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Liolaemus riodamas ESQUERRÉ, NÚÑEZ & SCOLARO, 2013

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Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: “Las Damas River Lizard”
S: “Lagarto del Rio Las Damas” 
SynonymLiolaemus riodamas ESQUERRÉ, NÚÑEZ & SCOLARO 2013 
DistributionC Chile

Type locality: Las Damas River, Termas del Flaco, Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins Region; S 34°56'714-887 ́ ́ W 70°23 ́634 - 682’’ ́ 2012-2057 m elevation.  
TypesHolotype: MNHNC (= MNHNCL) 4684, male. Collected by Damien Esquerré and Herman Núñez, between February 1 and 2, 2011. Paratypes. MNHNC (= MNHNCL) 1962 to 1966 and MNHNCL-4682, 4683, 4685 and 4686. MNHNCL-1962, 4682 and 4686 are males and MNHNCL-1963, 1964, 1965, 1966 and 4685 are females. MNHNCL 4682-4686 same data as holotype. MNHNCL-1962-1966 same locality, collected by Herman Núñez and Antonieta Labra, February 24, 1985. MNHNCL-1964 and 4683 were used for diaphanisation. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Medium to large-sized lizard, with a mean SVL of 80.9 mm and a maximum of 85.5 mm. Sturdy aspect, robust limbs and a strongly folded neck. Tail about 1.5 times the length of the body. 83–96 scales around midbody. General background coloration brown to dark gray, with no defined pattern. Dorsal coloration of the head dark brown to black. Some specimens have individual yellow scales scattered on the posterior region of the dorsum. A light-yellow coloration is observed at the ventral region of some live specimens that extends to the sides of the tail. This species presents the characteristic dorsal squamation pattern of the kriegi group, with small rounded and juxtaposed scales, and tiny granular scales in the interstitial region. The dorsal scales are weakly keeled and only around the vertebral line. It completely lacks precloacal pores, which makes it distinct from almost all of the species of the elongatus-kriegi complex. It is important, therefore, to differentiate this species from all of the species lacking these glands. First, because of this trait, is can be said that this species is not L. ceii as was previously suggested (Núñez & Torres-Mura 1992). Furthermore L. ceii has 102–115 scales around midbody, in contrast with the 83–96 scales in L. riodamas. From the original description of L. thermarum (Videla & Cei 1996), where it is described lacking precloacal pores, it differs in that L. thermarum would exhibit a dark bilateral stripe on the flanks, absent in the uniform pattern of L. riodamas. According to Avila et al. (2010), L. thermarum has two to three precloacal pores and a dorsal stripe, both traits absent in L. riodamas, however in a recent article (Avila et al. 2012) that sample of lizards is assigned to L. smaug. L. riodamas differs from L. neuquensis and L. coeruleus because these species have a lower number of scales around midbody (68–74 and 63–69 respectively, after Videla & Cei (1996) and Scolaro et al.(2007)), presence of dorsal pattern and a blue/greenish ventral coloration. From L. cristiani it differs because this species has a black stripe along the sides of the trunk, and a smaller body size much smaller, body size (mean SVL of 70.7 vs. 80.9 mm in L. riodamas). The species differs from L. flavipiceus because the latter has a lower number of scales around midbody (73–81). In addition L. riodamas lacks the body melanism of L. flavipiceus, and the red ventral coloration in some specimens of L. flavipiceus. From L. punmahuida it differs because this species is larger (maximum SVL of 95 mm in L. punmahuida vs. 85 mm in L. riodamas); furthermore L. punmahuida has an ochre background coloration, and bright red-yellowish coloration in the cloacal region, in contrast to the brown to gray dorsal coloration, and the occasional and slight yellow pigmentation in the cloacal region of L. riodamas. L. riodamas differs from L. tregenzai because this species has a green-bluish ventral coloration, and an evident sexual dichromatism, both traits not observed in L. riodamas. Some L. leopardinus males lack precloacal pores, but this species is clearly distinct from L. riodamas because of the leopard-like dorsal pattern of L. leopardinus. L. capillitas males also lack precloacal pores sometimes, but this species has only 58–67 scales around midbody, and a red cloacal coloration in females, not observed in L. riodamas. 
Etymologynamed after the type locality, Rio Las Damas. 
  • Demangel, Diego 2016. Reptiles en Chile. Fauna Nativa Ediciones, Santiago, 619 pp - get paper here
  • Demangel, Diego 2016. Guía de Campo - Reptiles del centro sure de Chile. Corporación Chilena de la Madera, Concepción, Chile 187 pp. - get paper here
  • ESQUERRÉ, DAMIEN; HERMAN NÚÑEZ & JOSÉ ALEJANDRO SCOLARO 2013. Liolaemus carlosgarini and Liolaemus riodamas (Squamata: Liolaemidae), two new species of lizards lacking precloacal pores, from Andean areas of central Chile. Zootaxa 3619 (4): 428–452 - get paper here
  • Esquerré, Damien; Jaime Troncoso-Palacios, Rodrigo Barros 2016. Liolaemus riodamas Esquerré, Núñez & Scolaro, 2013 (Reptilia: Squamata: Liolaemidae): new record for the Maule Region in Chile. Check List 12 (2): - get paper here
  • Gagliardi, Jorge et al. 2016. Fotografías herpetológicas. Boletín Chileno de Herpetología. 3: 40-52. PDF - get paper here
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