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Liolaemus puna LOBO & ESPINOZA, 2004

IUCN Red List - Liolaemus puna - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymLiolaemus puna LOBO & ESPINOZA 2004
Liolaemus barbarae PINCHEIRA-DONOSO & NÚÑEZ 2005
Liolaemus (Liolaemus) barbarae — RAMIREZ LEYTON & PINCHEIRA-DONOSO 2005 
DistributionNW Argentina (Jujuy, Salta, high-elevation (3680–4400 m) Puna regions), NE Chile, Bolivia (Potosí, Tarija)

Type locality: Quebrada Los Berros, approximately 5 km east of Olacapato, Departamento Los Andes, Provincia de Salta, Argentina (24°08.35’S, 66°42.05’W; approximately 4200 m).

barbarae: Chile (El Loa); Type locality: On the Azufrera Road to Licancabur Volcano, 3000 m, E San Pedro de Atacama, Antofagasta Region, Chile.  
TypesHolotype: FML 1364 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (short): Liolaemus puna n. sp. differs from all other members of the alticolor group in that male L. puna lack paravertebral markings and dorsolateral and vertebral stripes. Females, however, are similar to other members of the alticolor group but can be distinguished from them by several meristic characters.

Diagnosis. Liolaemus puna is a member of the alticolor group (as defined above) but differs from other members of that group in the following ways. In L. puna, the nasal is in limited contact with the rostral (height of nasal more than two times the height of the area in contact with rostral) compared to the broad contact between these two scales in L. alticolor, L. pagaburoi, and L. walkeri. Liolaemus puna usually (90.5%; n ? 42) have 13 or fewer dorsal head scales, whereas L. tacnae and L. walkeri have 13– 15. Scales of the dorsal head surface are smooth in L. puna, slightly rugose in L. alticolor and distinctly rugose in L. bitaeniatus and L. variegatus. The upper temporals are keeled in L. bitaeniatus, L. pagaburoi, and L. variegatus, whereas the temporals are smooth or only slightly keeled in L. puna, and smooth in L. tacnae and L. walkeri. The majority of L. puna examined (61.9%; n ? 42) have six scales in contact with the interparietal versus seven in L. alticolor, L. bitaeniatus, and L. walkeri. The new species has 40–50 scales around the midbody compared to 50–60 in L. tacnae and L. walkeri. Infradigital lamellae of the fourth finger number 17–18 in L. puna, 19–20 in L. ramirezae, and 16 or fewer in L. alticolor, L. bitaeniatus, and L. pagaburoi. In most L. puna (85.7%; n ? 42), the subocular is pigmented (i.e., same as background color), whereas in L. alticolor, L. bitaeniatus, L. pagaburoi, L. ramirezae, L. variegatus, and L. walkeri, this scale is white. The chest and belly region is immaculate in both sexes of L. puna but black in all males of L. walkeri and some males (66%) of L. tacnae. Paravertebral markings are absent in L. puna but present in L. bitaeniatus, L. pagaburoi, L. variegatus (Laurent, 1984) and in some (36%; n ? 9) females of L. walkeri. The paravertebral fields of L. ramirezae occasionally have irregular rows of short line segments (as seen in L. bibronii and L. exploratorum; Cei, 1986), but these are absent in L. puna. In L. puna, the throat is marked with irregularly shaped spots or small line segments in both sexes, but in L. pagaburoi, L. variegatus, and L. walkeri, usually only males have spotted throats, and in L. alticolor, L. bitaeniatus, L. ramirezae, and L. yanalcu, the throat is immaculate in both sexes. The vertebral line is absent or highly fragmented in male L. puna but nearly complete in females. In both sexes of L. alticolor, L. pagaburoi, and L. walkeri, this line is well differentiated (or, ver y rarely, slightly fragmented). In L. bitaeniatus, L. tacnae, L. variegatus, and L. yanalcu, this line is always absent, and in L. ramirezae, the vertebral line is usually absent or, when present, highly fragmented. Dorsolateral stripes are almost always absent in male L. puna (rarely these are reduced to the region between the head and shoulders, but fade posteriorly), usually well developed in females (infrequently females resemble males), and increase in width posteriorly to the shoulders and near the base of the tail. In L. pagaburoi (both sexes), these stripes are of constant width the length of the torso, but in all other species of the alticolor group, these are present in both sexes and become wider posteriorly to the tail. Male L. puna have 3–5 precloacal pores, whereas L. alticolor, L. bitaeniatus, L. pagaburoi, L. ramirezae, and L. tacnae have only 1–3. In L. bitaeniatus, L. ramirezae, and L. yanalcu, a notable proportion of females have precloacal pores (41, 94, and 19%, respectively; Lobo and Espinoza, 1999; Mart ́ınez Oliver and Lobo, 2002), but females of other species of the alticolor group, including L. puna, lack these pores. Female L. puna lack gravid coloration, whereas the oviparous members of the alticolor group (L. bitaeniatus, L. chaltin, L. ramirezae, and L. yanalcu) exhibit this coloration from 2–3 weeks before and after parturition (FL and REE, pers. obs.). 
CommentHabitat: Liolaemus puna is widely distributed throughout the high-elevation (3680–4400 m) Puna regions (a flat or gently sloping steppe dominated by perennial bunch grasses and small shrubs) in northwestern Argentina and northeastern Chile.

