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Abronia leurolepis CAMPBELL & FROST, 1993

IUCN Red List - Abronia leurolepis - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaAnguidae (Gerrhonotinae), Diploglossa, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesS: Escorpión Arboricola de Escamas Planas
E: Flat-scaled Arboreal Alligator Lizard, Smoothback arboreal alligator lizard 
SynonymAbronia (Auriculabronia) leurolepis CAMPBELL & FROST 1993: 34
Abronia leurolepis — KÖHLER 2000: 38
Abronia leurolepis — CLAUSE et al. 2020 
DistributionMexico (Chiapas)

Type locality: Santa Rosa, near Comitán, E Chiapas, Mexico (1800-2300 m)  
TypesHolotype: CNAR (= UNAM = IBHUNAM) 340 (in original description “IBUNAM”) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: “A species of Abronia having: (1) distinctive spinelike supra-auricular scales in adults; (2) unexpanded supranasals; (3) no median frontonasal scale; (4) posterior internasals not greatly enlarged, in the only known specimen the one on the right fused with the canthal; (5) canthals meeting at the midline, the left discrete, the right fused with the posterior internasal; (6) three primary temporals, the lower two contacting the postoculars; (7) narrow parietal-median supraocular contact on one side in the only known specimen; (8) a single large occipital; (9) posterolateral head scales not knoblike; (10) anterior superciliary contacting cantholoreal; (11) posterior subocular broadly separated from the lower primary temporal by the antepenultimate supralabial, the posteriormost scale in this series to reach the orbit; (12) preauricular scales small, nonimbricate and in three rows; (13) postmental single; (14) posteriormost infralabial elongate; (15) six longitudinal nuchal scale rows; (16) 31 dorsal transverse scale rows; (17) 14 dorsal longitudinal scale rows arranged parallel to ventrolateral fold; (18) 12 ventral longitudinal scale rows; (19) adult dorsal ground coloration unknown, but with dorsal crossbands; and (20) juvenile color pattern unknown. This species differs from all other species of Abronia having spinelike supra-auricular scales, except for A. smithi, A. ochoterenai, and A. fimbriata (variably), in having 12 longitudinal ventral scale rows, with the lateral rows expanded compared with adjacent ventral rows. Abronia leurolepis differs from all members of the Abronia aurita group except A. fimbriata and A. lythrochila (variably) in lacking a frontonasal scale. Abronia leurolepis differs from A. fimbriata in lacking expanded supranasals that meet at the dorsal midline, in having more dorsal transverse scale rows (31 versus 27-30), and in being a stockier animal. Abronia leurolepis differs from A. lythrochila in lacking a frontonasal (usually present in A. lythrochila), in having a single a scale row between the occipital and first nuchal scale row, in having 12 versus 14 ventral longitudinal scale rows, and in having more (31 versus 28-30) dorsal transverse scale rows. Abronia leurolepis differs from A. ochoterenai in having a single (rather than two) postoccipital row between the occipital and first transverse nuchal scale row and in having no contact between the subocular and lower primary temporal (broad contact in A. ochoterenai). Abronia leurolepis differs from all members of the A. aurita group in having almost flat dorsal scales, with only slight traces of keeling on 3-4 scale rows on either side of the midline. The lateral longitudinal row of ventral scales are expanded in this species as they are in all members of the A. aurita group having 12 ventral longitudinal scale rows. However, the posterior (free) edges of the expanded scales in A. leurolepis are obtusely pointed, whereas in other species of the A. aurita group having 12 ventral longitudinal rows the posterior edges of these scales are rounded to truncate. The occipital scale is large in A. leurolepis as are the scales immediately behind it; thus, only a single scale lies between the occipital and first transverse nuchal scale row, a character shared in the A. aurita group only with A. gaiophantasma.” (Campbell & Frost 1993: 35) 
CommentAbundance: only known from the type specimen (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyThis species name is a noun in the nominative case, from the Greek, leuros (smooth, even) + lepis (scale), in reference to the strikingly flat dorsal body scales of the only known specimen. 
  • 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
  • Clause, A. G., Luna-Reyes, R. & Nieto-Montes De Oca, A. 2020. A New Species of Abronia (Squamata: Anguidae) from a Protected Area in Chiapas, Mexico. Herpetologica 76 (3): 330-343 - get paper here
  • Johnson, Jerry D.; Vicente Mata-Silva, Elí García Padilla, and Larry David Wilson 2015. The Herpetofauna of Chiapas, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2 (3): 272–329. - get paper here
  • Köhler, G. 2000. Reptilien und Amphibien Mittelamerikas, Bd 1: Krokodile, Schildkröten, Echsen. Herpeton Verlag, Offenbach, 158 pp.
  • 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
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