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Anolis arenal (KÖHLER & VARGAS, 2019)

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Higher TaxaAnolidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymNorops arenal KÖHLER & VARGAS 2019
Norops arenal — KWET 2020 
DistributionCosta Rica (Province Alajuela)

Type locality: Costa Rica, Province Alajuela, Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal (10.46048°; -84.75434°, 585 m elevation above sea level  
Reproductionoviparous (manual imputation, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: SMF 103506, adult male; collected by Joseph Vargas Alvarez on 9 November 2016; original field number JV-0582.
Paratype. UCR 22949, adult female, from Costa Rica, Province Alajuela, Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal (10.45696°, -84.75661, 555 m elevation above sea level); collected by Gunther Köhler on 10 February 2018. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis and comparisons: In external morphology and genetic similarity of the 16S DNA barcode, Norops arenal is most similar to N. altae, N. fortunensis, N. fuscoauratus, N. gruuo, N. kemptoni, N. monteverde, N. pseu- dokemptoni, and N. tenorioensis. In morphology it shares with these species the following characteristics: (1) short hind limbs; (2) a single elongate prenasal scale; (3) tiny, smooth, often juxtaposed body scales; and (4) a slender habitus, often delicate. Norops arenal differs from these species, among several scalation details, by having a black- ish central area in the male dewlap in life and in preservative (vs. no suffusion of black pigment on male dewlap in the other species), and a small red female dewlap in life (vs. dirty white, cream colored, or orange); extremely short hind legs with the tip of fourth toe of the adpressed hind leg reaching only to level of shoulder (vs. usually at least to level of ear in the other species); a short tail with a tail length/SVL ratio of 1.53 in single specimen with complete tail (vs. this ratio >1.6 in the other species); and a tiny size with 41.5 mm in single known adult male and 38.5 mm in single known adult female (vs. SVL of adults usually >42.0 mm). It further differs from N. altae, N. fuscoauratus, N. gruuo, N. pseudokemptoni, and N. tenorioensis by having a unilobed hemipenis (vs. bilobed in these four species). Norops arenal differs further from N. fortunensis, N. kemptoni, and N. monteverde by the following characteristics (condition for N. arenal in parentheses): Norops fortunensis: 4–6 granular scales between enlarged supraoculars and posterior (smaller) superciliary (2–3 such scales); anterior superciliary more than twice the length of posterior one (anterior superciliary only slightly longer than posterior one); posterior portion of male dewlap greenish beige, anterior portion reddish orange (male dewlap red with a blackish central suffusion); dewlap in females white (red). Norops kemptoni: ventral scales faintly to moderately keeled and usually slightly imbricate (ventrals smooth and non-imbricate); dewlap in females white (red); male dewlap bicolored: posterior portion rose pink, anterior portion orange (male dewlap red with a blackish central suffusion); ratio tail length / SVL 1.78–2.25 (vs. 1.53 in single known individual with complete tail). Norops monteverde: hemipenis without a crest-like structure on upper asul- cate side of apex (vs. such crest-like structure present on upper asulcate side of apex); dewlap in females white (red); 138–160 scales around midbody (vs. 130–136); total number of loreal scales 37–68 (vs. 29–36). 
CommentHabitat: The type specimens of Norops arenal were collected at night in the vegetation at 4 m, respectively 8 m above ground level. The individuals were clinging to small leafless twigs in the periphery of the canopy of large trees along a paved road. The vegetation at the type locality is a broad-leaf forest, mostly secondary but with some old patches.

Sympatry: N. carpenteri were also sleeping on twigs in the canopy of large trees. In the lower vegetation at this site we found N. biporcatus (Wiegmann 1834), N. capito (Peters 1863), and N. limifrons (Cope 1862). 
EtymologyThe name arenal is used in reference to the type locality and National Park where the type series of the species was collected. 
  • KÖHLER, GUNTHER; JOSEPH VARGAS 2019. A new species of anole from Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal, Costa Rica (Reptilia, Squamata, Dactyloidae: Norops). Zootaxa 4608 (2): 261–278 - get paper here
  • Kwet, A. 2020. Liste der im Jahr 2019 neubeschriebenen Reptilien. Elaphe 2020 (3): 44-67
  • VALVERDE, EZEQUIEL & ABARCA, JUAN GABRIEL 2022. A new geographical distribution record for Anolis arenal Köhler & Vargas, 2019 (Squamata: Dactyloidae) in Costa Rica. Revista Latinoamericana de Herpetología 5(1): 11–12. - get paper here
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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