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Diploderma angustelinea WANG, REN, WU, CHE & SILER, 2020

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Draconinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Narrow-striped Mountain Dragon
Chinese: 细纹龙蜥 (Pinyin: Xi Wen Long Xi) 
SynonymDiploderma angustelinea WANG, REN, WU, CHE & SILER 2020: 229
Japalura flaviceps — ZHAO et al. 1999: 111 (part)
Japalura flaviceps — ZHAO 2003: 84 (part) 
DistributionChina (Middle Yalong River Valley in Muli County, Sichuan Province)

Type locality: Maidilong Village, Muli Tibetan Autonomous County, Liangshan Prefecture, Sichuan Province, China (28.594° N, 101.226° E, elevation 2017 m, WGS 84).  
ReproductionOviparous. Only a single female was gravid (KIZ 029705), with all the remaining females showing characters of recent oviposition (i.e., empty stomach and extra skin folds on ventrolateral and lateral trunk), which suggests that mid-June is toward the end of its breeding season (Wang et al. 2021) 
TypesHolotype: KIZ 029703, adult male
Paratypes: KIZ 044484, 044796, 044797, adult males; collected by Kai Wang, Zhuoyu Lu, and Xiankun Huang on June 25, 2019. KIZ 029704–029708, 029710, adult females, same collecting information as for the holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: The new species can be diagnosed from congeners by a combination of the following morphological characteristics: (1) body size moderate, SVL 56.8–60.2 mm in males, 59.0–67.8 mm in females; (2) tail long, TAL 230.2%–249.1% SVL in males, 194.30%–222.3% in females; (3) hind limbs moderate, HLL 71.1%–80.2% SVL in males, 74.4%–79.2% in females; (4) head width moderate, HW 66.6%–73.9% HL, HD 72.7%– 79.3% HW; (5) MD 41–49; (6) F4S 14–19; (7) T4S 21–26; (8) post-rictal sub-pyramidal scales weakly developed and few, 0–3; (9) tympanum concealed; (10) nuchal crest scales weakly developed without skin folds in both sexes, slightly raised and serrated in males; (11) distinct transverse gular fold present, deep; (12) ventral scales of head and body distinctively keeled; (13) gular spots always present in males, mostly in females, Spectrum Yellow (Color 79) to Dark Spectrum Yellow (Color 78) in life, absent after preservation; (14) no dark vermiculate stripes on ventral head; (15) dorsolateral stripes narrow, feebly jagged, Spectrum Yellow (Color 79), present in both sexes; (16) dark radial stripes around eyes indistinct or absent; (17) distinct, clear separation between the Jet Black (Color 300) or Burnt Umber (Color 48) coloration of dorsolateral body and white coloration of ventrolateral body; and (18) oral cavity and tongue Light Flesh Color (Color 250) (Wang et al. 2021).

