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Cristidorsa otai (MAHONY, 2009)

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Draconinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Ota's mountain Lizard 
SynonymJapalura otai MAHONY 2009
Japalura otai — MANTHEY 2010
Cristidorsa otai — WANG et al. 2018 
DistributionNE India (Mizoram)

Type locality: “Sairep, Lunglet District, Mizoram” (= Sairep (22°49'0 N, 92°49'0 E), Lunglei District, central Mizoram, northeast India).  
TypesHolotype: ZSI 25217 (male), collector S.S. Saha, 19 April, 1995. Paratypes: ZSI 25215 and 25216, two females, locality data as for holotype, coll. S. S. Saha, 16 and 19 April 1995. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Lizards of the genus ‘Cristidorsa’ dif- fer from other closely related Draconinae genera by having the following morphological characteristics: (1) head robust and relatively wide, HW/HL mostly >70%; (2) scales of lateral head keeled; (3) nuchal and dorsal crest feeble, CL/HL<5%; (4) post-occipital and post-orbital spines absent; (5) gular scales mostly homogeneous in size; (6) size of scales on lateral jaw subequal in size across gular region; (7) single pair of distinctively enlarged conical scales present on nape above shoulder, one scale on each side of vertebral crest; (8) dorsal scale significantly heterogeneous in sizes and shapes; (9) distinct, dorsolateral rows of enlarged, keeled scales present on dorsum; and (10) V-shaped ridges present along dorsal midline, formed by enlarged, keeled scales (Wang et al. 2018: 13)

Diagnosis: This species differs from all species of the genus Japalura by the following combination of characters; small adult size (SVL male 46.4 mm, female 52.2–58.7 mm), tail length/SVL ratio 160.5–187.5%, 10–11 SL, 9–12 IL, 45–47 MD, 17–20 4FingLam, 20–22 4ToeLam, tympanum concealed, axillary fold present, raised nuchal and dorsal crest, transverse gular fold and distinct gular pouch absent, enlarged keeled dorsal scales present, body shape subquadrangular in cross section [from MAHONY 2009]. 
CommentAbundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017).

Type species: Japalura otai MAHONY 2009 is the type species of the genus Cristidorsa WANG et al. 2018. 
EtymologyThe Latin term ‘Cristidorsa’ means ‘ridged dorsum’, which describes the distinct, characteristic ridges on the dorsal surface of the body in the new genus. The generic name is feminine and it consists of two parts, namely ‘Cristi-’ (meaning ‘ridged’) and ‘-dorsa’ (meaning ‘dorsum’). Wang et al. 2018 suggested the English common name as ‘Ridged Dragons’ and the Chinese name as ‘棱背蜥’ (pronounced as ‘Leng-Bei-Shi’).

The specific epithet is a noun in genitive case formed from the personal name Hidetoshi Ota of the Tropical Biosphere Research Center, University of the Ryukyus, Japan. His comprehensive work and taxonomic revisions of Japalura species have immensely contributed to our current knowledge of this genus. 
  • Aengals, R.; V.M. Sathish Kumar & Muhamed Jafer Palot 2013. Updated Checklist of Indian Reptiles. Privately published, 24 pp.
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • DENZER, WOLFGANG; ULRICH MANTHEY, PATRICK D CAMPBELL 2019. Catalogue of type specimens of the agamid lizard genus Japalura s. l. (Squamata: Agamidae: Draconinae). Zootaxa 4612 (1): 109-125 - get paper here
  • Mahony, Stephen 2009. A new species of Japalura (Reptilia: Agamidae) from northeast India with a discussion of the similar species Japalura sagittifera Smith, 1940 and Japalura planidorsata Jerdon, 1870. Zootaxa 2212: 41–61 - get paper here
  • Manthey U 2010. Agamid Lizards of Southern Asia. Draconinae 2 -Leiolepidinae. Edition Chimaira, Terralog 7b, Frankfurt, 168 pp.
  • MANTHEY, ULRICH; WOLFGANG DENZER, HOU MIAN & WANG XIAOHE 2012. Discovered in historical collections: Two new Japalura species (Squamata: Sauria: Agamidae) from Yulong Snow Mountains, Lijiang Prefecture, Yunnan, PR China. Zootaxa 3200: 27–48 - 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
  • Venugopal, P.D. 2010. An updated and annotated list of Indian lizards (Reptilia: Sauria) based on a review of distribution records and checklists of Indian reptiles. Journal of Threatened Taxa 2 (3): 725-738. - get paper here
  • Wang, Kai; Jing Che, Simin Lin, V Deepak, Datta-Roy Aniruddha, Ke Jiang, Jieqiong Jin, Hongman Chen, Cameron D Siler; 2018. Multilocus phylogeny and revised classification for mountain dragons of the genus Japalura s.l. (Reptilia: Agamidae: Draconinae) from Asia. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, , zly034, - get paper here
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