Nucras aurantiaca BAUER, CHILDERS, BROECKHOVEN & MOUTON, 2019
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|Higher Taxa||Lacertidae, Eremiadinae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||E: Lambert’s Bay Sandveld Lizard|
|Synonym||Nucras aurantiaca BAUER, CHILDERS, BROECKHOVEN & MOUTON 2019|
|Distribution||Republic of South Africa (Western Cape)|
Type locality: Republic of South Africa, Western Cape Province, Lamberts Bay, Bosduifklip Restaurant (32°05’04.36”S, 18°21’26.9 E
|Types||Holotype: NMB R11626 (National Museum, Bloemfontein), adult female. Collected in 2005 by farm workers and sent to Cape Nature Conservation by Kobus Engelbrecht and thence to the University of Stellenbosch. Paratype: NMB (National Museum, Bloemfontein) R11627, gravid adult female, same data as holotype.|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: A moderately sized (SVL at least 75 mm) Nucras distinguished from all congeners by having an attenuate body with 28 presacral vertebrae and an extremely long tail (to at least 3.2 times SVL), 39–41 dorsal scale rows across midbody, enlarged plates on the preaxial face of the forearm, parietal window in interparietal scale absent or very tiny, 25 subdigital lamellae under digit IV of the pes, a total of 27 femoral pores with a diastema of 1–2 poreless scales separating left and right series, dorsal coloration orange (limbs) to orangey-brown (trunk), with no longitudinal stripes and a series of very pale gray transverse marks along the vertebral midline.|
It differs from N. lalandii in having enlarged plates on the preaxial face of the forearm, from N. boulengeri in having more than 24 subdigital lamellae and granules present between the suborbital and supraciliary scale rows; from N. taeniolata (Smith, 1838) and N. livida in a lower number of midbody scale rows (39–41 versus 42–52 and 44–56, respectively; data from Broadley 1972); from N. caesicaudata and N. taeniolata in larger size (to at least 75 mm SVL versus maxima of 65 mm and 70 mm, respectively); from N. scalaris Laurent, 1964 in lacking a bold pattern of dark crossbands on the trunk; and from all other congeners in lacking any trace of spots, dashes, reticulations, or longitudinal color pattern elements. Vertebral counts have not been previously reported for Nucras spp., but among the few species sampled, N. aurantiaca sp. nov. can be distinguished by its presacral count of 28 (see Osteology and Discussion).
|Comment||Habitat: mostly consolidated sand dunes supporting evergreen sclerophylous shrubs and an understory of succulent shrubs.|
|Etymology||The specific epithet auriantiaca refers to the conspicuous, mostly unmarked orange dorsal coloration of the new species.|
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