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Tropidurus lagunablanca CARVALHO, 2016

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Higher TaxaTropiduridae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymTropidurus lagunablanca CARVALHO 2016
Tropidurus cf xanthochilus — SMITH et al. 2016 
DistributionCE Paraguay

Type locality: Reserva Natural Laguna Blanca, Santa Rosa del Aguaray, San Pedro, Paraguay, 23° 48′ 43.20′′ S 56° 17′ 40.92′′ W, WGS 84 system; ~207 m elevation.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: CZPLT-H 402 (adult male; geographic coordinates not specified in the CZPLT catalog, estimated based on field observations of the restricted local distribution of the species in the type locality in September 2013). Paratypes: AMNH-R 176291 (juvenile male), AMNH-R 176292 (adult female), collected at Reserva Natural Laguna Blanca, Santa Rosa del Aguaray, San Pedro, Paraguay (23° 48′ 43.20′′ S 56° 17′ 40.92′′ W, WGS84 system; ~207 m above sea level) by André L. Gomes de Carvalho, Frederick Bauer, Nicolás Martínez, Viviana Espínola, and Marcelo Dujak in 7 September 2013. AMNH-R 176293 (adult female), collected at Reserva Natural Laguna Blanca, Santa Rosa del Aguaray, San Pedro, Paraguay (23° 48′ 43.20′′ S 56° 17′ 40.92′′ W, WGS84 system; ~207 m above sea level) by André L. Gomes de Carvalho, Rodrigo Ayala, and Johanna López in 29 September 2013. CZPLT-H 157, CZPLT-H 406, CZPLT-H 409, CZPLT-H 461 (adult males), CZPLT-H 405 (juvenile male), collected at Reserva Natural Laguna Blanca, Santa Rosa del Aguaray, San Pedro, Paraguay. MNHNP 11463 (adult male), collected at Laguna Blanca, San Pedro, Paraguay, by Nor- man J. Scott in 18 February 2010. MNHNP 11755 (juvenile male), MNHNP 11756 (subadult male), collected at Reserva Natural Laguna Blanca, Santa Rosa del Aguaray, San Pedro, Paraguay (23° 48′ 43.20′′ S 56° 17′ 40.92′′ W, WGS84 system; ~207 m above sea level), by André L. Gomes de Carvalho, Rodrigo Ayala, and Johanna López in 29 September 2013. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Tropidurus lagunablanca, n. sp., may be distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of characteristics: (1) adult large and robust, reaching 113.09 and 94.59 mm SVL in males and females, respectively; (2) iris golden brown; (3) strongly projecting, serrate vertebral crest in males, reduced in females; (4) 1–2 canthals; (5) preocular not contacting canthal; (6) two rows of circumorbitals; (7) moderate tufts of neck spines; (8) high num- ber of scales around midbody (100–113 in males and 107–114 in females); (9) sexes not extraordi- narily dimorphic in body proportions, scutellation, and color pattern; (10) bright yellow lips in males; (11) orange coloration on the neck, posterior and lateral head (small greenish-blue spots, usually 2–3 scales in size, distributed frontally), extending posteriorly to form a vertebral stripe in males; (12) dorsum and flanks with gray background decorated with numerous greenish-blue light specks one scale in size or smaller, and irregular dark spots; (13) venter of head with dark and/or burnt orange spots, never exhibiting dark bars on the chin connected with a dark medial patch; (14) creamy yellow flash marks on the underside of the thighs and precloacal flap; (15) arboreal habits.
 
CommentIllsutrations: CARVALHO 2016.

