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Cnemidophorus nigricolor PETERS, 1873

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Higher TaxaTeiidae, Teiinae, Gymnophthalmoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Venezuelan Island Whiptail 
SynonymCnemidophorus nigricolor PETERS 1873: 76
Cnemidophorus lemniscatus nigricolor — HUMMELINCK 1940: 83
Cnemidophorus lemniscatus nigricolor — MASLIN & SECOY 1986
Cnemidophorus nigricolor — BAUER et al. 1995: 66
Cnemidophorus nigricolor — UGUETO et al. 2010
Cnemidophorus nigricolor — HARVEY et al. 2012 
DistributionVenezuela (islands off the northern coast: Islas de Aves, Islas Los Roques, La Orchila)

Type locality: “auf der venezuelanischen Inselgruppe Los Roques, im Norden von La Guayra” [Distrito Federal, Venezuela].  
TypesLectotype: ZMB 7646 (designated by MASLIN & SECOY 1986) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A species of the C. lemniscatus species complex distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) maximum SVL in males 101 mm; (2) nostril slightly anterior or centered within nasal suture; (3) rostral scale bluntly rounded or rarely moderately pointed and projecting; (4) frontonasal hexagonal or octagonal, forming slightly angular sutures with nasals; (5) first supraciliary usually separated from prefrontal, less often in contact; (6) scales of circumorbital semicircles 4–13 (total of both sides) in contact with supraoculars, extending to anterior portion of fourth supraocular or rarely to posterior portion of third supraocular; (7) 20–32 (total of both sides) scales in a single row between supraoculars and supraciliaries; (8) mesoptychials slightly enlarged; (9) ventrals in eight longitudinal and 30–34 transverse rows, usually 30–33; (10) bisexual (gonochoristic); (11) brachials only slightly enlarged and restricted to small patch near elbow; (12) males with one anal spur at each side; spur broad and short or rarely moderately elongate, extending very close to body; (13) two (rarely one) medium (rarely large) scales between anal spur and preanal shield; (14) subcaudals near base of tail smooth; (15) traces of vertebral and paravertebral stripes, often broken into spots present in juveniles and some females; (16) adult males in life usually uniformly black or dark brown often without pale spots on flanks; (17) females in life uniformly blackish or dark gray with stripes broken into spots and bluish tones on abdomen, with or without small light spots on flanks; (18) juvenile color pattern similar to adult females, gray with stripes broken into spots [from from UGUETO & HARVEY 2010]. 
CommentSimilar species: Closely related to C. murinus (Sites 1990). Not mentioned in REEDER et al. (2002). According to Burt nigricolor intergrades wlth typical lemniscatus on Margarita Island, an observation which could not be confirmed by HUMMELINCK 1940: 83.

Distribution: populations on Isla de Margarita represent C. senectus; populations on La Blanquilla are C. leucopsammus; populations from Los Testigos and Los Frailes belong to C. flavissimus (Gilson Fuenmayor, pers. comm., 5 Apr 2017).

Group: member of the lemniscatus group, see C. lemniscatus for details. 
EtymologyNamed after Latin niger, nigra, nigrum = black or dark, referring to the color of the species. 
  • Bauer, A.M.; Günther,R. & Klipfel,M. 1995. The herpetological contributions of Wilhelm C.H. Peters (1815-1883). SSAR Facsimile Reprints in Herpetology, 714 pp.
  • Burt, C. E. 1931. A study of the teiid lizards of the genus Cnemidophorus with special reference to their phylogenetic relationships. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 154: 286 pp. - get paper here
  • HARVEY, MICHAEL B.; GABRIEL N. UGUETO & RONALD L. GUTBERLET, Jr. 2012. Review of Teiid Morphology with a Revised Taxonomy and Phylogeny of the Teiidae (Lepidosauria: Squamata). Zootaxa 3459: 1–156 - get paper here
  • Hedges SB, Powell R, Henderson RW, Hanson S, and Murphy JC 2019. Definition of the Caribbean Islands biogeographic region, with checklist and recommendations for standardized common names of amphibians and reptiles. Caribbean Herpetology 67: 1–53
  • Hummelinck, P. W. 1940. Studies on the fauna of Curacao, Aruba, Bonaire and the Venezuelan Islands: No. 2. A survey of the mammals, lizards and mollusks. ['Gymnophthalmus laevicaudus: 80]. Studies on the Fauna of Curacao and other Caribbean Islands. 1:59—108
  • Lammerée, Liesbeth 1970. Lizards of the genus Cnemidophorus from the leeward group and the adjacent mainland of South America. Stud. Fauna Curacao Other Caribbean Isl. 124: 46-72 - get paper here
  • Maslin, T. & Secoy, D.M. 1986. A checklist of the lizard genus Cnemidophorus (Teiidae). Contr. Zool. Univ. Colorado Mus. 1: 1-60
  • Paulissen, M.A. & J.M. Walker 1994. Diet of the Insular Whiptail Lizard Cnemidophorus nigricolor (Teiidae9 from Grand Rocques Island, Venezuela Journal of Herpetology 28 (4): 524-526. - get paper here
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1873. Über eine neue Art von Cnemidophorus. Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturf. Freunde Berlin. 1873 (Juni): 76-77 - get paper here
  • REEDER, T.W.; CHARLES J. COLE AND HERBERT C. DESSAUER 2002. Phylogenetic Relationships of Whiptail Lizards of the Genus Cnemidophorus (Squamata: Teiidae): A Test of Monophyly, Reevaluation of Karyotypic Evolution, and Review of Hybrid Origins. American Museum Novitates 3365: 1-64 - get paper here
  • RIVAS, GILSON A.; CÉSAR R. MOLINA, GABRIEL N. UGUETO, TITO R. BARROS, CÉSAR L. BAR- RIO-AMORÓS & PHILIPPE J. R. KOK 2012. Reptiles of Venezuela: an updated and commented checklist. Zootaxa 3211: 1–64 - get paper here
  • Sites, J.W. et al. 1990. The evolutionary history of parthenogentic Cnemidophorus lemniscatus (Sauria: Teiidae) I. Evidence for a hybrid origin. Evolution 44: 906-921 - get paper here
  • Ugueto, Gabriel N. and Michael B. Harvey 2010. Southern Caribbean Cnemidophorus (Squamata: Teiidae): Description of New Species and Taxonomic Status of C. murinus ruthveni Burt. Herpetological Monographs 24 (1): 111-148 - get paper here
  • Ugueto, Gabriel N.; Michael B. Harvey, and Gilson A. Rivas 2010. TWO NEW SPECIES OF CNEMIDOPHORUS (SQUAMATA: TEIIDAE) FROM ISLANDS OF THE NORTHEASTERN COAST OF VENEZUELA. Herpetological Monographs 23 (1): 123-153 [2009] - get paper here
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