Liolaemus qalaywa CHAPARRO, QUIRÓZ, MAMANI, GUTIÉRREZ, CONDORI, DE LA RIVA, HERRERA-JUÁREZ, CERDEÑA, ARAPA & ABDALA, 2020
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Liolaemus qalaywa?
|Higher Taxa||Liolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Synonym||Liolaemus qalaywa CHAPARRO, QUIRÓZ, MAMANI, GUTIÉRREZ, CONDORI, DE LA RIVA, HERRERA-JUÁREZ, CERDEÑA, ARAPA & ABDALA 2020|
Type locality: Choaquere, District of Challhuahuacho, Province of Cotabambas, Department of Apurimac, Peru, (14°7’20.32”S, 72°13’29.27”W) at 3,740 m elevation.
|Types||Holotype. MUBI 13286, an adult male, collected on 15 December 2011, by L. Mamani and J.C. Chaparro. Paratypes: MUBI, MUSA|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. We assign L. qalaywa sp. nov. to the L. montanus group because it presents a blade-like process on the tibia, associated with the hypertrophy of the tibial muscle tibialis anterior (Abdala et al. 2019b; Etheridge 1995) and based on molecular phylogeny (Fig. 1). The species of the L. montanus group differ from those of the L. boulengeri group by the complete absence of patches of enlarged scales in the posterior part of the thigh (Abdala 2007). Compared to the species of the L. montanus group, L. qalaywa sp. nov. is a robust lizard differing by its larger size (max SVL = 96.06 mm) from L. andinus, L. audituvelatus, L. balagueri, L. cazianiae, L. chiribaya, L. duellmani, L. eleodori, L. erguetae, L. erroneus, L. etheridgei, L. evaristoi, L. fabiani, L. famatinae, L. fittkaui, L. foxi, L. gracielae, L. griseus, L. hajeki, L. halonastes, L. huacahuasicus, L. insolitus, L. islugensis, L. molinai, L. montanus, L. multicolor, L. nazca, L. omorfi, L. orko, L. ortizi, L. pantherinus, L. poconchilensis, L. poecilochromus, L. porosus, L. pulcherrimus, L. reichei, L. robertoi, L. rosenmanni, L. ruibali, L. schmidti, L. stolzmanni, L. tajzara, L. thomasi, L. torresi, L. vallecurensis, and L. williamsi (all with SVL 50–80 mm). The presence of imbricate dorsal scales with keels differentiates L. qalaywa sp. nov. from species with smooth juxtaposed or sub-imbricate scales such as L. andinus, L. audituvelatus, L. balagueri, L. cazianiae, L. chiribaya, L. eleodori, L. erguetae, L. fabiani, L. foxi, L. gracielae, L. halonastes, L. insolitus, L. islugensis, L. jamesi, L. molinai, L. nigriceps, L. omorfi, L. patriciaiturrae, L. pleopholis, L. poconchilensis, L. poecilochromus, L. porosus, L. reichei, L. robertoi, L. robustus, L. rosenmanni, L. ruibali, L. schmidti, L. scrocchii, L. torresi, L. vallecurensis, L. victormoralesii, and L. vulcanus.|
The new species differs from L. chiribaya, L. evaristoi, L. etheridgei, L. islugensis, L. insolitus, L. multicolor, L. omorfi, L. poconchilensis, L. pulcherrimus, L. robertoi, L. ruibali, and L. schmidti, by the absence of sky blue or celeste scales on the sides and dorsum of the body and tail. The number of scales around midbody in L. qalaywa sp. nov. varies between 52 and 58 (mean = 54.6), which differentiates it from several species of the group with more than 65 scales, such as L. andinus, L. annectens, L. audituvelatus, L. cazianiae, L. duellmani, L. eleodori, L. erguetae, L. forsteri, L. foxi, L. gracielae, L. halonastes, L. inti, L. molinai, L. multicolor, L. nigriceps, L. patriciaiturrae, L. pleopholis, L. poecilochromus, L. porosus, L. pulcherrimus, L. robertoi, L. rosenmanni, L. ruibali, L. schmidti, L. signifer, and L. vallecurensis. The number of ventral scales between the mental scale and the border of the vent in L. qalaywa sp. nov. varies between 71 and 83 (mean = 75.7), and is lower than the number in the following species (with more than 90 ventral scales): L. andinus, L. cazianiae, L. erguetae, L. foxi, L. gracielae, L. halonastes, L. inti, L. multicolor, L. nigriceps, L. pachecoi, L. patriciaiturrae, L. pleopholis, L. poecilochromus, L. porosus, L. robertoi, L. rosenmanni, L. torresi, and L. vallecurensis; and higher than the number in the following species (with less than 70 ventral scales): L. dorbignyi, L. fittkaui, L. melanogaster, L. polystictus, and L. thomasi. Females of L. qalaywa sp. nov. exhibit precloacal pores in contrast to females of L. andinus, L. audituvelatus, L. aymararum, L. balagueri, L. duellmani, L. fabiani, L. fittkaui, L. griseus, L. hajeki, L. islugensis, L. jamesi, L. melanogaster, L. polystictus, L. puritamensis, L. reichei, L. robertoi, L. rosenmanni, L. ruibali, L. signifer, and L. vallecurensis (all lack precloacal pores). Additional measurements of morphometric characteristics in adult specimens are shown in Table 3.
