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Urosaurus lahtelai RAU & LOOMIS, 1977

IUCN Red List - Urosaurus lahtelai - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaPhrynosomatidae, Sceloporinae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Baja California Brush Lizard
S: Roñito de Matorral Bajacaliforniano 
SynonymUrosaurus lahtelai RAU & LOOMIS 1977: 25
Urosaurus lahtelai — STEBBINS 1985: 239
Urosaurus lahtelai — LINER 1994
Urosaurus lahtelai — LINER 2007 
DistributionMexico (Baja California Norte)

Type locality: 4 km N parador Catavina (= Santa Ines) (114° 50'W, 29° 45'N), elevation 564 m, near Mexico Highway 1, State of Baja California, Mexico.  
TypesHolotype: LACM 116541, adult male; Paratypes (18). LACM 109493, 116541 (2 males) topotypes; LACM97822, 98154-55 (2 males, 1 female) from 5 km N Las Arrastras de Arriola; LACM 19249-52, MVZ 13362, 13366-67, 13371, 13374-75, 13377, 80380 (8 males, 4 females) from Catavina; MVZ 116466 (male) from 9.3 km S of turnoff to Rancho Santa Ines (= Ynez), all from Baja California, Mexico. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: “A member of the nigricaudus complex (Mittleman, 1942: 162) possessing an entire frontal, a band of enlarged dorsals which are not separated into parallel series by the presence of smaller vertebral scales. Most closely resembling U. nigricaudus but differs in having a longer tail; 3-5 enlarged supraocular scales (mean 4.1); 86-102 (mean 94) middorsal scale rows from posterior edge of interparietal scale to vent; and a less distinct dorsal pattern consisting of 5-7 (mean 5.7) dorsolateral bars.” (RAU & LOOMIS 1977)

Comparisons. “Urosaurus lahtelai is separated from U. microscutatus by the band of enlarged middorsal scales and a longer tail. It is separated from U. graciosus by the single frontal scale, fewer supraoculars and other characteristics given in Table 1 . It differs from all other species of Urosaurus in the arrangement and kind of enlarged dorsal scales, the lack of enlarged scales along the lateral line and the ratios of tail to snout-vent length. U. lahtelai is most similar to U. nigricaudus with the major differences being the longer tail, fewer enlarged dorsal scale rows and a less distinct dorsal pattern. Also there seems to be a degree of difference in the number and arrangement of the first row of frontonasal scales in contact with the internasals as U. lahtelai usually has 2 enlarged frontonasal scales and U. nigricaudus usually has 3 smaller frontonasal scales. Table 1 shows differences between these two species.” (RAU & LOOMIS 1977) 
CommentDistribution: see map in Feldman et al. 2011. 
EtymologyNamed after the late Leonard A. Lahtela, formerly a graduate student at California State University, Long Beach and instructor at Santa Monica College, who was instrumental in bringing the senior author into Zoology and especially the field of Herpetology. 
  • 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
  • Jones, L.L. & Lovich, R.E. 2009. Lizards of the American Southwest. A photographic field guide. Rio Nuevo Publishers, Tucson, AZ, 568 pp. [review in Reptilia 86: 84] - 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
  • Rau,C.S. & Loomis,R.B. 1977. A new species of Urosaurus (Reptilia, Lacertilia, Iguanidae) from Baja California, Mexico. Journal of Herpetology 11 (1): 25-29 - get paper here
  • Stebbins,R.C. 1985. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston
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