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Marisora urtica MCCRANIE, MATTHEWS & HEDGES, 2020

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Mabuyinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Fonseca Islands Skink 
SynonymMarisora urtica MCCRANIE, MATTHEWS & HEDGES 2020
Marisora brachypoda — MCCRANIE 2015:370 (in part)
Marisora brachypoda — MCCRANIE & GUTSCHE 2016:45 (in part)
Marisora brachypoda — MCCRANIE 2018:339 (in part) 
DistributionHonduras

Type locality: Playa de Exposición, on east-southeast side of Isla Exposición, Golfo de Fonseca, Valle, Honduras, 7 m elevation, 13°18.891’N, -87°40.447’W  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. USNM 589196, an adult male, collected by Alexander Gutsche & James R. McCranie, 15 July 2010. Laboratory sample number SBH 269996.
Paratypes (3). Honduras—Valle: USNM 589197, adult male, Punta El Molina, north portion of Isla Exposición 13°19.826’N, -87°40.485’W; USNM 589194–95, adult males, Isla Garrobo, 13°20.002’N, -87°42.795’W, 30 m elevation, Golfo de Fonseca. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Marisora urtica sp. nov. is a relatively large, short-limbed species of Marisora characterized (data from four males in type series; females not known) by (1) maximum known SVL 77.0 mm; (3) SW 3.1–4.4% SVL; (4) HL 16.6–18.4% SVL; (5) HW 10.0–13.3% SVL; (6) EAL 1.4–1.9% SVL; (7) Toe IV length 10.0–11.2% SVL; (8) prefrontals one per side; (9) supraoculars four per side; (10) supraciliaries four per side; (11) frontoparietals one per side; (12) fifth supralabial below orbit; (13) nuchal rows one per side; (14) dorsals 52–58 (54.5 ± 2.6); (15) ventrals 53–59 (56.3 ± 2.8); (16) dorsals + ventrals 106–117 (110.8 ± 4.6); (17) midbody scale rows 26 in one (25.0%), 28 in three (75.0%); (18) Finger IV lamellae 11–12 (11.8 ± 0.5) per side; (19) Toe IV lamellae 15–16 (15.8 ± 0.5) per side; (20) Finger IV + Toe IV lamellae 26–28 (27.0 ± 1.2) on one side; (21) supranasals in medial contact, thus frontonasal not in contact with rostral; (22) prefrontals not in contact; (23) supraocular 1-frontal contact absent; (24) parietals in contact posterior to interparietal; (25) pale middorsal stripe absent, but 3–4 brown dorsal stripes present, especially anteriorly on body; (26) dark and pale dorsolateral stripes absent; (27) dark brown lateral stripe present; (28) distinct pale lateral stripe present; (29) palms and soles cream to pale brown; (30) total lamellae for five fingers 42–46 (42.8 ± 2.2); (31) total lamellae for five toes 47–55 (51.8 ± 2.9). In addition, this is a short-limbed species with FLL + HLL/SVL 48.2–57.5% that has only one chinshield per side (100.0%) contacting the infralabials (Table 3).
Marisora urtica sp. nov. is a member of the M. alliacea group of Middle American skinks and is most closely related to M. syntoma (Fig. 3). Marisora urtica differs from M. syntoma in having one chinshield contacting an infralabial (versus two chinshields contacting infralabials in M. syntoma), reaching a larger size (maximum SVL 77.0 mm in males [females unknown] versus 68.5 mm SVL in males of M. syntoma), and by having 2–3 fairly distinct to indistinct brown dorsal lines, especially anteriorly (versus those lines absent, but occasionally small dark spots or dashes present in M. syntoma). Marisora urtica differs from M. aquilonaria in having one chinshield contacting an infralabial (versus two chinshields contacting infralabials in M. aquilonaria), is a larger species (maximum SVL 77.0 mm in males [females unknown] versus 68.6 mm SVL in M. aquilonaria), by having 2–3 fairly distinct to indistinct dark brown dorsal lines, especially anteriorly (versus those lines absent, but occasionally small dark spots or dashes present in M. aquilonaria), and in having 4 supraciliaries per side (versus 5 superciliaries in 81.3% in M. aquilonaria). Marisora urtica differs from M. brachypoda by the combination of having fairly distinct to indistinct brown dorsal lines, especially anteriorly (versus those lines normally absent in M. brachypoda) and having 1 chinshield contacting an infralabial in all (versus 2 chinshields contacting infralabials in 77.8% of M. brachypoda). Marisora urtica is distinguished from M. lineola by lacking pale and dark dorsolateral stripes and having 1 chinshield contacting an infralabial (versus those pale and dark dorsolateral stripes usually present and 2–3 chinshields contacting infralabials in M. lineola). Marisora urtica differs from M. roatanae in having cream to pale brown palms and soles (versus distinct dark brown to nearly black soles and palms almost always present in M. roatanae) and having 26–28 scales around midbody (versus 30–32 in 76.7% in M. roatanae). Marisora urtica differs from M. magnacornae in having shorter limbs (FLL + HLL/SVL 48.2–57.5% in males [females unknown] versus 60.8–68.7% in male M. magnacornae), in lacking pale and dark brown dorsolateral stripes (those stripes present in M. magnacornae), and having 1 chinshield contacting an infralabial (versus 2 chinshields contacting infralabials in M. magnacornae). Marisora urtica is distinguished from M. alliacea by having shorter limbs (FLL + HLL/SVL 48.2–57.5% in males [females unknown] versus 62.5–74.6% in male M. alliacea) and in having pale palms and soles (versus dark in M. alliacea). Marisora urtica differs from the extralimital M. pergravis by having fewer ventrals (53–59 in males versus 70–73 in M. pergravis), fewer dorsals (52–58 versus 62–63 in M. pergravis). Marisora urtica would be confused with M. unimarginata of the M. unimarginata group of Marisora using the Pinto-Sánchez et al. (2015) taxonomy, but differs from that species in having shorter limbs in males [females unknown] (FLL + HLL/SVL 48.2–57.5% versus 56.9–66.9% in M. unimarginata), having pale palms and soles (versus dark in M. unimarginata), having fifth supralabial below the orbit (versus sixth in 81.9%), and having less male ventrals (53–59, x = 56.3 ± 2.8 versus 60–65, x = 63.0 ± 2.3 in M. unimarginata). Marisora urtica 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 huge geographical hiatus inhabited by other species of Marisora occurs between those two species. 
CommentDistribution: see map in McCranie et al. 2020: 317 (Fig. 6). 
EtymologyThe specific name urtica, a noun in apposition, is Latin for nettle. The name is used in reference to the abundance of stinging nettles that at some places on Isla de Exposición seemed impossible to avoid contact with. The usage of urtica for this species name refers to the first author’s memories of those contacts with shrubs and small trees of those nettles while in pursuit of these fast moving skinks. 
References
  • 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
 
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