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Japalura variegata GRAY, 1853

IUCN Red List - Japalura variegata - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Draconinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesVariegated Mountain Lizard, Himalayan Dragon
Chinese: ‘攀蜥’ (pronounced as ‘Pan-Xi’) 
SynonymJapalura variegata GRAY 1853: 388
Biancia niger GRAY 1853 (fide BOULENGER 1885)
Japalura microlepis JERDON 1870: 76 (fide BOULENGER 1885)
Japalura variegata — BOULENGER 1885: 308
Japalura yunnanensis ANNANDALE 1906 (not ANDERSON; fide SMITH 1935)
Japalura bengalensis ANNANDALE 1912 (fide SMITH 1935)
Japalura variegata — SMITH 1935: 173
Japalura variegata — WERMUTH 1967: 69
Japalura variegata — MACEY et al. 2000
Japalura variegata — KÄSTLE et al. 2013: 421
Japalura variegata — WANG et al. 2018 
DistributionN India (Sikkim, West Bengal: Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Mizoram), Nepal, Bhutan

Type locality: Sikkim, Himalaya.  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH (NHMUK) 1946.8.14.4–5 (originally NHMUK 1853.8.12.7), one female and one halfgrown
Syntypes: NHMUK 1853.8.12.5 and NHMUK 1946.8.14.2–3 (original number NHMUK 1853.8.12.6), one male and two females, Sikkim, coll. Sir J. Hooker [Biancia niger]
Holotype: ZSI 12564 female, Buxa, Jalpaiguri district, Bengal frontier of Bhutan [bengalensis]
Holotype: NHMUK 1946.8.14.10 (original number NHMUK 1870.11.29.44), female (Boulenger: 309, speci- men g), Sikkim, pres. T. C. Jerdon [microlepis] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Lizards of the genus Japalura sensu stricto differ from closely related genera by possessing the following morphological characteristics: (1) head width moderate, HW mostly <70% of HL; (2) nuchal and dorsal crest scales relatively low and thick, not significantly elongated into lanceolate spines, CL/HL<10%; (3) post-orbital and post-occipital spines absent; (4) gular scales mostly homogeneous in size; (5) size of scales on lateral jaw subequal in size across gular region; (6) dorsal scale significantly heterogeneous in size and shape, not regularly imbricate; (7) pair of distinctively enlarged, conical scales on nape above shoulder absent; (8) paravertebral rows of enlarged scales present on dorsolateral body; and (9) V-shaped ridges present along dorsal midline, formed by enlarged, keeled scales (Wang et al. 2018: 13) 
CommentSynonymy mostly after WERMUTH 1967.

Type species: Japalura variegata GRAY 1853 is the type species of the genus Japalura GRAY 1853.

