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Tropidurus tarara CARVALHO, 2016

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Higher TaxaTropiduridae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymTropidurus tarara CARVALHO 2016
Tropidurus guarani — FROST et al. 1998: 839
Tropidurus guarani — FROST et al. 2001: 361 
DistributionN Paraguay (east of the Paraguay River)

Type locality: Reserva Natural Cerrados del Tagatiya, Concepción, Paraguay, 22° 41′ 32.611′′ S, 57° 22′ 9.574′′ W, WGS84 system; ~166 m elevation.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: MNHNP 12044, adult male (Museo Nacional de Historia Natural del Paraguay, San Lorenzo), collected by André L. G. de Carvalho, Pastor Enmanuel Perez-Estigarribia, Rodrigo Ayala, Johanna López, and Nestor Romero in 20 September 2013. Paratypes: AMNH-R 176304 (adult male), AMNH-R 176305 (adult female), MNHNP 11771 (subadult male), collected with the holotype. AMNH-R 176307 (adult male), AMNH-R 176308 (juvenile of undetermined sex), AMNH-R 176309 (adult female), MNHNP 11772 (adult male), MNHNP 11773 (subadult male), MNHNP 11774 (adult male), MNHNP 11775 (adult male), MNHNP 11776 (adult male), collected at Loma farm corral, Reserva Natural Cerrados del Tagatiya, Concepción, Paraguay (22° 31′ 5.495′′ S 57° 22′ 21.219′′ W, WGS84 system; ~377 m above sea level), by André L. G. de Carvalho, Pastor Enmanuel Perez-Estigar- ribia, Rodrigo Ayala, Johanna López, and Nestor Romero in 20 September 2013. AMNH-R 176310 (juvenile of undetermined sex), AMNH-R 176311 (adult male), MNHNP 11767 (sub- adult male), collected at Estancia Bello Horizonte pathway, Ñu Porã, Reserva Natural Cerrados del Tagatiya, Concepción, Paraguay (22° 45′ 5.350′′ S 57° 22′ 17.198′′ W, WGS84 system; 200 m above sea level), by André L. G. de Carvalho, Pastor Enmanuel Perez-Estigarribia, Rodrigo Ayala, Johanna López, and Nestor Romero in 21 September 2013. MNHNP 11766 (juvenile female), collected at Estancia Bello Horizonte pathway, Ñu Porã, Reserva Natural Cerrados del Tagatiya, Concepción, Paraguay (22° 47′ 26.34′′ S 57° 24′ 13.28′′ W, WGS84 system; 200 m above sea level), by André L. G. de Carvalho, Pastor Enmanuel Perez-Estigarribia, Rodrigo Ayala, Johanna López, and Nestor Romero in 21 September 2013. AMNH-R 176312 (adult male), AMNH-R 176313 (adult male), MNHNP 11768 (juvenile female), collected at the Parque Nacional Serranía San Luís (22° 38′ 54.056′′ S 57° 27′ 11.602′′ W, WGS84 system; 285 m above sea level), by André L. G. de Carvalho, Pastor Enmanuel Perez-Estigarribia, Rodrigo Ayala, Johanna López, and Nestor Romero in 21 September 2013. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Tropidurus tarara, n. sp., differs from all congeners by the following combination of characteristics: (1) adult large and robust, reaching 122.82 and 93.97 mm SVL in males and females, respectively; (2) iris golden brown or orangish; (3) strongly projecting, serrate vertebral crest in males, reduced in females; (4) usually one, less frequently two canthals; (5) preocular not contacting canthal; (6) two rows of circumorbitals; (7) moderate tufts of neck spines; (8) intermediate number of scales around midbody (92–112 in males and 95–104 in females); (9) sexes not extraordinarily dimorphic in body proportions, scutellation, and color pattern; (10) bright yellow or greenish-yellow lips in males; (12) orange coloration spread as blotches or spots over the whole head and neck, extending posteriorly to form a vertebral stripe in males; (13) dorsum and flanks with gray background decorated with numer- ous greenish-blue light specks restricted to one scale or smaller, and numerous irregular dark spots; (14) ventral head with dark and/or burnt orange spots, never exhibiting lateromedially oriented dark bars on the chin, connecting with dark medial patch; (15) cream flash marks on the underside of the thighs and precloacal flap; (16) arboreal habits.

