Pholidoscelis major (DUMÉRIL & BIBRON, 1839)
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Pholidoscelis major?
|Higher Taxa||Teiidae, Teiinae, Gymnophthalmoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||E: Guadeloupean Giant Groundlizard, Martinique Ameiva|
|Synonym||Ameiva major DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 117|
Ameiva major — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 196
Ameiva major — HARVEY et al. 2012
Pholidoscelis major — GOICOECHEA et al. 2016
|Distribution||Lesser Antilles: Martinique|
Type locality: "Cayenne" (probably in error) and "Trinité" (probably town of Trinité, Martinique).
|Types||Lectotype: MNHN-RA 1491 from "Trinité," designated by Baskin and Williams, 1966|
|Diagnosis||DIAGNOSIS. Pholidoscelis can be distinguished from all other Teiinae except Ameiva by a combination of the following morphological characters (Harvey et al. 2012): first supraciliary short, third or fourth supraciliary usually elongate (except in Pholidoscelis wetmorei), five regular parietals (except in Pholidoscelis wetmorei), the prefrontal separated from the nasal, numerous small scales at the heel (except in Pholidoscelis lineolatus, Pholidoscelis maynardii, and Pholidoscelis wetmorei, the Ameiva lineolata Series of Harvey et al. 2012), homogenous manual subdigital lamellae, smooth ventrals and subcaudals, and males lacking preanal spurs. Pholidoscelis can be distinguished from Ameiva by molecular characters (e.g., Tucker et al. 2016a, 2016b, 2016c, 2017 and references therein; see also Phylogenetic Relationships) and by the following morphological characters (Harvey et al. 2012): the narial suture positioned behind the nostril (passing through the nostril or located in front of it in Ameiva), the first subocular usually in contact with the supralabials (first subocular usually separated from the supralabials), a long fifth toe except in some Pholidoscelis griswoldi (reduced), and supradigital and subdigital lamellae usually in contact along the postaxial margin of the toes except in Pholidoscelis fuscatus (separated) (R. Powell, pers. comm. 16 Feb 2021).|
DESCRIPTION: Maximum SVL 197 mm; ventral scales 18 in a transverse row and 32-34 in a longitudinal row; fourth toe subdigital scales 78-79 (combined counts of both fourth toes); femoral pores 40--66 (combined counts for both series); fifteenth caudal verticil with 44-46 scales. Males with dorsum and flanks (as preserved) dark, patternless; throat, mesoptychium, and chest light; juvenile with pale eye and flank stripes; row of spots on lower flank; belly light; throat light bluish; enlarged scales of mesoptychium with bluish spots; sides of mesoptychium and skin under gular fold yellowish (Schwartz & Henderson 1991: 196).
|Comment||Conservation: Now extinct fide SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991 (and not listed in SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1988). Bochaton et al. described another new (subfossil) Pholidoscelis from Guadeloupe, Pholidoscelis turukaeraensis, which is also extinct but apparently similar to P. major.|
Synonymy: Listed as synonym of Ameiva punctata by BOULENGER 1885: 359
Type species: Ameiva major DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 117 is the type species of the genus Pholidoscelis FITZINGER 1843: 20.
Pholidoscelis was resurrected by GOICOECHEA et al. 2016. Note, however, that Pholidoscelis was originally erected for Ameiva major (by Fitzinger, 1843), a taxon that has was not included by GOICOECHEA et al. 2016, as it is presumed to be extinct.
|Etymology||Named after its size or dominant role within the genus or locality.|
The genus was named after the Greek ending –scelis, derived from skelos (Latin transliteration of the Greek skelos), which means legs. In this case, the genus name is a Latinized compound adjective, but treated as singular nouns in the nominative because it is a genus. As such, the ending –scelis denotes either masculine or feminine gender (Steyskal, 1971). According to ICZN (1999) Article 184.108.40.206. ‘‘a genus-group name that is or ends in a word of common or variable gender (masculine or feminine) is to be treated as masculine unless its author, when establishing the name, stated that it is feminine or treated it as feminine in combination with an adjectival species-group name.” Hence, the genus Pholidoscelis is masculine (after Tucker et al. 2016).