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Gerrhosaurus flavigularis WIEGMANN, 1828

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Higher TaxaGerrhosauridae (Gerrhosaurinae), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Yellow-throated Plated Lizard
G: Gelbkehl-Schildechse 
SynonymGerrhosaurus flavigularis WIEGMANN 1828: 378
Gerrhosaurus ocellatus COCTEAU 1834
Gerrhosaurus flavigularis — COCTEAU 1834
Pleuortuchus [sic] desjardinii SMITH 1836: 143
Pleuortuchus [sic] chrysobronchus SMITH 1836: 144
Gerrhosaurus flavigularis — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 379
Gerrhosaurus bibroni SMITH 1844
Gerrhosaurus flavigularis var. quadrilineata BOETTGER 1883
Gerrhosaurus flavigularis flavigularis — LOVERIDGE 1942
Gerrhosaurus flavigularis fitzsimonsi LOVERIDGE 1942
Gerrhosaurus flavigularis flavigularis — FITZSIMONS 1943: 272
Gerrhosaurus flavigularis — AUERBACH 1987: 120
Gerrhosaurus flavigularis fitzsimonsi — LANZA 1988
Gerrhosaurus flavigularis flavigularis — BOYCOTT 1992
Gerrhosaurus flavigularis — LARGEN & SPAWLS 2006: 43
Gerrhosaurus flavigularis — BATES et al. 2013
Gerrhosaurus flavigularis — BATES et al. 2014: 228
Gerrhosaurus flavigularus — JORDAAN et al. 2020 (in error) 
DistributionMalawi, Mozambique, N Zambia, Republic of South Africa (Eastern Cape etc.), Swaziland, O-Sudan (Jumhūriyyat), Republic of South Sudan (RSS), Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Republic of South Sudan (RSS), Botswana, Namibia

fitzsimonsi: Somalia

Type locality: “Africa merid. Krebs” = South Africa.  
TypesSyntypes: ZMB 1140-1141
Holotype: MCZ 41280 [fitzsimonsi] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): These moderate-sized lizards are fairly well armoured and the head and body may be cylindrical, cyclotetragonal or slightly depressed; differentiated from the genera Broadleysaurus and Matobosaurus by its smaller size (maximum SVL 213 mm compared to 245 mm and 285 mm respectively for the latter two genera) and less robust appearance; most species of Gerrhosaurus have only eight ventral scale rows longitudinally (but 10 in G. typicus), whereas Broadleysaurus has 9–10 and Matobosaurus has 12–20; it also differs from Broadleysaurus by having 49–67 versus 31–38 transverse dorsal scale rows (Loveridge 1942; FitzSimons 1943, 1953; De Witte 1953; Laurent 1954, 1964; Broadley 1966; De Waal 1978; Jacobsen 1989) [BATES et al. 2013].

Description: Head small, length from 5.3 to 8.2 (usually 5.5 to 6) times into length head and body, about 1'3:5 times as long as broad; head shields smooth. Body slender and cyclotetragonal. Nasals in contact behind rostral. Frontonasal 6- or 7-sided, about as broad as long or a little broader than long. Prefrontals in narrow contact with one another or separated by suture between frontonasal and frontal. Frontal subhexagonal, longer than broad, a little broader in front than behind. A pair of frontoparietals and parietals, latter larger than former. A small 4-sided interparietal set between fronto- parietals and parietals. 4 Supraoculars, last smallest. 5 Supraciliaries, 2nd much the longest. Temporal scales smooth, 7-8 in number and arranged more or less in three horizontal rows of 2-3-2 or 2-3-3. Nostril pierced between nasal, postnasal and 1st upper labial. Anterior loreal smaller than posterior. 3 Upper labials anterior to subocular, which borders lip extensively and is distinctly longer than any labial. Mental subpentagonal, posterior border more or less straight; usually 4 lower labials, 3rd largest and 4th very small. Two pairs of enlarged chin-shields in contact with one another mesially, 2nd pair largest. A narrow tympanic shield, never more than a third times as broad as deep. Dorsals striated (feebly so on nape) and moderately to strongly keeled over back, often mucronate posteriorly, in 22-24 (usually 22) longitudinal and 54-64 (usually about 58) transverse rows; laterally, scales smooth or but feebly keeled and striated. Ventral plates quadrangular, broader than long, smooth, imbricate, in 8 longitudinal and 32-36 transverse rows. Three enlarged preanal scales, median triangular. 11-17 (usually 11-14) femoral pores on each side. Scales on sales of feet tubercular (neither keeled nor imbricate). Subdigital lamellae smooth, 17-21 (usually 18-19) under 4th toe. Scales on tail in regular whorls, striated, strongly keeled and more or less mucronate. Tail about twice length head and body (FitzSimons 1943: 273).

Colour: Above, russet, sienna to olive brown, with a white to lemon yellow, dark-edged, dorsolateral streak on each side extending from 3rd or 4th supraocular over back and anterior half to two-thirds of tail; back, between pale dorsolateral streaks, u'iiiform or with (1) a single or double series of squarish dark spots, with or without white shaft-like centres, or (2) a series of pale dark-edged spots or (3) a dark, pale-edged, vertebral streak. Sides of head and body uniform light brown, or with vertical barring of white and dark brown or black in juveniles. Below, white, creamy-white to yellowish-white; in the mating season, chin, throat, chest and sides of head qnd neck suffused with bright yellow to red (FitzSimons 1943: 274). 
CommentSynonymy: BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991 and BRANCH 1998 list Gerrhosaurus flavigularis fitzsimonsi as a synonym of Gerrhosaurus flavigularis.

Type species: Gerrhosaurus flavigularis WIEGMANN 1828 is the type species of the genus Gerrhosaurus WIEGMANN 1828. 
EtymologyNamed after its yellow throat (Latin “flavus = yellow, Latin “gula” = throat). 
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