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Uta lowei GRISMER, 1994

IUCN Red List - Uta lowei - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaPhrynosomatidae, Sceloporinae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Dead Side-blotched Lizard
S: Mancha lateral Muerta 
SynonymUta lowei GRISMER 1994: 464
Uta lowei encantadae — UPTON & MURPHY 1997
Uta lowei — GRISMER 1999
Uta lowei — LINE 2007
Uta lowei — LINER & CASAS-ANDREU 2008 
DistributionMexico (Islas Encantadas Archipelago, Gulf of California)

Type locality: Isla El Muerto, Baja California, Gulf of California, México.  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesHolotype: UA 49564, paratypes: SDSNH 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Uta lowei is distinguished from all other species of Uta by the presence of a posterior mylohyoid foramen located between the angular and surangular; it further differs from U. nolascensis, U. squamata, U.stansburiana, U.antiqua, U. stellata, and U. palmeri by having long and narrow laterally directed postzygapophyseal processes of the atlas vertebra and a hypertrophied nasal salt gland with the accompanying morphological rearrangements of the rostrum (see above). It further differs from U. tumidarostra and U. encantadae by having strongly as opposed to weakly keeled dorsal scales, slight to nonexistent medial contact of the frontoparietals, lack of a parietal sulcus, a significantly lower mean number of supraciliaries, rows of internasals, dorsals, non-keeled dorsals, ventrals, and fourth toe lamellae, a significantly higher mean number of auricular scales (Table 1), an offwhite to light gray as opposed to dark gray to nearly black ventrum, yellow as opposed to orange or blue spots in the lateral gular region of adult males, and the ground color on the sides of the body in adult males being light brown to orangish as opposed to gray to dull dark brown. It further differs from U. tumidarostra by its smaller size, undivided prefrontal scales, and having an offset paravertebral pattern of dark blotches in adult males. It further differs from U. encantadae by its significantly lower mean number of supraoculars (Table 1) and a much more dense network of turquois spots on the dorsum of adult males. 
CommentAbundance: only known from the type locality (Meiri et al. 2017).

Diet: 90% of this species’ diet appears to consist of isopoda (Grismer 1994). 
EtymologyNamed after Dr. Charles H. Lowe in honor of his pioneering work in Baja California and the Gulf of California, for being the first herpetologist to make collections from the Islas Las Encantadas Archipelago, and for leaving such large, unpublished footprints to follow in this portion of the Sonoran Desert. 
References
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Grismer L L 1994. Three new species of intertidal side-blotched lizards (genus Uta) from the Gulf of California, Mexico. Herpetologica 50 (4): 451-474 - get paper here
  • Grismer, L. Lee. 1999. An evolutionary classification of reptiles on islands in the Gulf of California, México. Herpetologica 55 (4): 446-469 - 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
  • 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
  • Upton, D. E.; Murphy, R. W. 1997. Phylogeny of the side-blotched lizards (Phrynosomatidae:Uta) based on mtDNA sequences: support for midpeninsular seaway in Baja California. Mol Phylogenet Evol 8 (1): 104-13 - get paper here
 
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