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Abronia smithi CAMPBELL & FROST, 1993

IUCN Red List - Abronia smithi - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaAnguidae (Gerrhonotinae), Diploglossa, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Smith's Arboreal Alligator Lizard
S: Escorpión Arborícola de Smith 
SynonymAbronia (Auriculabronia) smithi CAMPBELL & FROST 1993: 30
Abronia smithi — KÖHLER 2000: 39
Abronia smithi — WILSON et al. 2013
Abronia schmidtii — LANGNER 2019 (in error)
Abronia smithi — CLAUSE et al. 2020 
DistributionMexico (SE Chiapas), elevation 1800-2800 m

Type locality: Southeast slope of Cerro El Triúnfo (sic), Sierra Madre de Chiapas Chiapas, Mexico, in cloud forests. This locality is about 13.1 Km airline NNE Mapastepec at 15° 40'
N, 92° 48' W. Elevation: 2020 m  
TypesHolotype: UTA R-30202. Paratypes: IHN, UIMNH, UMMZ, CAS 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: “A species of Abronia having: (1) distinctive spinelike supra-auricular scales in subadults and adults; (2) unexpanded supranasals; (3) a median frontonasal scale, not contacting frontal; (4) posterior internasals not greatly enlarged; (5) discrete canthals; (6) usually four primary temporals, usually the lower two (rarely three) contacting the postoculars; (7) no parietalmedian supraocular contact; (8) a single occipital; (9) posterolateral head scales not knoblike; (10) anterior superciliary contacting cantholoreal or not; (11) the posterior subocular broadly separated from the lower primary temporal by the penultimate or antepenultimate supralabial, the posteriormost scale in this series to reach the orbit; (12) preauricular scales relatively small, usually disposed in two rows, usually imbricate or subimbricate; (13) postmental divided or 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) 12 ventral longitudinal scale rows; (19) adult dorsal coloration greenish (fig. 11E); (20) juvenile pattern with a broad pale brown middorsal stripe. This species differs from all other species of Abronia having spinelike supra-auricular scales, except for A. ochoterenai, A. matudai (variably), A. leurolepis, and A. fimbriata, in having 12 longitudinal ventral scale rows, and having the lateralmost rows wider than adjacent ventral rows. Abronia smithi differs from A. fimbriata and A. leurolepis in having a frontonasal scale, from A. leurolepis in having imbricate or subimbricate preauricular scales rather than multiple rows of protuberant scales, relatively short posteriormost infralabial, and definite keels on the body scales; from A. fimbriata in having unexpanded supranasals and discrete canthals; and from A. matudai in having four primary temporals (usually two, rarely three or four in A. matudai), no parietalmedian supraocular contact, and in lacking expanded supranasals. Abronia smithi appears to be most similar morphologically to A. ochoterenai, but differs from that species in having usually four or five, rather than three, primary temporals, usually having a fourth temporal scale row in evidence (clearly absent in A. ochoterenai), having the subocular separated from the lower primary temporal (broadly in contact in A. ochoterenai), usually having a divided rather than single postmental, having two or fewer rows of imbricate to subimbricate preauriculars rather than three rows of nonimbricate preauriculars, and in that adult females are yellow-green with darker spotting, rather than with dark transverse bands, and in having the circumorbital region bright yellow in A. smithi, not the ambient head color as in A. ochoterenai.” Campbell & Frost 1993: 30.

Variation: Campbell & Frost 1993: 34. 
EtymologyNamed after Hobart M. Smith (1912-2013), American herpetologist and one of the most prolific herpetologists of all time. See also Chiszar et al. 2004 for biographical notes. 
  • Augstenová, Barbora, Eleonora Pensabene, Lukáš Kratochvíl, and Michail Rovatsos. 2021. Cytogenetic Evidence for Sex Chromosomes and Karyotype Evolution in Anguimorphan Lizards. Cells 10, no. 7: 1612 - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - 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
  • CHISZAR, DAVID; EDWIN MCCONKEY, AND MARGARET M. STEWART 2004. Historical perspectives: Hobart Muir Smith. Copeia 2004 (2): 418–424 - 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.
  • Köhler, G. 2008. Reptiles of Central America. 2nd Ed. Herpeton-Verlag, 400 pp.
  • Langner, Ch. 2019. Ich komme Dir auf die Schliche! Verkanntes Schleichenvolk – die interessanten Echsen der Familie Anguidae. Reptilia (Münster) 24 (136): 16-27 - get paper here
  • Wilson, Larry David; Vicente Mata-Silva, Jerry D. Johnson 2013. A conservation reassessment of the reptiles of Mexico based on the EVS measure. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 7 (1): 1–47 - get paper here
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