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Marisora alliacea (COPE, 1875)

IUCN Red List - Marisora alliacea - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Mabuyinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Middle American Four-lined Skink 
SynonymMabuia alliacea COPE 1875: 115
Mabuya alliacea — TAYLOR 1956: 298
Marisora alliacea — HEDGES & CONN 2012: 119
Marisora alliacea — MCCRANIE et al. 2020 
DistributionE Costa Rica (Atlantic slope of the cordillera), S Nicaragua.

Type locality: Costa Rica  
TypesSyntypes: USNM 30619-20 (fide Dunn 1936:539 and Cochran 1961:125) but no holotype designated fide McCranie et al. 2020 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: dorsal pattern of dark dorsolateral stripes (absent in other Middle American mabuyine skinks), a low number of midbody scale rows (26–29), supranasal separation (or only point contact), and greenish color in life. Except for the dorsal stripe pattern, each of the characters individually can be found in the other two species, albeit rarely or uncommonly, but in combination they are diagnostic (HEDGES & CONN 2012; see also TAYLOR 1956: 298).

Diagnosis. Marisora alliacea is a long-limbed, relatively large species of the genus characterized (data from five males and nine females [marked by an * in Appendix 1], plus data from Taylor 1956, where noted) by (1) maximum known SVL in males 79.0 mm; (2) maximum known SVL in females 90.3 mm; (3) SW 2.6–4.7% SVL in males, 2.4–5.1% in females; (4) HL 17.7–22.8% SVL in males, 16.0–22.8% in females; (5) HW 11.3–19.2% SVL in males, 11.3–17.3% in females; (6) EAL 1.1–2.0% SVL in males, 1.0–2.4% in females; (7) Toe IV length 11.4–13.3% SVL in males, 9.5–12.6% in females; (8) prefrontals one per side; (9) supraoculars four per side; (10) supraciliaries 4 per side; (11) frontoparietals one per side; (12) usually sixth supralabial below orbit (73.8%), fifth below orbit in 26.2% (includes our data and that from Taylor); (13) nuchal rows one per side; (14) dorsals 51–60 (53.6 ± 1.4) in males, 50–60 (56.0 ± 2.5) in females (includes our data and that from Taylor); (15) ventrals 59–62 (60.6 ± 1.3) in males, 56–65 (58.5 ± 3.3) in females; (16) dorsals + ventrals 112–115 (113.6 ± 1.1) in males, 107–123 (114.0 ± 4.6) in females; (17) scales around midbody 28 in 48.5%, 26 in 40.0%, rarely 27 or 29 (includes data from Taylor); (18) Finger IV lamellae 12–15 (13.4 ± 1.1) per side in males, 13–15 (13.4 ± 0.7) in females; (19) Toe IV lamellae 15–18 (16.6 ± 1.1) per side in males, 15–18 (15.6 ± 1.3) in females; (20) Finger IV + Toe IV lamellae 28–31 (30.0 ± 1.2) per side in males, 28–31 (29.0 ± 1.4) in females; (21) supranasals only occasionally (17.0%) in medial contact, thus frontonasal-rostral contact in 83.0% (includes our data and that from Taylor); (22) prefrontals not in contact medi- xxx ally; (23) supraocular 1-frontal contact absent; (24) parietals in contact posterior to interparietal; (25) pale middorsal stripe absent; (26) distinct dark brown to black dorsolateral stripe or lines present above a pale brown to cream dorsolateral stripe; supplemental thin dorsal stripes or lines present, those supplemental lines sometimes broken into dashes; (27) dark brown lateral stripe present, broad (3–4 scale rows high), at least in shoulder region; (28) distinct white lateral stripe present; (29) palms and soles dark brown to black; (30) total lamellae for five fingers 46–51 (47.8 ± 2.2) in males, 42–53 (47.6 ± 4.2) in females; (31) total lamellae for five toes 53–62 (56.3 ± 4.4) in males, 52–55 (53.6 ± 1.1) in females. In addition, this is a long-limbed species with the combined FLL + HLL/SVL 62.5–74.6% in males, 58.0–67.6% in females (includes data from Taylor), and 2 chinshields contacting infralabials in 84.4% and one in 15.6% (Table 3).
Marisora alliacea is a member of the M. alliacea Group of Middle American mabuyids and is apparently most closely related to M. roatanae (Fig. 3) [but tissues not available for the also Caribbean lowland M. magnacornae]. Marisora alliacea differs from M. roatanae in having longer limbs (FLL + HLL/SVL 62.5–74.6% in males and 58.0–67.6% in females versus 53.5–58.4% and 47.8–57.7%, respectively, in M. roatanae), having 26–28 scales around midbody in 88.5 % (versus 30–32 in 76.7% in M. roatanae), and having the frontonasal contacting the rostral in 83.0% (versus that contact absent in M. roatanae). Marisora alliacea differs from M. magnacornae by the combination of having the sixth supralabial below the orbit in 73.8% (versus fifth supralabial below orbit in 85.5% of M. magnacornae), having the frontonasal contacting the rostral in 83.0% (versus frontonasal separated from rostral in 96.9% of M. magnacornae), and having 28 in 48.5%, 26 in 40.0%, or rarely 27 or 29 scales around midbody (versus 30 scales around midbody in 93.1% and 28 in 6.9% of M. magnacornae). Marisora alliacea differs from all remaining Middle American Marisora species of the M. alliacea group studied herein by having long limbs (FLL + HLL/SVL 62.5–74.6% in males and 58.0–67.6% in females versus <60% in males and <58% in females of those species). Marisora alliacea differs from the extralimital M. pergravis in having dark dorsolateral stripes (versus those stripes absent in M. pergravis). Marisora alliacea has been confused with M. unimarginata of the M. unimarginata Group of the genus in several poorly documented, incomplete studies. Marisora alliacea differs from M. unimarginata in having the frontonasal contacting the rostral in 83.0% (versus frontonasal separated from rostral by supranasal medial contact in all M. unimarginata examined), having two chinshields per side contacting infralabials in 84.7% (versus one chinshield per side contacting infralabials in 82.9% in M. unimarginata), and in having dark brown dorsal stripes or lines, or dashes suggesting lines (versus dark brown to black dorsal spots present in M. unimarginata). Marisora alliacea is known to differ from the extralimital and poorly known M. berengerae (incomplete morphological data available only from the unsexed holotype) of the M. unimarginata group only from genetic data; furthermore a large geographical hiatus occurs between those two species (McCranie et al. 2020) 
CommentSynonymy: Listed as synonym of Mabuya mabouya mabouya by Cochran 1961: 125. Pinto-Sánchez et al. (2015) suggested to synonymize unimarginata, brachypoda and alliacea and roatanae into Marisora unimarginata which is rejected by McCranie et al. 2020.