The coloration patterns of males and females (especially the deep yellow and orange color around the eye), of the palpebral scales, and on the posterior inner edge of the auditory meatus in females are character states that have not been reported in Liolaemus. This exclusive coloration pattern in both sexes was seen in different individuals throughout the year. Therefore, they differ from all known species in the L. montanus group.
Color variation in life. Liolaemus qalaywa sp. nov. shows evident sexual dimorphism. In males, head varies considerably from brown to black. The back of the head is generally black or dark gray, in most cases darker than the sides of the head. The temporal region is similar in color to the back, but with lighter shades and in some specimens with white, yellow, or light gray spots. The supralabial, infralabial, and part of the lorilabial scales are always lighter than the rest of the head, sometimes immaculate or tinted with darker colors. The subocular, preocular, postocular, and loreal scales in most specimens are faint yellow, white, or light gray with light blue shades. The eyelid scales are always conspicuous, faint yellow, as are the posterior internal scales of the auditory meatus. In some specimens, the atrial scales, or part of them, also have the same yellow color as the palpebral scales. The general color of the body varies between chestnut and dark gray. Most of the dorsal scales of the body have a posterior end lighter than the anterior end, with yellow being the predominant color. The design of the dorsal body color pattern is diffuse and variable. Some males do not have paravertebral or lateral spots, while others exhibit thin, irregular, dark-colored transverse lines with a light back trim, with black and yellow being the most common combination. These lines can thicken or have a sub-quadrangular shape in the paravertebral region, and in some specimens the yellow lines fuse in the vertebral region. In the scapular region, numerous circular spots are highlighted, small in size and white, yellow, or light gray in color; these spots may also be present on the sides of the body, including some that are irregular or oblong in shape. The limbs and tail have the same pattern as the body. On the back of the limbs there are small light-colored spots, mostly intense yellow. The sides of the fingers and toes are faint yellow or white. In the antehumeral, pygal, and femoral regions, yellow shades stand out. Most specimens are white ventrally, but several specimens have black or dark gray scale edges in the mental, gular, pectoral, and abdominal regions. Some specimens have gray ventral scales with a light blue or light gray distal end. The tail generally changes to a lighter color after the first third. In females the coloration pattern is totally different and, unlike most Liolaemus species, the females have a more lively and showy coloration than males. The main difference is in the deep yellow color of the palpebral scales, those of the internal auditory meatus, the sides of the fingers and toes, as well as the back of the thighs and arms. As in males, the back of the head is darker than the sides. The predominant color on the back is dark brown. Small spots or white scales are present on the frontal and interparietal regions. The temporal region varies from brown to light gray. The supralabial, infralabial, and lorilabial scales are brown or light gray, with dark edges. The subocular, preocular, postocular, and loreal scales range from light gray to deep yellow. The color of the body varies from gray to brown and, like in the males, there are dark scales with a light distal end. The paravertebral spots are conspicuous and evident, generally black and diamond-shaped, which may be attached to a transverse black line that can extend to the vertebral zone and to the mediolateral line on the sides of the body. These paravertebral spots in some cases have a white anterior border. The sides of the body, humeral area, limbs, and tail have similar patterns as the males. Ventrally they are white or gray with some yellow undertones. In the gular and mental regions there may be dark spots and nuances, while on the belly some have iridescent scales that are greenish gray or bluish gray. The tail becomes darker distally.
|Etymology||The specific epithet Qalaywa, refers to the Quechua word for the Liolaemus lizards from the high Peruvian Andes.|