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Higher TaxaAnguidae (Gerrhonotinae), Diploglossa, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Sierra Morena Arboreal Alligator Lizards
S: Dragoncitos de Sierra Morena 
SynonymAbronia morenica CLAUSE, LUNA-REYES & NIETO-MONTES DE OCA 2020 
DistributionMexico (Chiapas: Sierra Madre de Chiapas)

Type locality: ca. 1 km NW of the peak of Cerro Bola on an interior slope of the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, municipality of Tonalá, Chiapas, México (approx. 16.14°N, 93.61°W; datum = WGS84), 1750 m elevation.  
TypesHolotype. MZFC HE 33487 (field number AGC 1318), adult male, collected on 3 August 2018 by A.G. Clause, R. Martínez-Padilla, and J.D. Hunt.
Paratypes. Six specimens collected 29 July–6 August 2018 and 21 July 2019: MZFC-HE 33484 (adult male), MZFC-HE 33485 (adult male), MZFC-HE 33488 (subadult male), and MZFC-HE 34400 (neonate), all within ca. 1 km of the type locality in the municipality of Tonalá but on both sides of the Continental Divide, 1735–1755 m elevation; MZFC-HE 33486, a juvenile female from the Continental Divide ca. 3 km S of the peak of Cerro Tres Picos, municipality of Villa Corzo (16.178N, 93.608W), 1800 m elevation; and MZFC-HE 33490, an adult male from ca. 1 km NE of the peak of Cerro Bola on an interior slope, municipality of Villa Corzo (16.14°N, 93.60°W), 1480 m elevation. All locality data presented in this and the preceding paragraph are masked; see first paragraph of Conservation subsection in Clause et al. 2020 for details. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Abronia morenica sp. nov. can be distinguished from all described congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) supra-auricular scales granular, not protuberant or spine-like; (2) posterolateral head scales not protuberant or casque-like; (3) 30–35 transverse dorsal scale rows; (4) lateralmost row of ventral scales enlarged relative to adjacent medial row; (5) dorsum brown with 8–10 transverse dark crossbands, albeit often indistinct; (6) prominent dark bar on lateral surface of neck, extending from shoulder to near auricular opening. 
CommentActivity: diurnal

Habitat: arboreal

Syntopy: Anolis matudai, Sceloporus formosus group, Drymobius chloroticus, Leptophis mexicanus, Tropidodipsas fischeri. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a feminine adjective in the singular nominative case derived from the Spanish masculine adjective moreno, which in English roughly translates as dark-haired and/or brown-skinned. This choice refers to the unusual brown dorsal habitus in adult males of this species. The name also extends indirect recognition to the Sierra Morena ejido, whose lands within the Reserva de la Biósfera La Sepultura support the species’ only confirmed populations. 
  • Aguilar-López JL, Luría-Manzano R, Pineda E, Canseco-Márquez L 2021. Selva Zoque, Mexico: an important Mesoamerican tropical region for reptile species diversity and conservation. ZooKeys 1054: 127-153 - 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
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