Comparisons: Diploderma angustelinea was confused historically with D. flaviceps, with both species having faint, indistinct, or no dark radial stripes around eyes. However, the new species can be distinguished from the latter by having feebly developed nuchal crests without skin folds in both sexes (versus well-developed on skin folds in both sexes), a relatively longer tail in males (TAL 230.2%–249.1% SVL versus 181.8%–210.8% SVL), fewer and weakly developed postrictal modified scales (0–3, average 1, sub-pyramidal-shaped and weakly developed versus 3–9, average 6, conical-shaped and welldeveloped), feebly jagged, narrow dorsolateral stripes in both sexes (versus strongly jagged and wide), a sharp transition in body coloration from dorsolateral Jet Black (Color 300) or Burnt Umber (Color 48) coloration to ventral white (versus gradual transition from Pale Pinkish Buff [Color 3] to white), and by the presence of distinct gular spots in both sexes (versus absence), and absence of reticulated, vermiculate black patterns on the gular region (versus presence). The new species is morphologically most similar to D. laeviventre, in which both species possess yellowish gular spots, distinct transverse gular folds, and none or few weakly developed post-rictal modified scales. However, D. angustelinea c an be differentiated from the latter species by having distinctively keeled ventral scales (versus feebly keeled or smooth), fewer middorsal scales (41–49 versus 57–59), slightly jagged, narrower dorsolateral stripes (versus completely smooth-edged and wide), and by the absence of heavy black speckles on dorsal, lateral, and ventral surfaces of head (versus presence). Diploderma angustelinea differs from all remaining recognized congeners by having narrow, dorsolateral stripes in both sexes (versus thick and wide). Specifically, D. angustelinea differs from D. brevicaudum and D. drukdaypo by having a longer tail (230.2%–249.1% SVL in males, 194.3%–222.3% SVL in females versus 140.0% in male, 125.0%–145.0% in females for D. brevicaudum; 153.0%–154.4% in males, 132.8%–144.0% in females for D. drukdaypo) and much longer hind limbs (HLL 71.1%–80.2% versus 60.0%–64.0% in D. brecicaudum, 58.2%–63.8% in D. drukdaypo); from D. batangense, D. iadinum, D. vela, D. yulongense, and D. zhaoermii by having weakly developed nuchal crests without skin folds (versus well-developed on raised on skin folds in males) and distinct coloration of gular spots (Dark Spectrum Yellow [Color 78] versus Pale Cyan [Color 157] in D. batangense; Caribbean Blue [Color 168] and Medium Greenish Yellow [Color 88] males and females in D. iadinum, respectively; Chartreuse [Color 89] in D. yulongense and D. zhaoermii; and no gular spots in D. vela); from D. chapaenses, D. micangshanense, D. varcoae, D. yunnanenses, and all island species (D. brevipes, D. luei, D. makii, D. polygonatum, and D. swinhonis) by the presence of a distinct, deep, transverse gular fold (versus absence); from D. fasciatum b y t he f eebly d eveloped n uchal c rests ( versus well-developed and differentiated from dorsal crests), and by the presence of dorsolateral stripes (versus absence) and the absence of hourglass-shaped pattern on the mid-dorsum (versus presence); from D. dymondi, D. slowinskii, D. swild, and D. varcoae by having a concealed tympanum (versus exposed); from D. splendidum by having a smaller maximum body size (SVL ≤ 67.8 mm versus ≤92.0 mm), homogeneous ventral head scales (versus heterogeneous), and distinct, deep, transverse gular fold (versus shallow); from D. hamptoni by having parallel dorsolateral stripes (versus diagonally away from vertebral line posteriorly), a distinct transverse gular fold (versus shallow), and by the absence of distinct dark stripes on gular region (versus presence) (Wang et al. 2021).

Color in life: The background color of the dorsal and lateral surfaces of the head is uniform Medium Neutral Gray (Color 298), and the coloration is much darker toward the occipital region of the head. Two transverse bands occur between the eyes, which are more distinct towards the terminal ends on both sides; and both bands are Robin Rufous (Color 29) on the terminal ends and gradually fade into Buff (Color 5) towards the middle. Jet Black (Color 300) to Dark Neutral Gray (Color 299) radial stripes are present around the eyes, where most stripes extend outside of the orbit circle except ones that are inferior to the orbit. Radial stripes around the eyes are somewhat faint and indistinct, except the posterior one that is toward the rictus on each side, which is the broadest and most distinct stripe. A single Cream Color (Color 12), distinct suborbital stripe is present below the eye on each side of the head, extending from the posterior nasal scale to the rictus and beyond on each side. A somewhat faint, dark stripe, which is formed by two rows of heavily speckled scales (Medium Neutral Gray, Color 298), is present below the suborbital stripe from the anteriormost supralabial to the second most posterior supralabial scale. Supralabial scales are Light Yellow Ocher (Color 13), distinct from the infralabial scales. Background color on the post-tympanic regions of the head are Smoky White (Color 261). Two short, longitudinal, Dark Neutral Gray (Color 299) streaks (less than 10 scales in length) are present on each side, which are parallel to each other and positioned at the superior and inferior edges of the tympanum, respectively. For the remaining scales of the post-tympanic and post-rictal regions of the head, the keels and conical tips of all scales are Surphur Yellow (Color 80). The oral cavity and tongue are uniform Light Flesh (Color 250) colored in life.

