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Urosaurus auriculatus (COPE, 1871)

IUCN Red List - Urosaurus auriculatus - Endangered, EN

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Higher TaxaPhrynosomatidae, Sceloporinae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Socorro Island Tree Lizard
S: Arboricola de Isla Socorro 
SynonymUta auriculata COPE 1871: 303
Uta auriculata — BOULENGER 1885: 214
Urosaurus auriculatus – MITTLEMAN 1942: 163
Urosaurus auriculatus — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 146
Urosaurus auriculatus — LINER 1994
Urosaurus auriculatus — LINER 2007 
DistributionMexico (Colima: Socorro Island, Revillagigedo Island)

Type locality: Socorro Island, Revillagigedo Island  
TypesHolotype: USNM 7027 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A fairly large member of the genus, unique in the possession of smooth enlarged femorals; two rows of vertebrals, which are rather weakly carinate, imbricate, and regularly arranged, bordered on either side by a single series of enlarged dorsals, which are relatively flat and weakly keeled, and not very regularly dispersed; frontal divided or entire; external to the primary series of enlarged dorsals there are often one or two additional series of irregularly arranged scales which do not continue in even rows, and are of variable size; along the dorsolateral fold a variable series of enlarged scales, some tubercular and others flat and mucronate, these in irregular groups; post-femoral dermal pocket variable; coloration ranging from grayish to bright blue, with six to eight short cross-bars along the dorsum in alternating position, which are light-edged (usually with pale blue) on their posterior borders; light lateral and ventral neckings of pale blue, restricted to single scales, or small groups of tubercular scales; males with extensive deep blue abdominal patches, females with an uneven light blue abdominal wash. Measurements of seven adults, both sexes: head length, 16.5 mm; head width, 12.45 mm; snout to vent, 65.5 mm; hind leg, 44.0 mm (Mittleman 1942: 163).

Original description: Cope 1871: 303. 
CommentDistribution: see map in Feldman et al. 2011. 
EtymologyNot given by Cope, but apparently after the “crest of short acute scales on the ridge of the os quadratum above the large tympanum”, from Latin auris = ear and “auricula” = earlobe. 
  • 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
  • Brattstrom, B.H. 1955. Notes on the herpetology of the Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico. American Midland Naturalist 54(1): 219-229. - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1871. Description of the common lizard of Socorro. Proc. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist. 14: 303-304
  • Feldman, Chris R.; Oscar Flores-Villela, Theodore J. Papenfuss 2011. Phylogeny, biogeography, and display evolution in the tree and brush lizard genus Urosaurus (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 61 (3): 714-725 - get paper here
  • Lemos-Espinal JA, Smith GR, Pierce LJS, Painter CW 2020. The amphibians and reptiles of Colima, Mexico, with a summary of their conservation status. ZooKeys 927: 99-125 - get paper here
  • Liner, Ernest A. 2007. A CHECKLIST OF THE AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES OF MEXICO. Louisiana State University Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural Science 80: 1-60 - get paper here
  • Mittleman,M.B. 1942. A summary of the iguanid genus Urosaurus. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 91: 105-181 - get paper here
  • Smith, H.M. & Taylor,E.H. 1950. An annotated checklist and key to the reptiles of Mexico exclusive of the snakes. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 199: 1-253 - get paper here
  • Wiens, J.J. 1993. Phylogenetic systematics of the tree lizards (genus Urosaurus). Herpetologica 49 (4): 399-420 - get paper here
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