zootaxa 4434 (2): 327–365 - get paper here
 
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