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Kentropyx altamazonica (COPE, 1875)

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Higher TaxaTeiidae, Teiinae, Gymnophthalmoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Cocha Whiptail
Portuguese: Calango, Calango-Verde, Calanguinho, Iguaninha Lagarto 
SynonymCentropyx altamazonicus COPE 1876: 162
Centropyx calcaratus — GUICHENOT 1855: 32
Centropyx altamazonicus — BOULENGER 1885: 342
Kentropyx williamsoni RUTHVEN 1929: 1
Centropyx alto-amazonicus — GOELDI 1902: 537
Kentropyx calcaratus — CUNHA 1961: 107 (part)
Kentropyx altamazonicus — PETERS & DONOSO-BARROS 1970: 151
Kentropyx williamsoni — PETERS et al. 1970: 152
Kentropyx altamazonica — GALLAGHER & DIXON 1980: 616
Kentropyx altamazonica — AVILA-PIRES 1995: 509
Kentropyx altamazonica — DIRKSEN & DE LA RIVA 1999
Kentropyx altamazonica — GORZULA & SEÑARIS 1999
Kentropyx altamazonica — HARVEY et al. 2012 
DistributionEcuador (Amazonas), Peru, Bolivia (Cochabamba, La Paz, Santa Cruz), Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil (Amazonas, Acre, Mato Grosso, Santarém: HR 33: 225, Pará)

Type locality: Moyabamba, Peru.

williamsoni: Brazil; Type locality: Brazil, Manáos.  
TypesHolotype: ANSP 13105
Holotype: UMMZ 56850 [williamsoni] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Dorsals only slightly larger than scales on flanks, not in longitudinal rows. Scales around midbody 107-145 (123.0 ± 8.0, n= 79). Femoral pores 28-42 (33.8 ± 2.9, n= 81) in total. A light, straight, vertebral stripe in juveniles and some adults. A t each side a black dorsolateral band, bordered dorsally and ventrally by light stripes, upper one starting on nape, lower one at posterior corner of eye. Lamellae under fingers homogeneously swollen. Sides of toes with well developed denticulate fringe (increasing from first to fourth toe) (Avila-Pires 1995).

