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Eremias kakari MASROOR, KHISROON, KHAN & JABLONSKI, 2020

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Higher TaxaLacertidae, Eremiadinae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Kakar’s Racerunner 
SynonymEremias (Rhabderemias) kakari MASROOR, KHISROON, KHAN & JABLONSKI 2020 
DistributionPakistan (Balochistan)

Type locality: Tanishpa village, Torghar Mountains, Killa Saifulla district, Balochistan (31.1869° N, 68.4126° E; Fig. 1), elevation 2,506 m elevation.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. PMNH 842, an adult male, collected May 24, 1997, leg. Khalid Javed Baig (Fig. 2).
Paratypes. All paratypes were collected from the same locality as the holotype. PMNH 840, 844, 845 (males) and 843, 846 (females), leg. Khalid Javed Baig (PMNH 843–844, collected along with the holotype; PMNH 845– 846, collected on May 25, 1997; PMNH 840, collected on May 26, 1997). PMNH 4092–4097 (subadults), collected on September 09, 2018, leg. Rafaqat Masroor. PMNH 4048, adult male, collected on September 01, 2018, leg. Muazzam Ali Khan (Figs. 3 & 4). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A medium-sized lacertid lizard, maximum snout-vent length (SVL) = 52.2 mm, tail being 1.9 to 2.2 times longer than body length (SVL), hindlimbs relatively long (HLL/SVL ratio 0.58–0.66); subocular scale reaching to the edge of the mouth, 5–7 (mainly 6) supralabials anterior to subocular; dorsals 48–55; ventrals in 11–14 oblique longitudinal series; frontal mostly separated from supraoculars or in few instances in contact with anterior large supraocular only; height of the first two to three transverse rows of ventral scales in pectoral region more than its breadth; 17–21 femoral pores on each side, separated medially by 4–5 scales, the space between the femoral pores about one–fourth or less than one–fourth length of each row; toes without fringe, encircled by three scales and with a single series of 22–26 unicarinate scales underneath. Hindlimbs reach to the base of collar in males and to the axilla of forelimbs in females. Color creamy beige in life with eight dark brown stripes on body dorsum (including the narrow stripes on flanks) and an additional short median stripe (nuchal) originating from the junction of parietals (Masroor et al. 2020).

Coloration in life. Color creamy beige in life with eight dark brown longitudinal stripes on body dorsum (including the two narrow stripes on flanks) and an additional short median stripe (nuchal) originating from the junction of parietals; seven stripes appear on the neck, the nuchal stripe runs for a short distance on the neck and disappears on shoulders; the two lateral-most stripes (not of flanks) on each side of the body broader, the two paravertebral stripes narrower; the first lateral-most broader stripe next to flank stripe originates from behind eyes and runs along with one-third of the tail, the other broader stripe originates from the outer edge of the parietal and continues onto tail slightly behind the vertebral stripes; the two paravertebral stripes join behind the base of tail; the stripe at flank on each side starts from behind the lower eye, runs through the ear and above forelimb to the insertion of hindlimb; head gray without any markings or spots; labials white without any markings except the lower edges of the supralabials which are dark brown; a faint dark brown line from nostril to the eye; limbs dark gray with white ocelli; belly creamy white; tail bluish gray (Masroor et al. 2020).

Sexual and age dimorphism. Apparently, males attain larger sizes than females in E. kakari sp. nov.: male SVL to 52.2 mm, female SVL 47.5 mm. Moreover, males have generally longer hindlimbs and shorter trunk as compared to females. For a larger female having SVL of 47.5 mm (PMNH 846), the hindlimb is 27.8 mm against a smaller-sized male (PMNH 840, SVL 46.8 mm) which has a hindlimb length of 29.4 mm. Similarly, the trunk length of a smaller female (PMNH 846, SVL 47.5 mm) is 24.1 mm against a larger male (PMNH 842, SVL 52.1 mm) which has a trunk length of 23.1 mm. The dorsal body color and pattern are, however, similar in juveniles and adults of both genders (Fig. 6A, B) (Masroor et al. 2020).

