Cordylus phonolithos MARQUES, CERÍACO, STANLEY, BANDEIRA, AGARWAL & BAUER, 2019
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Cordylus phonolithos?
|Higher Taxa||Cordylidae (Cordylinae), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||E: N’Dolondolo Girdled Lizard|
Portuguese: Lagarto Espinhoso de N’Dolondolo
|Synonym||Cordylus phonolithos MARQUES, CERÍACO, STANLEY, BANDEIRA, AGARWAL & BAUER 2019|
Cordylus namakuiyus — STANLEY et al. 2016: 209 (part)
|Distribution||Angola (Namibe Province)|
Type locality: within a crevice in a granite boulder in the vicinity of N’Dolondolo (Figs. 2, 9 in Marques et al. 2019), Namibe Province, Angola [-13.80678°N, 13.13507°E, 752 m elevation.
|Types||Holotype: CAS 263581, A subadult male (field number AMB 10296; Figs. 4–5A in Marques et al. 2019), collected by L. Ceríaco, S. Bandeira and I. Agarwal, on 21 November 2016.|
Paratype. A juvenile specimen (INBAC: AMB 10272 [same as field number]; Fig. 5B), collected at the same locality as the holotype, under a small granite rock on a larger rock, by the same collectors, on 20 November 2016.
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. A medium sized Cordylus species, identified to genus by the following combination of characters: fully limbed, strongly depressed triangular head and body, osteoderms present, rhomboidal, imbricate and keeled dorsal scales present, occipitals non-spinose, and spinose caudal and limb scales enlarged (Branch 1998; Broadley & Branch 2002; Stanley et al. 2011). Cordylus phonolithos sp. nov. differs from all other species in the genus except for C. vittifer (Reichenow, 1887), C. machadoi and C. namakuiyus, by the presence (versus absence) of a transverse row of elongated dorsal scales immediately posterior to occipitals (Fig. 6). It is distinguished from C. vittifer by pos- sessing an incomplete row of pre-occipital scales between posterior parietal and occipital scales (versus complete), and by having infralabials that are moderately deeply ridged (versus usually smooth). It is distinguished from C. machadoi by having a large keyhole-shaped interparietal in contact with frontoparietals and separating the anterior parietals (versus small, diamond-shaped interparietal not in contact with frontoparietal and never completely sepa- rating the anterior parietals in C. machadoi, see Fig. 6); having the intrusion of a scale in broad contact with the in- terparietal and occipitals, thereby separating posterior parietals (versus absence of this scale and posterior parietals in full contact in C. machadoi, see Fig. 6); a higher number of supralabials (6 in C. phonolithos sp. nov. versus 5 in C. machadoi); males with fewer caudal scales at the 15th tail whorl (8 in C. phonolithos sp. nov. versus 10–11 in C. machadoi); an orange-brown dorsal body coloration (versus darker brown to black in C. machadoi), the absence of dark speckles on throat and ventral body surfaces (versus presence in C. machadoi) and a reduced, widely sepa- rated posteromedial parietal process (similar to C. angolensis and unlike C. machadoi, in which it is extensive and forked, and C. namakuiyus, in which it is extended and unbifurcated). It is distinguished from C. namakuiyus by having the intrusion of a scale in broad contact with interparietal and occipitals, thereby separating posterior pari- etals (versus absence of this scale, posterior parietals in full contact, see Fig. 6); a higher number of supralabials (6 in C. phonolithos sp. nov. versus 4–5 in C. namakuiyus); a higher number of femoral pores (7 in C. phonolithos sp. nov. versus 4-6 in C. namakuiyus); a higher number of generation glands (16–17 in C. phonolithos sp. nov. versus 12 in C. namakuiyus); males with fewer caudal scales at the 15th tail whorl (8 in C. phonolithos sp. nov. versus 10 in C. namakuiyus); absence of osteoderms on throat and ventral surfaces (versus presence), and significantly thicker caudal osteoderms than dorsal osteoderms (resembling C. machadoi and C. angolensis); temporal scales are weakly keeled (versus strongly keeled). In coloration C. phonolithos sp. nov. is quite similar to C. namakuiyus, although the new species has a more vibrant coloration (orange-brown versus light brown). It is distinguished from C. angolensis by having a large keyhole-shaped interparietal in contact with frontoparietals, thereby separating anterior parietals, with an intrusion of a scale in broad contact with interparietal and occipitals (versus small, diamond-shaped interpa- rietal not in contact with frontoparietal, thereby never completely separating anterior parietals, posterior parietals in broad contact, see Fig. 6); fewer ventral transverse scale rows (23 versus 27), orange-brown dorsal body coloration (versus brown with blackish speckles over paler dorsal ground coloration), and by the absence of a longitudinal series of whitish speckles along dorsal surface (versus presence of two longitudinal series of small whitish speckles along dorsum), and presence (versus absence) of a loreal.|
|Etymology||The specific epithet “phonolithos” is a noun in apposition from the Greek “phono” = sound + “lithos” = rock, which means “sound stone”. In the local Mucobal language the type locality name, “N’Dolondolo” means literally “rock that sounds like a bell” or “bell” and stems from the presence of a large and famous phonolite stone at the locality. Phonolites are rare igneous volcanic stones of intermediate composition between felsic and maphic, with aphanitic to porphyritic texture that produce a very distinctive metallic sound when hit, similar to the ringing of a metallic bell.|