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Ctenosaura acanthura (SHAW, 1802)

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Higher TaxaIguanidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Northeastern Spinytail Iguana
S: Garrobo del Noreste 
SynonymLacerta Acanthura SHAW 1802: 216
Uromastyx acanthurus — MERREM 1820
Cyclura teres HARLAN 1825
Ct. [enosaura] cycluroides WIEGMANN 1828
Iguana (Ctenosaura) Cycluroides — GRAY 1831 (in CUVIER; edit. GRIFFITH)
Iguana (Ctenosaura) Acanthura — GRAY 1831 (in CUVIER; edit. GRIFFITH)
Cyclura Shawii GRAY (substitute name for Lacerta Acanthura SHAW)
Iguana (Ctenosaura) Armata GRAY 1831 (in CUVIER; edit. GRIFFITH)
Iguana (Ctenosaura) Lanceolata GRAY 1831 (in CUVIER; edit. GRIFFITH)
Iguana (Ctenosaura) Bellii GRAY 1831 (in CUVIER; edit. GRIFFITH)
Iguana (Cyclura) Teres — GRAY 1831 (in CUVIER; edit. GRIFFITH)
C.[yclura] articulata WIEGMANN 1834
C.[yclura] denticulata WIEGMANN 1834
Ignana [sic] (Cyclura) acanthura — BLAINVILLE 1835: 288
Cyclura acanthura — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1837: 222
Cyclura (Ctenosaura) denticulata — FITZINGER 1843
Cyclura semicristata FITZINGER 1843
Cyclura (Ctenosaura) articulata — FITZINGER 1843
Cyclura (Ctenosaura) Shawii — FITZINGER 1843
Cyclura (Ctenosaura) Bellii — FITZINGER 1843
Ctenosaura acanthura — GRAY 1845
Cyclura denticulata — HALLOWELL 1855
Cyclura acanthura — SUMICHRAST 1864: 500
Cyclura (Ctenosaura) acanthura — COPE 1869
Ctenosaura teres — BOCOURT (in DUMÉRIL & BOCOURT) 1874
Ctenosaura acanthura — BOULENGER 1885: 1915
Ctenosaura acanthura — GÜNTHER 1885: 56
Ctenosaura multispinis COPE 1886: 267
Ctenosaura teres — COPE 1886: 269
Ctenosaura acanthura — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950
Ctenosaura acanthura — LINER 1994
Ctenosaura (Ctenosaura) acanthura — KÖHLER et al. 2000
Ctenosaura (Ctenosaura) acanthura — KÖHLER 2003
Ctenosauria acanthura — PERCINO-DANIEL et al. 2013 (in error)
Ctenosaura acanthura — MATA-SILVA et al. 2015 
DistributionE Mexico (from Liera and Tepehuaje de Arriba in Tamaulipas southward to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in SE Veracruz and Chiapas, E Oaxaca; San Luis Potosí, Hidalgo, Nuevo León ?, Puebla), N Guatemala

Type locality: Not given by SHAW. BOULENGER 1885 erroneously gives “California” which probably means “Baja California”, although the species doesn’t live there). Restricted to Tampico, Tamaulipas by BAILEY 1928.  
TypesType: BMNH 1946.8.30.19 (and possibly additional specimens).
Holotype: USNM 72737 [Ctenosaura multispinis] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus). Ctenosaura differs from Cachryx in the following character states: Up to 4 cusps on teeth. Modal number of premaxillary teeth, 7. Crista cranii arranged as a smooth curve between the frontal and prefrontal. Subdigital lamellae under the first phalanx of the third digit of the pes not fused. Anteriormost ten strongly spinous caudal scale whorls separated by 1 or 2 intercalary rows, except sometimes in the 1st row. Parietal eye conspicuous [from Malone et al. 2017]. For an older generic diagnosis see Bailey 1928: 8.

Diagnosis (species): Bailey 1928: 11 
CommentHistory: Etheridge (1982) cites SHAW 1802 (Gen. Zool., London, 3 (1): 216) as first author. However, the first part of “General Zoology, vol. 3” appeared already 1795. Bailey (1928) mixed up C. acanthinura, similis, and pectinata. See SMITH & TAYLOR (1950: 74) for details.

Synonymy: Zarza et al. (2008) demonstrated that this taxon is nested within the diverse taxon currently called C. pectinata. Until the taxonomy of C. pectinata is clarified (see Comment on that species), we continue to recognize acanthura as a separate species from pectinata.

Type species: Ctenosaura cycluroides WIEGMANN 1828 is the type species of the genus Ctenosaura WIEGMANN 1828 (designated by FITZINGER 1843).

Distribution: Not in Nuevo León fide Nevárez-de los Reyes et al. 2016. Reported from Nuevo León by Lemos-Espinal et al. 2017. Nevárez-de los Reyes et al. 2016 considered the record for Sabinas Hidalgo in northern Nuevo Leon as erroneous. 
EtymologyThe generic name is composed of two Greek words, ktenos, meaning "comb" and sauros, meaning "lizard," in reference to the median row of elevated, enlarged scales along the middle of the back. The specific epithet is derived from the Greek words acanthus, meaning "spiny or prickly" and oura, meaning "tail," in reference to the spiny tail (Lemos-Espinal & Dixon 2013). 
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  • ZARZA, EUGENIA; VICTOR H. REYNOSO and BRENT C. EMERSON 2008. Diversification in the northern neotropics: mitochondrial and nuclear DNA phylogeography of the iguana Ctenosaura pectinata and related species. Molecular Ecology 17: 3259–3275 - get paper here
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