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Acanthocercus guentherpetersi LARGEN & SPAWLS, 2006

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Agaminae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Peter’s Ridgeback Agama 
SynonymAcanthocercus guentherpetersi LARGEN & SPAWLS 2006: 28 

Type locality: ca 40 km E of Harar on the road to Jigjiga, Ethiopia (09°12’N 42°22’E, elevation 1500 m).  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1969.1254, adult male, collected 21 September 1968 by the Great Abbai Expedition. Paratypes. female (BM 1969.1253), ca 20 km E of Harar on the road to Jigjiga, Ethiopia (09°12’N 42°15’E, 1500 m), 21 September 1968, Great Abbai Expedition; female, 3 juveniles (BM 1970.1449-1452), “dakhato” (= dacata) River, between Harar and Jigjiga, Ethiopia (09°12’N 42°25’E, ca 1400 m), 30 September 1934, R.H.R. Taylor; male (ZMB 36922), “Abessinien” (= Ethiopia), E. Wache; male, female (ZFMk 19450-19451), Af Abed, Eritrea (16°14’N 38°46’E ), 7 Febru- ary 1938, von Saalfeld; male (BM 1915.3.9.1), Habesch (region), Eritrea (ca 15°40’N 39°00’E), G. Schroeder; 3 males (ZMB 18428, 54567-54568), Eritrea, G. Schrader (= Schroeder?) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Similar to A. phillipsii in habitus and probably coloration, but sig- nificantly larger, the snout-vent length of males 77-102 (mean 88.8) mm, n = 7 and of females 72-81 (77.7) mm, n = 3 [in A. phillipsii males 77-10262-85 (71.5) mm, n = 9 and females 55-70 (64.3) mm, n = 12]; enlarged, keeled and mucronate scales on the flanks gen- erally few in number, widely dispersed or in weak and isolated transverse rows [in A. phillipsii such scales are closely compacted into a series of distinct transverse rows occupying a restricted area at mid-flank]; posterodorsal face of the thigh with a few large, keeled and mucronate scales irregularly arranged and intermingled with numerous smaller ones [in A. phillipsii this region of the femur has only large, regularly arranged scutes that are clearly separated from the small scales of the underside]; caudal scale rows (at a distance behind the vent equivalent to the maxi- mum breadth of the tail) 20-29 (mean 23.8), n = 13 [in A. phillipsii: caudal scale rows only 16-21 (18.1), n = 28]. Further information may be obtained from PeterS (1982) [from LARGEN & SPAWLS 2006: 29]. 
CommentSimilar species: has been confused with Agama cyanogaster phillipsi (not Boulenger 1895); KLAUSEWITZ 1954: 145 and Agama phillipsii (not Boulenger 1895); PETERS 1982: 266-268. 
EtymologyThis species is named for dr Günther Peters, former Curator of Herpetology at the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin, who first recognised and accurately documented its distinctive features. The value of his contribution should not be under-estimated, merely because associated with an unfortunate nomenclatural error. 
  • Largen, M.J.; Spawls, S. 2006. Lizards of Ethiopia (Reptilia Sauria): an annotated checklist, bibliography, gazetteer and identification. Tropical Zoology 19 (1): 21-109 - get paper here
  • Largen, M.J.; Spawls, S. 2010. Amphibians and Reptiles of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 694 pp.
  • Mazuch, Tomáš 2013. Amphibians and Reptiles of Somaliland and Eastern Ethiopia. Tomáš Mazuch Publishing, 80 pp. ISBN: 978-80-905439-0-4 - get paper here
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