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Anniella stebbinsi PAPENFUSS & PARHAM, 2013

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Higher TaxaAnguidae (Anniellinae),
Diploglossa, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Southern California Legless Lizard 
SynonymAnniella stebbinsi PAPENFUSS & PARHAM 2013
Anniella pulchra lineage E — PARHAM & PAPENFUSS 2009 
DistributionUSA (S California), Mexico (N Baja California)

Type locality: 33.9500°N, 118.4415°W (24 m elevation; Figs. 1, 4), El Segundo Dunes, Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles County, California, USA.  
TypesHolotype: MVZ 267246, collected on April 20, 2010, by Theodore J. Papenfuss. Paratypes. MVZ 267247, a subadult male collected with the holotype; MVZ 250558 (Fig. 3), a subadult male from 34.0042°N, 118.8100°W (5 m elev.), Point Dume, Los Angeles County, California, U.S.A., col- lected on November 24, 2005, by Theodore J. Papenfuss. MVZ 267248 (Fig. 3), from 33.9015°N, 116.7447°W (470 m elev.), 4.0 km SE (airline) of Cabazon, Riverside County, California, U.S.A., collected on March 19, 2005, by Theodore J. Papenfuss. Figure numbers refer to PAPENFUSS & PARHAM 2013. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Distinguished by its yellow ventral coloration from A. grinnelli, which has a purple (grayish-red) ventral coloration and from A. alexanderae, which has a light gray ventral coloration. Distinguished from A. pulchra which also has a yellow ventral coloration by a somatic chromosome number of 2n = 20 rather than 2n = 22 (Bezy et al., 1977). Distinguished from A. campi, which also has a yellow ventral coloration by a single dark lateral stripe on each side rather than a double lateral stripe. Some specimens of A. stebbinsi have a double lateral stripe, but it is never continuous or exceeds 50% of the combined body and tail length, whereas in A. campi it is continuous and extends to the tip of the tail. Anniella stebbinsi shows a maximum mitochondrial sequence divergence (for ND2, see Materials and Methods) from A. pulchra of 8.7%, from A. grinnelli of 6.4%, from A. alexanderae of 4.9%, and from A. campi of 4.3%. 
EtymologyThis species is named after Robert Cyril Stebbins (1915–2013), the first Curator of Herpetology at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology in 1945. Robert Stebbins’ contribution to western North American herpetology includes many scientific publications, but especially his classic, comprehensive, beautifully self-illustrated, and influential field guides (Stebbins 1951, 1954, 1960, 1966, 1972, 1985, 2003; Stebbins and McGinnis, 2012). 
  • 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
  • Papenfuss, Theodore J. and James F. Parham 2013. Four New Species of California Legless Lizards (Anniella). Breviora 536: 1-17 - get paper here
  • Peralta-García A, Valdez-Villavicencio JH, Fucsko LA, Hollingsworth BD, Johnson JD, Mata-Silva V, Rocha A, DeSantis DL, Porras LW, and Wilson LD. 2023. The herpetofauna of the Baja California Peninsula and its adjacent islands, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation status. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 17(1&2): 57–142
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