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Stenocercus aculeatus (O’SHAUGHNESSY, 1879)

IUCN Red List - Stenocercus aculeatus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaTropiduridae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymLeiocephalus aculeatus O’SHAUGHNESSY 1879: 303
Liocephalus aculeatus — BOULENGER 1885: 167
Leiocephalus iridescens aculeatus — BURT & BURT 1931
Ophryoessoides aculeatus — ETHERIDGE 1966
Ophryoessoides aculeatus — PETERS & DONOSO-BARROS 1970: 213
Ophryoessoides aculeatus — FRITTS 1974
Ophyoessoides aculeatus — DIXON & SOINI 1975: 5 (in error)
Stenocercus aculeatus — TORRES-CARVAJAL 2000: 5
Stenocercus aculeatus — VENEGAS et al. 2020 
DistributionE Ecuador, E Peru, Bolivia (Beni)

Type locality: Moyobamba, Peru [Departamento San Martín]  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.8.12.33-36 (4) 
DiagnosisDescription: “well as the median dorsal one. Two lateral carina along the upper edge of the sides as Supraorbitals very broad, as in L. iridescens, Gthr. Head as high as broad. Nostril posteriorly in an elongate nasal shield. Scales on the top of the muzzle numerous, polygonal, becoming larger towards the frontal region, where they pass into the two series of large interorbital plates, which are closely in contact. Three occipital plates-two rather large anterior, and one small posterior; two parietals on each side, the posterior one being very large. Orbital canthus sharp. A single series of very broad supraorbitals bordered with some small scales on each side. Only one elongate scale on the canthus between the upper angle of the orbit and the nostril, there being two such scales in L. iridescens. Upper labials four, narrow, elongate a row of eight small scales above them; two rows of frenals, with an elongate infraocular scale. Ear-opening about half as large as the eye. The scales are everywhere keeled, sharp and dagger-like, with projecting points. A median dorsal crest of erect triangular scales extending on the tail; a weaker lateral one on each side of the back. Tail long, compressed, nearly thrice the length of the body. Bronzed green, brownish on the sides, with vertical streaks. A white stripe from the ear to the fore limb, and another superiorly from the ear as far as the shoulder; another white stripe descending from the lateral carina to the fore limb.” (O’Shaughnessy 1879).

Diagnosis: TORRES-CARVAJAL 2007.

Comparisons: For a comparison of scutellation across S. aculeatus, S. angulifer, S. catherineae, S. dracopennatus, S. huancabambae, and S. philmayi see Venegas et al. 2020. 
CommentSynonymy partly after PETERS & DONOSO-BARROS 1970. Liocephalus angulifer WERNER 1901: 595 has been removed from the synonymy of S. aculeatus by TORRES-CARVAJAL 2007. 
EtymologyNamed after Latin “aculeus” = spike, sting, thorn. 
  • 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
  • Burt,C.E. & Burt,M.D. 1931. South American lizards in the collection of the American Museum of Natural History. Bull. Amer. Mus. nat. Hist. 61 (7): 227-395 - get paper here
  • Carranza, S.; E. N. Arnold & F. Amat 2004. DNA phylogeny of Lacerta (Iberolacerta) and other lacertine lizards (Reptilia: Lacertidae): did competition cause long-term mountain restriction? Systematics and Biodiversity 2 (1): 57-77 - get paper here
  • Etheridge, Richard E. 1966. The systematic relationships of West Indian and South American lizards referred to the iguanid genus Leiocephalus. Copeia 1966 (1): 79-91 - get paper here
  • Fritts, Thomas H. 1974. A multivariate evolutionary analysis of the Andean Iguanid lizards of the genus Stenocercus. San Diego Society of Natural History Memoir 7: 1-89 - get paper here
  • O’Shaughnessy,A.W.E. 1879. Description of new species of lizards in the collection of the British Museum. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (5) 4: 295-303 - get paper here
  • Torres-Carvajal O, Pazmiño-Otamendi G, Salazar-Valenzuela D. 2019. Reptiles of Ecuador: a resource-rich portal, with a dynamic checklist and photographic guides. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 13 (1): [General Section]: 209–229 (e178) - get paper here
  • Torres-Carvajal, O. 2007. A taxonomic revision of South American Stenocercus (Squamata: Iguania) lizards. Herpetological Monographs 21 (1): 76-178 - get paper here
  • Torres-Carvajal, Omar 2000. Ecuadorian lizards of the genus Stenocercus (Squamata: Tropiduridae). Scientific papers of the Natural History Museum, University of Kansas, (15): 1-38 - get paper here
  • Venegas PJ, García-Ayachi LA, Chávez-Arribasplata JC, Chávez G, Wong I, García-Bravo A 2020. Four new species of Stenocercus Duméril & Bibron, 1837 (Squamata, Iguania) from the Department of Amazonas in northeastern Peru. Evolutionary Systematics 4(2): 79-108 - get paper here
  • Werner, F. 1901. Ueber Reptilien und Batrachier aus Ecuador und Neu-Guinea. Verh. Zool.-bot. Ges. Wien 51: 593-614 - get paper here
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