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Eremias fahimii MOZAFFARI, AHMADZADEH & SABERI-PIROOZ, 2020

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Higher TaxaLacertidae, Eremiadinae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymEremias fahimii MOZAFFARI, AHMADZADEH & SABERI-PIROOZ 2020
Eremias persica — ANDERSON 1999: 221 (part.)
Eremias persica — LEVITON et al. 1992: 57 (part.)
Eremias persica — MOZAFFARI et al. 2014: 176 (part.) 
DistributionIran (Markazi province)

Type locality: not provided, but shown on map in Mozaffari et al. 2020: 566 (Fig. 1), shoutwest of the type locality of E. papenfussi. Locality given as around Jaroo Mountain, 35° 40’ 08” N, 50° 42’ 24” E at an elevation of 1,173 m a.s.l.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: ZFMK 102757 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. An Eremias species with three nasals; lower nasal resting on two supralabials; subocular bordering mouth; lateral scales of forth toe not forming distinct fringes; forth toe with single complete row of subdigital scales; the two series of femoral pores separated by a single scale; collar scales distinctly larger than adjacent gulars; 30–31 gulars in straight median series; 60–63 dorsals; 31 scales in the tenth caudal annulus; upper caudal scales smooth and without distinct keels.

Comparisons. Whether the subgenera represent monophyletic groups or not, as morphologically-defined taxa they are useful bins for comparing and diagnosing our new species. Eremias fahimii sp. nov. can be excluded from the subgenus Scapteira by lacking the lateral fringes on the fourth toe (Fig. 3D) and by a subocular scale that is in contact with the edge of mouth (Fig. 3C). The latter character also excludes it from the subgenus Ommateremias. It can be excluded from the subgenus Rhabderemias by its large size and by having longitudinal dorsal stripes that are broken into a spotted pattern (Anderson, 1999). Within the Iranian members of the subgenus Eremias, E. fahimii sp. nov. can be differentiated from E. isfahanica by having more supralabial scales (9–10 vs. 6–8) 6–7 of them located anterior to subocular (vs. 5), smaller gap between femoral pores (1 scale vs. 3) (Fig. 3E), fewer supraciliary scales (5–6 vs. 7) and fewer subdigital lamella under the 4th toe (20–21 vs. 22–26). It can be distinguished from Eremias kopetdaghica Szczerbak, 1972 by having more mid-dorsum scales (60-63 vs. 48-59), more scales in the 10th caudal annulus (31 vs. 20–26), more gular scales (30–31 vs. 19–28) (Fig. 3A) and the absence distinctly keeled upper cau- dal scales (Fig. 3F). With the latter character, it can be distinguished from Eremias strauchi Kessler, 1878. It can be distinguished from E. lalezharica by having more mid-dorsum scales (60–63 vs. 54–59), more pairs of submaxillary shields (5 vs.4) (Fig. 3A), fewer gular scales (30–31 vs. 33–40), fewer collar scales (12 vs. 13–15), more femoral pores (19–21 vs. 16–18) and a smaller gap between the femoral pores (1 scale vs. 3–5). It can be distinguished from E. montana by having more transverse rows of ventral plates (31–32 vs. 27–28), more scales in the 10th caudal an- nulus (31 vs. 27–28), more gular scales (30–31 vs. 23–25), more collar scales (12 vs. 9–11) and more supralabials anterior to subocular (6–7 vs. 4–5) (Fig. 3C). It can be distinguished from E. papenfussi by having more supralabial scales (9–10 vs. 8), 6–7 of them located anterior to the subocular (vs. 5), more gular scales (30–31 vs. 24–28) and more scales in the 10th caudal annulus (31 vs. 23–28). There are also very obvious differences in the shape and size of the parietals, interparietal and frontoparietals. E. fahimii sp. nov. has a relatively large quadrilateral interparietal (vs. small oval in E. papenfussi) and the length of this scale is almost as long as the parietals’ junction and a little bit shorter than the frontoparietals’ junction; While this length is about half of the parietals’ junction and a third of the frontoparietals’ junction in E. papenfussi. Quadrilateral shape of interparietal in E. fahimii sp. nov. has led frontoparietals to grow trapezoidal and parietals to grow almost rectangular. But in E. papenfussi that is opposite. Frontoparietals are rectangular and parietals are trapezoidal (Figs. 3B and 6). Eremias fahimii sp. nov. can be distin- guished from Eremias suphani Basoglu and Hellmich, 1968 by lacking the extension of gular scales to the second inframaxiallary scales (Franzen & Heckes, 1999) (the second and third pair of submaxillary shields are in contact) (Fig. 3A). It can be distinguished from Eremias velox Pallas, 1771 by having more mid-dorsum scales (60–63 vs. 46–56) and more gular scales (30–31 vs. 23–25). Regarding to its color pattern in adult form, it can also distinguish from E. kopetdaghica, E. strauchi, E. lalezharica and E. velox by absence of lateral color ocellus (Fig. 4) (Mozaffari et al., 2016).

Coloration. In life, the dorsum is dark brown to black with a series of five longitudinal light cream or milky white stripes. The medial stripe starts anteriorly at the posterior margin of the parietals. But four other stripes start from the anterior margin of parietals, passing through them. The inner stripe pair connect with each other in the pelvic region; but the outer pair extends to at least the anterior third of the tail. Sometimes the black or dark brown space between light stripes breaks up and makes dark irregular spots in a light brown or sandy background. Another two pairs of light lateral stripes on each side of body, one starts at the upper and the other starts about the lower edge of the ear opening. Both stripes may break up into small light spots on flanks. Head is sandy to light brown with irregular black spots. Dorsal side of the limbs is light brown with black irregular cloudy patterns and light spots. Dorsal side of the tail light brown, dark brown or black with previous mentioned light stripes (Fig. 4). The venter and ventral side of tail milky white. 
Comment 
EtymologyThe epithet fahimii is for Hadi Fahimi (1980-2018), a great young ecologist, environmentalist, herpetologist, mammalogist, co-author of the Atlas of Reptiles of Iran (Mozaffari et al., 2016) and friend of the authors, who passed away too soon in a plane crash. 
References
  • Anderson, Steven C 1999. The lizards of Iran. Contributions to Herpetology Volume 15, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Saint Louis, Missouri: i-vii, 1-442 [review in Copeia 2000 (4): 1144] - get paper here
  • Leviton,A.E.; Anderson,S.C.; Adler, K.; Minton,S.A. 1992. Handbook to Middle East Amphibians and Reptiles. SSAR, Oxford, Ohio (Contr. to Herpetol. No. 8), 1-252
  • Mozaffari, Omid; FARAHAM AHMADZADEH, REIHANEH SABERI-PIROOZ 2020. Fahimi’s racerunner, a new species of the genus Eremias Fitzinger, 1834 (Sauria: Lacertidae) from Iran. Zootaxa 4768 (4): 565–578 - get paper here
  • Mozaffari, Omid; Kamran Kamali and Hadi Fahimi 2014. The Atlas of Reptiles of Iran. Iran Department of the Environment, 362 pp.
 
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