Comparison. The new species Eremias kakari sp. nov. differs from morphologically closely related species in the subgenus Rhabderemias (E. andersoni Darevsky & Szczerbak 1978, E. cholistanica, E. fasciata, E. lineolata Nikolsky 1897, E. pleskei Nikolsky 1905, E. scripta, E. vermiculata Blanford 1875) whose members exhibit the striped dorsal pattern in juveniles as well as in adults. The new species is strikingly different from species exhibiting striped and ocellate pattern like E. aria Anderson & Leviton 1967, E. regeli Bedriaga 1905 and E. montana Rastegar-Pouyani & Rastegar-Pouyani 2001 (see published data in Lantz, 1928; Szczerbak 1974; Bischoff & Böhme 1980; Böhme & Scerbak 1991; Anderson 1999). A brief of morphological differences is provided (the material used for a first-hand comparison is listed in parentheses at each species; see also Tab. 2 and Supplementary Tab. 1).
From E. fasciata, that is very close in dorsal coloration and pattern, E. kakari sp. nov. differs in having a single row of subdigital lamellae and a complete row of pointed lateral scales and hence three scales around the penultimate phalanx of 4th toe (versus two complete rows of subdigital lamellae, a complete row of sharply pointed lateral scales and hence four scales). The collar in E. kakari sp. nov. is provided with 7–10 enlarged plates (versus 11–19 small scales or plates barely distinguishable from adjacent gulars), 22–26 subdigital lamellae under 4th toe (versus 28–30), 48–55 dorsal scales across midbody (versus 44–50), ventrals in 11–14 oblique longitudinal series across the belly (versus 14–16), 17–21 femoral pores (versus 16–19) and 17–21 scales in the 9th–10th annulus posterior to the postcloacal granules (versus 26–36). Moreover, the adpressed hindlimbs in E. kakari sp. nov. reach to the base of the collar in males and to the axilla of forelimbs in females. While in E. fasciata the hindlimbs reach to the ear in males, the shoulder, the collar, or between the collar and the ear in females.
Eremias kakari sp. nov. differs from E. andersoni, to which it is similar in having three scales around the penultimate phalanx of 4th toe, by having lower count of dorsal scales (48–55 versus 56–58), gular scales (20–25 versus 28–30), frontal separated from supraoculars by a row of granules or in few instances only in contact with anterior supraocular (versus both the supraoculars in contact with frontal) and dorsal coloration of eight uninterrupted dark longitudinal stripes on the body (versus nine dark longitudinal stripes, of which medial stripes breaks into wavy segments).
From E. lineolata, E. kakari sp. nov. differs in the following morphological characters: lateral scales of 4th toe not forming distinct fringe (versus lateral scales of 4th toe forming distinct fringe in E. lineolata), lower count of dorsals (48–55 versus 54–62), higher number of caudal scales in the 9th–10th annulus behind the postcloacal granules (17–21 versus 12–17) and femoral pores (17–21 versus 9–17) and has two stripes on the flanks (versus no stripes on flanks).
Eremias kakari sp. nov. differs from E. scripta in having three scales around the penultimate phalanx of 4th toe (versus four), lateral scales of 4th toe not forming fringe (versus lateral scales of 4th toe forming distinct fringe or comb in its entire length), rows of femoral pores reach to the knee (versus femoral pores well short of knee), lower number of dorsal scales (48–55 versus 55–69), ventrals across belly (11–14 versus 14–16) and the higher number of gulars (20–25 versus 15–23) and femoral pores (17–21 versus 12–13). Besides, the dorsal color pattern of E. kakari sp. nov. can be easily differentiated from E. scripta in having the striped dorsal pattern in juveniles as well as in adults compared to the reticulate pattern on dorsum in juveniles and adults in the latter species.
Eremias kakari sp. nov. can be distinguished from E. pleskei in having strongly keeled supracaudal scales (versus smooth), femoral pores narrowly separated by four to five scales (versus comparatively widely separated by six to eight scales), the space between the femoral pore rows about one-fourth or less (versus space at least one-third length of each row), lower number of gulars (20–25 versus 25–31), caudal scales in the 9th–10th annulus (17–21 versus 20–32) and the higher number of femoral pores (17–21 versus 7–15).
Apart from its peculiar distribution in the remote valley in Torghar Mountains, a part of the Palearctic region, E. kakari sp. nov. can be differentiated from E. cholistanica in the following set of characters: no fringe at toes (versus fringes at toes), three scales around the penultimate phalanx of 4th toe (versus four), generally lower number of ventrals across the belly (28–33 versus 30–36), caudal scales in the 9th–10th annulus (17–21 versus 27–35) and the higher number of femoral pores (17–21 versus 14–18).
From E. vermiculata, E. kakari sp. nov. differs in dorsal body pattern, having no fringes on the 4th toes (versus fringes), ventrals in 11–14 oblique longitudinal series across the belly and 28–32 transverse rows (versus 18–20 and 38–39, respectively), lower count of gulars (20–25 versus 31–43), dorsals (48–55 versus 55–68) and caudal scales in the 9th–10th annulus (17–21 versus 42–46).
From E. regeli, E. kakari sp. nov. differs in having a single row of subdigital lamellae and hence three scales around the penultimate phalanx of 4th toe (versus two rows of subdigital lamellae and hence four scales), higher count of gulars (20–25 versus 17–21), length of each femoral pore row about four times or more than four times the length of space between two rows (versus nine times), lower count of femoral pores (17–21 versus 21–24), supracaudals strongly keeled (versus moderately keeled) and striped dorsal body pattern (versus striped and ocellate pattern).
Besides distant distribution, body pattern and other decisive morphological characters, E. kakari sp. nov. can be distinguished from the geographically close species of other subgenera (E. (Scapteira) acutirostris, E. (Eremias) aria, E. (Aspidorhinus) afghanistanica Böhme & Scerbak 1991) by subocular scale bordering the mouth (Supplementary Tab. 1) (Masroor et al. 2020). 
Comment 
EtymologyThe species is dedicated to the “Kakar” tribe of Pashtun people inhabiting the Torghar Mountains in the Toba Kakar Range where the holotype and paratypes were collected. 
References
  • MASROOR, RAFAQAT; MUHAMMAD KHISROON, MUAZZAM ALI KHAN & DANIEL JABLONSKI 2020. A new species of Eremias (Squamata: Lacertidae) from the arid mountains of Pakistan. Zootaxa 4786 (1): 101–121 - get paper here
 
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