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Elgaria multicarinata (BLAINVILLE, 1835)

IUCN Red List - Elgaria multicarinata - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaAnguidae (Gerrhonotinae), Diploglossa, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesElgaria multicarinata multicarinata (BLAINVILLE,1835)
Elgaria multicarinata ignava (VAN DENBURGH 1905)
Elgaria multicarinata nana (FITCH 1934)
Elgaria multicarinata scincicauda (SKILTON 1849)
Elgaria multicarinata webbii (BAIRD 1859) 
Common NamesE: Southern Alligator Lizard
G: südliche Alligatorschleiche
multicarinata: California Alligator Lizard
scincicauda: Oregon Alligator Lizard
webbii : San Diego Alligator Lizard
ignava: San Martin Alligator Lizard
nana: Los Coronados Alligator Lizard
S: Lagarto Meridional 
SynonymCordylus (Gerhonotus) multi-carinatus BLAINVILLE 1835: 289
Gerrhonotus multicarinatus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 404
Gerrhonotus multicarinatus — VAN DENBURGH 1898: 64
Gerrhonotus multicarinatus — BRADLEY & DEACON 1966
Gerrhonotus multicarinatus — WERMUTH 1969: 24
Gerrhonotus multicarinatus — KAHL et al. 1980: 189
Gerrhonotus multicarinatus — STEBBINS 1985: 164
Elgaria multicarinata — GOOD 1988: 75
Elgaria multicarinata — LINER 1994
Elgaria multicarinata — PIANKA & VITT 2003: 227
Elgaria multicarinata multicarinata — COLLINS & TAGGART 2009

Elgaria multicarinata ignava (VAN DENBURGH 1905)
Gerrhonotus scincicauda ignava VAN DENBURGH 1905
Gerrhonotus multicarinatus ignavus — ZWEIFEL 1958

Elgaria multicarinata nana (FITCH 1934)
Gerrhonotus scincicauda nanus FITCH 1934: 7
Gerrhonotus multi-carinatus nanus FITCH 1934
Gerrhonotus multi-carinatus nanus — FITCH 1938
Elgaria multicarinata nana — TIHEN 1949: 596
Elgaria multicarinata nana — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 207
Gerrhonotus multicarinatus nanus — WERMUTH 1969: 24
Elgaria multicarinata nana — CROTHER 2000
Elgaria nana — GRISMER 2001
Elgaria nana — LEMOS-ESPINAL 2015
Elgaria nana — JOHNSON et al. 2017
Elgaria multicarinata — LEAVITT et al. 2017

Elgaria multicarinata scincicauda (SKILTON 1849)
Tropidolepis scincicauda SKILTON 1849: 202
Tropidolepis sincicauda [sic] — SKILTON 1849: plate
Elgaria grandis BAIRD & GIRARD 1852: 176
Gerrhonotus (Elgaria) scincicauda — O’SHAUGHNESSY 1873: 47
Gerrhonotus scincicauda — STEJNEGER 1893: 195
Gerrhonotus scincicauda — VAN DENBURGH 1895: 120
Gerrhonotus multicarinatus scincicauda — FITCH 1936
Gerrhonotus multicarinatus scincicauda — WERMUTH 1969: 24
Gerrhonotus multicarinatus scincicauda — STEBBINS 1985: 165
Gerrhonotus multicarinatus scincicauda — CROTHER 2000
Gerrhonotus multicarinatus scincicauda — COLLINS & TAGGART 2009

Elgaria multicarinata webbii (BAIRD 1859)
Gerrhonotus webbii BAIRD 1859: 255
Gerrhonotus Webbii — O’SHAUGHNESSY 1873: 46
Gerrhonotus webbii — GÜNTHER 1885: 35
Gerrhonotus scincicauda ignavus VAN DENBURGH 1905: 19
Gerrhonotus scincicauda webbii — GRINNELL & CAMP 1917: 168
Gerrhonotus scincicauda webbii — KLAUBER 1928
Gerrhonotus scincicauda webbii — BURT 1933
Gerrhonotus multi-carinatus webbii — FITCH 1938: 395
Elgaria multicarinata webbii — TIHEN 1949: 596
Elgaria multicarinata webbii — CUNNINGHAM 1956
Gerrhonotus multicarinatus webbi — CUNNINGHAM 1966
Gerrhonotus multicarinatus webbii — WERMUTH 1969: 25
Gerrhonotus multicarinatus webbii — STEBBINS 1985: 165
Gerrhonotus multicarinatus webbii — CROTHER 2000
Elgaria multicarinata webbii — COLLINS & TAGGART 2009
Elgaria multicarinata webbii — WERNING 2013
Elgaria multicarinata webbii — BARTS 2018 
DistributionUSA (Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada),
Mexico (Baja California)

ignava: San Martin Island, Baja California

nana: Los Coronados Island, Baja California; Type locality: South island, Los Coronados Island, Baja California.