Comparison with Other Species: Tropidurus tarara, n. sp., is most similar to T. lagunablanca, n. sp., but can be distinguished by the orange coloration spread as blotches or spots of variables sizes over the whole head and neck, extending posteriorly to form a vertebral stripe in males (T. lagunablanca, n. sp., exhibits orange coloration on the neck and posterior- most part of the head, and greenish-blue spots 1–3 scales in size anteriorly on head; an orange vertebral stripe is also present). In both species, a dark, reticulate pattern is present on the head and neck, defining individual orange or orangey cream circular blotches (and greenish-blue spots anteriorly on the head of males of T. lagunablanca, n. sp.). Females of T. tarara, n. sp., have lower number of ventrals (77–82 in T. tarara, n. sp., 88–89 in T. lagunablanca, n. sp.), gulars (58–69 in T. tarara, n. sp.; 73–77 in T. lagunablanca, n. sp.), scales around midbody (95–104 in T. tarara, n. sp.; 107–114 in T. lagunablanca, n. sp.), lamellae under fourth finger (16–19 in T. tarara, n. sp.; 20–21 in T. lagunablanca, n. sp.), and lamellae of fourth toe (21–25 in T. tarara, n. sp.; 26–27 in T. lagunablanca, n. sp.).
Tropidurus tarara, n. sp., differs from T. guarani and T. teyumirim, n. sp., by having males with a strongly projecting, serrate vertebral crest (low in the latter forms), bright yellow or greenish-yellow lips not decorated with intense dark vertical bars (lips not as intensely colored in yellow and presenting strong black bars in the later form), irregularly arranged orange spots on head and coloration of the head extending posteriorly to form a well-marked vertebral stripe middorsally, and ventral surface of head with dark and/or burnt orange spots (vertebral stripe absent or lightly pigmented in orange, and chin with intense black bars oriented latero- medially, connecting with a dark medial patch posteriorly in the latter forms). Tropidurus tarara, n. sp., may also be distinguished from T. teyumirim, n. sp., by having cream flash marks on the underside of the thighs and precloacal flap (orange-yellow in T. teyumirim, n. sp.) and much larger body (98.04–122.82 mm SVL in males and 88.35–93.97 mm SVL in females of T. tarara, n. sp.; 67.82–94.41 mm SVL in males and 61.41–80.79 mm SVL in females of T. teyu- mirim, n. sp.). Tropidurus tarara, n. sp., could be confused with T. xanthochilus, which also has intense yellow lips and strongly projecting, serrate dorsal crest, but differs from that form by having much lower number of vertebrals (48–65 in males and 69–85 in females of T. tarara, n. sp.; 80–87 in males and 105–118 in females of T. xanthochilus), cream flash marks on the underside of the thighs and precloacal flap (orange-yellow in T. xanthochilus), and iris golden brown or orangish (dark in T. xanthochilus).
Tropidurus tarara, n. sp., differs from T. spinulosus by presenting moderate tufts of spines on lateral neck (strongly projecting in T. spinulosus), a dorsal background gray scattered with greenish-blue light specks restricted to one scale or smaller (light specks absent in T. spinulo- sus), higher number of scales around midbody (92–112 in males and 95–104 in females of T. tarara, n. sp.; 77–98 in males and 82–95 in females of T. spinulosus). Tropidurus tarara, n. sp., is easily distinguished from T. callathelys and T. melanopleurus by presenting gray background and by lacking pronounced sexual dimorphism 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, transitioning 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. Another clear distinction between T. tarara, n. sp., T. callathelys, and T. melanopleurus is the extremely serrate black and white vertebral crest present in males of the new species (strongly serrate but very white, contrasting against the dark olive back- ground in T. callathelys; low and similar in color to background in T. melanopleurus). Tropidu- rus tarara, n. sp., may also be differentiated 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. tarara, n. sp., is arboreal (the former species are saxicolous). 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet (pronounced ta-ra-rá) is an indeclinable word. In Guarani language, “tarara” is both a verb and a noun that refers to making strong, repetitive sounds (or to the sound itself) by clattering the teeth. The word tarara is also employed colloquially as an adjective meaning “unquiet” or “restless.” The epithet “tarara” makes reference to this colloquial meaning, and alludes to the remarkable behavior of T. tarara, n. sp. (and other congeners), which use series of head bobs and body push-ups for visual communication and territorial displays. 
References
  • 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
  • Frost, Darrel R., Miguel T. Rodrigues, Taran Grant, and Tom A. Titus 2001. Phylogenetics of the Lizard Genus Tropidurus (Squamata: Tropiduridae: Tropidurinae): Direct Optimization, Descriptive Efficiency, and Sensitivity Analysis of Congruence Between Molecular Data and Morphology. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 21 (3): 352–371 - get paper here
  • Frost, Darrel R.;Crafts, Heather M.;Fitzgerald, Lee A.;Titus, Tom A. 1998. Geographic variation, species recognition, and molecular evolution of Cytochrome Oxidase I in the Tropidurus spinulosis complex (Iguania: Tropiduridae). Copeia 1998 (4): 839-851 - get paper here
 
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