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Higher TaxaGymnophthalmidae (Cercosaurinae), Sauria, Gymnophthalmoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
DistributionColombia (Magdalena)

Type locality: Colombia, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Departamento de Magdalena, headwaters of the Río Guachacos, Corregimiento de Minca, finca Vista Hermosa, approximately 2156 m  
TypesHolotype: ROM 53608 (field number JJS 548; Fig. 1), an adult female collected by S.J.S-P., P.M.S.N., S.M.S, Liliana Saboyá-Acosta, Jhon Jairo Ospina-Sarria, Sandy B. Arroyo, and Mariane Targino Rocha, June 2013. This locality is situ- ated at approximately 11°05'N, 74°01'W. Paratypes. ROM 53609 (adult female, Fig. 2), ROM 53610 (subadult male), ROM 53611 (subadult female), ROM 53612–13 (juvenile females), and ROM 53614 (juvenile male), all with same data as holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Oreosaurus serranus sp. n. can be distinguished from all its congeners by the number of genial pairs (1 in O. serranus sp. n. versus 2 in the other species). It also differs from all other species of Oreosaurus, except O. mcdiarmidi, by the number of supraoculars (3 in O. serranus sp. n. and O. mcdiarmidi versus 4 in the other species), and dorsal scale relief (smooth in O. serranus sp. n. and O. mcdiarmidi versus keeled or slightly keeled in the other species). Oreosaurus serranus sp. n. also differs from O. mcdiarmidi by the absence of prefrontal scales (present in O. mcdiarmidi). 
CommentAyala and Castro reviewed the Colombian lizard fauna in their unpublished but widely distributed book “Lizards of Colombia”. Among these species, Ayala and Castro included “Proctoporus” “ser- ranus”, a gymnophthalmid lizard from the Serranía de San Lorenzo, SNSM, and they provided a reference for the description (Harris, dated to 1984). However, Harris' formal description of this taxon was never published. Although Ayala and Castro in- cluded a brief description (based on an undetermined number of specimens), the name “serranus” is a nomen nudum because it does not have a reference, and therefore fails to conform to ICZN (1999) Art. 11. Similarly, Ayala (1986) published a list of Colom- bian lizards, which included undescribed species referred to names within quotes (“”) and associated with authors to indicate imminent formal descriptions. Most of these names were the same ones provided by Ayala and Castro (unpublished data), the ex- ception being “Proctoporus” “specularis”, also from San Lorenzo, SNSM. Nevertheless, both the locality and the given reference (Harris, but this time dated to 1986—also never published) were strongly suggestive that “serranus” and “specularis” referred to the same species. However, in accordance with ICZN (1999) Art. 13, the absence of a description for “specularis” (Ayala 1986) renders this name a nomen nudum (SÁNCHEZ-PACHECO et al. 2017).

Formal nomenclatural recognition of Oreosaurus serranus sp. n. renders specularis (Ayala 1986) a permanently unavailable name for this taxon. Specimens reported by Ayala and Castro (unpublished data) were not included herein because they are presumably lost (S.J.S-P. personal observation).

Oreosaurus is one of the two genera extracted from the former Riama sensu lato, which was recently found to be non-monophyletic (Sánchez-Pacheco et al. 2017). The other clade, Andinosaura Sánchez-Pacheco et al., 2017, includes 11 Andean species and Riama sensu stricto is also an exclusively Andean radiation of 16 named species. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet serranus, which is an adjective derived from the Spanish adjective serrano (meaning from the sierra), refers to the location of the spe- cies’ type locality in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, and preserves the original ety- mological intent of Harris, as stated by Ayala and Castro (unpublished data). 
  • Carvajal-Cogollo, J.E.; L.E. Rojas-Murcia. & G. Cárdenas-Arévalo 2020. Reptiles del Caribe colombiano/ Reptiles of the Colombian Caribbean. Tunja: Editorial UPTC, 268 pp. - get paper here
  • Sánchez-Pacheco SJ, Sales-Nunes PM, Marques-Souza S, Rodrigues MT, Murphy RW 2017. Formal recognition of the species of Oreosaurus (Reptilia, Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae) from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. ZooKeys 691: 149-162 - get paper here
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