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Stenocercus ica »

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Higher TaxaTropiduridae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
DistributionPerú (Ica).

Type locality: Perú, Ica, Ocucaje (-14.350° S, -75.684° W) 323 m a.s.l.
TypesHolotype: MUSM 40418 adult male collected 8 March 2020 by C. Ramírez, A. Mendoza, C. Aguilar, E. Alvarado and E. Salazar.
Paratypes: (n = 10): MUSM. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: (1) Maximum SVL in males 81.5 mm (N = 5); (2) maximum SVL in females 62.3 mm (N = 4); (3) vertebrals 44–48 (N = 11); (4) paravertebrals 44–48 (N = 11); (5) scales around midbody 35–38 (N = 11); (6) supraoculars 5–6 (N = 11); (7) internasals 2–4 (N = 11); (8) postrostrals 2–5 (N = 11); (9) loreals 1–3 (N = 11); (10) gulars 15–19 (N = 11); (11) lamellae on Finger IV 20–23 (N = 11); (12) lamellae on Toe IV 28–32 (N = 11); (13) posthumeral mite pockets absent (Type I of Torres-Carvajal 2007); (14) postfemoral mite pockets present (Type II de Torres-Carvajal 2007); (15) parietal eye visible; (16) smooth, juxtaposed, or slightly imbricate occipital scales; (17) projecting angular temporals absent; (18) enlarged supraoculars occupying most of the supraocular region in one row absent; (19) scales in the frontonasal region smooth, weakly imbricate anteriorly or juxtaposed (20) preauricular fringe present; (21) antehumeral and longitudinal folds present; (22) lateral nuchals similar in size to dorsal nuchals; (23) posterior gulars smooth, cycloid, imbricate , with or without notches or apical pits; (24) a caudad notch on ventral scales; (25) lateral body scales similar in size to dorsal scales; (26) vertebrals similar in size to adjacent dorsals; (27) dorsolateral crests absent; (28) ventrals smooth, imbricate, sub-rhomboidal, similar in size to dorsals; (29) scales on the posterior faces of thighs granular; (30) prefemoral fold absent; (31) inguinal groove absent; (32) preanals not projected; (33) tail slightly compressed laterally in adult males; (34) tail length 70–73% of total length; (35) three caudal whorls per autotomic segment; (36) caudals not spinose; (37) dark stripe from the subocular region to superciliars absent; (38) colour pattern of dark reticulations in the gular region in adult females; (39) dark streaks that form a reticulum in the gular region in adult males absent; (40) black spot on ventral face of neck in adult males absent; (41) dark midventral stripe in adult males absent; (42) black patches on ventral faces of thighs in adult males absent; (43) background colour of dorsum olive yellowish to brown in life. (Mendoza et al. 2021).

Comparisons: Stenocercus ica sp. n. differs from all other congeneric species except S. amydrorhytus, S. boettgeri, S. chinchaoensis, S. chrysopygus, S. frittsi, S. haenschi, S. humeralis, S. imitator, S. ivitus, S. johaberfellneri, S. latebrosus, S. melanopygus, S. modestus, S. nigrobarbatus, S. orientalis, S. omari, S. ornatissimus, S. praeornatus, S. stigmosus, S. variabilis, and S. varius by having granular scales on the posterior faces of its thighs and having three caudal whorls per autotomic segment. Stenocercus ica sp. n. differs from these other species (character states in parentheses) except S. latebrosus and S. modestus, by having 35–38 scales around midbody (42–125) and a tail length of 70–73% of total length (53–70%). Stenocercus ica sp. n. is distinguished from S. latebrosus and S. modestus by lacking an oblique neck fold and a visible patch of small scales (present in both species). Stenocercus ica sp. n. is most similar to S. modestus, with both species having long tails that account for 70–73% of the total length, a caudad notch on their ventral scales, a similar number of scales around midbody with 35–38 (average 37.09) in S. ica sp. n. and 35–41 (average 37.75) in S. modestus, similar vertebral and paravertebral scale counts (S. ica sp. n. with 44–48 vertebrals, 44–48 paravertebrals, and S. modestus with 39–46 vertebrals, 38–46 paravertebrals), and both possess strongly keeled scales on the dorsum and sides of the neck. However, Stenocercus ica sp. n. has 28–32 subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe (24–28 in S. modestus) and lacks bright yellow lateral dots or markings on the posterior head and body in males (present in S. modestus). In addition, females of S. ica sp. n. bear a wide black or dark brown stripe between the subocular scale and the antehumeral region (absent in S. modestus) and have dark reticulations in the gular region (absent in S. modestus). Table 1 shows selected qualitative morphological features, measurements, and colour patterns of Stenocercus ica sp. n. and geographically close Stenocercus species (Mendoza et al. 2021).

Color in life: Holotype with dorsal region including limbs, the base of the tail, and lateral body olive yellowish to light brown. Pale yellow spots on the dorsal face of limbs, dorsal side of head dark to light brown; ventrally, pinkish white to white, with a yellow patch that covers the pelvic region, thighs, and the base of the tail. Sexual dichromatism is present, in females there are a broad dark stripe from the subocular to the antehumeral region (covering the ear), and dark reticulations in the gular region; the dorsum is dark to light brown with a wide, faintly lighter dorsolateral stripe from above the ear to the pelvic area (sometimes reaching the base of tail), more evident in subadult and young specimens; and a transverse series of 6–8 triangular or irregular dark brown spots on the dorsum (Mendoza et al. 2021).
EtymologyThe specific epithet ica is a noun in apposition and refers to the Ica region of Peru where all type specimens were collected. It also refers to Ica as being the southernmost distribution record for the genus on the Peruvian Pacific coast. 
  • Mendoza A, Pérez J, Alvarado E, Barrera D, Castillo E, Fernandez M, Milla J, Olivera D, Ramirez C, Santa Cruz R, Salazar E, Torres-Ccasani G, Aguilar-Puntriano C. 2023. Anfibios y reptiles del departamento de Ica con comentarios sobre su distribución. Revista peruana de biología 30(1): e23425 001- 014 (Marzo 2023)
  • Mendoza, A., Ramírez, C., Barrera, D., & Aguilar-Puntriano, C. 2021. A new species of the genus Stenocercus (Iguania: Tropiduridae) from the Peruvian Pacific coast (Ica region). Salamandra 57 (1): 1-14
  • Torres-Carvajal, O. 2007. A taxonomic revision of South American Stenocercus (Squamata: Iguania) lizards. Herpetological Monographs 21 (1): 76-178 - get paper here
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