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Lepidophyma smithii BOCOURT, 1876

IUCN Red List - Lepidophyma smithii - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaXantusiidae (Lepidophyminae), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Smith's Tropical Night Lizard
S: Lagartija Nocturna de Smith 
SynonymLepidophyma smithii BOCOURT 1876: 402
Lepidophyma flavimaculatum — STUART 1963 (fide VILLA et al. 1988)
Akleistops guatemalensis F. MÜLLER 1878: 390
Lepidophyma smithii tehuanae SMITH 1942: 377
Lepidophyma smithii smithii — H. M. SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 152
Lepidophyma flavimaculatum smithii — SAVAGE 1963: 35
Lepidophyma flavimaculatum smithi — STUART 1963
Lepidophyma flavimaculatum smithii — WERMUTH 1965
Lepidophyma flavimaculatum tehuanae — WERMUTH 1965
Lepidophyma smithii — BEZY 1989
Lepidophyma smithii — LINER 1994
Lepidophyma smithii — KÖHLER 2000: 105
Lepidophyma smithii — MATA-SILVA et al. 2015 
DistributionSE Mexico (Guerrero, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Chiapas), Guatemala, El Salvador

smithii: Pacific slopes of Chiapas and W Guatemala. Type locality: Tehuantepec, and west coast of Guatemala. Restricted (H. M. SMITH & TAYLOR 1950) to Mazatenango, Guatemala.  
TypesSyntypes: MNHN-RA 4968, MNHN-RA 4968A, MNHN-RA 4323, MNHN-RA 4323A, MNHN-RA 4323B (5 syntype specimens) (smithii)
Holotype: USNM 111488 [tehuanae]
Lecotype: NMBA = NHMB 3750, female [guatemalensis] 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS (DIAGNOSTIC CHARACTERS). The species differs from all other Lepidophyma except L. tarascae and L. lineri in lacking a pale spot on the parietal scale in adults (snout–vent length greater than 75 mm); from all except L. tarascae, L. occulor, and L. sylvaticum in having 22 or fewer lateral tubercle rows; and from L. tarascae in having 162 or more dorsals and 44 or more gulars (from BEZY & CAMARILLO 2002).
CommentSynonymy after Wermuth 1965. Distribution partly after SMITH & TAYLOR 1950.
Lepidophyma smithii tehuanae SMITH 1942 has been renamed Lepidophyma flavimaculatum tehuanae SMITH 1942 (fide LINER 1994).

Habitat: rocks and decomposing plants.

Walker (1955) concluded that L. smithii is conspecific with L. flavimaculatum and this arrangement has been followed by several subsequent workers (e.g., Smith, 1973). The ranges of the two forms are separated by only ca. 20 km on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, with L. smithii extending north to Santo Domingo de Guzma´n (5 Santo Domingo Petapa; Goodwin, 1969) and L. flavimaculatum south to El Mogon˜ e´. In this region, the two species differ in number of femoral pores, lateral tubercle rows, and the presence of a pale interparietal spot. Although geographical variation among the localities of these 2 widely distributed species produces overlap in number of femoral pores, the two species consistently differ in two other scale features (Table 1) and in chromosome number (Bezy, 1972). The population of L. smithii found near Puerto Marque´s, Guerrero, is the most divergent in scalation and its systematic status warrants further study (from BEZY & CAMARILLO 2002).