Comparison with Other Species: Tropidurus lagunablanca, n. sp., is likely to be con- founded with T. tarara, n. sp., but differs from that species by having males with orange coloration on the neck and posteriormost and lateral parts of the head, and greenish-blue spots 1–3 scales in size decorating the head frontally; the orange coloration of the neck extends posteri- orly forming a vertebral stripe composed of circular blotches of variable sizes somewhat similar to, but not as circular as the ones on the head (males of T. tarara, n. sp., exhibit orange color- ation as blotches or spots over the whole head and neck, and orange vertebral stripe formed by circular or irregular blotches of variable sizes). In both species, a dark, reticulated pattern is found on the head and neck, delimiting individual orange or orangey cream circular blotches (and greenish-blue spots in the frontal head of males of T. lagunablanca, n. sp.). Females of T. lagunablanca, n. sp., have higher number of ventrals (88–89 in T. lagunablanca, n. sp.; 77–82 in T. tarara, n. sp.), gulars (73–77 in T. lagunablanca, n. sp.; 59–69 in T. tarara, n. sp.), scales around midbody (107–114 in T. lagunablanca, n. sp.; 95–104 in T. tarara, n. sp.), lamellae under fourth finger (20–21 in T. lagunablanca, n. sp.; 16–19 in T. tarara, n. sp.), and lamellae of four toe (26–27 in T. lagunablanca, n. sp.; 21–25 in T. tarara, n. sp.).
Tropidurus lagunablanca, n. sp., differs from T. teyumirim, n. sp., by having larger body size (89.35–113.09 mm SVL in males and 75.48–94.59 mm SVL in females of T. lagunablanca, n. sp.; 67.82–94.41 mm SVL in males and 61.41–80.79 mm SVL in females of T. teyumirim, n. sp.) and cream or creamy yellow flash marks on the underside of the thighs and precloacal flap (orange-yellow in T. teyumirim, n. sp.). Tropidurus lagunablanca, n. sp., may still be distin- guished from T. guarani and T. teyumirim, n. sp., by having males with a strongly projecting, serrate vertebral crest (low in the latter forms) and bright yellow lips (lips not as intensely colored in yellow and presenting stronger black bars in the later forms), orange coloration of the neck extending posteriorly to form a well-marked vertebral stripe, and venter of head deco- rated with tiny dark and/or burnt orange spots (vertebral stripe absent or lightly pigmented in orange, and chin decorated with intense black bars oriented lateromedially, connecting with a dark medial patch posteriorly in the latter forms).
Tropidurus lagunablanca, n. sp., could be confused with T. xanthochilus both of which have intense yellow lips and a strongly projecting, serrate dorsal crest. However, the new species differs from the latter form by having much lower number vertebrals (56–64 in males and 67–87 in females of T. lagunablanca, n. sp.; 80–87 in males and 105–118 in females of T. xan- thochilus), cream or creamy yellow flash marks on the underside of the thighs and precloacal flap (orange-yellow in T. xanthochilus), and iris golden brown (dark in T. xanthochilus).
Tropidurus lagunablanca, n. sp., is distinguished from T. spinulosus by presenting moderate tufts of spines laterally on neck (strongly projecting in T. spinulosus), dorsal background and flanks gray, scattered with greenish-blue light specks restricted to one scale or smaller (greenish-blue light specks absent in T. spinulosus), and higher number of scales around midbody (100–113 in males and 107–114 in females of T. lagunablanca, n. sp.; 77–98 in males and 82–95 in females of T. spinulosus). Tropidurus lagunablanca, n. sp., may be easily differentiated from T. callathelys and T. melanopleurus by presence of a gray background and lacking pronounced sexual dimor- phism and dichromatism (males of T. callathelys are dark olive and females have a dark dorsal background and a flame scarlet head; males of T. melanopleurus have an intense orange head and complex dorsal coloration, with marked black background with light blotches anteriorly, transi- tioning into gray background with vivid green-yellow spots. Females have a brown head, black dorsal background laterally decorated with 4–6 red, cream, and green bands). Tropidurus lagunablanca, n. sp., is also distinguishable from T. callathelys and T. melanopleurus by having males with extremely serrate black and white vertebral crest, with touches of greenish blue (strongly serrate but very white, contrasting against the dark olive background in T. callathelys; low and similar in color to background in T. melanopleurus). The new species may also be dif- ferentiated by having two rows of circumorbital scales (one in T. callathelys and T. melanopleurus) and by lacking contact between preocular and canthal (preocular and posteriormost canthal in contact in T. melanopleurus). Unlike T. callathelys, T. guarani, T. melanopleurus, and T. teyumirim, n. sp., T. lagunablanca, n. sp., is arboreal (the former species are saxicolous).

Abundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyThe epithet lagunablanca, an indeclinable word, refers to the type locality of the new species, the Reserva Natural Laguna Blanca, located in Santa Rosa del Aguaray, Department of San Pedro, Paraguay. 
References
  • Bol, Steven 2011. Exciting observations on two sympatric garter snakes in La Laguna de Chapala, Mexico. Litteratura Serpentium 31 (1): 5-42 - get paper here
  • Carvalho, André Luiz G. 2016. Three New Species of the Tropidurus spinulosus Group (Squamata: Tropiduridae) from Eastern Paraguay American Museum Novitates (3853): 1-44 - get paper here
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - get paper here
  • Smith, Paul; Karina Atkinson, Jean-Paul Brouard, Helen Pheasey 2016. Reserva Natural Laguna Blanca, Departamento San Pedro: Paraguay’s First Important Area for the Conservation of Amphibians and Reptiles? Russ. J. Herpetol. 23 (1): 25-34 - get paper here
 
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