Schleich and Kästle (1998) revalidated the genus Oriocalotes Günther, 1864 and combined all species with a visible tympanum e.g. tricarinata in this genus, while placing species with a hidden tympanum, e.g. variegata into the genus Japalura (fide Ananjeva et al. 2017). 
EtymologyThe Latin name ‘Japalura’ may be derived from a locality name in India, and the term is feminine gender. 
  • ANANJEVA, Natalia B.; Nikolay L. ORLOV and Tao Thien NGUYEN 2017. A New Species of Japalura (Agamidae: Lacertilia: Reptilia) from Central Highland, Vietnam. Asian Herpetological Research 8 (1): 14–21 - get paper here
  • Anderson, J. 1871. On some Indian reptiles. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1871: 149-211 - get paper here
  • Annandale, NELSON 1912. Zoological results of the Abor Expedition, 1911-1912. Records of the Indian Museum 8 (1): 7-59 [Reptilia, pages 37-59] (supplement in same journal, 8 (4): 357-358, 1914). - get paper here
  • Bauer A M; Gunther R 1992. A preliminary report on the reptile fauna of the Kingdom of Bhutan with the description of a new species of scincid lizard (Reptilia: Scincidae). Asiatic Herpetological Research 4: 23-36 - get paper here
  • Bhattarai S., Gurung A., Lamichhane BR., Regmi R., Dhungana M., Kumpakha B. and Subedi N. 2020. Amphibians and Reptiles of Chure Range, Nepal. President Chure Terai-Madhesh Conservation Development Board and National Trust for Nature Conservation, Khumaltar, Lalitpur, Nepal
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. Geckonidae, Eublepharidae, Uroplatidae, Pygopodidae, Agamidae. London: 450 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, George A. 1890. The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. Taylor & Francis, London, xviii, 541 pp. - get paper here
  • Das, Abhijit 2016. Addition to the Herpetofauna of Royal Manas National Park, Bhutan, with six new country records. Herpetology Notes 9: 261-278 - get paper here
  • DENZER, WOLFGANG; ULRICH MANTHEY, PATRICK D CAMPBELL 2019. Catalogue of type specimens of the agamid lizard genus Japalura s. l. (Squamata: Agamidae: Draconinae). Zootaxa 4612 (1): 109-125 - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1853. Descriptions of some undescribed species of reptiles collected by Dr. Joseph Hooker in the Khassia Mountains, East Bengal, and Sikkim Himalaya. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (2) 12: 386 - 392 - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1864. The Reptiles of British India. London (Taylor & Francis), xxvii + 452 pp. - get paper here
  • Jerdon, T.C. 1870. Notes on Indian Herpetology. Proc. Asiat. Soc. Bengal March 1870: 66-85 - get paper here
  • Kästle, W.; Schleich, H.H. 1998. Notes on Comparative Ethology and Taxonomy of the Genus Japalura. In: Contributions to the herpetology of south-Asia (Nepal, India). pp: 223-246. H. H. Schleich & W. Kästle (Eds). Fuhlrott-Museum, Wuppertal.
  • Kästle , W., Rai, K. & Schleich, H.H. 2013. FIELD GUIDE to Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal. ARCO-Nepal e.V., 625 pp. - get paper here
  • Lalremsanga, H.T., L. Khawlhring & Lalrotluanga 2010. Three additional lizard (Squamata: Sauria) records for Mizoram, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 2(2): 718-720 - get paper here
  • Lenz, Norbert 2012. Von Schmetterlingen und Donnerdrachen - Natur und Kultur in Bhutan. Karlsruher Naturhefte 4, Naturkundemuseum Karlsruhe, 124 pp.
  • Macey, J. R., J. A. Schulte II, A. Larson, N. B. Ananjeva, Y. Wang, R. Pethiyagoda, N. Rastegar-Pouyani, T. J. Papenfuss 2000. Evaluating trans-Tethys migration: an example using acrodont lizard phylogenetics. Systematic Biology 49 (2): 233-256 - get paper here
  • Manthey U 2010. Agamid Lizards of Southern Asia. Draconinae 2 -Leiolepidinae. Edition Chimaira, Terralog 7b, Frankfurt, 168 pp.
  • MANTHEY, ULRICH; WOLFGANG DENZER, HOU MIAN & WANG XIAOHE 2012. Discovered in historical collections: Two new Japalura species (Squamata: Sauria: Agamidae) from Yulong Snow Mountains, Lijiang Prefecture, Yunnan, PR China. Zootaxa 3200: 27–48 - get paper here
  • Mathew, Rosamma 2006. On the occurrence of Japalura variegata Gray (Reptilia: Sauria: Agamidae) in Mizoram, North East India. Cobra 64:14-15.
  • Ota,H. 1989. A new species of Japalura (Agamidae: Lacertilia:Reptilia) from Taiwan. Copeia 1989 (3): 569-576 - get paper here
  • Pokhrel, Ganesh K.; Prakash C. Aryal, Karan B. Shah, Bishal Rijal, Madan K. Suwal, Subash C. Kharel, Evanath Paudel and Man K. Dhamala 2011. Herpetofaunal Diversity in Nagarjun Forest. Nepal Journal of Science and Technology 12: 358-365 - get paper here
  • PRADHAN, ADITYA & SUBASH RAI. 2021. JAPALURA VARIEGATA (Variegated Mountain Lizard). PREDATION. Herpetological Review 52 (2): 409. - get paper here
  • Smith, M.A. 1935. The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Reptiles and Amphibia, Vol. II. Sauria. Taylor and Francis, London, 440 pp.
  • Tshewang, S. & L. Letro 2018. The herpetofauna of Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park in central Bhutan: status, distribution and new records. Journal of Threatened Taxa 10(11): 12489–12498; - get paper here
  • Venugopal, P.D. 2010. An updated and annotated list of Indian lizards (Reptilia: Sauria) based on a review of distribution records and checklists of Indian reptiles. Journal of Threatened Taxa 2 (3): 725-738. - get paper here
  • Vogel, Gernot 2014. „Harmlose“ Schlange auf der Straße oder die Entdeckung einer neuen Grubenotter im Himalaya. Terraria-Elaphe 2014 (4): 60-63 - get paper here
  • Waltner, R.C. 1975. Geographical and altitudinal distribution of amphibians and reptiles in the Himalayas. Cheetal (Dehra Dun, India) 16(1): 17-25; 16(2): 28-36; 16(3): 14-19; 16(4): 12-17.
  • Wang, Kai; Jing Che, Simin Lin, V Deepak, Datta-Roy Aniruddha, Ke Jiang, Jieqiong Jin, Hongman Chen, Cameron D Siler; 2018. Multilocus phylogeny and revised classification for mountain dragons of the genus Japalura s.l. (Reptilia: Agamidae: Draconinae) from Asia. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, , zly034, - get paper here
  • Wang, Kai; Jinlong Ren, Hongman Chen, Zhitong Lyu, Xianguang Guo Ke Jiang, Jinmin Chen, Jiatang Li, Peng Guo, Yingyong Wang, Jing Che 2020. The updated checklists of amphibians and reptiles of China. Biodiversity Science 28 (2): 189-218 - get paper here
  • Wangyal, Jigme Tshelthrim 2019. The status of herpetofauna of Bhutan. District Forest Office, District Administration, Trashigang, Bhutan, 20-39 - get paper here
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