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Higher TaxaScincidae, Mabuyinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common Names 
Varzea altamazonica — HEDGES & CONN 2012: 215
Mabuya altamazonica — PINTO-SÁNCHEZ et al. 2015 
DistributionPeru (Amazonia), Bolivia, probably Ecuador, Brazil

Type locality: Kilometer 34 on road Tarapoto-Yurimaguas (600 m elevation), Concesión de Manejo de Fauna Silvestre ASPRAVEP (Asociación de Productores de Ranas Venenosas Progreso), Rio Cainarachi, Departamento San Martin, Peru.  
TypesHolotype: MNHN 2006.0291, an adult female, May 2005, collector undetermined; paratypes MNHN-RA 1999.4827-4829, MNHN-RA 1978.2141 
DiagnosisDiagnosis A relatively big sized Mabuya having paired prefrontals and frontoparietals, four supraoculars, most frequently five subequal supraciliaries, seven supralabiales with the fifth being the largest and placed under the eyes, parietals in broad contact behind the interparietal and a single pair of nuchals. Two upper and two lower lateral dark stripes; back spotless or covered by many dash-shaped chocolate spots; palms and soles dark. Mabuya altamazonica differs from the nine species of Mabuya occurring potentially in western Amazonian and peri-Andean regions [M. bistriata (Spix 1825), M. carvalhoi Rebouças-Spieker & Vanzolini 1990, M. cochabambae Dunn 1936, M. dorsivittata Cope 1862b, M. frenata (Cope 1862a), M. guaporicola Dunn 1936, M. meridensis Miralles et al. 2005b, M. nigropalmata Andersson 1918, M. nigropunctata (Spix 1825)] by the combined presence of: paired frontoparietals (versus frontoparietals fused together in M. carvalhoi, M. frenata and M. nigropalmata), paired prefrontals (versus prefrontals fused together in M. carvalhoi), a single pair of nuchals (versus two to four pairs in M. carvalhoi and M. nigropalmata), four supraoculars (versus three in M. cochabambae and M. dorsivittata), most often five subequal supraciliaries (versus four, with the second largest in M. bistriata, M. dorsivittata, M. guaporicola and M. meridensis), absence of a vertebral thin stripe (contrary to M. cochabambae, M. dorsivittata, M. guaporicola and M. meridensis), seven supralabials with the fifth being the largest and placed under the eyes (versus eight supralabials with the sixth being the largest and placed under the eyes in M. frenata and most specimens of M. nigropunctata), parietals in broad contact behind the interparietal (versus parietals separated by the interparietal or barely in point contact in M. nigropunctata), palms and soles darker than belly (versus light palms and soles in M. bistriata, M. carvalhoi, M. cochabambae, M. dorsivittata, M. frenata and M. guaporicola), and fore- and hind limbs touching (or almost touching) each other when adpressed against body (versus fore- and hind limbs distinctly separated from each other when adpressed against body in M. cochabambae, M. dorsivittata, and M. guaporicola). 
CommentSympatricd with M. nigropunctata.

Summary: Despite their superficial similarity, those two Amazonian species could be differentiated both by cephalic scalation characters and molecular results (12S rRNA). Mabuya altamazonica sp. nov. differs from all Amazonian and Andean species of Mabuya by the combined presence of (1) paired prefrontals and frontoparietals, (2) a single pair of nuchals, (3) four supraoculars, (4) five subequal supraciliaries, (5) seven supralabials with the fifth being the largest and placed under the eye, (6) parietals in contact behind the interparietal and (7) dark palms and soles. 
  • Costa, Henrique Caldeira & Renato Silveira Bérnils 2015. Répteis brasileiros: lista de espécies 2015 Herpetologia Brasileira 4 (3): 75-93
  • Harvey, M.B.; Agyayo, R. & Mirelles, A. 2008. Redescription and biogeography of Mabuya cochabambae Dunn with comments on Bolivian congeners (Lacertilia: Scincidae). Zootaxa 1828: 43–56 - get paper here
  • Hedges, S.B. & Conn, C.E. 2012. A new skink fauna from Caribbean islands (Squamata, Mabuyidae, Mabuyinae). Zootaxa 3288: 1–244 - get paper here
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  • Miralles, A.; Barrio-Amoros, C.L.; Rivas, G.; Chaparro-Auza, J.C. 2006. Speciation in the "Varzea" flooded forest: a new Mabuya (Squamata, Scincidae) from Western Amazonia. Zootaxa 1188:1-22. - get paper here
  • Miralles, A.; S. Carranza 2010. Systematics and biogeography of the Neotropical genus Mabuya, with special emphasis on the Amazonian skink Mabuya nigropunctata (Reptilia, Scincidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 54 (3): 857-869 - get paper here
  • MIRALLES, AURÉLIEN; GILSON RIVAS FUENMAYOR, CÉLINE BONILLO, WALTER E. SCHARGEL, TITO BARROS, JUAN E. GARCÍA-PEREZ, CÉSAR L. BARRIO-AMORÓS 2009. Molecular systematics of Caribbean skinks of the genus Mabuya (Reptilia, Scincidae), with descriptions of two new species from Venezuela. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 156 (3): 598-616 - get paper here
  • Pinto-Sánchez, Nelsy Rocío; Martha L. Calderón-Espinosa, Aurelien Miralles, Andrew J. Crawford, Martha Patricia Ramírez-Pinilla 2015. Molecular phylogenetics and biogeography of the Neotropical skink genus Mabuya Fitzinger (Squamata: Scincidae) with emphasis on Colombian populations. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2015.07.016 - get paper here
  • RIBEIRO-JÚNIOR, MARCO A., SILVANA AMARAL 2016. Catalogue of distribution of lizards (Reptilia: Squamata) from the Brazilian Amazonia. III. Anguidae, Scincidae, Teiidae Zootaxa 4205 (5): 401–430
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