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Vhembelacerta rupicola (FITZSIMONS, 1933)

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Higher TaxaLacertidae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards) 
Common NamesSoutpansberg Rock Lizard 
SynonymLacerta rupicola FITZSIMONS 1933: 278
Lacerta rupicola — FITZSIMONS 1943: 325
Australolacerta rupicola — KIRCHHOF et al. 2010
Vhembelacerta rupicola — EDWARDS et al. 2013 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa (Soutpansberg in N Transvaal)

Type locality: Lake Fundusi, Zoutpansberg Mtns., N. Tvl.  
TypesHolotype: TM 13989, half-grown female 
CommentType species: Lacerta rupicola FitzSimons 1933 is the type species of the genus Vhembelacerta Edwards, Herrel, Vanhooydonck, Measey, Tolley& Branch 2013.

Coloration: top of head and dorsum dark brown, back with paired narrow reddish brown vertebral stripes, and a white dorsolateral stripe that extends from the eye to the tail base (head and dorsum olive-green, body with numerous spots that are yellow dorsally and white on flanks, demarcated by a dorsolateral series of orange spots). 
Etymology“rupicola” means rock-inhabiting.

Etymology. The species is endemic to the Vhembe region of Limpopo Province, South Africa, after which the genus name is partially constructed. The second part of the name “lacerta’ (L. lizard) also retains the historical link to the genus Lacerta to which the single species was originally referred. 
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • Bischoff, W. 1990. Übersicht der Arten und Unterarten der Familie Lacertidae 1. Die Gattungen Acanthodactylus, Adolfus, Algyroides und Australolacerta. Die Eidechse 1 (1): 18-23 - get paper here
  • EDWARDS, SHELLEY; WILLIAM R. BRANCH, BIEKE VANHOOYDONCK, ANTHONY HERREL, G. JOHN MEASEY, KRYSTAL A. TOLLEY 2013. Taxonomic adjustments in the systematics of the southern African lacertid lizards (Sauria: Lacertidae). Zootaxa 3669 (2): 101–114 - get paper here
  • FitzSimons, V.F. 1943. The lizards of South Africa. Transvaal Museum Memoir No.1 (Pretoria), 528 pp.
  • FitzSimons, VIVIAN 1933. Description of five new lizards from the Transvaal and Southern Rhodesia. Ann. Transvaal Mus. 15 (2): 273-280. - get paper here
  • Kirchhof, S., M. Krämer, J. Linden & K. Richter 2010. The reptile species assemblage of the Soutpansberg (Limpopo Province, South Africa) and its characteristics. Salamandra 46 (3): 147-166 - get paper here
  • Kirchhof, S., N. Jacobsen & K. Richter 2012. Intraspecific variation of morphology, colouration, pholidosis, and tail loss rate in a relic lacertid of South Africa, Australolacerta rupicola (Sauria: Lacertidae). Salamandra 48 (3): 125-132 - get paper here
  • Kirchhof, S.; Engleder, A.; Mayer, W. & Richter, K. 2011. Die Radiation der Lacertiden des südlichen Afrikas. Elaphe 19 (4): 6-11
  • Kirchhof, Sebastian & Klaus Richter 2009. Eine kaum bekannte Eidechse: die Soutpansberg-Felseidechse, Australolacerta rupicola (FITZSIMONS, 1933). Die Eidechse 20 (2): 33-40
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