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Lepidophyma lusca ARENAS-MORENO, MUÑOZ-NOLASCO, BAUTISTA-DEL MORAL, RODRÍGUEZ-MIRANDA, DOMÍNGUEZ-GUERRERO & MÉNDEZ-DE LA CRUZ, 2021

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Higher TaxaXantusiidae (Lepidophyminae), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymLepidophyma lusca ARENAS-MORENO, MUÑOZ-NOLASCO, BAUTISTA-DEL MORAL, RODRÍGUEZ-MIRANDA, DOMÍNGUEZ-GUERRERO & MÉNDEZ-DE LA CRUZ 2021
Lepidophyma gaigeae – AHUMADA-CARRILLO 2013 
DistributionMexico (San Luis Potosí)

Type locality: Tamul waterfall, 4.4 km SW from the locality of Tanchachín, municipality of Aquismón, San Luis Potosí, Mexico (21.804°, -99.180°; 195 m elev.)  
ReproductionViviparous. Mating season is unknown, but probably occurs at the end of the rainy season, like other Lepidophyma species (Méndez de la Cruz et al. 1999). Five females gave birth in captivity a total of 16 neonates between 2nd to 13th June of 2019. The minimum SVL of pregnant females was 45 mm. The mean litter size was 3.2 ± 1.48 neonates (range: 1–5). Neonates had a mean SVL of 22.6 ± 0.88 mm (range: 21–24 mm) and a mean mass of 0.22 ± 0.02 g (range: 0.17–0.27 g). The mean relative litter mass (RLM), according to the method described by Rodríguez-Romero et al. (2005; RLM = litter mass/mass of female after parturition), was 0.3940 ± 0.1549 g (range: 0.1541–0.4405 g). 
TypesHolotype: CNAR IBH 32556, adult female, collected by Arenas-Moreno, D.M., Bautista-del Moral A., and Rodríguez-Miranda L.A. on 2nd May 2020.
Paratypes (n = 11): CNAR IBH, 32554-55, 32557-65, collected by Arenas-Moreno, D.M., Bautista-del Moral A., and Rodríguez-Miranda L.A. on 2nd May 2020 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Lepidophyma lusca sp. nov. can be distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of characters: smooth scales with reduced dorsal tubercules; absence of parietal spot; up to 38 gular scales; more than one gular scale contacting the first two infralabials in some individuals; caudal interwhorls not complete ventrally; less than 137 dorsal scales; 26 or less femoral pores (Arenas-Moreno et al. 2021).

Comparisons: Lepidophyma lusca sp. nov. can be easily distinguished from the syntopic species L. occulor by its smaller size (maximum SVL in L. lusca sp. nov. 53.16 mm vs. 125.3 mm in L. occulor); smooth scales with reduced dorsal tubercules (enlarged and conspicuous dorsal tubercules in L. occulor); fewer gular scales (up to 38 in L. lusca sp. nov. and at least 58 in L. occulor); absence of parietal spot (present in L. occulor). Lepidophyma lusca sp. nov. is similar in morphology to L. gaigeae (sister species) and the species of Tehuantepec A clade (L. cuicateca, L. dontomasi, L. lowei, and L. radula; Noonan et al. 2013), given its small body size, reduced tubercular scales and slightly differentiated caudal whorls and interwhorls. This species differs from L. cuicateca, L. dontomasi, L. gaigeae, L. lowei, and L. radula in lacking parietal spot; in have more than one gular scale contacting the first two infralabials in some individuals (no more than one gular scale contacting the first two infralabials in L. cuicateca, L. gaigeae, and L. lowei; zero in L. dontomasi and L. radula); from L. cuicateca and L. gaigeae in that the caudal interwhorls are not complete ventrally (complete in L. cuicateca and L. gaigeae); from L. cuicateca, and L. lowei in have less than 137 dorsal scales (more than 150 in L. cuicateca and more than 158 L. lowei); in have 26 or less femoral pores (27 or more in L. gaigeae), and shorter head length and width than L. gaigeae (Arenas-Moreno et al. 2021).

Color in life: According to the color catalogue of Köhler (2012), head is smoke gray (#267) except for frontoparietals, which are grayish olive (#273). Background color medium sulphur yellow (#94) with dorsal and dorsolateral grayish olive spots (#275). Tubercles of paravertebral rows chamois (#84). Anterior limbs medium sulphur yellow (#94); posterior limbs cream white (#52) laterally. Tail light sky blue (#191) (Arenas-Moreno et al. 2021).



 
CommentDiet: Fecal analysis of individuals collected shows that L. lusca sp. nov. is insectivorous like other night lizard species (Bezy & Camarillo 2002; Arenas-Moreno et al. 2021).

Similar species: L. gaigeae. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet, “lusca”, is the singular feminine noun in Latin for “one eyed”, due the absence of parietal eye. 
References
  • Ahumada-Carrillo, Iván T. 2013. Geographic Distribution: Lepidophyma gaigeae (Gaige's tropical night lizard). Herpetological Review 44 (3): 475 - get paper here
  • ARENAS-MORENO, DIEGO M.; FRANCISCO J. MUÑOZ-NOLASCO, ADÁN BAUTISTA-DEL MORAL, LUIS A. RODRÍGUEZ-MIRANDA, SAÚL F. DOMÍNGUEZ-GUERRERO, FAUSTO R. MÉNDEZ-DE LA CRUZ 2021. A new species of Lepidophyma (Squamata: Xantusiidae) from San Luis Potosí, México, with notes on its physiological ecology. Zootaxa 4949 (1): 115-130
  • Köhler, G. 2012. Color Catalogue for Field Biologists. Herpeton-Verlag, 49 pp. - get paper here
  • Noonan, Brice P.; Jennifer B. Pramuk, Robert L. Bezy, Elizabeth A. Sinclair, Kevin de Queiroz, Jack W. Sites Jr. 2013. Phylogenetic relationships within the lizard clade Xantusiidae: Using trees and divergence times to address evolutionary questions at multiple levels. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Volume 69, Issue 1, October 2013, Pages 109–122 - get paper here
 
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