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Takydromus yunkaiensis WANG, LYU & WANG, 2019

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Higher TaxaLacertidae, Lacertinae, Lacertini, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Yunkai grass lizard
Chinese: Yun Kai Cao Xi (云开草蜥) 
SynonymTakydromus yunkaiensis WANG, LYU & WANG 2019 
DistributionChina (Guangdong)

Type locality: Dawuling Forestry Station (22°16'32.90"N, 111°11'42.87"E; 1500 m a.s.l.), Yunkaishan National Nature Reserve, Xinyi City, Guangdong Province, China.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: SYS r001580, adult male, collected by Jian Wang on 16 August 2016.
Paratypes: Three adult males, collected by Ying-Yong Wang, Jian Wang, Zhi-Tong Lyu and Zhao-Chi Zeng: SYS r001439, 1442 on 15 and 16 April 2016, SYS r001684 on 17 April 2017, all from Dawuling Forestry Station (1200–1500 m a.s.l.). Six adult females: SYS r001513 and SYS r001514 collected by Jian Wang on 9 July 2016 from Xianrendong Scenic Area (22°165'45.99"N, 111°13'16.35"E; 1000 m a.s.l.), Yunkaishan National Nature Reserve, Xinyi City, Guangdong Province; SYS r001434 collected by Jian Wang and Zhi-Tong Lyu on 14 April 2016, SYS r001507 collected by Jian Wang on 28 June 2016, SYS r001581 collected by Jian Wang on 16 August 2016, and SYS r001901 collected by Jian Wang and Hong-Hui Chen on 10 April 2018, all from Dawuling Forestry Station (1200–1500 m a.s.l.). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. (1) body size moderate, SVL 37.8–56.0 mm in males, 42.6–60.8 mm in females; (2) dorsal ground color brown; ventral surface green to yellow-green, but light blue-green on ventral head and neck, posteriorly green in adult males; (3) dorsolateral lines paired, strikingly yellowish-white bordered by black above and below, invisible or indistinct i n juveniles and adult females; (4) flanks of body blackish brown with light brown marks in adult males; (5) the presence of four pairs of chin-shields; (6) four supraoculars on each side; (7) presence of a row of supracilary granules that separate supracilaries from supraoculars; (8) two postnasals; (9) enlarged dorsal scales with strong keel in six longitudinal rows on trunk of body; (10) enlarged ventral scales in six longitudinal rows, strongly keeled in males, smooth but outermost rows weakly keeled in females; (11) enlarged and keeled lateral scales in a row above ventrals; (12) femoral pores 2–3 on each side; (13) subdigital lamellae 20–23 under the fourth finger, 23–30 under the fourth toe; and (14) the first 2–3 subdigital lamellae under the fourth toe divided.

