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Bufoniceps laungwalaensis (SHARMA, 1978)

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Agaminae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Laungwala Long-headed Lizard, Rajasthan Toad-headed lizard 
SynonymPhrynocephalus laungwalaensis SHARMA 1978
Phrynocephalus laungwalensis — ZOOLOGICAL RECORD
Bufoniceps laungwalaensis — ARNOLD 1992
Bufoniceps laungwalensis — DAS 1996: 43
Bufoniceps (Phrynocephalus) laungwalensis — DUNAYEV 1996
Bufoniceps laungwalaensis — BARTS & WILMS 2003
Bufoniceps laungwalensis [sic] — MURTHY 2010: 108
Bufoniceps laungawalensis [sic] — MURTHY 2010: 109
Bufoniceps laungwalansis — DAS & DAS 2017: 29 (in error) 
DistributionIndia (Rajasthan Desert, Jaisalmer District), adjacent Pakistan (Sindh)

Type locality: Laungwala, Jaisalmer District, Rajasthan, India.  
TypesHolotype: ZSI 23452, paratypes: ZSI 23453–61 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus). External ear opening present but extremely small. Tympanum well-developed but deeply set, largely covered by anterior slip of depressor mandibulae muscle; internal opening of middle ear fairly large. Head only slightly longer than wide; snout extremely short; no canthus rostralis; nostrils placed close together, high on snout and directed forward and upward. Body depressed with small and more or less homogeneous scales and no dorsal crest. Tail short (length less than two-thirds distance from snout to vent). No gular sac; femoral pores and preanal callose pads absent. Digits with fringes of flat, pointed scales that do not interlock.

Osteology: No lachrymal bone; very large, wing-like process on prefrontal bone; infraorbital canal open above with palatine bone projecting only partly over it; quadrate bone not strongly concave posteriorly; lowermost part of anterior semicircular canal approaching quadrate process of pterygoid. No splenial bone; retroarticular process short. Eye with twelve scleral ossicles. Twenty-two presacral vertebrae; sternum with paired fontanelles; combined sternal and xiphisternal ribs number four or five on each side; 21 to 24 caudal vertebrae, the basal 13 to 15 bearing transverse processes.

Similar genera: Most similar to Phrynocephalus Kaup,1825, but differs most obviously in possessing an external ear opening, twelve (not ten or eleven) scleral ossicles, and a very short tail without dark markings on the underside in either sex, that is not habitually raised and curled. Other agamids lack well-developed digital fringes of pointed scales, and do not have the combination of very large prefrontal process and very short snout with nostrils close together and directed forwards and upwards (from Arnold 1992: 468). 
CommentType species: Phrynocephalus laungwalaensis SHARMA 1978 is the type species of the genus Bufoniceps ARNOLD 1992. 
Etymologynamed after the type locality. 
  • Agarwal, I.; Mistry, V.K. & Tillack, F. 2009. Über die Rajasthan-Krötenkopfagame Bufoniceps laungwalaensis (SHARMA, 1978), ein Endemit aus der Wüste Thar. Sauria 30 (4): 37-48 [2008] - get paper here
  • Arnold, E.N. 1992. The Rajasthan Toad-headed lizard, Phrynocephalus laungwalaensis (Reptilia: Agamidae), represents a new genus. Journal of Herpetology 26 (4): 467-472 - get paper here
  • Barts, M. & Wilms, T. 2003. Die Agamen der Welt. Draco 4 (14): 4-23 - get paper here
  • Das, Indraneil & Abhijit Das 2017. A Naturalist’s Guide to the Reptiles of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. John Beaufoy Publishing Ltd., Oxford, 176 pp.
  • Das, Sanjay Keshari 2015. Notes on unusual behavioural ecology of Acanthodactylus cantoris feeding on Bufoniceps laungewalaensis. Herpetology Notes 8: 563-565 - get paper here
  • Dunayev, E. A. 1996. On the possible use of the Ethological features in the taxonomy and phylogeny of toad agamas, Phrynocephalus (Reptilia, Agamidae). Russ. J. Herpetol. 3 (1): 32-38 - get paper here
  • Golubev, M. & DUNAYEV, 1997. On the relationships between Agamid genera Phrynocephalus Kaup, 1825 and Bufoniceps Arnold, 1992. Abstracts of the Third World congress of Herpetology - Prague
  • Lotzkat, S. 2017. Book Review: Verbeitung, Biologie und Schutz der Erdkröte Bufo bufo (Linnaeus, 1758) mit besonderer Berucksichtigung des Amphibienschutzes an Strasen. Herpetological Review 48 (3): 691-692. - get paper here
  • Murthy, T.S.N. 2010. The reptile fauna of India. B.R. Publishing, New Delhi, 332 pp.
  • Sharma R C 1978. A new species of Phrynocephalus Kaup (Reptilia: Agamidae) from the Rajasthan Desert, India, with notes on ecology. BULLETIN OF THE ZOOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA 1(3) 1978: 291-294 - get paper here
  • Venugopal, P.D. 2010. An updated and annotated list of Indian lizards (Reptilia: Sauria) based on a review of distribution records and checklists of Indian reptiles. Journal of Threatened Taxa 2 (3): 725-738. - get paper here
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