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Marisora brachypoda (TAYLOR, 1956)

IUCN Red List - Marisora brachypoda - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Mabuyinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Western Middle America Skink 
SynonymMabuya brachypodus TAYLOR 1956: 308
Mabuya unimarginata — FITCH 1983
Mabuya brachypoda — CAMPBELL 1998
Mabuya unimarginata — Guyer & Donnelly 2005
Marisora brachypoda — HEDGES & CONN 2012: 119
Mabuya unimarginata — Chacón & Johnston 2013: 97
Mabuya unimarginata complex — Pinto-Sánchez et al. 2015: 195 (in part)
Mabuya brachypoda — WOOLRICH-PIÑA et al. 2016
Mabuya unimarginata — Miralles et al. 2017: 72
Marisora brachypoda — MCCRANIE 2018 
DistributionMexico (Guerrero, Morelos, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Jalisco, Campeche, Quintana Roo, Puebla, Nayarit), S Nicaragua, E Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize

Type locality: “4 km ESE of Los Angeles de Tilarán, Guanacaste”  
TypesHolotype: KU (= KUMNH) 36258; paratypes: KUMNH 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Marisora brachypoda is a large species of the genus characterized (data from 17 males, 19 females; [those marked by * in Appendix 1]) by (1) maximum known SVL in males 81.0 mm; (2) maximum known SVL in females 89.0 mm; (3) SW 3.4–5.1% SVL in males, 2.8–4.1% in females; (4) HL 15.7–19.7% SVL in males, 14.9– 19.5% in females; (5) HW 11.2–13.5% SVL in males, 10.8–13.0% in females; (6) EAL 1.2–2.3% SVL in males, 1.1–1.9% in females; (7) Toe IV length 9.4–10.7% SVL in five males, 6.3–9.5% in nine females; (8) prefrontals one per side; (9) supraoculars four per side; (10) supraciliaries 4 per side in 96.7%, rarely 5; (11) frontoparietals one per side; (12) normally fifth supralabial below orbit (96.7%), rarely sixth below orbit; (13) nuchal rows one per side; (14) dorsals 50–56 (53.3 ± 1.8) in males, 49–61 (52.6 ± 3.2) in females; (15) ventrals 50–63 (57.9 ± 3.4) in males, 55–62 (58.7 ± 3.2) in females; (16) dorsals + ventrals 107–123 (113.1 ± 3.4) in males, 104–129 (116.3 ± 7.0) in females; (17) scales around midbody usually 28 or 30 (each with 35.7%), occasionally 31 (12.9%), or rarely 29 (10.2%) or 32 (5.5%); (18) Finger IV lamellae 10–15 (12.4 ± 1.5) per side in males, 10–16 (12.5 ± 1.8) in females; (19) Toe IV lamellae 12–18 (15.4 ± 1.8) per side in males, 13–18 (14.9 ± 1.7) in females; (20) Finger IV + Toe IV lamellae 23–32 (27.9 ± 3.1) per side in males, 24–32 (27.3 ± 3.3) in females; (21) supranasals in medial contact and preventing frontonasal-rostral contact in 87.1%; (22) prefrontals not in medial contact; (23) supraocular 1-frontal contact absent in 96.4%, rarely point contact made on one side in 3.6%; (24) parietals in contact posterior to interparietal; (25) pale middorsal stripe absent; (26) thin, indistinct dark brown dorsolateral stripe present or absent; pale dorsolateral stripe usually absent, or indistinct if present; (27) dark brown lateral stripe present; (28) distinct white lateral stripe present; (29) palms and soles almost always pale brown or cream (96.4%), rarely dark brown (3.6%); (30) total lamellae for five fingers 43–46 (45.7 ± 1.8, n = 5) in males, 38–49 (48.8 ± 3.1, n = 6) in females; (31) total lamellae for five toes 52–55 (53.5 ± 1.3, n = 3) in males, 45–54 (48.8 ± 3.1, n = 6) in females. In addition, this is a short-limbed species with combined FLL + HLL/SVL 51.5–57.7% in males, 47.6–53.9% in females and normally having two chinshields contacting infralabial (77.8%) (Table 3).
Marisora brachypoda is a member of the M. alliacea Group of Middle American Marisora and forms a clade nested between two clades containing the remaining Middle American species of the M. alliacea group (Fig. 3). Marisora brachypoda has been diagnosed from the four species of Marisora described herein (M. lineola, M. aquilonaria, M. syntoma, and M. urtica) in their respective diagnosis above. Marisora brachypoda differs from M. roatanae in having pale colored palms and soles (versus palms and soles dark brown to black in M. roatanae), having 43–46, x = 45.7 ± 1.8 total lamellae for five fingers in males (versus 48–55, x = 50.5 ± 3.1 total lamellae for five fingers in male M. roatanae), and having 52–55, x = 53.5 ± 1.3 total lamellae for five toes in males, (versus 55–62, x = 60.3 ± 0.5 total lamellae for five toes in males in M. roatanae). Marisora brachypoda has shorter limbs than do M. magnacornae and M. alliacea (FLL + HLL/SVL 51.5–57.7% in males and 47.6–53.9% in females versus 60.8–68.7% in males and 55.8–68.0% in females in M. magnacornae and 62.5–74.6 and 58.0–67.6, respectively in M. alliacea). Marisora brachypoda differs from the extralimital M. pergravis by having fewer ventrals (50–63 in both sexes combined versus 70–73 in M. pergravis), fewer dorsals (49–61 in both sexes combined versus 62–63 in M. pergravis). Marisora brachypoda has frequently been confused with M. unimarginata, but differs from that species of the M. unimarginata Group of Middle American mabuyids by having shorter limbs (FLL + HLL/SVL 51.5– 57.7% in males and 47.6–53.9% in females versus 56.9–66.9% and 55.9–69.1%, respectively, in M. unimarginata) and in lacking distinct dorsal spots (versus those dorsal spots present in M. unimarginata). Marisora brachypoda is known to differ from the extralimital and poorly known M. berengerae (incomplete morphological data from literature available only from the unsexed holotype) of the M. unimarginata group only from genetic data; furthermore a large geographical hiatus inhabited by other species of Marisora occurs between those two species. 
CommentSynonymy: SAVAGE 1973 listed this species as a synonym of Mabuya unimarginata which in turn was listed as synonym of Mabuia aurata in BOULENGER 1887: 189. 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. Many former authors illustrated M. brachypoda as M. unimarginata (listed in McCranie et al. 2020).

Similar species: M. roatanae, M. unimarginata.

Distribution: see map in McCranie et al. 2020: 317 (Fig. 6). We cannot track down reports from C Panama (”Bocas del Toro, relict population”). Probably not in Panama (S. Lotzkat, pers. comm., 23 Dc 2015). 
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. 
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