Description. Teiid with maximum SVL in males of 114 mm, in females of 105 mm (Gallagher & Dixon, 1992); among material studied respectively 100 mm (MPEG 15946) and 95 mm (MPEG 15921). Head 0.23-0.28 (n= 82) times SVL, relatively smaller in adults (mostly 0.25-0.27 in 66, 0.23-0.25 in 2 9); 1.4-1.8 (1.63 ± 0.09, n= 82) times as long as wide; 1.0-1.3 (1.14 ± 0.07, n= 82) times as wide as high. The high sides, long, pointed snout, and distinct canthus rostralis give the head a pyramidal form. Neck slightly narrower than head and body. Body cylindrical. Limbs well developed, forelimbs 0.32-0.44 (0.38 ± 0.03, n= 81) times SVL, hind limbs 0.61-0.88 (0.75 ± 0.05, n= 79) times. Tail round in cross section, tapering toward tip, 1.8-2.6 (2.20 ±0.17,n= 56) times SVL.
Tongue lanceolate, covered with imbricate, scale-like papillae, with a smooth, bifid tip. Anterior teeth conical, posterior teeth tricuspid.
Rostral pentagonal, about as wide as high, distinctly visible from above. Bordered posteriorly by nasals, which form a medial suture. Each nasal divided by an oblique suture, with nostril in its lower part, close to first supralabial, directed lateroposteriorly. Frontonasal hexagonal, about as long as wide. A pair of trapezoid prefrontals, medial suture from slightly to distinctly longer than that between nasals. Frontal hexagonal, longer than wide, laterally mainly in contact with second supraoculars. Frontoparietals irregularly pentagonal, longer than wide, forming a long medial suture. Interparietal and a pair of parietals irregular in shape, followed by two occipitals, with a zigzag border between them. The five scales together show an anteriad divergent, "U"-shaped contour, and are surrounded by small, polygonal, distinctly keeled scales. In RMNH 25373 four scales completely separate the frontoparietals from interparietal/parietals, and three smaller scales separate the interparietal from occipitals. Large specimens with a key-hole shaped ridge along sides of prefrontals (less evident), frontal, frontoparietals, parietals, and posterior border of occipitals. Three supraoculars, first smallest; posteriorly in contact with a group of small scales, laterally second and third supraoculars usually separated from supraciliaries by a row of granules. A small scale may be present on medial corner between first and second supraoculars. Supraciliaries 4-6, mostly five, of which anterior two (exceptionally one) are elongate and reach level of third supraocular, remaining two to four short, small. A very large loreal, in contact with nasal, frontonasal, prefrontal, first supraocular, first supraciliary, some small preoculars, frenocular, and supralabials. Frenocular irregularly quadrilateral, continuous with row of suboculars. Suboculars 2-4, second or third longer, smooth to broadly keeled. Two more-or-less regular series of small, broadly keeled postoculars, ending in a larger scale at level of supraciliaries. Lower eyelid with an opaque disc with some transversely enlarged scales. Pupil may show a ventral and a dorsal shallow concavity, and small indentations in the outline. Supralabials 5-7, mostly six, one before last below centre of eye; between them and commissure of mouth 3-5 smaller, broadly keeled, scales. Temporal scales mostly small, polygonal, distinctly keeled; scales may become larger peripherally, with at least one row of larger scales near border of ear-opening. One or two rows of larger, elongate, keeled supratemporals. Ear-opening relatively large, rounded, with smooth margins. Tympanum recessed in a short auditory meatus. All dorsal and lateral head scales juxtaposed and, except for those already noted, smooth. Not uncommonly there are extra, usually small, scales among those regularly present, especially in parietal/occipital region.
Mental trapezoid with anterior margin convex, or semicircular. Postmental irregularly heptagonal, followed by three pairs of large chinshields which are in contact with infralabials, plus at each side one or a few smaller, but still relatively large scales, usually in two rows, which can also be considered as chinshields. First pair of chinshields usually in contact medially, in some specimens separated by a row of small scales. Posterior chinshields widely separated by small, convex to broadly keeled scales, anterior ones elongate, juxtaposed, posterior ones shorter, imbricate. These scales gradually increase in size toward centre of area, and decrease again near anterior gular fold and toward sides. Infralabials 5-7, 4-5 to below centre of eye; followed to commissure of mouth by small scales. Gular and antegular folds present. Between the two folds a few rows of larger, flat, distinctly keeled, imbricate, pointed scales; posteriad the scales become larger, and the rows wider. Posterior row with 14-22 scales. Gular and antegular folds extend laterally into, respectively, an antehumeral and an oblique neck fold. Other smaller, irregular folds may also be present on sides of neck.
Scales on nape small, convex, hexagonal, distinctly keeled, juxtaposed, grading into dorsals. On sides of neck they are about as large as, or smaller than, scales on nape, more irregular in shape, and they may be partially smooth. Dorsals similar to, but more elongate than scales on nape, in approximately transverse rows; 133-190 (163.2 ± 10.3, n= 73) scales along the middorsal line from nape to base of tail. Toward flanks scales decrease in length and size, and become more irregular in shape and more broadly keeled. Ventrals large, phylloid, sharply keeled and shortly mucronate, imbricate, in 14 (mostly) or 16 longitudinal,and 31-38 (34.2 ± 1.5, n= 81) transverse rows. Laterals and ventrals sharply delimited. Scales around midbody 107-145 (123.0 ± 8.0, n= 79). Preanal plate with scales approximately similar to ventrals, bordered on each side by small scales in females, and by two preanal spurs, directed dorsally, in males. Preanal pores absent, femoral pores 28-42 (33.8 ± 2.9, n= 81) in total (males and females), each pore occupying the centre of a group of scales.
Scales on tail rectangular, obliquely keeled, shortly mucronate, imbricate, except near base on the underside, where they are phylloid. Arranged in complete transverse rings across tail, and in longitudinal rows. Keels form low longitudinal ridges.
Scales on dorsal aspect of upper arms, anterodorsal aspect of forearms, anterior aspect of thighs, and ventral aspect of lower legs large, rhomboid, distinctly keeled, slightly to distinctly mucronate, imbricate. They grade into distinctly smaller and more feebly keeled scales on ventral aspect of thighs. Elsewhere scales small, keeled or smooth, convex, from slightly imbricate to juxtaposed. Fingers with single, transversely enlarged subdigital lamellae, mostly (except distally) with a median tubercle, of which some slightly more prominent than others. Lamellae under toes single, transversely enlarged, mostly (except a few distally) keeled; proximal lamellae tuberculate. Lamellae under fourth finger 14-21 (17.7 ± 1.2, n= 156, 81 specimens), under fourth toe 22-32 (25.7 ± 1.8, n= 159, 81 specimens). Toes with a denticulate fringe along outer side (on both sides at base of fifth toe), especially well developed on fourth toe, and in adults in relation to juveniles (Avila-Pires 1995).

