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Aspidoscelis exsanguis (LOWE, 1956)

IUCN Red List - Aspidoscelis exsanguis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaTeiidae, Teiinae, Gymnophthalmoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Chihuahuan Spotted Whiptail
S: Corredora de Chihuahua 
SynonymCnemidophorus sacki exsanguis LOWE 1956
Cnemidophorus sacki exsanguis — MASLIN 1959
Cnemidophorus costatus exsanguis — MASLIN 1962: 212 (part.)
Cnemidophorus exsanguis — STEBBINS 1985: 157
Cnemidophorus exsanguis — MASLIN & SECOY 1986
Cnemidophorus exsanguis — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 120
Cnemidophorus exsanguis — LINER 1994
Aspidoscelis exsanguis — REEDER et al. 2002
Aspidoscelis exsanguis — COOPER et al. 2005
Aspidoscelis exsanguis — COLLINS & TAGGART 2009
Aspidoscelis neavesi COLE, TAYLOR, BAUMANN & BAUMANN 2014 (part) 
DistributionUSA (SE Arizona, New Mexico, SW Texas, Colorado),
Mexico (N Chihuahua, NE Sonora); elevation 760-2440 m.

Type locality: “Socorro, Socorro County, New Mexico”.  
ReproductionOviparous. This species originated through hybridization involving 3 species: C. inornatus, C. septemvittatus, and C. costatus (fide STEBBINS 1985). Parthenogenetic species. Lutes et al. (2011) report the generation of four self-sustaining clonal lineages of a tetraploid species resulting from fertilization of triploid oocytes from a parthenogenetic Aspidoscelis exsanguis with haploid sperm from Aspidoscelis inornata.<br /><br />Aspidoscelis neavesi is a parthenogenetic, synthetic organism that originated through hybridization between Aspidoscelis exsanguis (triploid parthenogen) x Aspidoscelis inornata (diploid bisexual or gonochoristic species) in the laboratory. Given that it is a synthetic organism that did not evolve naturally, we do not list it as valid species for the time being, a decision supported by the scientific advisory board of the database. 
TypesHolotype: UAZ, University of Arizona, UAA 16188 (formerly Unlverslty of California, Los Angeles, Dept. of Zoology 3737), collected by Richard Zweifel and Kenneth S. norris, 10 Aug 1948.
Holotype. MCZ R-192219 (5 SIMR 8093), a cloned adult female of the F2 laboratory reared generation that also cloned herself at the SIMR. She hatched on August 13, 2008, and her mother was MCZ R-192209 (=SIMR 4919) [neavesi] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. “At Conchas Lake it was possible to collect four whiptail lizard species (A. exsanguis, A. neomexicanus, A. sexlineatus, and A. tesselatus [pattern classes C and D]) and hybrids of A. neomexicanus × A. sexlineatus. Among these, A. exsanguis at all sizes could be distinguished from all of these species by either one or a combination of the five scale characters included in Appendix 1 (i.e., anterior extent of circumorbitals, enlarged mesoptychials, plate-like postantebrachials, usually two preanals, and paravertebral separation = PVSS). The most readily applied of these would be either the enlarged postantebrachial scales which distinguished A. exsanguis of all sizes or the PVSS (i.e., narrow spacing of the paravertebral stripes (i.e., mean 4.7 ± 0.20, range 3–8, N = 31) and absence of either a vertebral stripe or a continuous vertebral configuration.” (Fig. 3, Manning et al. 2020).

Ontogenetic changes. “Although A. exsanguis undergoes the most complex array of ontogenetic changes in color pattern among whiptail lizards at Conchas Lake, the species was readily identifiable at all of the five ontogenetic stages of pattern development recognized herein (Appendix 1; Fig. 3). Three hatchlings (9.4%) of 33–43 mm SVL represented ontogenetic stage 1 of pattern development with six yellowish primary stripes of which each of the laterals angled onto the anterior surface of a thigh and each of the dorsolateral and paravertebral stripes extending onto the tail; blackish fields between the stripes; absence of discrete dorsal spots; and presence of cream white ventral surfaces (Fig. 3A). Eighteen individuals (56.3%) of 59–66 mm SVL, nine of them gravid, represented ontogenetic stage 2, which mainly differed from stage 1 in having discrete small pale-hued spots in the upper lateral and dorsolateral fields on both sides of the body (Fig. 3B). Lizards in stages 1 and 2 had species-specific irregularly margined paravertebral stripes of diagnostic significance. Only two (6.3%) lizards of 74 and 75 mm SVL possessed stage 3 patterns consisting of additional and slightly larger spots in the upper lateral and dorsolateral fields, with some of them encroaching on the stripes. At this stage the pale-colored stripes and spots were essentially equally prominent, high contrast components of the dorsal color pattern (Fig. 3C). Six (18.8%) specimens of 73–82 mm SVL had stage 4 dorsal patterns consisting of primary stripes of diminished intensities and spots of increased intensities, numbers, and distributions which also included the hind limbs and base of the tail along with development of lateral barring (Fig. 3D). Finally, three (9.4%) specimens of 79–86 mm SVL exhibited stage 5 patterns characterized as follows (Fig. 3E): stripes mainly present on the anterior half of the body; stripe disruption posteriorly; profuse spotting on the body, hind limbs, and base of the tail; and lateral barring. These three specimens indicated that ontogenetic changes in dorsal patterns are not strictly correlated with increases in SVL. Throughout ontogeny the ventral surfaces remained essentially unmarked by dark-hued pigmentation.” (Manning et al. 2020)

Diagnosis (neavesi). A species of the Aspidoscelis sexlineata species group as reviewed by Lowe et al. (1970b). The species is distinguished from all others in the genus by the following combination of characters: abruptly enlarged mesoptychials; enlarged postantebrachials; 2 frontoparietals; usually 3 parietals; 4 supraoculars each side; unisexual (only females exist); body with 6 longitudinal pale stripes that fade and can disappear in large adults; hatchlings basically unspotted but adults with pale dots and spots on body; maximum snout-vent length (SVL) about 80 mm; tetraploid number of chromosomes about 91, with 4 haploid sets of the sexlineata species group, including the slightly modified triploid karyotype of some A. exsanguis from Alamogordo (Lutes et al., 2011), and the 3 largest chromosomes being metacentric. 
CommentBefore LOWE described Cnemidophorus sacki exsanguis, specimens of it have been assigned to Cnemidophorus gularis, C. sexlineatus, or C. sackii. 
EtymologyThe name exsanguis (Latin, “without blood”), referes to the distinct difference between this species and C. burti stictogrammus, with which it was formerly inlcuded. 
References
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