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Higher TaxaAnguidae (Gerrhonotinae), Diploglossa, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
DistributionMexico (Oaxaca)

Type locality: near San Miguel Suchixtepec, Sierra de MiahuatlEan, approximately 2 km west of the REio Molino, Sierra Madre del Sur, Oaxaca, Mexico, 2,150 m elevation (16.08439°N, 96.49042°W).  
TypesHolotype: MZFC 28761, an adult male, found by I. Caviedes-Solis on 4 November 2011 (Figs. 1–2). Paratypes (2): UTA R-61670, an adult female from 5.4 km eastof Juquila, Sierra de Miahuatla ́n, Sierra Madre del Sur, Oaxaca, Mexico, 1,711 m (16.232048N 97.255358W), found by Oscar Olivares on 8 July 2012 (Fig. 3). The individual was found during the late morning as it crawled on the forest floor. The northward-facing slope on which the holotype was collected drains into the Río Grande, an upper tributary of the Río Verde. UCM 41057, an adult male from near San Miguel Suchixtepec, Oaxaca, Sierra Madre del Sur, Mexico, collected by Thomas MacDougal in May 1967. The specimen was reported by the collector to be from the Río Molino drainage. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A species of Abronia in the subgenus Abronia defined by Campbell and Frost (1993). Within this subgenus A. cuetzpali clearly falls within the A. deppii group, containing A. deppii, A. martindelcampoi, A. mixteca, and A. oaxacae, all of which have the unique condition in the genus Abronia of having scales oriented in oblique rows relative to the ventrolateral fold. Abronia cuetzpali differs from A. deppii (which occurs along the southern edge of the Mexican Plateau) and A. martindelcampoi (which occurs in the western highlands of Guerrero) in having two primary temporals contacting the postocular series (vs. one), an anterior superciliary contacting the cantholoreal (vs. usually no contact), the first postorbital supralabial not enlarged (vs. enlarged), two to three occipitals (vs. one), and 32–35 transverse rows of dorsal scales (vs. 27–29 in A. deppii and 24–28 in A. martindelcampoi). Abronia oaxacae (Fig. 4) and A. mixteca (Fig. 5) both occur in Oaxaca, but A. cuetzpali may be distinguished from these species by having six to eight nuchals in a transverse row across the nape (vs. four in A. oaxacae); relatively small lateral neck scales—minimally seven to eight scales between ventral scales and nuchals (vs. five to six in A. mixteca, three to four in A. oaxacae; see Fig. 6); the anterior superciliary contacting the cantholoreal (usually no contact in A. oaxacae); 32–35 dorsal transverse scale rows (vs. 28–31 in A. mixteca, 27–29 in A. oaxacae); 39–40 ventral transverse scale rows (vs. 34–37 in A. oaxacae); and a more strongly developed ventrolateral fold, containing more granular scales than in A. mixteca or A. oaxacae [CAMPBELL et al. 2016]. 
CommentSimilar species: Using the key in Campbell and Frost (1993), A. martindelcampoi will key to ‘‘Abronia species ‘Guerrero’’’ and A. cuetzpali will key to A. mixteca. Characteristics differentiating the latter two species are provided in the Diagnosis. 
EtymologyNamed after the Nahuatl word for lizard, ‘‘cuetzpali,’’ although there are various alternative spellings. 
  • Campbell, Jonathan A.; Israel Solano-Zavaleta, Oscar Flores-Villela, Itzue W. Caviedes-Solis, and Darrel R. Frost 2016. A New Species of Abronia (Squamata: Anguidae) from the Sierra Madre del Sur of Oaxaca, Mexico. Journal of Herpetology 50 (1): 149-156. - get paper here
  • Schätti, B; 2019. Geographic Distribution: Abronia cuetzpali (Sierra de Miahuatlán Alligator Lizard) México: Oaxaca: Municipality of San Mateo Río Hondo. Herpetological Review 50 (2): 327 - get paper here
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