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Monilesaurus ellioti (GÜNTHER, 1864)

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Draconinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Elliot's Forest Lizard 
SynonymCalotes ellioti GÜNTHER 1864: 142
Bronchocela indica THEOBALD 1876: 105 (fide SMITH 1935)
Calotes ellioti — BOULENGER 1885: 330
Calotes elliotti — SMITH 1935: 207
Calotes ellioti — WERMUTH 1967: 36
Calotes ellioti amarambalamensis MURTHY 1978
Calotes ellioti — MOODY 1980
Calotes ellioti — DAS 1996: 43
Calotes ellioti amarambalamensis — DAS 1998: 134
Monilesaurus ellioti — PAL et al. 2018: 429 
DistributionIndia (Western Ghats, Kerala, Tamil Nadu)

Type locality: Southern India. Neotype locality: Chembra reserve forest, Kerala.

amarambalamensis: SW India; Type locality: Meenmutty (123 m elevation), New Amarambalam Reserve Forest, Kerala.  
TypesNeotype. CES (given as CESL) 045, adult male collected by SPP, MVP and SPV on 10t June 2010.
Holotype: ZSI Madras 159 [amarambalamensis] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis and comparison. A small sized Monilesaurus (SVL up to 73.8 mm) characterized by the posteroventral orientation of lateral scales; antehumeral fold well developed, extending across the throat; 52–58 midbody scale rows; nuchal crest composed of 3–4 long, well developed spines; two separated supratympanic spines; a long, distinct isolated postorbital spine; dorsal and lateral scales keeled, ventral scales strongly keeled; paired postmentals, first pair separated by a single scale; 24–28 subdigital lamellae under fourth finger, 26–34 subdigital lamellae under fourth toe; 9–10 supralabials and 8–9 infralabials; olive brown above with angular darker cross bars on dorsum, a white spot below the eye.
Morphologically M. ellioti is superficially similar to M. montanus gen. et sp. nov., M. rouxii comb. nov.; and M. acanthocephalus gen. et sp. nov., but can be distinguished by a combination of the following characters: 52–58 midbody scale rows (vs. 46–52 in M. montanus gen. et sp. nov., 62–64 in M. acanthocephalus gen. et sp. nov., and 52–56 in M. rouxii) presence of a long, distinct isolated spine in the posterior corner of orbit (vs. absent in M. rouxii; very small, indistinct tubercle like in M. montanus gen. et sp. nov., and much longer in M. acanthocephalus gen. et sp. nov.); 3–4 long nuchal spines (vs. 3–6 small nuchal spines in M. montanus gen. et sp. nov., 6 much longer nuchal spines in M. acanthocephalus gen. et sp. nov., 7–8 smaller nuchal spines in C. rouxii); longer, prominent isolated spine on the back of head and above tympanum (vs. much smaller in M. montanus gen. et sp. nov., and M. rouxii) and presence of a white spot below the eye (vs. absent in M. rouxii; in the form of a band in M. montanus gen. et sp. nov.) and smaller body size: adult SVL 59.4–73.8 mm, n=9 (vs. C. montanus gen. et sp. nov., adult SVL 61–83.4 mm, n=8; and M. acanthocephalus gen. et sp. nov. adult SVL 68.9–72.6 mm, n=3). (Pal et al. 2018: 430) 
CommentThe original description is available online (see link below).

Synonymy: Calotes ellioti amarambalamensis MURTHY 1978 was described based on a single female specimen on grounds of a differing colouration. This subspecies has not been mentioned again by this author (e.g. MURTHY 1985) and few other authors. Therefore, Manthey 2008 considered it as synonymous with Calotes elliotti GUNTHER, 1864. Pal et al. 2018 concurred with that. 
EtymologyNamed after Sir WaIter Elliot (1803-1887), a career civil servant in the East India Company, Madras (1821-1860), among other admistrative positions. He was also a distinguished Orientalist, with interests in botany, zoology, Indian languages, and archeology. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Bhupathy, Subramanian & N. Sathishkumar 2013. Status of reptiles in Meghamalai and its environs, Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 5 (15): 4953-4961 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. Geckonidae, Eublepharidae, Uroplatidae, Pygopodidae, Agamidae. London: 450 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, George A. 1890. The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. Taylor & Francis, London, xviii, 541 pp. - get paper here
  • Ganesh, S.R.; S. Bhupathy, P. Karthik, G. Babu Rao & S. Babu 2020. Catalogue of herpetological specimens from peninsular India at the Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology & Natural History (SACON), India. JoTT 12 (9): 16123–16135 - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1864. The Reptiles of British India. London (Taylor & Francis), xxvii + 452 pp. - get paper here
  • Hallermann, J. 2000. A new species of Calotes from the Moluccas (Indonesia) with notes on the biogeogreaphy of the genus (Sauria: Agamidae). Bonner Zoologische Beiträge 49 (1-2): 155-163 - get paper here
  • Manthey U 2008. Agamid lizards of Southern Asia, Draconinae 1. Terralog 7, 160 pp.
  • Moody,S.M. 1980. Phylogenetic and historical biogeographical relationships of the genera in the family Agamidae (Reptilia: Lacertilia). PhD thesis, Univ. Michigan, Ann Arbor, 373 pp.
  • Murthy, T.S.N. 1978. Indian J. Zootomy 19 (2): 79.
  • Murthy, T.S.N. 1985. A field guide to the lizards of the Western Ghats. Records Zool. Survey India, Misc. Publ. Occas. Paper no. 72 51 pp. - get paper here
  • Murthy, T.S.N. 1990. A field book of the lizards of India. Records Zool. Survey India 115: 1-122 - get paper here
  • PAL, SAUNAK; S.P. VIJAYAKUMAR, KARTIK SHANKER, ADITI JAYARAJAN & V. DEEPAK 2018. A systematic revision of Calotes Cuvier, 1817 (Squamata: Agamidae) from the Western Ghats adds two genera and reveals two new species. Zootaxa 4482 (3): 401–450 - get paper here
  • Palot, M.J. 2015. A checklist of reptiles of Kerala, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 7(13): 8010–8022 - get paper here
  • Smith, M.A. 1935. The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Reptiles and Amphibia, Vol. II. Sauria. Taylor and Francis, London, 440 pp.
  • Theobald,W. 1876. Descriptive catalogue of the reptiles of British India. Thacker, Spink & Co., Calcutta: xiii + 238 pp. - get paper here
  • Venugopal, P.D. 2010. An updated and annotated list of Indian lizards (Reptilia: Sauria) based on a review of distribution records and checklists of Indian reptiles. Journal of Threatened Taxa 2 (3): 725-738. - get paper here
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