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Acanthosaura prasina ANANJEVA, ERMAKOV, NGUYEN, NGUYEN, MURPHY, LUKONINA & ORLOV, 2020

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Draconinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymAcanthosaura prasina ANANJEVA, ERMAKOV, NGUYEN, NGUYEN, MURPHY, LUKONINA & ORLOV 2020 
DistributionVietnam (Gia Lai, Kon Tum), elevation 800 to 1700 m

Type locality: Kon Chu Rang NR, the Broad of Kon Chu Rang (14.311 °N 108.363 °E), Gia Lai Province, Vietnam.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. Adult male ZISP 30745, collected on October 19, 2018 collected by N. L. Orlov and L. K. Iohanssen at an elevation of 1100 m a.s.l.
Paratypes: Three specimens including two adult males: 1) ZISP 30746 from Kon Chu Rang NR, the Broad of Kon Chu Rang (14.311 °N, 108.363 °E), collected on October 2019, Gia Lai Province, Vietnam, with other collection information same as holotype; 2) ROM 37082 (Fn 27483 = A61 from Kalyabina et al., 2004) from Ngoc Linh (15.051°N 107.554 °E), collected in 1998., Kon Tum Province, Vietnam and 3) adult female ZISP 28857, Kon Du, Mang Canh village, Kon Plông (14.412 °N 108.193 °E), collected in June 2015 by N. L. Orlov and L. K. Iohanssen in June 2015 at 1210 m elevation, Kon Tum Province, Vietnam. 
DiagnosisAcanthosaura prasina sp. nov. is distinguished from all congeners by a combination of the following morphological characters. Acanthosaura prasina sp. nov. differs from A. capra, A. murphyi, and A. nataliae by the presence of a short spine on each side of the neck and a smaller body size. From the known species of «lepidogaster» complex and A. coronata it differs in the arrangement of dorsal crests with a distinct double row of vertebral scales, from A. brachypoda in a smaller body size, longer tail and limbs, fewer supraand infralabials and coloration patterns with a white area on lips and shoulders; from A. lepidogaster by lacking a dark marking on the nape and the absence of a distinct diastema; from A. phongdienensis by lacking a dark marking on the nape.

Diagnosis. Moderately-sized agamid lizard having two pairs of short spines: postorbital (superciliary) spines and spines on occiput between tympanum and nuchal crest; SVL 77 – 88 mm (males), head triangular, covered by relatively large keeled scales; snout relatively short (SLGHL 0.39 – 0.44); eyes relatively large (ORBGHL 0.32 – 0.39); gular pouch and gular fold absent; upper side of head covered by relatively large, keeled scales; 17 scales between orbits; 9 scales between nasals; 4 scales bordering mental scale; 9 – 11 supralabials; 9 – 11 infralabials; 7 scales bordering rostral scale; body oval in cross section; small smooth scales on flanks intermixed with single larger keeled scales or their rarely arranged clusters; nuchal crest present, composed of 8 – 9 enlarged scales increasing in size posteriorly; it continues as very low dorsal crest looking as double row of vertebral scales (Fig. 8); no diastema; tail 1.63 – 1.91% of SVL; dorsal surface of body emerald-green with black markings (Figs.1, 3, and 7); supralabials white; infralabials green; row of vertebral scales, area of lips and lateral surface of shoulders white; ventral surface of throat and forelimbs yellow. Arcuate black oblique strip stretches from shoulder and does not reach dark (black or dark brown) mark in nuchal part of strip along ridge.

Coloration in life (Fig.1). Agamid lizard with bright, contrasting color. Dorsal body surface emeraldgreen; with darkbrown irregular spots scattered on emerald green background. Scales of nuchal crest and of double row of vertebral scales white (in rare cases one of them green), along ridge a series of white-colored irregular scales. Postorbital and nuchal spines green. Dorsal side of head, postorbital and nuchal spines green. Supralabials white; infralabials green. Large dark-brown spots (about 10) along entire vertebral crest, forming strip with irregular lower edge; area of lips and lateral surface of shoulders white; ventral surface of throat and forelimbs yellow. Arcuate black oblique strip stretches from shoulder and does not reach dark (black or dark brown) mark in nuchal part of strip along ridge. Belly light cream.

Variation. In the type series (n = 4) there are no clear differences between males and female in their body size as well in the relative tail length. ZISP Paratype 30746 had black irregular spots scattered on the emerald green background whereas the holotype and two other paratypes had dark-brown irregular spots. Variations in size and pholidosis are summarized in Table 3. Coloration and color patterns similar in males and females; preserved female has smaller white area on the lips. Female has a slightly narrower and more flattened head in comparison with males (see indexes HWGSVL and HWGHL).

Comparisons. Acanthosaura prasina sp. nov. differs from A. capra, A. murphyi, and A. nataliae by the presence of a short spine on each side of the neck and a smaller body size, from A. capra, A. nataliae, A. armata, A. crucigera, A. cardamomensis, A. bintangensis. A. titiwangsaensis in having a lower and shorter nuchal crest; from A. capra, A. nataliae, A. armata, A. crucigera, A. cardamomensis, A. bintangensis in having shorter longest spine in the dorsal crest and the absence of the gular pouch (see comparisons in Wood et al., 2010, Liu and Rao, 2019; Nguyen et al., 2019). From all known species of the “lepidogaster” complex and A. coronata it differs in the arrangement of dorsal crests with a distinct double row of vertebral scales, from A. brachypoda in a smaller body size, longer tail and limbs, fewer supraand infralabials and coloration patterns with a white area on lips and shoulders. The new species differs from A. lepidogaster in lacking a dark marking on the nape and in the absence of a distinct diastema; from A. phongdienensis in lacking a dark marking on the nape. The new species differs from A. brachypoda and A. lepidogaster by dorsal crests with a distinct double row of vertebral scales. 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet prasina is derived from Latin and refers to the bright grass green body coloration of lizards described herein. 
References
  • Ananjeva, Natalia Borisovna; Oleg A. Ermakov, Sang Ngoc Nguyen, Tao Thien Nguyen, Robert W. Murphy, Svetlana A. Lukonina, Nikolai L. Orlov 2020. A New Species of Acanthosaura Gray, 1831 (Squamata: Agamidae) from Central Highlands, Vietnam Russian Journal of Herpetology 27 (4): 217-230 - get paper here
 
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