Two narrow, Sulphur Yellow (Color 80) dorsolateral stripes are present from the posterior occipital region to the pelvis, one on each side of the vertebral crest, parallel to each other. The dorsal region between the two dorsolateral stripes is Orange Rufous (Color 56), with five rectangular, Burnt Umber (Color 48) patches scattered evenly from the neck to the pelvis. Body surfaces inferior to the dorsolateral stripes are Jet Black (Color 300) on the anterior part of the body, fading into Burnt Umber (Color 48) and eventually to Drab-Gray (Color 256) posterior to the pelvis. Ventrolateral surfaces of the body are Smoky White (Color 261) to white, which is distinct from the blackish coloration below the dorsolateral stripes. Some of the enlarged scales on the lateral body surfaces inferior to the dorsolateral stripes are much lighter, which bear an either Flesh Ocher (Color 57) or Sulpher Yellow (Color 80) medial keel. The dorsal surfaces of the limbs are uniform Pratt’s Payne’s Gray (Color 293), with keels of individual scales in Olive Sulphur Yellow (Color 90). The dorsal and lateral tail surfaces are Pale Neutral Gray (Color 296), with Flesh Ocher (Color 57) scales scattered randomly near the tale base. Numerous faint Light Flesh Color (Color 250) bands are scattered evenly on the tail from one-third of its length posteriorly, and the color eventually fades into uniform Drab-Gray (Color 256) towards the end.

The background coloration of the ventral surface of the head is white. A distinct, Spectrum Yellow (Color 79) gular spot is present on the center of the gular pouch. Scales surrounding the gular spot bear Spectrum Yellow (Color 79) keels. No distinct dark vermiculate stripes are present on the ventral surfaces of the head. The ventral surface of the body is uniform white with no distinct color pigmentation, and the ventral surfaces of the tail are uniform Smoky White (Color 261) (Wang et al. 2021).
CommentSimilar species: D. bowoense.

Publication date: The paper by Wang et al. was published online in December 2020 while the entire issue of the journal was published in Jan 2021, hence there may be different publication dates in use. 
EtymologyThe Latin specific name, “angustelinea”, comprises two parts: anguste meaning “narrow” and linea meaning “stripe” or “line.” Together, the specific name describes the diagnostic narrow, thin, dorsolateral stripes present in the species. 
  • Wang, K., Ren, J., Wu, J., Jiang, K., Jin, J., Hou, S., ... & Che, J. 2020. Systematic revision of mountain dragons (Reptilia: Agamidae: Diploderma) in China, with descriptions of six new species and discussion on their conservation. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, 59(1), 222-263 (published online 2020)
  • WANG, KAI; WEI GAO, JIAWEI WU, WENJIE DONG, XIAOGANG FENG, WENJING SHEN, JIEQIONG JIN, XIUDONG SHI, YIN QI, CAMERON D. SILER, JING CHE 2021. Two New Species of Diploderma Hallowell, 1861 (Reptilia: Squamata: Agamidae) from the Hengduan Mountain Region in China and Rediscovery of D. brevicaudum (Manthey, Wolfgang, Hou, Wang, 2012). Zootaxa 4941 (1): 001–032 - get paper here
  • Zhao E. M., Zhao K., Zhou K. Y. 1999. Fauna Sinica, Reptilia, Vol. 2, Squamata, Lacertilia. [In Chinese] Beijing: Science Press, 394 pp
  • Zhao, E. (ed.) 2003. Coloured atlas of Sichuan reptiles [in Chinese]. Beijing, China Forestry Publishing House
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