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Diploderma iadinum (WANG, JIANG, SILER & CHE, 2016)

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Draconinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesEnglish: Emerald Mountain Dragon
Chinese: Fei Cui Pan Xi; 翡翠龙蜥 
SynonymJapalura iadina WANG, JIANG, SILER & CHE in WANG et al. 2016
Japalura flaviceps — ZHAO et al. 1999: 293-298
Japalura flaviceps — YANG & RAO 2008: 200-201; 8
Japalura flaviceps — XU & ZHANG 2011: 202-203
Japalura splendida — XU & ZHANG 2011: 202-203
Japalura cf. flaviceps — MANTHEY et al. 2012
Diploderma iadinum — WANG et al. 2018 
DistributionChina (NW Yunnan)

Type locality: Lancang Valley at Ninong, Deqin, northwest Yunnan, China (28.370255° N, 98.865287° E, 2062 m elevation  
TypesHolotype: KIZ 019321, adult male, collected by Kai WANG on 27 May 2015.
Allotopotype: KIZ 09398, adult female. Collected by Da-Hu ZOU. Specimen shares the same locality and collection infor- mation as the holotype.
Paratopotypes: KIZ 09401-03, 019322, 019323, 019325-28, all adult males. Collected by Kai WANG, Ke JIANG, and Da-Hu ZOU. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Following Inger’s (1960) definition of the genus, the new species is assigned to Japalura based on a number of diagnostic characters, including: (1) dorsal scales unequal in size; (2) enlarged crest scales present; (3) gular pouch pre- sent; (4) lateral fold of skin in axilla–groin region present; (5) supraciliary scales greatly imbricate; (6) head relatively long, flat; (7) tail long, slender; (8) tail cylindrical in shape; and (9) precloacal and femoral pores absent.
The new species differs from all congeners by a combination of the following morphological characters: (1) gular fold present; (2) distinct gular pouch present; (3) relative hind-limb length moderate HLL/SVL 69.6%-80.1%; (4) relative tail length moderate TAL/SVL 173%-198%; (5) F4S 15-17; (6) T4S 19-25; (7) MD 35-46; (8) three lateral rows of enlarged scales pre- sent on the dorsal surface of the body parallel to the dorsal crest; (9) nuchal and dorsal crests moderately raised on skin folds; (10) nuchal and dorsal crests relatively low and discon- tinuous in males; (11) dorsal and lateral surfaces of body emerald green in males, yellowish brown speckled with large, light yellow scales in females; (12) tail yellowish green in males, brownish in females; (13) ventral surface of body bluish or whitish gray, sometimes with black speckles, in males, uniform yellow in females; (14) two smooth-edged, light-green, dorso- lateral stripes present in males; (15) vermiculate stripes on ventral surface of head present, distinct, blackish blue in males, black in females; (16) gular region dark blue in males, yellow in females.

Variation and sexual dimorphism: Variation in morphometric characters and pholidosis patterns is summarized in Table 2. The new species is sexually dimorphic, with females possessing distinct coloration and pigmentation patterns from males. The female allotype of the new species differs from males by having light, yellowish brown ground coloration on the dorsal surfaces of the head, body, and limbs (v.s. emerald green), distinct, light brown transverse bands on the dorsal surface of the body (v.s. single, black vertebral stripe), a greenish yellow gular spot (v.s. blue), and a white ground coloration on the ventral surfaces of the body and limbs (v.s. blue; Figure 6 in WANG et al. 2016).

