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Gymnophthalmus marconaterai GARCÍA-PÉREZ & SCHARGEL, 2017

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Higher TaxaGymnophthalmidae (Gymnophthalminae), Gymnophthalmini, Sauria, Gymnophthalmoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymGymnophthalmus marconaterai GARCÍA-PÉREZ & SCHARGEL 2017 
DistributionVenezuela (Apure)

Type locality: next to Troncal 2 road, between La Macanilla and Caño La Pica (approx. 6.933° N, 67.533° W; 50 m), Apure State, Venezuela.  
TypesHolotype: MCNG 2251, an adult male, collected by J.E. García-Pérez and Andry Pereira, 10 October 2010. Paratypes. 12 specimens, all from Apure State in Venezuela: MCNG 2252 (♀), MCNG 2253 (♀), MCNG 2254 (♂), MCNG 2255 (♀), MCNG 2256 (♂), MCNG 2257 (♂), MCNG 2258 (♂), UTA 63948 (♂), UTA 63949 (♂), UTA 63950 (♀): Caño La Pica, about 4 km west of Troncal 2 road (approx. 6.833 N, 67.533 W; 50 m), collected by J.E. García-Pérez, 13–16 August 1995. MCNG 2262 (♂), MCNG 2263 (♀): sand dune next to Troncal 2 road, between San Juan de Payara and La Macanilla (approx. 7.133 N, 67.617 W; 50 m), collected by J.E. García- Pérez and W.E. Schargel, June 2002. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Gymnophthalmus marconaterai sp. nov. has 13 scales around midbody as opposed to 13–15 (typically 15) in G. cryptus, 15–17 in G. lineatus, and 16–19 in G. pleei Bocourt, 1881. The new species further differs from G. cryptus and G. pleei (character states for both species in parenthesis) in having a white venter, sometimes suffused with orange yellow (dark venter or suffused with dark pigment), a salmon pink tail (blue in G. cryptus, brown or bronze in G. pleei), and a well-defined lateral white stripe that extends posteriorly to the tail (absent in G. cryptus, vaguely defined and incomplete in G. pleei). In G. marconaterai sp. nov. the white lateral stripe is about the same width as the dorsolateral white stripe, whereas in G. lineatus the lateral stripe is noticeably narrower than the dorsolateral stripe (about half the width). Among the species of Gymnophthalmus with 13 scales around midbody the new species differs from G. leucomystax Vanzolini & Carvalho, 1991, G. speciosus sensu stricto (see discussion), G. underwoodi Grant, 1958, and G. vanzoi Carvalho, 1998 (character states for these species in parenthesis), in having a well-defined and complete white, lateral stripe that extends from the ear opening to the tail (if present this stripe is vaguely defined, discontinuous and fades before the groin). Gymnophthalmus marconaterai sp. nov. further differs from these species as follow: from G. speciosus, G. underwood and G. vanzoi in having the medial surface of the belly and the ventral surfaces of manus, pes, and most of the underside of the tail white in preserved adults, as opposed to dark colored or overlaid with dark mottling in those areas in preserved adults. Finally, the new species further differs from G. leucomystax in having a salmon pink tail versus a grey tail. For further comparisons see the discussion section. 
EtymologyThe new species is named after our late friend Marco Antonio Natera Mumaw. Marco was a young and enthusiastic herpetologist with a keen interest in snake biology and conservation. He was the founder of the herpetological collection at the Universidad Nacional Experimental Rómulo Gallegos and led many initiatives to educate people about protecting snakes. 
  • GARCÍA-PÉREZ, JUAN E. & WALTER E. SCHARGEL 2017. A new species of Gymnophthalmus (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from sand dunes of the Llanos of Apure, Venezuela. Zootaxa 4318 (3): 576–586 - get paper here
  • RECODER, RENATO SOUSA; FRANCISCO DAL VECHIO, SERGIO MARQUES-SOUZA, MAURO JR. TEIXEIRA, MAIUME SILVA-DA-SILVA, ALFREDO P. SANTOS-JR., SÍRIA RIBEIRO, CESAR BARRIO-AMORÓS, MIGUEL TREFAUT RODRIGUES 2018. Geographic variation and taxonomy of red-tailed Gymnophthalmus (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from Amazonian Savannas. Zootaxa 4497 (1): 061–081 - get paper here
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