Distribution: see map in McCranie et al. 2020: 317 (Fig. 6). 
EtymologyThe generic name (Marisora) is a feminine noun derived from the Latin words maris (sea) and ora (coast, or border), referring to the distribution of this genus occurring predominately in low elevations near the coast (Caribbean, Atlantic, and Pacific), with relatively few inland and upland localities. Three of the seven species occur exclusively on islands. 
  • Cochran, Doris M. 1961. Type specimens of reptiles and amphibians in the United States National Museum. [type catalogue] Bull. US Natl. Mus. (220): xvi + 291 pp. - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1875. On the Batrachia and Reptilia of Costa Rica with notes on the herpetology and ichthyology of Nicaragua and Peru. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia N.S. (2) 8: 93-183 [sometimes said to be published 1876 but see Murphy et al. 2007 for clarification]] - get paper here
  • Hedges, S.B. & Conn, C.E. 2012. A new skink fauna from Caribbean islands (Squamata, Mabuyidae, Mabuyinae). Zootaxa 3288: 1–244
  • MCCRANIE, JAMES R.; AMY J. MATTHEWS, S. BLAIR HEDGES 2020. A morphological and molecular revision of lizards of the genus Marisora Hedges & Conn (Squamata: Mabuyidae) from Central America and Mexico, with descriptions of four new species. Zootaxa 4763 (3): 301–353 - get paper here
  • Pinto-Sánchez, Nelsy Rocío; Martha L. Calderón-Espinosa, Aurelien Miralles, Andrew J. Crawford, Martha Patricia Ramírez-Pinilla 2015. Molecular phylogenetics and biogeography of the Neotropical skink genus Mabuya Fitzinger (Squamata: Scincidae) with emphasis on Colombian populations. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2015.07.016 - get paper here
  • Sunyer, Javier 2014. An updated checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Nicaragua. Mesoamerican Herpetology 1 (2): 186–202. - get paper here
  • Sunyer, Javier, José Gabriel Martínez-Fonseca and Milton Salazar-Saavedra. 2016. New departmental records for lizards in Nicaragua. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3(4): 1049–1054 - get paper here
  • Sunyer, Javier, Todd W. Pierson, Milton Ubedu-Olivas and Theodore J. Papenfuss. 2015. Geographic Distribution: Marisora alliacea (Costa Rican four-line skink). Herpetological Review 46 (3): 384 - get paper here
  • Taylor, E. H. 1956. A review of the lizards of Costa Rica. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 38 (part 1): 3-322 - get paper here
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