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Kentropyx pelviceps (COPE, 1868)

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Higher TaxaTeiidae, Teiinae, Gymnophthalmoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Forest Whiptail
Portuguese: Calango, Chicote-da-Floresta, Lagarto 
SynonymCentropyx pelviceps COPE 1868: 98
Centropyx calcaratus — GUICHENOT 1855: 32 (part)
Kentropyx dorsalis GÜNTHER (fide GALLAGHER & DIXON 1980)
Centropyx pelviceps — BOULENGER 1885: 342
Kentropyx calcaratus — BURT & BURT 1931: 343 (part)
Kentropyx pelviceps — PETERS & DONOSO-BARROS 1970: 152
Kentropyx pelviceps — DUELLMAN 1978: 215
Kentropyx pelviceps — AVILA-PIRES 1995: 524
Kentropyx pelviceps — DIRKSEN & DE LA RIVA 1999
Kentropyx pelviceps — WHITHWORTH & BEIRNE 2011
Kentropyx pelviceps — HARVEY et al. 2012 
DistributionEcuador, Colombia,
N Peru, Brazil (Amazonas, Acre, Santarém: HR 33: 225), Bolivia (Pando)

Type locality: Napo or Upper Amazon or Ecuador.  
TypesHolotype: ANSP 9556, USNM 6638 (lost) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Dorsals only slightly larger than scales on flanks, not in longitudinal rows. Scales around midbody 113-151 (132.4 ± 9.1, n= 34). Femoral pores 36-52 (43.0 ± 4.1, n= 36) in total. A vertebral band from rostral to base of tail, which widens from nape to rump where it is about as wide as the area between hind limbs. Margins of vertebral band between limbs deeply indented. A dorsolateral light stripe from posterior lower corner of eye to about middle of body Lamellae under fingers tuberculate, with tubercles on some lamellae more developed than on others of same digit. Sides of toes with poorly developed denticulate fringe (Avila-Pires 1995).

Description. Teiid with maximum SVL in males of 122 mm, in females of 120 mm (Gallagher & Dixon, 1992); among material studied 119 mm in both sexes (MPEG 15228, male, RMNH 25397, female). Head 0.23-0.28 (n= 36) times SVL (with negative allometric growth, except in the largest males where it becomes again relatively larger); 1.4-1.8 (1.58 ± 0.09, n= 35) times as long as wide; and 1.0-1.3 (1.17 ± 0.08, n= 34) times as wide as high. The high sides, elongate, 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 0.35-0.43 (0.39 ± 0.02, n= 32) times SVL, hind limbs 0.70-0.84 (0.78 ± 0.04, n= 29) times. Tail round in cross section, tapering toward tip, 1.8-2.3 (2.06 ± 0.12, n= 23) times SVL. Both limbs and tail seem to show a small degree of allometric growth, positive in case of tail, negative in case of limbs.
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, directed lateroposteriorly. Frontonasal hexagonal, about as long as wide (irregular in shape in MPEG 15967, which shows an extra pair of scales between it and nasals). A pair of trapezoid prefrontals, medial suture from as long as, to distinctly longer than that between nasals. Frontal hexagonal, longer than wide, laterally in contact with first (usually) and second supraoculars. Frontoparietals irregularly pentagonal, longer than wide; they form a long medial suture. Interparietal and a pair of parietals irregular in shape, usually followed by two occipitals, with a zigzag border between them. The five scales show an anteriad divergent, "U"-shaped contour, and are surrounded by small, polygonal, distinctly keeled scales. Irregular, extra scales may be present in the parietal/occipital region. Large specimens with a key-hole-shaped ridge along sides of prefrontals (less evident), frontal, frontoparietals, parietals, and posterior border of occipitals. Usually three supraoculars, first smallest. One or two (transversely arranged) scales may separate the second and third supraoculars partially or completely, or an extra, small supraocular may be present posteriorly (in MPEG 15875 both situations occur, so that there are five supraoculars). Supraoculars in contact posteriorly with a group of small scales. Laterally a row of granules separates most of second and third supraoculars from supraciliaries. Supraciliaries 4-6, mostly 5, of which the anterior two are elongate and reach level of third supraocular, the remaining two to four are short, small. A very large loreal, in contact with nasal, frontonasal, prefrontal, first supraocular, first supraciliary, small preoculars (occasionally a larger one), frenocular or first subocular, and supralabials. Frenocular usually present, continuous with suboculars, absent in some specimens. Preoculars small, or 2-3 slightly enlarged. Suboculars 2-5, mostly three, convex to broadly keeled (except anterior one), second frequently longest. Two more-or-less regular series of small, smooth to broadly keeled postoculars, which end in a larger scale at level of supraciliaries. Lower eyelid with an opaque disc with some transversely enlarged scales. Pupil may show a ventral shallow concavity or a squared outline. Supralabials 6-8, 5-6 to below centre of eye; followed to commissure of mouth by 3-6 smaller, convex or keeled, scales, which may not form a regular row. Temporal scales relatively small, centrally smaller than peripherally, polygonal, distinctly keeled. 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.
Mental trapezoid with anterior margin convex, or semicircular. Postmental irregularly heptagonal, followed by 3-4 (mostly three) pairs of large chinshields 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 separated by one or two rows of small scales, or anteriorly in medial contact. Posterior chinshields widely separated by small, convex to broadly keeled scales, which anteriorly areelongate, juxtaposed, and posteriorly become shorter and imbricate. They increase gradually in size toward the centre, and decrease again near gular fold and toward the sides. Infralabials 5-7, 4-6 to below centre of eye; followed to comissure of mouth by small scales. Gular and antegular folds present. Between the two, a few rows of larger, flat, distinctly keeled, imbricate, pointed scales, which become larger, in wider rows, posteriad; 15-22 scales in the posterior row. Gular and antegular folds extend laterally into, respectively, an antehumeral and an oblique neck fold. Other smaller, irregular folds also may be present on sides of neck.
Scales on nape small, convex, hexagonal, distinctly keeled, juxtaposed, grading into dorsals; on sides of neck smaller, more irregular in shape, and they may be less distinctly keeled. Dorsals more elongate and at least twice as large as scales on nape, in approximately transverse rows; 129-166 (144.9 ± 9.1, n= 36) scales along middorsal line from nape to base of tail. On 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 30-34 (32.6 ± 1.2, n= 36) transverse rows. Laterals and ventrals sharply delimited. Scales around midbody 113-151 (132.4 ± 9.1, n= 34). Preanal plate with scales approximately similar to ventrals, in some specimens partially smooth; bordered on each side by smaller scales in females, and by two preanal spurs, directed dorsally, in males. Preanal pores absent, femoral pores 36-52 (43.0 ± 4.1, n= 36) in total (males and females). Each pore occupies the centre of a group of scales.
Scales on tail rectangular, obliquely keeled, 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 much smaller but similar scales on ventral aspect of thighs. Elsewhere scales small, keeled or smooth, convex, from slightly imbricate to juxtaposed. Fingers with single, transversely enlarged sub-digital lamellae, mostly (except distally) tuberculate medially. Some tubercles distinctly more prominent than others. Toes with single, transversely enlarged subdigital lamellae, mostly (except a few distally) keeled; proximal lamellae tuberculate. Lamellae under fourth finger 13-19 (16.3 ± 1.1, n= 70, 36 specimens), under fourth toe 22-28 (24.3 ± 1.4, n= 70, 36 specimens). A poorly developed denticulate fringe along outer side of third, fourth and fifth toes (Avila-Pires 1995).

