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Holcosus chaitzami (STUART, 1942)

IUCN Red List - Holcosus chaitzami - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaTeiidae, Teiinae, Gymnophthalmoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Chaitzam's Ameiva
S: Ameiva de Chaitzam 
SynonymAmeiva chaitzami STUART 1942
Ameiva undulata thomasi SMITH & LAUFE 1946 (part.)
Ameiva chaitzami — STUART 1963
Ameiva chaitzami — ECHTERNACHT 1971: 59
Ameiva undulata tomasi — ALVAREZ DEL TORO 1982 (part.)
Ameiva chaitzami — LINER 1994
Ameiva chaitzami — KÖHLER 2000: 97
Holcosus chaitzami — HARVEY et al. 2012 
DistributionSE Mexico (Chiapas), Guatemala (Petén, Quecchian, and Grijalvan Areas)

Type locality: Along Cahabon–Coban trail about 2 km N Finca Canihor (about 38 km airline ENE Coban), Alta Verapaz, Guatemala.  
TypesHolotype: UMMZ 90638 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Ameiva chaitzami can be distinguished from other Middle American congeners by the following combination of characters: Small size (maximum observed SVL of males 85 mm, of females 75 mm); central gular scales enlarged, in longitudinal arrangement; gradual reduction in size of scales radiating outward from central gular scales; prefrontal scales in contact with postnasal scales; three parietal scales (four if median parietal scale divided); a transverse row of abruptly enlarged mesoptychial scales; usually eight transverse rows of ventral scutes; relatively narrow middorsal stripe (mean paravertebral granules, PV = 37.1); no narrow, well-defined vertebral stripe; usually a dark secondary stripe medial to the dorsolateral light stripes; dorsolateral blotches of males fused to the dorsolateral light stripe such that the latter has a well-defined dorsal border and an irregular ventral border. Adult male Ameiva chaitzami can be distinguished from other Ameiva readily on the basis of pattern. Juvenile individuals and females are difficult to differentiate from some undidata, especially those from the coastal lowlands of eastern Veracruz, Tabasco, Chiapas and extreme western Campeche, Mexico. However, there are no signs of intergradation or hybridization of chaitzami with other species of Ameiva. The only Ameiva with which chaitzami comes in contact is the large form of undulata having a color pattern as shown in figure 21, and there is no difficulty in distinguishing the two species (from Echternacht 1971: 59). 
CommentSynonymy: Echternacht (1971) synonymized H. u. thomasi with H. chaitzami; however, examination of most of the types of H. chaitzami, as well as some types and nine additional specimens from around the type locality of H. u. thomasi, suggests that these two taxa actually represent distinct species (Meza-Lázaro et al. 2015).

Similar species: Aspidoscelis motaguae. 
EtymologyDedicated to Chaitzam, the mountain lord who dominates the lower Cahabón Valley." (Stuart 1942); it’s unclear what he was referring to. 
  • Aguilar-López JL, Luría-Manzano R, Pineda E, Canseco-Márquez L 2021. Selva Zoque, Mexico: an important Mesoamerican tropical region for reptile species diversity and conservation. ZooKeys 1054: 127-153 - get paper here
  • Alvarez DEL TORO, M. 1982. Los Reptiles de Chiapas. 3rd ed. México: Tuxtla Gutiérrez, 248 pp.
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Echternacht, A. C. 1971. Middle American lizards of the genus Ameiva. Misc. Publ. Univ. Kans. Mus. Nat. Hist. 55: 1-86 - get paper here
  • Echternacht, Arthur C. 1970. Taxonomic and ecological notes on some Middle and South American lizards of the genus Ameiva (Teiidae). Breviora (354): 1-9 - get paper here
  • HARVEY, MICHAEL B.; GABRIEL N. UGUETO & RONALD L. GUTBERLET, Jr. 2012. Review of Teiid Morphology with a Revised Taxonomy and Phylogeny of the Teiidae (Lepidosauria: Squamata). Zootaxa 3459: 1–156 - get paper here
  • Johnson, Jerry D.; Vicente Mata-Silva, Elí García Padilla, and Larry David Wilson 2015. The Herpetofauna of Chiapas, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2 (3): 272–329. - get paper here
  • Köhler, G. 2000. Reptilien und Amphibien Mittelamerikas, Bd 1: Krokodile, Schildkröten, Echsen. Herpeton Verlag, Offenbach, 158 pp.
  • Lee, J. C. 2000. A field guide to the amphibians and reptiles of the Maya world. Cornell University Press, Ithaca,
  • Lee, J.C. 1996. The amphibians and reptiles of the Yucatán Peninsula. Comstock, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 500 pp.
  • Meza-Lázaro, R. N. and Nieto-Montes de Oca, A. 2015. Long forsaken species diversity in the Middle American lizard Holcosus undulatus (Teiidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 175 (1): 189-210; doi: 10.1111/zoj.12264 - get paper here
  • Stuart, L. C. 1942. Comments on the undulata group of Ameiva (Sauria). Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 55: 143-150 - get paper here
  • Stuart, L. C. 1948. The amphibians and reptiles of Alta Verapaz Guatamala. Miscellaneous Publications, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan 69: 1-109 - get paper here
  • Stuart,L.C. 1963. A checklist of the herpetofauna of Guatemala. Misc. Publ. Mus. Zool., Univ. Michigan (No. 122): 1-150 - get paper here
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