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Nucras tessellata (SMITH, 1838)

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Higher TaxaLacertidae, Eremiadinae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Western Sandveld Lizard, Tiger Lizard, Striped Sandveld Lizard, Striped or Banded Sand Lizard 
SynonymLacerta tesselata SMITH 1838: 92
Lacerta elegans SMITH 1838
Lacerta tessellata — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 244
Nucras tessellata — BOULENGER 1920: 24
Nucras tessellata — FITZSIMONS & BRAIN 1958
Nucras tessellata tessellata — AUERBACH 1987: 126
Nucras tessellata — BAUER & BRANCH 2003
Nucras tessellata — PIANKA & VITT 2003: 207
Nucras tesellata — BRANCH & BAUER 2005: 5 (in error)
Nucras tessellata — BRANCH & BAUER 2005: 6
Nucras tessellata — BATES et al. 2014: 171
Nucras aff. tesselata — BRANCH et al. 2019: 317 
DistributionS Namibia, SW Botswana, South Africa

Type locality: "Eastern Districts of Cape Colony"  
TypesLectotype: BMNH 1946.8.6.3 (designated by BROADLEY 1972) 
CommentSubspecies: Nucras tessellata livida has been elevated to species status by BRANCH & BAUER (1995).

Distribution: populations from Angola have been split off as N. broadleyi.

Diet: a large percentage of the diet of this species (50-80%) consists of ants (Lucas et al. 2023). 
  • Auerbach, R.D. 1987. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Botswana. Mokwepa Consultants, Botswana, 295 pp.
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • Bauer, A.M., and Branch, W.R. 2003. The herpetofauna of the Richtersveld National Park, Northern Cape Province, Republic of South Africa. Herpetological Natural History 8: 111-160 [2001]
  • BAUER, AARON M.; JACKIE L. CHILDERS, CHRIS BROECKHOVEN, P. LEFRAS N. MOUTON 2019. A new Nucras Gray, 1838 (Squamata: Lacertidae) from the Strandveld of the Western Cape, South Africa. Zootaxa 4560 (1): 149–163 - get paper here
  • Bischoff, W. 2005. Die echten Eidechsen der Familie Lacertidae - eine Übersicht. Draco 5 (21): 4-27 - get paper here
  • Boulenger,G.A. 1920. Monograph of the Lacertidae, vol. 1. British Museum (London) - get paper here
  • Boycott, R. 1990. Geographical Distribution - Nucras lalandii. J. Herp. Assoc. Africa (37): 57-57 - get paper here
  • Branch, W. R. & BAUER, A. M. 1995. The Herpetofauna of the Little Karoo, Western Cape, South Africa, with notes on life history and taxonomy. Herpetological Natural History 3 (1): 47-89
  • Branch, William R. & Bauer, Aaron M. 2005. The herpetological contributions of Sir Andrew Smith. SSAR, 80 pp.
  • Branch, William R.; Pedro Vaz Pinto, Ninda Baptista, and Werner Conradie 2019. The Reptiles of Angola: History, Diversity, Endemism and Hotspots. Chapter 13 in: B. J. Huntley et al. (eds.), Biodiversity of Angola. Springer Verlag, pp. 283-334 - get paper here
  • Broadley, D. G. 1965. Some Problems Presented by the Sand Lizards of the Nucras tessellata Group. J. Herp. Assoc. Africa (1): 18-23 - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1972. A review of the Nucras tessellata group (Sauria: Lacertidae). Arnoldia 20: 1-35
  • Burger, M. 1993. Geographical Distribution - Nucras tessellata livida. J. Herp. Assoc. Africa (42): 41-41 - get paper here
  • Burger, M. 1993. Life History Notes - Nucras tessellata livida. J. Herp. Assoc. Africa (42): 36-36 - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron. 1839. Erpétologie Générale on Histoire Naturelle Complète des Reptiles. Vol. 5. Roret/Fain et Thunot, Paris, 871 pp. - get paper here
  • Edwards, Shelley; Krystal A. Tolley, Bieke Vanhooydonck, G. John Measey and Anthony Herrel 2013. Is dietary niche breadth linked to morphology and performance in Sandveld lizards Nucras (Sauria: Lacertidae)? Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, DOI: 10.1111/bij.12148 - get paper here
  • FitzSimons, V.F. 1943. The lizards of South Africa. Transvaal Museum Memoir No.1 (Pretoria), 528 pp.
  • Fitzsimons, V.F.M.; Brain, C.K. 1958. A Short account of the Reptiles of the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park. Koedoe, 1(1): 99-104 - get paper here
  • Goldberg, S.R. 2006. Note on Reproduction of the Striped Sandveld Lizard, Nucras tessellata (Squamata: Lacertidae) from Southern Africa Bull. Maryland Herpetol. Soc., 42(3): 137-139. - get paper here
  • Herrmann, H.-W.; W.R. Branch 2013. Fifty years of herpetological research in the Namib Desert and Namibia with an updated and annotated species checklist. Journal of Arid Environments 93: 94–115 - get paper here
  • Huey, R. B., Miles, D. B., & Pianka, E. R. 2021. Seasonality in Kgalagadi Lizards: Inferences from Legacy Data. American Naturalist 198 (6): 759-771 - get paper here
  • Huey, Raymond B.; Eric R. Pianka 1977. Seasonal Variation in Thermoregulatory Behavior and Body Temperature of Diurnal Kalahari Lizards. Ecology 58 (5):1066-1075
  • Huey, Raymound B.; Eric R. Pianka 1981. Ecological Consequences of Foraging Mode. Ecology 62 (4):991-999
  • Lucas B Q Cavalcanti, Gabriel C Costa, Guarino R Colli, Eric R Pianka, Laurie J Vitt, Daniel O Mesquita, 2023. Myrmecophagy in lizards: evolutionary and ecological implications. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2023;, zlad175, - get paper here
  • Pianka, E.R. & Vitt, L.J. 2003. Lizards - Windows to the Evolution of Diversity. University of California Press, Berkeley, 347 pp. [review in Copeia 2004: 955] - get paper here
  • Pianka, Eric R. 1971. Lizard species density in the Kalahari Desert. Ecology 52 (6): 1024-1029 - get paper here
  • Plessis, I.J. du and P.leF.N. Mouton 2011. Habitat Preferences of Three Sympatric Lacertid Lizards in the Arid Tankwa Karoo Basin of South Africa. African Zoology 46 (1): 88-94 - get paper here
  • Smith, A. 1838. Contributions to the Natural History of Southern Africa. Art. VIII. Mag. Nat. Hist., London, 2 (14): 92-94
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