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Marisora unimarginata (COPE, 1862)

IUCN Red List - Marisora unimarginata - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Mabuyinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Southern Middle America Skink, Central American Mabuya 
SynonymMabuya unimarginata COPE 1862: 187
Mabuya unimarginata — TAYLOR 1956: 302
Mabuya unimarginata — LINER 1994
Mabuya unimarginata — GREER & NUSSBAUM 2000
Mabuya unimarginata — KÖHLER 2000: 92
Mabuya unimarginata — MAUSFELD et al. 2002
Marisora unimarginata — HEDGES & CONN 2012: 119
Marisora unimarginata — MCCRANIE et al. 2020: 338 
DistributionW Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua (Isla Grande del Maíz)

Type locality: “Panama”  
TypesHolotype: MCZ 5774 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus). Species of the Genus Marisora are characterized by (1) frontoparietals, two (rarely three), (2) supraciliaries, four (occasionally three, five, or six), (3) supraoculars, four (rarely three), (4) prefrontal contact, absent (or contact very rarely), (5) parietal contact, present (or occasionally no contact), (6) rows of nuchals, one (rarely two rows), (7) dorsals + ventrals, 109–131, (8) total lamellae, 184–229, (9) a dark middorsal stripe, absent, (10) dark dorsolateral stripes, usually absent (present in M. alliacea comb. nov.), (11) a dark lateral stripe, present, and (12) dark ventral striping, absent. Species of Marisora are medium to large, with a range of maximum body sizes among the species of 82–95 mm SVL (except for one species, M. magnacornae sp. nov., known from a single 77.4 mm specimen; Table 2).

All Marisora have a basic pattern, usually bold and well-defined, of a dark lateral band several scales wide bordered below by a narrow pale stripe usually less than one scale wide. In two species (M. aurulae sp. nov. and M. falconensis), this basic pattern is weakly defined, and in another (M. alliacea), there are additional (dorsolateral) dark stripes. The absence of dark dorsolateral stripes (except in M. alliacea) distinguishes this genus from Aspronema, Brasiliscincus (most individuals), Manciola, Orosaura, Panopa, Psychosaura, Spondylurus, and Varzea (most individuals). The presence of one row of nuchals (rarely two) distinguishes the Genus Marisora from Exila and Panopa (2–5 rows) and most Spondylurus (usually 2 rows). The presence of two (rarely three) frontoparietals (instead of one fused scale) distinguishes this genus from Exila, Notomabuya, and Panopa. The presence of a pale lateral stripe and absence of dark ventral striping distinguish this genus from the Genus Alinea. The absence of a middorsal dark stripe further distinguishes this genus from Aspronema. The presence of four (usually) supraciliaries (versus 5–6) distinguishes Marisora from Capitellum and Exila. Contact (usually) of the parietal scales distinguishes this genus from the Genus Copeoglossum (parietals usually not in contact). In having four supraoculars (rarely three), Marisora is separated from two genera with three supraoculars: Aspronema (rarely four) and Mabuya (rarely two or four). In having 184–229 total lamellae, it is distinguished from Manciola (147– 154 lamellae) and Alinea (231–259 total lamellae). From Maracaiba, it differs (weakly) by having a low number of dorsals (50–63 versus 63; only three of 80 Marisora with 63 dorsals) [HEDGES & CONN 2012].

See McCranie et al. 2020: 338 for an expanded diagnosis. 
CommentRelationships: Mabuya, Marisora, and Aspronema are paraphyletic in the phylogenetic analysis of Pereira & Schrago 2017.

Synonymy: Mabuya unimarginata 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.

Distribution: reported from Mexico (Oaxaca) by Casas-Andreu et al. 2004 (but probably removed by HEDGES & CONN 2012 by restricting M. unimarginata). See map in McCranie et al. 2020: 317 (Fig. 6).

Type Species: Mabuya unimarginata Cope, 1862:187 is the type species of the genus Marisora HEDGES & CONN 2012.

Similar species: M. brachypoda, M. roatanae. 
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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