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Conolophus marthae GENTILE & SNELL, 2009

IUCN Red List - Conolophus marthae - Critically Endangered, CR

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Higher TaxaIguanidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Galápagos pink land iguana 
SynonymConolophus marthae GENTILE & SNELL 2009 
DistributionEcuador (Galapagos Islands: Isla Isabela)

Type locality: approximately four km north of the Equator on the top of Volcan Wolf, Isla Isabela, Galápagos National Park, Ecuador (0.03792° N; 91.36324°W, datum WGS84, as recorded by a Garmin 12CX handheld GPS).  
ReproductionAmblyrhynchus cristatus, Conolophus subcristatus and Conolophus marthae can hybridize and produce viable offspring (Tzika et al. 2008). 
TypesHolotype: MCZR R450 (Museo Civico di Zoologia, Roma), actually a blood sample from a free-living adult male, permanently branded with the number 117. A Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) with the number 091-601-303 was hypodermically inserted in one of the posterior legs. The individual was captured by A. Jaramillo on June 8th 2006, blood was drawn by G. Gentile. Photos were shot by G. Gentile. Blood in lysis buffer voucher n. MCZRR450 (as reported in the Genbank records FJ716129 and FJ716130) is hosted in the reptile collection (as specimen n. R450) of the Civic Museum of Zoology (MCZR, Rome, Italy,). Original photo files, named as “Morphobank_m27772.jpg” (Figure 2), “Morphobank_m27773.jpg, Morphobank_m27774.jpg, Morphobank_m27775.jpg, Morphobank_m27776.jpg, Morphobank_m27777.jpg, and Morphobank_m27778.jpg” (Figures 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 3E, and 3F, respectively), and the movie “Morphobank_m27779.wmv” are included in a project titled as the present paper, hosted in Morphobank ( 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Conolophus marthae sp. nov. is distinguished from C. pallidus and C. subcristatus by the following color pattern: pinkish head, pinkish and black (dark) body and legs, with a typical black-striped pattern on the mid to posterior dorsal body; stripes are along the dorsal-ventral axis, may be irregular and their number variable; stripes may join to form a more complex pattern; stripes occur on the ventral body, but are less evident; dark tail. Other distinctive, but slightly variable morphological traits co-occur in males: i) adipose nuchal crest with small or reduced conic scales, ii) poorly elevated (pyramid-shaped) or almost flat dorsal head scales. Conolophus marthae sp. nov. is also distinguished from the other two congeneric species by a distinctive pattern of head-bob behavior (Fig. 6, see Morphobank accession code: p241). The new species is unequivocally distinguished from C. pallidus and C. subcristatus by the several diagnostic sites in the sequence of the control region and cytochrome b gene of the mtDNA, reported in Table 1, and by a completely different, non overlapping, size-range of alleles at the microsatellite locus CS7 (Tzika et al., 2008; Gentile et al. 2009). Alleles at locus CS7 range between 245 and 333 bases (as defined in Gentile et al. 2009). 
CommentAbundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyThe new species is named in memory of Martha Rebecca Gentile, second daughter of the first author. Martha prematurely left this world. She was born dead, as consequence of a medical doctor’s negligence, on August 20th 2003. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Buckley, Larry J.; Kevin de Queiroz, Tandora D. Grant, Bradford D. Hollingsworth, John B. Iverson (Chair, <br />Stesha A. Pasachnik, and Catherine L. Stephen (Iguana Taxonomy Working Group, ITWG 2016. A Checklist of the Iguanas of the World (Iguanidae; Iguaninae). Herp. Cons. Biol. 11 (Monograph 6) - get paper here
  • Colosimo, G., Di Marco, G., D’Agostino, A. et al. 2020. Chemical signatures of femoral pore secretions in two syntopic but reproductively isolated species of Galápagos land iguanas (Conolophus marthae and C. subcristatus). Sci Rep 10: 14314 - get paper here
  • Donegan, T.M. 2009. Type specimens, samples of live individuals and the Galapagos Pink Land Iguana. Zootaxa 2201: 12-20 - get paper here
  • Dubois, Alain 2009. Editorial: Endangered species and endangered knowledge. Zootaxa 2201: 26–29 - get paper here
  • FRICK, MICHAEL G. 2010. Misconceptions about the ability of researchers to relocate the holotype of the Galapagos pink land iguana through the use of a passive integrated transponder. Zootaxa 2694: 57–58 - get paper here
  • Gentile, Gabriele; Howard L. Snell 2009. Conolophus marthae sp.nov. (Squamata, Iguanidae), a new species of land iguana from the Galápagos archipelago. Zootaxa 2201: 1-10 - get paper here
  • Giambattista, Livia Di; Gabriele Gentile 2018. A molecular protocol to distinguish syntopic Galápagos land iguana species from stool samples (Conolophus marthae and C. subcristatus). Herpetology Notes 11: 97-100 - get paper here
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - get paper here
  • Nemésio, A. 2009. On the live holotype of the Galápagos pink land Iguana, Conolophus marthae Gentile & Snell, 2009 (Squamata: Iguanidae): is it an acceptable exception? Zootaxa 2201: 21-25 - get paper here
  • Torres-Carvajal O, Pazmiño-Otamendi G, Salazar-Valenzuela D. 2019. Reptiles of Ecuador: a resource-rich portal, with a dynamic checklist and photographic guides. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 13 (1): [General Section]: 209–229 (e178) - get paper here
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