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Neusticurus tatei (BURT & BURT, 1931)

IUCN Red List - Neusticurus tatei - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaGymnophthalmidae (Cercosaurinae), Sauria, Gymnophthalmoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Tate's Neusticurus 
SynonymArthrosaura tatei BURT & BURT 1931: 313
Neusticurus tatei — UZZELL 1966: 283
Neusticurus tatei — PETERS et al. 1970: 208
Neusticurus tatei — BARRIO-AMOROS & BREWER-CARIAS 2008 
DistributionVenezuela (Bolivar); elevation 400-1400 m.

Type locality: Vegas Falls, 15 mi north of Esmeraldas, Venezuela, elevation 1400 m.  
TypesHolotype: AMNH 36649 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Neusticurus with elongate snout, regular scales in frontonasal-prefrontal region, tympanum deeply recessed in the external auditory meatus, lower eyelid with semitransparent disc of 4 or 5 palpebrals. Dorsum with enlarged, keeled scales on midline and paravertebral zone without enlarged tubercles; flanks with keeled scales of equal size. Scales across sides and dorsum in three different rings (one posterior to the forelimbs, another at midbody, the last before hind limbs) 29-5-28 on male (EBRG 4250), 4-4-9, -01, and 1-27-0 (respectively on three females EBRG 4251–5). Ventrals in 28, 27-27-29 transverse rows with 6–9 scales each (all specimens combined). Tail distinctly compressed without rows of tubercles, with enlarged, keeled scales forming double dorsal crest on distal part of tail. Male with 0 and 1 (total 61) femoral pores; 22 subdigital lamellae on Finger 4, on Toe 4. Three females with 20–2 (mean = 21.7) subdigital lamellae on Finger 4, 2–4 (mean = ) on Toe 4. Size of male (EBRG 4250) 94 mm SVL, 14 mm TL (tail half regenerated), 9.0 mm RHL, 51.0 mm RFL, 28.0 mm HL, 15.5 mm HW, 10.0 mm L4F, 16.8 mm L4T. Size of females 85.0-80.0-7.0 mm SVL, 125 (tail half regenerated)-160- (tail 1/6 regenerated)-145 (tail 1/5 regenerated) mm TL, 1.0-0.0-24.0 mm RHL, 45.0-44.0-44.0 mm RFL, 2.5-21.5-20.6 mm HL, 12.-11.211.0 mm HW, 8.0-7.0-7.8 mm L4F, 1.5-1.5-1.5 mm L4T. Other Neusticurus reported from the Venezuelan Guayana are N. bicarinatus, N. medemi, N. racenisi, and N. rudis. Neusticurus tatei can be easily differentiated from N. racenisi (sympatric in Sarisariñama) by the following characters (those of N. tatei in parentheses): short snout (elongated), irregular scales in frontonasalprefrontal region (regular), smaller scales on flanks and dorsum in a transversal count, up to 6 (larger, up to 9). Neusticurus bicarinatus has six longitudinal rows of tubercles on the dorsum (none). Neusticurus medemi is similar to N. racenisi by having irregular scales on frontonasal-prefrontal region (regular) (Dixon and Lamar 1981). Neusticurus rudis has a moderately short snout (elongate), 4–6 regular or irregular rows of tubercles on the dorsum (none), flanks with prominent trihedral tubercles surrounded by distinctly smaller scales (absent) [from BARRIO-AMOROS & BREWER-CARIAS 2008].
CommentDistribution: apparently no confirmed records from Brazil (COSTA & BERNILS 2015.) 
EtymologyThe name refers to the red ring surrounding eyes in males. 
  • Avila-Pires, Teresa C. S. and Laurie J. Vitt. 1998. A new species of Neusticurus (Reptilia: Gymnophthalmidae) from the Rio Juruá, Acre, Brazil. Herpetologica 54 (2):235-245. - get paper here
  • Barrio-Amorós, César L. & Brewer-Carias, Charles 2008. Herpetological results of the 2002 expedition to Sarisari–ama, a tepui in Venezuelan Guayana, with the description of five new species. Zootaxa 1942: 1-68 - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Brongersma, L. D. 1932. Notes on the species of Arthrosaura Blgr. (Teiidae). Zoologische Mededelingen 15 (1-2): 76-88 - get paper here
  • Burt,C.E. & Burt,M.D. 1931. South American lizards in the collection of the American Museum of Natural History. Bull. Amer. Mus. nat. Hist. 61 (7): 227-395 - get paper here
  • Dixon J R; Lamar W W 1981. A new species of microteiid lizard (genus Neusticurus) from Colombia. Journal of Herpetology 15 (3): 309-314. - get paper here
  • Donnelly M A; Myers C W 1991. Herpetological results of the 1990 Venezuelan Expedition to the summit of Cerro Guaiquinima, with new tepui reptiles. American Museum Novitates (3017): 1-54 - get paper here
  • Marques-Souza S, Prates I, Fouquet A, et al. 2018. Reconquering the water: Evolution and systematics of South and Central American aquatic lizards (Gymnophthalmidae). Zool Scripta 47: 255–265 - get paper here
  • 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
  • RIVAS, GILSON A.; CÉSAR R. MOLINA, GABRIEL N. UGUETO, TITO R. BARROS, CÉSAR L. BAR- RIO-AMORÓS & PHILIPPE J. R. KOK 2012. Reptiles of Venezuela: an updated and commented checklist. Zootaxa 3211: 1–64 - get paper here
  • Uzzell, Thomas M. 1966. Teid Lizards of the genus Neusticurus (Reptilia, Sauria). Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 132 (5): 279-327 - get paper here
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