Comparisons: The new species Japalura iadina sp. nov. has been confused previously with J. flaviceps; however, it can be distinguished readily from the latter by having a smaller adult body size (SVL 54-65 mm v.s. 64-75 mm), a tendency to- wards a shorter relative snout length (SEL/HL 34.9%-40.2% v.s. 40.0%-44.2%), smaller, less protuberant nuchal and dorsal skin folds in males (v.s. strongly protuberant), distinct ground coloration on the dorsal surfaces of the head, limbs, and body in males (emerald green v.s. brown), and distinct patterns of pigmentation along the dorsal midline of the body in males (vertebral black stripes v.s. a series of dark rhom- boid-shaped patterns of pigmentation), as well as by the presence of distinct gular spots in both sexes (v.s. absence), and by the presence of distinct black radial stripes around the eyes (v.s. absence).
The new species is morphologically most similar to J. splen- dida, J. makii, and J. luei, of which all four species have the green background coloration. However, Japalura iadina sp. nov. can be diagnosed from J. splendida by having a terrestrial life style (v.s. arboreal), a smaller adult body size (SVL 54-65 mm v.s. 59-92 mm), fewer T4S (19-24 v.s. 24-28), a shorter relative tail length (TAL/SVL≤198% v.s. ≥217%), distinct tail coloration in males (greenish yellow v.s. brownish gray), as well as by the absence of white lip stripes (v.s. presence), presence of gular spots in both sexes (v.s. absence), and absence of green coloration on the dorsal surfaces of the body in females (v.s. presence); from J. makii by having a smaller adult body size (SVL 54-65 mm v.s. 61-79 mm), a relatively shorter tail (TAL/SVL 1.73-1.98 v.s. 2.09-2.61), fewer T4S (19-24 v.s. 24-30), a pink coloration of tongue and oral cavity in life (v.s. yellow), a terrestrial lifestyle (vs. arboreal), as well as by the absence of a gular fold (v.s. presence), absence of green, transverse bands across the dorsal surface of body (v.s. presence), and absence of lip strips below eyes (v.s. presence); and from J. luei by having a smaller adult body size (SVL 54-65 mm v.s. 65-75 mm), a relatively shorter tail (TAL/SVL 1.73-1.98 v.s. 2.31-2.48), fewer T4S (19-24 v.s. 24-28), a terrestrial lifestyle (v.s. arboreal), continuous dorsolateral stripes in males (v.s. a dorsolateral series of disconnected, irregular, large markings), as well as by the absence of a gular fold (v.s. presence), and absence of lip stripes below eyes (v.s. presence).
Japalura iadina sp. nov. differs from J. laeviventris by having a smaller adult body size (SVL 54-65 mm v.s. 64-72 mm), dis- tinctively keeled ventral scales of head and body (v.s. smooth or weakly keeled), fewer MD (35-46 v.s. 57-59), distinct ground coloration of the dorsal surfaces of head and body in males (emerald green v.s. off-white), distinct coloration of gular spots (blue in males, greenish yellow in females v.s. orange in both sexes), and distinct patterns of pigmentations on the dorsal surfaces of the body along the dorsal midline (black vertebral stripes speckled with green v.s. M-shaped patterns of dark brown pigmentation).
Additionally, when compared with species distributed in close geographic proximity along the Lancang River, J. iadina sp. nov. can be distinguished from J. vela by having less protuberant, discontinuous vertebral crests in males (v.s. sail-like, strongly protuberant, continuous), distinct ground coloration on the dorsal surfaces of the body (emerald green v.s. black) and tail (yellow v.s. gray) in males, uniquely shaped dorsolateral stripes in males (smooth edged v.s. strongly jagged), as well as by the presence of gular spots in both sexes (v.s. absence in both sexes), and by the absence of weakly defined, reddish dorso- lateral lines in females (v.s. presence); and from J. yunnanensis by having a terrestrial lifestyle (v.s. arboreal), shorter relative tail length (TAL/SVL ≤198% v.s.≥237%), fewer T4S (19-24 v.s. 27-31), distinct coloration of gular spots (blue in males, greenish yellow in females vs. yellow in both sexes when present or absence in females), as well as by the presence of a transverse gular fold (v.s. absence).

Phylogenetics: no information provided by WANG et al. 2016. 
CommentAbundance: only known from its original description and one other locality 17 km downstream of the Mekong River (Wang et al. 2019). 
EtymologyThe Latin name “iadina” means “emerald like, ” which describes the diagnostic emerald green body coloration of males of the new species. 
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  • 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
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  • WANG, KAI; JINLONG REN, KE JIANG, ZHIYONG YUAN, JING CHE, CAMERON D. SILER 2017. Rediscovery of the enigmatic Mountain Dragon, Japalura yulongensis (Reptilia: Sauria: Agamidae), with notes on its natural history and conservation. Zootaxa 4318 (2): 351–363 - get paper here
  • WANG, Kai; Ke JIANG, Da-Hu ZOU, Fang YAN, Cameron D. SILER, Jing CHE 2016. Two new species of Japalura (Squamata: Agamidae) from the Hengduan Mountain Range, China. Zoological Research 37(1): 41-56, DOI: 10.13918/j.issn.2095-8137.2016.1.41 - get paper here
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