Distribution: see map in LARA-TUFIÑO & NIETO-MONTES DE OCA 2021: 331 (Fig. 6). 
EtymologyNamed after Sir Andrew Smith, M.D. (1797–1872; founder of the South African Museum), whose description and figure of Poriodogaster grayi (a junior synonym of L. flavimaculatum) was used by Bocourt (1876) to compare with L. smithii. 
  • Aguilar-López JL, Luría-Manzano R, Pineda E, Canseco-Márquez L 2021. Selva Zoque, Mexico: an important Mesoamerican tropical region for reptile species diversity and conservation. ZooKeys 1054: 127-153 - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Bezy, R.L. 1984. Systematics of xantusiid lizards of the genus Lepidophyma in northeastern Mexico. Contributions in Science (Los Angeles) 349: 1-16 - get paper here
  • Bezy, R.L. 1989. Morphological differentiation in unisexual and bisexual xantusiid lizards of the genus Lepidophyma in Central America. Herpetological Monographs 3: 61-80 - get paper here
  • Bezy,R.L. & Camarillo, J.L. 2002. SYSTEMATICS OF XANTUSIID LIZARDS OF THE GENUS LEPIDOPHYMA. Contributions in Science (493): 1–41 - get paper here
  • Bocourt, F. 1876. Note sur quelques reptiles de l'Isthme de Tehuantepec (Mexique) donnés par M. Sumichrast au museum. Journal de Zoologie. Paris. 5 (5-6): 386-411 - get paper here
  • Brygoo, E. R. 1990. Les types d'Amphisbaenidés, Pygopodidés, Xantusiidés (Reptiles, Sauriens) du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle - Catalogue critique. Bull. Mus. Nat. Hist. Nat. 12 (ser. 4) A (3-4), suppl.: 3-18
  • Calzada-Arciniega, Rafael Alejandro; Ernesto Recuero, Mirna Grisel Garcia-Castillo, Gabriela Parra-Olea 2017. New records and an updated list of Herpetofauna from Cerro Piedra Larga, an isolated mountain massif in Oaxaca, Mexico. Herpetology Notes 10: 651-658 - get paper here
  • Casas-Andreu, G., F.R. Méndez-De la Cruz and X. Aguilar-Miguel. 2004. Anfibios y Reptiles; pp. 375–390, in A.J.M. García-Mendoza, J. Ordoñez and M. Briones-Salas (ed.). Biodiversidad de Oaxaca. Instituto de Biología, UNAM-Fondo Oaxaqueño para la Conservación de la Naturaleza-World Wildlife Fund, México, D. F.
  • Eisenberg, T. 2013. Amphibien und Reptilien im Energiesparhaus. Chancen und Möglichkeiten des Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetzes für die Terrarientierhaltung. Reptilia (Münster) 18 (99): 32-40 - get paper here
  • Goldberg, Stephen R., Charles R. Bursey and Robert L. Bezy. 2015. A summary and discussion of helminth parasites reported from Xantusid lizards with a new nematode record from Lepidophyma smithii (Squamata: Xantusidae). Herpetological Review 46 (4): 501-505 - get paper here
  • Greer, A. E. 1985. Facial tongue-wiping in Xantusiid lizards: its systematic implications. Journal of Herpetology 19 (1): 174-175 - get paper here
  • Johnson, Jerry D.; Vicente Mata-Silva, Elí García Padilla, and Larry David Wilson 2015. The Herpetofauna of Chiapas, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2 (3): 272–329. - get paper here
  • Köhler, G. 2000. Reptilien und Amphibien Mittelamerikas, Bd 1: Krokodile, Schildkröten, Echsen. Herpeton Verlag, Offenbach, 158 pp.
  • Köhler, G. 2008. Reptiles of Central America. 2nd Ed. Herpeton-Verlag, 400 pp.
  • Kramer, Eugen 1979. Typenkatalog der Echsen im Naturhistorischen Museum Basel (BM), Stand 1978. [type catalogue] Revue Suisse de Zoologie 86 (1): 159-166 - get paper here
  • Kratochvíl, L., Vukić, J., Červenka, J., Kubička, L., Johnson Pokorná, M., Kukačková, D., … Piálek, L. 2020. Mixed-sex offspring produced via cryptic parthenogenesis in a lizard. Molecular Ecology, 29(21), 4118–4127 - get paper here
  • Lara-Tufiño, José Daniel & Adrián Nieto-Montes de Oca 2021. A New Species of Night Lizard of the Genus Lepidophyma (Xantusiidae) from Southern Mexico. Herpetologica Dec 2021 Vol. 77, No. 4: 320-334 - get paper here
  • Mata-Silva, Vicente, Jerry D. Johnson, Larry David Wilson and Elí García-Padilla. 2015. The herpetofauna of Oaxaca, Mexico: composition, physiographic distribution, and conservation status. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2 (1): 6–62 - get paper here
  • Mautz, W.J. & W. Lopez-Forment 1978. Observations on the Activity and Diet of the Cavernicolous Lizard Lepidophyma smithii (Sauria: Xantusiidae) Herpetologica 34 (3): 311-313. - get paper here
  • Mertens, R. 1952. Die Amphibien und Reptilien von El Salvador. Abh. senckenb. naturf. Ges. (Frankfurt) (No. 487): 120 pp.
  • Müller, F. 1878. Über einige seltene und neue Reptilien aus Guatemala. Verh. Naturf. Ges. Basel, 6: 390-411 - get paper here
  • Palacios-Aguilar, Ricardo & OSCAR FLORES-VILLELA 2018. An updated checklist of the herpetofauna from Guerrero, Mexico. Zootaxa 4422 (1): 1-24 - get paper here
  • Palacios-Aguilar, Ricardo;Rufino Santos-Bibiano, and Oscar Flores-Villela 2018. A New Species of Lepidophyma (Squamata: Xantusiidae) from the Pacific Lowlands of Guerrero, Mexico. Journal of Herpetology 52 (3): 327-331. - get paper here
  • Peterson, A.T. et al. 2004. A preliminary biological survey of Cerro Piedra Larga, Oaxaca, Mexico: Birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and plants. Anales del Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Serie Zoología 75(2): 439-466
  • Peterson, J. A. & Bezy, Robert L. 1985. The microstructure and evolution of scale surfaces in xantusiid lizards. Herpetologica 41 (3): 298-324. - get paper here
  • Savage, Jay M. 1963. Studies on the lizard family Xantusidae IV. The Genera. Contributions in Science, Los Angeles (71): 1-38 - get paper here
  • Smith, H.M. & Taylor,E.H. 1950. An annotated checklist and key to the reptiles of Mexico exclusive of the snakes. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 199: 1-253 - get paper here
  • Smith, Hobart 1942. Mexican herpetological miscellany. Proc. US Natl. Mus. 92 (3153): 349-395 - get paper here
  • Smith, Hobart M. & Taylor, Edward H. 1950. Type localities of Mexican reptiles and amphibians. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 33 (8): 313-380 - get paper here
  • Stuart, L.C. 1963. A checklist of the herpetofauna of Guatemala. Misc. Publ. Mus. Zool., Univ. Michigan (No. 122): 1-150 - get paper here
  • Werning, H. 2017. Der große Treck – Teil 5. Don’t mess with Texas. Reptilia (Münster) 22 (128): 68-79 - get paper here
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