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Aspidoscelis preopatae BARLEY, REEDER, NIETO-MONTES-DE-OCA, COLE & THOMSON, 2021

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Higher TaxaTeiidae, Teiinae, Gymnophthalmoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesMexico (Sonora) 
SynonymAspidoscelis preopatae BARLEY, REEDER, NIETO-MONTES-DE-OCA, COLE & THOMSON 2021
DistributionMexico (Sonora, between Bavispe and Huachinera).

Type locality: Along the Rio Bavispe, 5.6 miles south (by road) of Bacerac, Sonora, Mexico
TypesHolotype: LACM 114783 (Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County); Paratypes: TWR 1265, 1266; LACM 137195–137197; UAZ 21642 (University of Arizona Museum of Natural History = UAZ, Tod Reeder, San Diego State University = TWR) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A species of Aspidoscelis distinguished by the following combination of characters: (1) a diploid parthenogenetic member of the sexlineatus species group; (2) adult body size small (SVL typically <75 mm); (3) dorsal granules around midbody 81–95; (4) femoral pores 35–40; (5) supraocular scales 4; (6) subdigital lamellae under 4th toe 26–32; (7) postantebrachial scales granular; (8) mesoptychial scales slightly enlarged; (9) circumorbital semicircle scales 4–7, terminating short of the frontal-frontoparietal suture; (10) enlarged parietal scales 3 (or 4 if interparietal split); (11) frontoparietal scales 2; (12) dorsal pattern a series of six paired light stripes, plus a seventh, partially split middorsal stripe separated by dark fields that lack light spots; (13) adult ventral coloration white.

Comparisons: Aspidoscelis preopatae can be distinguished from its sexual ancestral species and other parthenogenetic lineages derived from them through hybridization by a combination of the above morphological traits and its unique karyotype (See Barley et al. 2021). 
EtymologyThe species name is derived from notes left by John Wright, deceased curator of herpetology at the LACM, who discovered populations of this species in the 1960’s and planned to describe this taxon before his retirement in the 1990’s. It is in reference to the hypothesis that this parthenogenetic lineage is the progenitor of the triploid lineage, A. opatae, originally named for the Ópata indigenous group native to the Rio Yaqui valley in Sonora, Mexico (Wright 1967). 
  • Barley, Anthony J.; Tod W. Reeder, Adrián Nieto-Montes de Oca, Charles J. Cole, Robert C. Thomson 2021. A new diploid parthenogenetic whiptail lizard from Sonora, Mexico is the ‘missing link’ in the evolutionary transition to polyploidy. American Naturalist - get paper here
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