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Cnemidophorus lemniscatus (LINNAEUS, 1758)

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Higher TaxaTeiidae, Teiinae, Gymnophthalmoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Rainbow Whiptail, Rainbow lizard
S: Lagartijo arcoíris, matico, guitarrero
Portuguese: Calango, Calango-Azul, Calango-Listrado, Calango-Verde, Lagarto, Lagartixa-Azul, Lagartinho-Listrado 
SynonymLacerta lemniscata LINNAEUS 1758: 209
Lacertus varius americanus BLOCH in BONNATERRE 1789 (part.) (nomen dubium)
Lacerta lemniscata — MEYER 1795: 29
Cnemidophorus lemniscatus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 129
Cnemidophorus scutata GRAY 1845: 21 (fide BOULENGER 1885: 364)
Cnemidophorus lemniscatus — COPE 1876: 164
Cnemidophorus lemniscatus lemniscatus — MASLIN & SECOY 1986
Cnemidophorus gramivagus MCCRYSTAL & DIXON 1987: 245
Cnemidophorus lemniscatus — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 126
Cnemidophorus cryptus COLE & DESSAUER 1993: 20
Cnemidophorus pseudolemniscatus COLE & DESSAUER 1993: 23
Cnemidophorus lemniscatus — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 384
Cnemidophorus lemniscatus — KÖHLER 2000: 100
Cnemidophorus lemniscatus — MCNISH 2011
Cnemidophorus lemniscatus espeuti — HARVEY et al. 2012
Cnemidophorus lemniscatus lemniscatus — HARVEY et al. 2012 
DistributionUSA (introduced to Florida)

Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador ?, Costa Rica ?, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana,
Colombia (incl. Valle del Cauca), Venezuela (Paraguana, Cojedes), N Brazil
Trinidad, Tobago, Pato, Margarita, Coche, Cubagua, Aruba, St. Thomas, Swan, Milford, Isla San Andres, Isla de Providencia, Isla St. Catalina; elevation: 100-400 m

splendidus: NW Venezuela, probably adjacent Colombia

Type locality: see comment  
ReproductionBisexual and parthenogenetic forms. 
TypesSyntypes: NRM (NHRM), Three specimens.
Lectotype: NRM 126 (designated by Cole and Dessauer (1993: 18); "ZMUU Linnaean Collection 15X” (designated as the lectotype by Maslin and Secoy 1986: 25)
Syntypes: BMNH 1946.8.8-61-62 [scutata] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (splendidus): Markezich et al. (1997) diagnosed splendidus from their concept of C. l. lemniscatus, as having a blue ground color in adult males and a black, blue, or dark brown ground color in adult females, dark blue venters in preserved adults, a single or absent vertebral stripe in adults, and a single vertebral stripe in juveniles (versus ground color green or brown in adult males and females, pale blue venters in alcohol, and a split vertebral stripes in adults and juveniles in C. l. lemniscatus). 
CommentSynonymy and subspecies: Burt (1931) had placed C. espeuti, C. l. gaigei, and C. l. ruatanus Barbour in the synonymy of C. lemniscatus. MCCRANIE & HEDGES 2013 suggested to elevate splendidus, gaigei, and espeuti to full species status. However, they “suggest the new taxonomy with the caveat that molecular studies are needed for the Colombian species recognized herein, as well as other South American populations left unassigned to a subspecies by Markezich et al. (1997).” For the status of Lacertus varius americanus BLOCH see Denzer et al. 2020.

Similar species: C. lemniscatus is the founding member of the lemniscatus group, distinguished from all other species by the presence of preanal spurs in males and by a higher number of femoral pores (more than 40; Ávila- Pires, 1995). Avila-Pires subsummarizes a number of species under “Cnemidophorus lemniscatus species complex” due to their similarity. Members of the neotropical ‘‘C.’’ lemniscatus species group (except ‘‘C.’’ longicaudus) are more closely related to species in other neotropical cnemidophorine taxa (Ameiva and Kentropyx) (REEDER et al. 2002). Cnemidophorus lemniscatus is “clearly a complex of species” (RIVAS et al. 2012).

Group: Harvey et al. 2012 included the following species int he C. lemniscatus group: C. arenivagus, C. arubensis, C. flavissimus, C. I. gaigei, C. gramivagus, C. l. lemniscatus, C. senectus, C. I. splendidus.

Distribution: Not listed for Costa Rica by KÖHLER (2000). Populations from Honduras have been assigned to C. ruatanus (where the latter is common). Poplations from Panama have been assigned to C. duellmani by MCCRANIE & HEDGES 2013. Not in Nicaragua fide Sunyer & Martínez-Fonseca 2023 (checklist Nicaragua).

Type locality: “Guinea” (in error) 
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