Quinteros & Lobo (2009) synonymized L. barbarae (common names: E: Bárbara’s lizard, S: Lagartija de Bárbara) with L. puna.

Distribution: Probably also in Bolivia (fide LANGSTROTH 2005). 
  • Abdala, Cristian Simón; Andrés Sebastián Quinteros, and Romina Valeria Semham 2015. A New Species of Liolaemus of the Liolaemus alticolor-bibronii Group (Iguania: Liolaemidae) from Mendoza, Argentina. South American J. Herp. 10 (2): 104-115, doi: 10.2994/SAJH-D-14-00033.1 - get paper here
  • Aguayo, Rodrigo; Federico Valdivia, Daniela S. Rivera. 2009. Liolaemus puna Lobo y Espinoza, 2004 (Squamata: Liolaemidae). Cuadernos de Herpetología 23 (1):61 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Demangel, Diego 2016. Reptiles en Chile. Fauna Nativa Ediciones, Santiago, 619 pp - get paper here
  • Jiménez‐Robles, O, De la Riva, I. 2019. Lizards in the mist: Thermal niches constrained by habitat and microclimates in the Andes of southern Bolivia. J Biogeogr. 46: 1676– 1686 - get paper here
  • Langstroth, R.P. 2005. Adiciones probables y confirmadas para la saurofauna boliviana. Kempffiana 1 (1): 101-128
  • Lobo, Fernando, Espinoza, Robert E. 2004. Two New Liolaemus from the Puna Region of Argentina and Chile: Further Resolution of Purported Reproductive Bimodality in Liolaemus alticolor (Iguania: Liolaemidae). Copeia 2004 (4): 850–867 - get paper here
  • Mella-Ávila, Jorge E. & Michael Venegas Ponce. 2019. Distribución, frecuencia y abundancia de reptiles en distintos ambientes de la Región de Tarapacá, norte de Chile. Boletín Chileno de Herpetología. 6: 23-33 - get paper here
  • Ocampo, Mauricio; Álvaro Aguilar-Kirigin, and Sebastián Quinteros 2012. A New Species of Liolaemus (Iguania: Liolaemidae) of the Alticolor Group from La Paz, Bolivia. Herpetologica 68 (3): 410-417. - get paper here
  • Pincheira-Donoso, D. & Núñez, H. 2002. Situación taxonómica de Liolaemus ornatus Koslowsky 1898 y Liolaemus pantherinus Pellegrin, 1909 (Sauria, Tropiduridae, Liolaeminae). Noticiario del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Chile 350: 38-42
  • Quinteros, Andrés Sebastián 2012. Taxonomy of the Liolaemus alticolor–bibronii Group (Iguania: Liolaemidae), with Descriptions of Two New Species. Herpetologica 68 (1): 100-120 - get paper here
  • QUINTEROS, ANDRÉS SEBASTIÁN 2013. A morphology-based phylogeny of the Liolaemus alticolor–bibronii group (Iguania: Liolaemidae). Zootaxa 3670: 1-32 - get paper here
  • Quinteros, Andrés Sebastián and Fernando Lobo 2009. The Iguanian Lizard Liolaemus barbarae Pincheira-Donoso and Núñez Is a Junior Synonym of Liolaemus puna Lobo and Espinoza. Journal of Herpetology 43 (2): 336-339 - get paper here
  • Quinteros, Andrés Sebastián; Pablo Valladares, Romina Semham, José Luis Acosta, Sebastián Barrionuevo, and Cristian Simón Abdala 2014. A New Species of Liolaemus (Iguania: Liolaemidae) of the alticolor-bibronii Group from Northern Chile. South American J. Herp. 9 (1): 20-29. - get paper here
  • Ramírez Leyton, G. & Pincheira Donoso, D. 2005. Fauna del Altiplano y Desierto de Atacama. Phrynosaura Ediciones, 395 pp.
  • Ramírez Leyton, G.M. 2009. WILDLIFE OF THE HIGH ANDES AND ATACAMA DESERT - A Field Guide to the El Loa Province. Phrynosaura Ediciones, Calama, Chile, 250 pp.
  • TRONCOSO-PALACIOS, JAIME and RICHARD ETHERIDGE 2012. Distributional range of the poorly known Liolaemus tacnae (Shreve 1941). Herpetological Bulletin (121): 35-38 - get paper here
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