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Lepidophyma sylvaticum TAYLOR, 1939

IUCN Red List - Lepidophyma sylvaticum - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaXantusiidae (Lepidophyminae), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Madrean Tropical Night Lizard
S: Lagartija Nocturna de Montaña. 
SynonymLepidophyma sylvatica TAYLOR 1939
Gaigeia sylvatica — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 154
Lepidophyma flavimaculatum tenebrarum WALKER 1955 (fide BEZY 2002)
Lepidophyma sylvaticum — SAVAGE 1963
Lepidophyma sylvaticum — LINER 1994
Lepidophyma sylvaticum — WHITING et al. 2003
Lepidophyma sylvaticum — JOHNSON et al. 2017
Lepidophyma sylvaticum — GRÜNWALD et al. 2023 
DistributionMexico (Hidalgo, Puebla, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, Queretaro, Veracruz)

Type locality: Seven miles north of Zacualtipan, Hidalgo.

tenebrarum: Tamaulipas; Type locality: Tamaulipas, ca. 8.1 km NW (by road) Gómez Farías, Sierra Madre Oriental, Rancho del Cielo, ca. 1097 m elevation.  
TypesHolotype: FMNH 100102, originally EHT-HMS 16259 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS (DIAGNOSTIC CHARACTERS). The species differs from L. dontomasi, L. radula, L. tarascae, and L. lineri in having 22 or more femoral pores; from L. gaigeae in having distinctly enlarged lateral tubercles forming 15 to 38 rows; from L. tuxtlae and L. pajapanense in having the paravertebral rows composed of tubercles that are heterogeneous in size; from L. lowei in having 40 or more gulars; from L. occulor in having 56 or fewer gulars; from L. smithii in having a pale parietal spot throughout life; from L. lipetzi and L. chicoasense in having four or fewer pretympanics; from L. micropholis in having 217 or fewer dorsals; from L. reticulatum in having a higher second postorbital supralabial (RSLH of 0.84 or greater); and from L. flavimaculatum in having 3 or fewer pretympanics (99.3%) and a higher second supralabial (RSLH of 0.84 or greater; 99.3%).
CommentDistribution: The occurrence of L. sylvaticum at Alvarado on the coast of Veracruz is somewhat enigmatic and brings the range of the species to within ca. 85 km of that of L. flavimaculatum. The two species appear to maintain their morphological differences in this area, with the Alvarado specimen (MZFC 1722) differing from the northernmost L. flavimaculatum (ENEPI 2104 from the Tuxtlas region) in pretympanics (2 vs 4) and the height of the second postorbital supralabial (RSLH 0.98 vs. 0.58). Within L. sylvaticum, the morphologically most distinctive group of populations is composed of the samples from widely disjunct localities in the Sierra Álvarez of San Luis Potosí and in the northern base of the Sierra Madre Oriental of Nuevo León (from BEZY & CAMARILLO 2002). See map in Grünwald et al. 2023: 18 (Fig. 7) and LARA-TUFIÑO & NIETO-MONTES DE OCA 2021: 331 (Fig. 6). 
EtymologyNamed after the Latin word “sylvaticum” (= “of woods”) which is an adjective and presumably refers to the occurrence of the species in humid pine and fir forest. 
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  • Taylor,E.H. 1939. A new species of the lizard genus Lepidophyma from Mexico. Copeia 1939 (3): 131-133 - get paper here
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