Colour in life: among several specimens from Benjamin Constant, Amazonas, and a neighbouring Peruvian site: on dorsal surface, head and back of a similar or different shade of brown (all dark drab [119B]; head mars-brown [223A] to raw-umber [223], back antique-brown [37] to tawny [38]; head raw-umber [223], back marsbrown [223A] anteriorly, hair-brown [119A] posteriorly). In large specimens (both males and females) a green area may be present on anterior part of back (bunting-green [150] in MPEG 15921). Vertebral stripe (present in males 43, 59, 63, 74 mm SVL, females 67,72 mm; absent in males 87,99 mm SVL, female 95 mm) peacock-green (162C), olive-yellow (52), yellow-green (58), sulphur-yellow (157), or sayal-brown (223C) anteriorly and straw-yellow (56) posteriorly Dorsolateral band maroon (31), more vivid anteriorly, or, more commonly, brick-red (132A) and black (one or the other predominating). Colour of stripes bordering the dorsolateral band similar to, or different from that of vertebral stripe (olive-yellow [52], pale yellow-green [58], pale sulphur-yellow [157], straw-yellow [56] anteriorly and light russet-vinaceous [221D] posteriorly). Flanks dark drab (119B), mars-brown (223A), or hair-brown (119A), in adults (same individuals without vertebral stripe) with light blue spots (in MPEG 15921 sky-blue [168C] anteriorly, light sky-blue [168D] posteriorly). R M N H 25371 (c?, 74 mm SVL) with some pale brown spots on anterior part of flanks. On ventral surface head pinkish-white, belly beige (219D), very pale beige, or pale beige to pale buff (124). Iris orange-brown or pale brown. W.E. Magnusson photographed an adult individual, probably of K. altamazonica, in an area of varzea in Lago Jacaretinga (Amazonas), with a completely green back (up to base of tail) (Avila-Pires 1995).

Color in preservative: general dorsal colour dark olive-brown or dull brown, sometimes with a bluish hue. In juveniles and some adults a light vertebral stripe from snout to anterior part of back, at most reaching midbody. At each side one black, or brown with irregular black spots, dorsolateral band, from posterior corner of eye to hind limbs, bordered by light stripes, of which dorsal one starts on nape, ventral one on posterior corner of eye. In large specimens the longitudinal stripes tend to disappear. In most extreme cases (males), the vertebral stripe disappears completely, and of the dorsolateral band only irregular black spots are left. Moreover, large specimens show light blue dots on sides of head and on anterior part of flanks, which on posterior part of flanks coalesce into irregular, vertically elongate spots. Specimens from Peru tend to be more variable: longitudinal stripes frequently have waving margins or interruptions, a paired series of transversely enlarged spots may be present on back, and the light stripe on dorsal side of dorsolateral band may start on supraciliaries. Forelimbs mostly uniformly olive- or dull brown, sometimes with scattered black flecks. Hind limbs with pale light dots, and black flecks which can be rather sparse or form a reticulation. Colour of tail similar to that on back or slightly lighter, either uniform or, more frequently, with darker, irregular spots. Ventral region completely light blue, or a mixture of light blue and cream or white (Avila-Pires 1995). 
CommentNot listed for Ecuador by TORRES-CARVAJAL 2001. 
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