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Leiosaurus jaguaris LASPIUR, ACOSTA & ABDALA, 2007

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Higher TaxaLeiosauridae (Leiosaurinae), Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymLeiosaurus jaguaris LASPIUR, ACOSTA & ABDALA 2007
Leiosaurus jaguaris — AVILA et al. 2021 
DistributionNW Argentina (San Juan, La Rioja)

Type locality: Gualcamayo (29° 49 ́ 48.5” S; 68° 45 ́45.9” W) at 2.440 mts., Jáchal Department, San Juan Province  
TypesHolotype: FML 17584. Adult male. Col. J. Marinero, R. Buff y J. Villavicencio, September 31st, 2000. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Leiosaurus jaguaris (Fig. 1 in LASPIUR et al. 2007) belongs to the Leiosauridae family according to Frost et al., (2001). Together with Diplolaemus and Pristidactylus genera, Leiosaurus belongs to the Leiosaurinae sub- family (Frost et al., 2001). It clearly differs from all other members of genus due to the dorsal coloration pat- tern, the lepidosis and morphometric characters. The dorsal coloration pattern of L. jaguaris presents dorsal markings on the vertebral line in form of circles or semicircles with diffuse borders, absent or faded dorsolat- eral markings, rounded marked tail or with irregular rings and ventral body with or without little markings or dark scales irregularly disposed while L. paronae presents big and defined “lily” shaped spots on the vertebral line, big dorsolateral and circular spots or transverse to the axis body, tail with alternate dark and light rings and ventrally body with clearly defined markings (Fig. 2). Leiosaurus jaguaris presents dorsal and dorsolat- eral uniform and granular squamation which do not form a protruding crest over the vertebral line or group- ings of dorsolateral scales in contrast to L. paronae which presents in its body (mainly over the vertebral line) protruding conical scales which are bigger than the rest and which are keeled forming a vertebral crest whichis unique among the species of the group. Moreover, L. jaguaris present uniform head scales without two pro- truding scales placed to both sides and behind the interparietal scale, characteristic in L. paronae. Leiosaurus jaguaris presents gular and ventral rounded scales which are smooth and subjuxtaposed or juxtaposed while L. paronae has keeled conic gular scales that ending in nib and triangular ventrals, monocarinate and imbri- cate. Leiosaurus jaguaris presents dorsal markings on the vertebral line, but they are never “shark tooth” shaped like in L. bellii (Fig. 3). Leiosaurus jaguaris has round ventral scales or little markings irregularly dis- tributed while L. bellii has a darker abdomen with longitudinal thin markings and a white line on the central part of the abdomen; this character is absent in the species hereby described. The rostral scale of the L. jaguaris can not be distinguished form the supralabial ones; temporal region with a line of big scales which continues together with the scales of the subocular region, in contrast to the L. bellii, whose rostral scale is well differentiated and protruding with a rectangular form and whose temporal scales are more consistent with no big differenced scales. Moreover, L. jaguaris presents subdigital lamellae with mucrones in all the toes of feet and hands, while L. bellii presents subdigital lamellae without mucrones. Leiosaurus jaguaris presents a coloration pattern which is very different from the one of L. catamarcensis (Fig. 4), which has diffuse spots on the vertebral line in form of circles or semicircles and a lot of circular little spots irregularly distributed and with different colours to give a tiger “striped” look, while in L. catamarcensis the dorsal spots are bigger and more defined with no little spots on the back of the body. Besides, L. jaguaris has a continuous or discontinuous dark line which follows the supralabial scales up to the auditory meatus and, as was stated before, present smooth ventral scales on the pectoral region, while in L. catamarcensis, in some specimens, presents some dark or orange supralabial scales and the ventral scales are lightly careened. Also ventrally, in the abdominal region, the scales of the L. jaguaris are juxtaposed while in L. catamarcensis are imbricate. In L. jaguaris there are not conic shaped scales protruding from the rest of the vertebral line in contrast to L. cat- amarcensis which presents some protruding scales, mainly on the front part of the body. 
EtymologyIt makes reference to the aspect of the coloration pattern which is similar to the american feline Panthera onca. 
  • AVILA, LUCIANO JAVIER; LORENA ELIZABETH MARTINEZ & MARIANA MORANDO 2013. Checklist of lizards and amphisbaenians of Argentina: an update. Zootaxa 3616 (3): 201–238 - get paper here
  • Avila, Luciano Javier; Martín Miguel Femenías, Cristian Hernán Fulvio Pérez, Mariana Morando 2021. Nuevas especies de Liolaemus para la herpetofauna de la provincia de La Rioja, Argentina. Cuadernos de Herpetología 35 (S1): 223-228
  • Laspiur, A.; Acosta, J.C. & Abdala, C.S. 2007. A new species of Leiosaurus (Iguania: Leiosauridae) from central-western Argentina. Zootaxa 1470: 47–57 - get paper here
  • Laspiur, Alejandro and Juan Carlos Acosta. 2015. New Rocords of Leiosaurus jaguaris Laspiur, Acosta & Abdala, 2007, extend the known distribution in the Argentine Precordillera. Herpetozoa 27 (3/4): 176-179 [2014] - get paper here
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