Colour in life: vertebral band lime-green (159) on head, pistachio (161) on nape, and between vinaceous-pink (221C) and walnut-brown (221B) along back; or pale antique-brown (37) on snout, yellow-green (58) on top of head and nape, and sayal-brown (223C) to mars-brown (223A) along back; or else copper on snout, yellow-green (58) on top of head, and bright straw-yellow (56) to walnut-brown (221B) along back. In RMNH 25398 (male, 110 mm SVL), vertebral band with a green segment between forelimbs and midbody, which in MPEG 15873 (male, 110 mm SVL) only appears as a pale tinge, and in MPEG 15874 (male, 107 mm SVL) is totally missing. Vertebral band bordered by a black, black and brick-red (132A), or black and burnt-sienna (132) band. MPEG 16016 with lime-green (159) labials, apple-green (61) temporal area. MPEG 15895 with head ventrolaterally pistachio (161). A yellow-green (58) stripe, always present in juveniles, present or absent in adults, ventrally delimits the black band between ear-opening and a short distance posterior to arm level. Flanks fuscous (21) with some salmon (106) tinge and black spots, warm sepia (221A), or walnut-brown (221B). RMNH 25398 with bluish-green spots on flanks, also present but less numerous in RMNH 25397 (female, 119 mm SVL). Ventral surface of head beige (219D), light vinaceous (6), pale rose-pink (108D), or labials and chinshields pale pinkish-buff (121D) or greenish-white, gular region light russet-vinaceous (221D). Belly beige (219D), light russet-vinaceous (221D), flesh-ochre (132D), or salmon (106). In some juveniles posterior part of belly sepia. Limbs dorsally sepia (219) with black or walnut-brown (221B) spots, ventrally usually with same colour as belly Tail dorsally sepia (219) or hair-brown (119A), with or without black spots. Ventrally, base of tail with colour similar to that of belly, distally sepia (119 and 219) or olive-grey (42) and glaucous (79) (Avila-Pires 1995).

Color in preservative: head brown, back dull brown or olive-brown, in some specimens with a pale to a strong blue tinge. A vertebral band from rostral to base of tail, which widens from nape to rump where it is about as wide as the area between hind limbs. Vertebral band light blue or tan on head, light blue on nape. Posteriad along back colour becomes similar to that of back outside the band, either similar to or slightly lighter than flanks. Along back a vertebral band bordered by a black band, anteriorly straight or undulating, posteriorly deeply indented, both margins with medially directed digitlike projections which may form irregular transverse links between the black bands. A dorsolateral light blue stripe from posterior lower corner of eye, through upper border of ear-opening, until somewhere between level of forelimbs and midbody. Occasionally a short segment close to hind limbs can be seen. In large specimens the anterior part of vertebral band, especially on snout, and the dorsolateral stripe may eventually disappear completely, while the black band partially fades out toward extremities, leaving irregular, isolated black spots. On sides of head and along flanks there may be a series of light blue dots and/or vertically enlarged spots (the latter usually posteriorly), better developed in adult males. Forelimbs either uniformly brown or with a pattern similar to that on hind limbs. Hind limbs with light blue dots, and small black flecks which can be rather sparse or form a reticulation. Tail brown, sometimes with a bluish tinge, with irregular black flecks. Ventral region from light blue, more intense blue and in some cases metalic in smaller specimens, to tan. Distally underside of tail may become darker or have dark irregular spots (Avila-Pires 1995).

Comparisons: Harvey et al. 2012: 125 (Table 14)

Diagnosis: Gallagher & Dixon 1992: 145

Description: Gallagher & Dixon 1992: 145 
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