scincicauda: USA (Oregon); Type locality: “country about the Dalles of the Columbia”

webbii: S California, N Baja California. Type locality: “San Diego to El Paso”. Restrcited to San Diego, California, by SMITH & TAYLOR 1950.  
Reproductionoviparous; genetic sex determination (GSD) although some sources also reported Temperature‐dependent sex determination (TSD), e.g. Cornejo-Páramo et al. 2020, citing Goldberg 1972. 
TypesHolotype: MNHN-RA 2002, 228 (130) mm
Holotype: USNM 9057 [Elgaria grandis]
Holotype: CAS 4699 [ignava]
Holotype: MVZ (Mus. Vert. Zool.) UC 5402 [nana]
Holotype: USNM 3078 (collected by T.H. Webb) [webbii] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Good 1988: 71, but note that the concept (and content) of Elgaria in Good 1988 was different than today. Ledesma et al. 2021 found that no skull characters are reliably diagnostic for Elgaria (or Gerrhonotus).

Diagnosis: A large species of Gerrhonotus (maximum snout-vent length 175 mm., tail length over twice snout-vent length), with dorsal scales in 14 longitudinal rows and 40 to 66 transverse rows, and undivided interoccipital. Dorsal scales of both body and tail are heavily keeled. Ventral scales are in 12 longitudinal rows. Dorsal ground color varies from light brown to olive gray or dull yellow, with the sides darker. The body and tail are marked with irregular transverse bands, black on the sides and lighter dorsally, often including scales with white posterior edges. The head is nearly uniform brown with little marking, except for a dark temporal band in some individuals. The venter varies from pale gray to dull yellow, often with longitudinal dark lines aligned in the centers of the scale rows (from Lais 1976).

Gerrhonotus m. multi-carinatus, as, now re-applied, differs from the northern subspecies, G. m. scincicauda, in having some of the lateral caudal scales keeled (in addition to the 8 keeled rows of dorsal caudals), and in frequently having red or chestnut coloring in the transverse dorsal bands on the body, which are always black, without bright colors, in scincicauda (Fitch 1934).

Diagnosis (ignavus): Maximum snout-vent length about 124 mm.; brown markings on top of head and on labials, temporal band present; body bands black laterally, black or brown middorsally with a tendency for suffusion of brown pigment over light scales between bands; four to five rows of scales keeled on upper arm; eight rows of dorsal caudals keeled near base of tail, often several rows of lateral caudals keeled on each side (mean 13.4 rows); three to four upper rows of temporals keeled (from Lais 1976).

Diagnosis (nana): Maximum snout-vent length about 114 mm.; head marked with dark brown, broad temporal band present; body bands similar to those in ignavus; one to three rows of scales on upper arm weakly keeled; eight rows of dorsal caudals strongly keeled near base of tail, two or three rows of lateral caudals on each side usually keeled; upper two rows of tem- porals sharply keeled, lower ones weakly keeled or smooth (from Lais 1976; see also Fitch 1934: 7).

Diagnosis (webbi): Maximum snout-vent length about 175 mm.; head markings and temporal band absent; bands on back black or dark brown, one to two scale rows wide; three to four rows of keeled scales on upper arm; eight rows of dorsal caudals distinctly keeled near base of tail, several rows of lateral caudals on each side weakly keeled (mean 12.8 rows); upper two rows of temporals heavily keeled (from Lais 1976). 
CommentType Species: Cordylus (Gerhonotus) multi-carinatus BLAINVILLE 1835 is the type species of the genus Elgaria GRAY 1838.

Distribution: see map in Leavitt et al. 2017: Fig. 1.

Predation: this species seems to have developed some resistance to black widow spider venom (Thill et al. 2022).

Synonymy: Leavitt et al. 2017 consider nana as conspecific with multicarinatus; one DNA sample nested within multicarinatus. 
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