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Liolaemus saxatilis AVILA, CEI, MARTORI & ACOSTA, 1992

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Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymLiolaemus saxitilis AVILA, CEI, MARTORI & ACOSTA 1992
Liolaemus saxatilis — CEI 1993
Liolaemus saxitilis — ETHERIDGE 1995
Liolaemus saxatilis — AVILA et al. 2021 
DistributionArgentina (Sierra de Comechingones, Cordoba province, La Rioja)

Type locality: In uplifted rocks 5 km W of Achiras town (33°00’ S, 64°51’ W), Rio Cuarto Department, Córdoba Province, Argentina  
TypesHolotype: FML 2530 (Fundación Miguel Lillo) 
DiagnosisOriginal DIAGNOSIS: “A Liolaemus lizard differing from other species of the Liolaemus bibroni group in the following characters: temporal scales strongly keeled in L. saxatilis, moderately keeled in L. bibroni and L. fuscus but smooth in L. sanjuanensis; cefalic scales wrinkled in L. saxatilis, smooth in L. bibroni and L. sanjuanensis; scales on anterior border of ear opening sharper in L. saxatilis than in L. bibroni and L. sanjuanensis; antehumeral folds strongly evident in L. bibroni. slightly evident in L. sanjuanensis, insignificant in L. saxatilis; ante-humeral pockets small with moderate scales in L. saxatilis, larger with broader scales in L. bibroni; neck sligtly narrower in L. saxatilis than in L. sanjuanensis, remarkably narrower in L. saxatilis than in L. bibroni. The number of scales around midbody is smaller in L. saxatilis than in L. sanjuanensis and L. bibroni. The dorsal and ventral body scales are larger in L. saxatilis than in L. bibroni, L. sanjuanensis and L. fuscus; dorsal body scales are slightly smaller than ventrals in L. bibroni, equal or subequal in L. saxatilis, L. sanjuanensis and L. fuscus. The color pattern is distinctly different in the four species.” (Avila et al. 1992)

DESCRIPTION OF THE HOLOTYPE: “Body stout but elongated, slender, with moderate hind leg that exceeds the axilla (fourth toe of hind limb surpassing axilla); fourth finger of forelimb not reaching tip of snout. Head about 1/5 body length and tail, autotomic, twice longer than snout-vent length. Rostral more than twice as wide as high. Nasal rounded, elongated, opened laterally and posteriorly, in contact with rostral scale anteriorly and separated from first supralabial scale by a small and triangular or slightly rectangular scale. Two cuadrangular internasal and two cuadrangular prefrontal scales; three frontonasals, two of them cuadrangular and symmetrically arranged, being the middle scale rhomboidal. A frontal scale and two smaller postfrontal or frontoparietal scales; supraorbital semicircle distinct; three enlarged supraoculars, medianly contacting supraorbital semicircles, laterally separated from superciliaries by row of scales, smaller and irregular. Interparietal scales slightly smaller than parietals; parietal eye small but visible. Scales of parietal and upper temporal region smaller than parietals, irregular, strongly keeled. Six superciliary scales elongate and superposed. A large subocular scale, concave and separated from supralabials by two enlarged scales, subocular in contact posteriorly with the fourth supralabial scale. Temporal and nuchal scales keeled, moderately sized and slightly rough. Ear opening transverse, ovoid, with prominent projecting scales anteriorly and small granular scales posteriorly. Six supralabial scales, smooth and cuadrangular, enlarged; mental scale more than twice as wide as high; two equal postmentals, next following scales cuadrangular and enlarged; the others equal to gular scales. Lateral gulars slightly enlarged; the others, gulars or throath scales, small, smooth and imbricated. No gular fold. Scales on the sides of neck small, keeled and acuminate, arranged in regular rows. Dorsal and dorsolateral body scales acuminate, distinctly keeled, imbricate, smooth and regularly arranged, equal or subequal to ventrals. Proximal caudal scales, anterior to the first autotomy segment, dorsally similar to the trunk scales: rhomboidal and smooth below. Distal caudal scales squarish, diagonally keeled above and below. Upper limb scales keeled, imbricate; ventral limb scales smooth, imbricate; thigh bordered by a row of enlarged scales, finely granular posteriorly. Supracarpal and supradigital scales slightly keeled or smooth; supratarsals and supradigitals keeled. These scales are imbricate and acuminate. Scales around midbody 39, 20 tricarinate lamellae under fourth toe and 19 tricarinate lamellac under fourth finger of right side, 3 preanal orange pores, 10-11 mid-dorsal or dorsolateral scales contained in the head length. (Avila et al. 1992)

Measurements in mm: snoutvent length: 54, total length: 144, head length: 10.5, head width: 9.2, foreleg: 32, hindleg: 19.3, axilla-groin distance: 23.7. (Avila et al. 1992)

Colour in life (Figs. 2 and 3): dorsally grayish-brown with two dorsolateral longitudinal bands composed by eleven transversal marks with upper black triangular spots posteriorly bordered by whitish, more extended frontally such as semilunar light spots, fused in the posthumeral region, and followed by larger lower spots also bordered by rounded white spots fused in a almost continuous line in the holotype. The upper triangular spots continue on the tail fusioning in the distal part, the lower dorsolateral blackish spots dissapearing on the lateral surface of the tail. Ventrally whitish with fine chromatophore punctuation which accentuates on the throat. Head darker than the dorsal ground, laterally lighter, with diminute black spots. Dorsal surface of forelegs and hindlegs grayish-brown with transverse confused dark bands. In preservative liquid: the same coloration but attenuated. (Avila et al. 1992) 
CommentBelongs to the Liolaemus bibroni group. 
  • Avila L J. CEI J M. MARTORI R A. ACOSTA J C. 1992. A new species of Liolaemus of the bibroni group from granitic ravines of Achiras Sierra de Comechingones, Cordoba Argentina (Reptilia: Tropiduridae). Boll. Mus. Reg. Sci. Nat. Torino 10 (1): 101-111.
  • Avila, L. J., J. W. Priotto, and M. Morando. 1997. Geographic distribution. Liolaemus saxatilis. Herpetological Review 28 (2): 96 - get paper here
  • Avila, Luciano J. 1995. Nuevas localidades para Liolaemus saxatilis y comentarios sobre su distribución. Facena 11: 105-108 - 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
  • Avila, Luciano Javier; Martín Miguel Femenías, Cristian Hernán Fulvio Pérez, Mariana Morando 2021. Nuevas especies de Liolaemus para la herpetofauna de la provincia de La Rioja, Argentina. Cuadernos de Herpetología 35 (S1): 223-228
  • Fernández, M. G.; Cristian S. Abdala, Mario R. Ruiz -Monachesi, Romina V. Semham, A. Sebastián<br />Quinteros 2021. Redescription of Liolaemus robertmertensi, Hellmich 1964 (Iguania: Liolaemidae) with description of a new species. Cuadernos de Herpetología 35 (S1): 65-78 - get paper here
  • 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
  • VEGA, LAURA ESTELA; ANDRÉS SEBASTIÁN QUINTEROS, OSCAR ANÍBAL STELLATELLI, PATRICIO JUAN BELLAGAMBA, CAROLINA BLOCK, ENRIQUE ALBERTO MADRID 2018. A new species of the Liolaemus alticolor-bibronii group (Iguania: Liolaemidae) from East-central Argentina. Zootaxa 4379 (4):539-555 - get paper here
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