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Contomastix vittata (BOULENGER, 1902)

IUCN Red List - Contomastix vittata - Critically Endangered, CR

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Higher TaxaTeiidae, Teiinae, Gymnophthalmoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymCnemidophorus vittatus BOULENGER 1902: 400
Cnemidophorus vittatus — PETERS et al. 1970
Ameiva vittata — VANCE 1978
Cnemidophorus vittatus — MASLIN & SECOY 1986
Ameiva vittata — DIRKSEN & DE LA RIVA 1999
Contomastix vittata — HARVEY et al. 2012 
DistributionBolivia (Cochabamba)

Type locality: Parotani, Bolivia, 2500 m elevation.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.8.31.13 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): There is no single unique character that distinguishes Contomastix from all other teiids. The tail of species in this genus is shorter than that of other Teiinae. These small teiids are most likely to be confused with Ameivula. Unlike species in that genus (characters in parentheses), Contomastix has a short tail (long), three parietals (five), a straight to curved ventral margin of the first supralabial (toothy), the first supralabial subequal to the second (much smaller than second), three relatively large scales at the heel (scales small and numerous), and a well-developed fifth toe (fifth toe reduced).
Contomastix was previously confused with Cnemidophorus. Unlike the species in this genus, male Contomastix lack preanal spurs (spurs present) and the species in this genus have the nasal and prefrontal in contact (separate), three parietals (five), homogeneous subdigital lamellae of the hand (subarticular lamellae of hand divided), and lamellae in contact along the postaxial sides of the toes (serrate row of keeled scales completely separating digital lamellae of toes). [Harvey et al. 2012] 
CommentType Species: Cnemidophorus vittatus Boulenger is the type species of the genus Contomastix HARVEY et al. 2012.

Abundance: Rare. This is one of the species called 'lost' and 'rediscovered' by Lindken et al. 2024. 
EtymologyNamed after Latin “vittatus” for ribbon, or decorated by a ribbon, referring to the stripes on the back of the species.

The genus name Contomastix is a feminine noun in the nominative singular derived from the Greek adjective kontos, meaning short, and noun mastix, meaning whip. The name alludes to the relatively short tails of Contomastix compared to other whiptail lizards. 
  • Boulenger, George A. 1902. Descriptions of new batrachians and reptiles from the Andes of Peru and Bolivia [Elaps regularis not assigned]. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (7) 10 (59): 394-402 - get paper here
  • Cabrera, Mario R.; Santiago Carreira, Diego O. Di Pietro & Paula C. Rivera 2019. A new species of Contomastix (Squamata, Teiidae) supported by total evidence, with remarks on diagnostic characters defining the genus. The Herpetological Journal 29 (1): 23-36 - 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
  • Lindken T.; Anderson, C. V., Ariano-Sánchez, D., Barki, G., Biggs, C., Bowles, P., Chaitanya, R., Cronin, D. T., Jähnig, S. C., Jeschke, J. M., Kennerley, R. J., Lacher, T. E. Jr., Luedtke, J. A., Liu, C., Long, B., Mallon, D., Martin, G. M., Meiri, 2024. What factors influence the rediscovery of lost tetrapod species? Global Change Biology, 30: 1-18 - 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
  • Rivas, Luis Rolando; Mendoza-Miranda, Patricia; Muñoz-Saravia, Arturo 2018. Lista preliminar de la herpetofauna del Parque Nacional Torotoro, Potosí, Bolivia . Pp. 6. Cuad. herpetol. 32 (1): 41-46 - get paper here
  • Vance, T. 1978. The identity of Cnemidophorus vittatus Boulenger (Reptilia, Lacertilia, Teiidae) with a redescription of the holotype. Journal of Herpetology 12 (1): 98-100 - get paper here
  • Vance, Thomas 1977. The Identity of Cnemidophorus vittatus Boulenger (Reptilia, Lacertilia, Teiidae) with a Redescription of the Holotype. Journal of Herpetology 11 (1): 100-102 - get paper here
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