Comparisons. In this study we only compare the new species with the other 22 recognized species, excluding Takydromus haughtonianus, which is currently an uncertain species and poorly known (Jerdan 1870; Arnold 1997). Measurements, body proportions, and scale counts of the new species are listed in Tables 3 and 4; comparative data of the new species and nine other recognized members of the genus Takydromus occurring on the Chinese mainland are listed in Tables 5 and 6.
In our phylogenetic tree, Takydromus yunkaiensis sp. nov. is a sister taxon to T. intermedius, from which it differs by having two postnasals (only one in T. intermedius), having a pair of strikingly yellowish-white dorsolateral lines in adult males (vs. always absent or indistinct in T. intermedius), flanks of body blackish brown with light brown spots in adult males (vs. pure brown without spots in T. intermedius), ADSR 9–10, PDSR 7 (vs. ADSR 6–8, PDSR 6 in T. intermedius).
Morphologically, Takydromus yunkaiensis sp. nov. is most similar to T. kuehnei (Fig. 4). The new species can be distinguished from T. kuehnei by having a pair of strikingly yellowish-white dorsolateral lines in adult males (vs. absent or dorsolateral stripes blurred, pale brown only present in old individuals in T. kuehnei); surface of ventrals green (vs. surface of ventrals white or light yellow in T. kuehnei), ADSR 9–10, PDSR 7 (vs. ADSR 5–7, PDSR 6 in T. kuehnei); TaL/SVL 2.59–2.77 in males (vs. tail relatively longer, TaL/SVL 3.07–3.08 in T. kuehnei); relatively shorter trunk (arm-leg length), ALL/SVL 0.46–0.51 in males, 0.48–0.51 in females (vs. relatively larger armleg length, ALL/SVL 0.52–0.53 in males and 0.58 in female of T. kuehnei).
From the remaining six Takydromus species which occur on mainland China (T. albomaculosus, T. amurensis, T. wolteri, T. septentrionalis, T. sexlineatus, and T. sylvaticus), Takydromus yunkaiensis sp. nov. can be distinguished by having dense mottles on flanks in males (vs. several particular white round spots on the flanks in T. albomaculosus; white ocellus bordered by black edges in males of T. sexlineatus); dorsum brown (vs. dorsum green in T. sylvaticus); four pairs of chin-shields (vs. three in T. septentrionalis and T. sexlineatus); two or three pairs of femoral pores (vs. only one in T. wolteri, T. septentrionalis and T. sexlineatus; four in T. amurensis); IFL 6–7 (vs. 4–5 in T. sexlineatus); SPO 4 (vs. three in T. sexlineatus); ADSR 9–10 (vs. six in T. albomaculosus and T. sexlineatus; 7–8 in T. amurensis; 6–8 in T. septentrionalis); PDSR 7 (vs. six in T. albomaculosus; 4–6 in T. septentrionalis; four in T. sexlineatus; 9–10 in T. sylvaticus); MDSR 7–8 (vs. 5–6 in T. septentrionalis; 4 in T. sexlineatus; 11–14 in T. sylvaticus); LDSN 47–51 (vs. 56 in T. wolteri; 67–81 in T. sylvaticus); ESRF 1 (vs. three in T. wolteri; 2–3 in T. septentrionalis and T. sexlineatus; none in T. sylvaticus).
Takydromus yunkaiensis sp. nov. differs from T. formosanus, T. hsuehshanensis, T. luyeanus, T. sauteri, T. stejnegeri, and T. viridipunctatus, which only occurred in Taiwan Island of China, by having four pairs of chin-shields (vs. three pairs in T. formosanus, T. viridipunctatus, T. luyeanus, T. hsuehshanensis and T. stejnegeri); FP 2–3 pairs (vs. only one in T. sauteri and T. stejnegeri); VR 6 (vs. eight in T. formosanus, T. stejnegeri , T. viridipunctatus and T. luyeanus); ventrals keeled (vs. ventrals smooth in T. hsuehshanensis); mottles on flanks in males (vs. absent in males of T. formosanus, T. sauteri and T. stejnegeri); surface of ventrals green (vs. surface of ventrals white in T. formosanus, T. hsuehshanensis, and T. sauteri); rostral and nostril separated (vs. rostral touching nostril in T. sauteri); dorsum brown (vs. dorsum green in T. sauteri).
Takydromus yunkaiensis sp. nov. differs from T. dorsalis, T. smaragdinus, T. tachydromoides, and T. toyamai, which only occur in Japan, by having a brown dorsum (vs. green dorsum in T. dorsalis, T. smaragdinus, and T. toyamai); dorsal scales large, in longitudinal rows (vs. dorsal scales small, not in obvious longitudinal rows in T. dorsalis); FP 2–3 pairs (vs. only one in T. smaragdinus and T. toyamai); ventrals keeled (vs. smooth in T. tachydromoides); VR 6 (vs. 8 in T. tachydromoides and T. toyamai); CS 4 pairs (vs. 3 in T. smaragdinus and T. toyamai).
Takydromus yunkaiensis sp. nov. differs from the remaining four members, T. hani and T. madaensis from Vietnam, T. khasiensis and T. sikkimensis from India, by having the dorsum brown (vs. dorsum green in T. hani); VR 6 (vs. 8 in T. hani and T. khasiensis; VR 12 in T. sikkimensis); CS 4 pairs (vs. 3 in T. khasiensis and T. sikkimensis); FP 2–3 pairs (vs. FP 6–8 in T. hani); loreals 2 (vs. 3 in T. madaensis); SPO 4 (vs. 3 in T. madaensis); SDLT-4 23–30 (vs. SDLT-4 17 in T. madaensis).

Sexual dimorphism: (1) enlarged ventral scales strongly keeled in males (vs. smooth but outermost rows weakly keeled in females); (2) dorsolateral lines strikingly yellowish-white bordered by black above and below (vs. invisible or indistinct in adult females, also in juveniles); (3) a pair of orange ventrolateral lines present on lower flanks (vs. invisible in females, also in juveniles); (4) flanks of body blackish brown with light brown marks in adult males (vs. absent in females). 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet, yunkaiensis, is in reference to the type locality of the new species. 
References
  • Wang J, Lyu Z-T, Yang C-Y, Li Y-L, Wang Y-Y 2019. A new species of the genus Takydromus (Squamata: Lacertidae) from southwestern Guangdong, China. ZooKeys 871: 119-139 - get paper here
  • Wang, Kai; Jinlong Ren, Hongman Chen, Zhitong Lyu, Xianguang Guo Ke Jiang, Jinmin Chen, Jiatang Li, Peng Guo, Yingyong Wang, Jing Che 2020. The updated checklists of amphibians and reptiles of China. Biodiversity Science 28 (2): 189-218 - get paper here
 
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