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Abronia fimbriata (COPE, 1885)

IUCN Red List - Abronia fimbriata - Endangered, EN

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Higher TaxaAnguidae (Gerrhonotinae), Diploglossa, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymGerrhonotus auritus BOCOURT (not COPE)
Barissia fimbriata COPE 1885 (nom. nov.)
Gerrhonotus fimbriatus — BOULENGER 1885: 271
Abronia (Auriculabronia) fimbriata — CAMPBELL & FROST 1993
Abronia fimbriata — KÖHLER 2000: 36 
DistributionNE Guatemala (Northeastern Guatemalan highlands; known with certainty from the cloud forests of the western portion of the Sierra de las Minas, Department of Baja Verapaz, at elevations of 1500 to 2100 m, and from the Sierra de Xucaneb (Montaña Ulpán), Department of Alta Verapaz, at elevations of 1400 m to 2000 m. These localities are in the Quecchian Area and the Sierra de las Minas Sierran Subarea, as defined by Campbell and Vannini (1989).

Type locality: "les forèts de pins de la haute Vera Paz (Guatemala oriental)" (Bocourt, 1878 [1870--1909]), according to Brygoo (1987: 6); restricted to vicinity of Cáquipec, Department of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala by CAMPBELL (on  
TypesLectotype: MNHN-RA 1189, designated by CAMPBELL & FROST 1993. paralectotypes: MNHN-RA 1189A, MNHN-RA 1189B. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: “One of the most distinctive species of Abronia, having: (1) distinctive spinelike supra-auricular scales in subadults and adults; (2) expanded supranasals meeting at midline; (3) frontonasal absent; (4) posterior internasals relatively large through fusion with canthals; (5) no discrete canthals, these apparently fused with posterior internasals; (6) two or three (most frequently two [anomalous fourth on one side of the lectotype]) primary temporals, the lower two contacting postoculars; (7) parietals usually in contact with the median supraoculars; (8) a single occipital; (9) posterolateral head scales not knoblike; (10) anterior superciliary contacting cantholoreal, similar in length to other scales in series; (11) posterior subocular in contact with the lower primary temporal or narrowly separated by the penultimate supralabial, which is the posteriormost scale in this series to reach the orbit; (12) preauricular scales small but not protuberant, disposed in 2-3 rows; (13) postmental single; (14) posterior infralabial not elongate; (15) six longitudinal nuchal scale rows; (16) 27-30 dorsal transverse scale rows; (17) 14 dorsal longitudinal scale rows arranged parallel to ventrolateral fold; (18) usually 12 (infrequently 14) ventral longitudinal scale rows, lateral row expanded; (19) mature adult dorsal coloration brown with much black mottling (fine vermiculation) concentrated dorsally (fig. 10D); (20) juvenile pattern of a broad pale brown middorsal stripe; subadults and young adults with brown chevron-shaped crossbands (figs. 10E, F). Abronia fimbriata consistently lacks the median frontonasal scale (figs. 6, 52); the only other species to do so (variably) are A. oaxacae (fig. 12F), in which a frontonasal is present in more than half of the known individuals, A. taeniata, in which a frontonasal is rarely absent, A. lythrochila (fig. 11F), in which one of eight specimens that we have examined lacks a frontonasal, and IBUNAM 340, which was previous identified as Gerrhonotus fimbriatus by Martín del Campo (1939) and as Abronia ochoterenai by Hartweg and Tihen (1946), Then (1954), and Casas-Andreu and Smith (*1990" [1991]). We have re-examined this specimen (IBUNAM 340) and find it to represent an undescribed species (see A. leurolepis account, following). The body of A. fimbriata (fig. 10D) is relatively elongate compared with A. aurita (fig. 10A), A. anzuetoi (fig. 11C), A. ochoterenai (fig. 14), A. leurolepis (fig. 17), and A. lythrochila (fig. 11F). This species differs from all other Abronia having spinelike supra-auricular scales, except for A. smithi, A. ochoterenai, A. leurolepis, and some A. matudai, in usually having 12 longitudinal ventral scale rows, with the lateral rows expanded. Abronia fimbriata is distinctive from these species in lacking both a frontonasal and discrete canthal scales. Other than A. fimbriata, only A. ornelasi and A. reidi exhibit large expanded supranasals that meet at the midline. In some specimens of A. matudai, the only known specimen of A. mitchelli, and one example of A. salvadorensis, the supranasals are expanded part way across the dorsum of the snout, but do not meet at the midline. All of these species lack spinelike supra-auricular scales. (Campbell & Frost 1993: 16) 
  • Ariano-Sánchez, Christian & Melendez, Lester 2014. Baumschleichen der Gattung Abronia in Guatemala. Terraria-Elaphe 2014 (3): 44-48 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Vol. 2, Second edition. London, xiii+497 pp. - get paper here
  • Campbell J A; Frost D R 1993. Anguid lizards of the genus Abronia: revisionary notes, descriptions of four new species, a phylogenetic analysis, and key. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 216: 1-121 - get paper here
  • Campbell, J.A., & Vannini, J.P. 1989. Distribution of amphibians and reptiles in Guatemala and Belize. West. Foundation of Vertebrate Zool., Los Angeles, Proc. 4(1) 21 pp.
  • Campbell, Jonathan A., Mahmood Sasa, Manuel Acevedo and Joseph R. Mendelson, III. 1998. A new species of Abronia (Squamata: Anguidae) from the High Cuchumatanes of Guatemala. Herpetologica 54 (2): 221-234. - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1885. Twelfth contribution to the herpetology of tropical America. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 22: 167-194 [1884] - get paper here
  • Köhler, G. 2000. Reptilien und Amphibien Mittelamerikas, Bd 1: Krokodile, Schildkröten, Echsen. Herpeton Verlag, Offenbach, 158 pp.
  • Köhler, G. 2008. Reptiles of Central America. 2nd Ed. Herpeton-Verlag, 400 pp.
  • Tihen, J. A. 1954. Gerrhonotine lizards recently added to the American Museum collection, with further revisions of the genus Abronia. American Museum Novitates (1687): 1-26 - get paper here
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