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Morunasaurus groi DUNN, 1933

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Higher TaxaHoplocercidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Gro’s manticores, Dunn's Spinytail Iguana
S: mantícoras de Gro 
SynonymMorunasaurus groi DUNN 1933
Morunasaurus groi — PETERS & DONOSO-BARROS 1970: 204
Morunasaurus groi — CORREDOR & RENJIFO 1985
Morunasaurus groi — KÖHLER 2000: 82
Morunasaurus groi — TORRES-CARVAJAL et al. 2011 
DistributionPanama, NW Colombia (Antioquia), 700-805 m elevation.

Type locality: Valle de San Antón, Panama [8°36'N, 80°7'W]  
TypesHolotype: MCZ 34875 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Morunasaurus can be distinguished from Hoplocercus by having a tail that is roughly circular (rather than depressed) in cross section and longer than the body (i.e., tail length > SVL). It differs from both Hop- locercus and Enyalioides in having projecting scales (spines) on thigh, shin, and pes (projecting scales also present in E. heterolepis, but not as spines); a dentary bone extending posteriorly above the anterior surangular foramen (Wiens & Etheridge 2003), and in lacking a parietal eye. Morunasaurus also differs from Enyalioides in that the posterior whorl of each caudal segment is composed of greatly enlarged, projecting, spinous scales at least two times as large as the scales of the immediately anterior whorl [from TORRES-CARVAJAL et al. 2011].

Morunasaurus appears to be a subclade of Enyalioides rather than a non-overlapping clade, though this relationship is not strongly supported (TORRES-CARVAJAL & DE QUEIROZ 2009).

Diagnosis (species): This species can be distinguished from other species of Morunasaurus by lacking an enlarged row of vertebral scales, and by having the caudal whorls of spines separated by three transverse rows of scales ventrally and four transverse rows of scales dorsally (versus two and three, respectively, in other Morunasaurus). Dunn (1933) mentioned that M. groi also differs from M. annularis in having a circular (presumably in cross section) rather than compressed tail; however, we find that the tail in both species is nearly circular in cross section [from TORRES-CARVAJAL et al. 2011]. 
CommentType Species: Morunasaurus groi DUNN 1933 is the type species of the genus Morunasaurus DUNN 1933. 
EtymologyNamed after Lord Gro, a fictional character in E. R. Eddison's 1922 fantasy novel The Worm Ouroboros. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Corredor,V. & Renjifo,J.M. 1985. Discovery of Morunasaurus groi DUNN (Sauria: Iguanidae) in Northwestern Colombia. Journal of Herpetology 19 (1): 162-164 - get paper here
  • Dunn,E.R. 1933. Amphibians and reptiles from El Valle de Antón, Panamá. Occ. Pap. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist. 8: 65-79. - get paper here
  • Köhler, G. 2000. Reptilien und Amphibien Mittelamerikas, Bd 1: Krokodile, Schildkröten, Echsen. Herpeton Verlag, Offenbach, 158 pp.
  • Köhler, G. 2003. A new species of Morunasaurus from Peru (Reptilia, Squamata, Hoplocercidae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 82 (1/2): 235-242
  • Köhler, G. 2008. Reptiles of Central America. 2nd Ed. Herpeton-Verlag, 400 pp.
  • Peters, James A. & Donoso-Barros, Roberto 1970. Catalogue of the Neotropical Squamata: Part II. Lizards and Amphisbaenians. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 297: 293 pp. - get paper here
  • Torres-Carvajal, Omar & Kevin de Queiroz 2009. Phylogeny of hoplocercine lizards (Squamata: Iguania) with estimates of relative divergence times. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 50 (1): 31-43 - get paper here
  • Torres-Carvajal, Omar; RICHARD ETHERIDGE & KEVIN DE QUEIROZ 2011. A systematic revision of Neotropical lizards in the clade Hoplocercinae (Squamata: Iguania). Zootaxa 2752: 1–44 - get paper here
  • Wiens, John J. and Richard E. Etheridge 2003. Phylogenetic relationships of Hoplocercid lizards: coding and combining meristic, morphometric, and polymorphic data using step matrices. Herpetologica 59 (3): 375-398 - get paper here
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