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Gerrhosaurus nigrolineatus HALLOWELL, 1857

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Higher TaxaGerrhosauridae (Gerrhosaurinae), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Black-lined Plated Lizard
intermedius: Eastern Black-lined Plated Lizard 
SynonymGerrhosaurus nigrolineatus nigrolineatus HALLOWELL 1857
Gerrhosaurus nigro-lineatus HALLOWELL 1857: 49
Gerrhosaurus flavigularis forma intermedia LÖNNBERG 1907
Gerrhosaurus flavigularis nigrolineatus — SCHMIDT 1919: 523
Gerrhosaurus flavigularis nigrolineatus — LOVERIDGE 1936: 65
Gerrhosaurus nigrolineatus australis FITZSIMONS 1939
Gerrhosaurus nigrolineatus — FITZSIMONS 1943: 277
Gerrhosaurus nigrolineatus nigrolineatus — LOVERIDGE 1955: 175
Gerrhosaurus nigrolineatus nigrolineatus — WERMUTH 1968
Gerrhosaurus nigrolineatus nigrolineatus — AUERBACH 1987: 119
Gerrhosaurus nigrolineatus ahlefeldti HELLMICH & SCHMELCHER 1956
Gerrhosaurus nigrolineatus ahlfeldtii [sic] — HALLERMANN 1998
Gerrhosaurus nigrolineatus — BONETTI 2002: 78
Gerrhosaurus intermedius — BATES et al. 2013
Gerrhosaurus nigrolineatus — BATES et al. 2013
Gerrhosaurus intermedius — BATES et al. 2014: 228
Gerrhosaurus cf. nigrolineatus — CONRADIE et al. 2016
Gerrhosaurus nigrolineatus — SPAWLS et al 2018: 217
Gerrhosaurus cf. nigrolineatus — MARQUES et al. 2018
Gherrosaurus intermedius — FAROOQ et al. 2022 (in error)
Gerrhosaurus intermedius — PIETERSEN et al. 2021
Gerrhosaurus nigrolineatus — PIETERSEN et al. 2021 
DistributionGabon, W/S Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), Angola, Namibia, Tanzania, Botswana,
Malawi, Mozambique, Republic of South Africa,
Zimbabwe, Kenya, Zambia

nigrolineatus s.str.: West + Central Afria.

intermedius: East and Southern Africa: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa (BATES et al. 2013)

Type locality: Gabon  
TypesSyntypes: ANSP 3729, 8825
Paratype: ZFMK 48753-754, one male and one sub-adult specimen [ahlefeldti]
Holotype: NRM 2730 [intermedius] 
DiagnosisDescription: Head large, length from 4.3 to 5 times into length of head and body, and from 1.5-1.6 times as long as broad. Head-shields smooth. Supranasals forming a median suture. Frontonasal 6-sided, usually broader than long (exceptionally slightly longer than broad). Prefrontals usually in long median contact with one another (exceptionally in short contact). 4 Supraoculars and 4 supraciliaries. Dorsal scales not or but very feebly striated, smooth or weakly keeled on nape, strongly keeled on back (with keels forming more or less continuous ridges) and mucronate posteriorly, in 22-24 (usually 22) regular longitudinal and 54-58 (usually about 56) transverse series; lateral scales keeled (more weakly than above) and sometimes feebly striated. 15-20 (usually 16-18) Femoral pores on each side. Scales on sales of feet flattened, keeled, oblique and imbricate. Subdigital lamellae smooth, 14-16 (usually 16) under 4th toe. Fully adult specimens attain to a length of 165-175 mm for head and body, with temporal region distinctly swollen and general form heavier and more robust than flavigularis, which retains its slender form throughout life (FitzSimons 1943: 277).

Colour: Adult, light brown to russet or snuff-brown above, uniform, or scales bearing elongate dark brown spots; a yellowish-white to yellow dorsolateral streak (dark-edged above and below) on each side. from last supraciliary over back and anterior third of tail; pale dorsolateral streaks usually 6-8 scale rows apart. Sides of body paler than above, with scattered spots of white, yellow, reddish-brown or dark brown. Below, creamy to yellowish-white. Head uniform or dark spotted. In juveniles the dark spots are squarish in shape and usually arranged to form irregular tl'ansverse bars; a median pale stripe sometimes present, usually broken up into a series of narrow elongate dark-edged spots (one to each crossbar); as the adult stage is reached the spots On back become fainter, until in old specimens they often disappear completely. Pale spots on sides of body usually form more or less reguiar vertical series (FitzSimons 1943: 278).

Description (intermedia): “A fine specimen, nearly 400 mm. although the tip of the tail has been broken and partly reproduced, caught on the steppe near the Natron lakes, Kibonoto 6/9 1905. This animal differs as well from G. nigrolineatus as from flavigularis with which it may be related. if these two species are held apart and not united as TORNIER has done lately [Tornier 1900: 593]. The present specimen has a long suture between the prefrontal as in G. nigrolineatus, but only 22 series of dorsal scales all of which, even those of the flanks are strongly keeled. The full description is as follows: Head shields smooth. Nasals in contact behind rostral. Frontonasal as broad as long. Prefrontals with a long median suture. Frontal much shorter than fronto-parietal and parietal together. A narrow tympanic shield. Interorbital breadth posteriorly across the third supraoculars contained 2 1/2 times in the distance between tip of snout and ear-opening. 22 series of scales all strongly keeled and also provided with smaller lateral keels. 52 shields between the chinshields and the large præanal shield. 14 femoral pores. Dark brown above with three yellowish white dark-edged stripes, the median narrowest. Sides minim red with dark bars extending from the back. These are at first 2 scales broad but lower down on the flanks only one scale broad. Across these bars there are short longitudinal yellowish white stripes on each scale. The differences from the descriptions of G. nigrolinentus and G. flarigularis are thus very conspicuous, but as TORNIER (l. c.) has described from Dar-es-salaam fully intermediate forms between both these supposed species, it appears difficult to maintain them. The best thing may therefore be to use the oldest name G. flavigularis for all and distinguish the different varieties with a third name until the matter is still better elucidated by greater collections from different localities.” (Lönnberg 1907) 
CommentSynonymy: BRANCH 1998 synonymized Gerrhosaurus nigrolineatus ahlefeldti HELLMICH & SCHMELCHER 1956 with the nominate form Gerrhosaurus nigrolineatus nigrolineatus HALLOWELL 1857. BATES et al. 2013 conclude that G. f. intermedia Lönnberg, 1907 is conspecific with eastern populations currently referred to G. nigrolineatus Hallowell, 1857 and which they now refer to G. intermedius. Also, since BATES et al. do not provide a (revised) diagnosis of G. intermedius, we leave it in the synonymy of G. nigrolineatus for the time being.

Distribution: populations from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa previously identified under the name G. nigrolineatus were assigned to G. intermedius by Bates et al. 2014. 
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