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Phrynocephalus helioscopus (PALLAS, 1771)

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Agaminae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesPhrynocephalus helioscopus helioscopus PALLAS 1773
Phrynocephalus helioscopus cameranoi BEDRIAGA 1907
Phrynocephalus helioscopus meridionalis DUNAYEV, SOLOVYEVA & POYARKOV 2012
Phrynocephalus helioscopus saidalievi SATTOROV 1981
Phrynocephalus helioscopus sergeevi DUNAYEV, SOLOVYEVA & POYARKOV 2012
Phrynocephalus helioscopus turcomanus DUNAYEV, SOLOVYEVA & POYARKOV 2012
Phrynocephalus helioscopus varius EICHWALD 1831 
Common NamesE: Sunwatcher Toadhead Agama; saidalievi: Fergana toad-headed agamas
G: Sonnengucker
Russian: Такырная круглоголовка
Chinese: 旱地沙蜥 
SynonymLacerta helioscopa PALLAS 1771: 406, 457
Ameiua helioscopa — MEYER 1795: 29 (error typographicus)
Ameiua vralensis — MEYER 1795: 29
Phrynocephalus helioscopa KAUP 1827
Phrynocephalus helioscopus — EICHWALD 1831: 186
Phrynocephalus helioscopus — EVERSMANN 1834: 364
Phrynocephalus helioscopus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1837: 519
Phrynocephalus helioscopus — BOULENGER 1885: 371
Phrynocephalus helioscopus — ANANJEVA 1981
Phrynocephalus helioscopus — ENGELMANN et al 1993

Phrynocephalus helioscopus cameranoi BEDRIAGA 1907
Phrynocephalus helioscopus var. cameranoi VON BEDRIAGA 1907: 243
Phrynocephalus helioscopus cameranoi — SOLOVYEVA et al. 2012: 1387
Phrynocephalus helioscopus cameranoi — POYARKOV et al. 2014

Phrynocephalus helioscopus helioscopus PALLAS 1771
Lacerta uralensis GMELIN 1789
Phrynocephalus uralensis — FITZINGER 1826: 47
Phrynocephalus helioscopus helioscopus — WERMUTH 1967: 81
Phrynocephalus (Phrynocephalus) helioscopus helioscopus — BARABANOV & ANANJEVA 2007
Phrynocephalus helioscopus helioscopus — SINDACO & JEREMČENKO 2008
Phrynocephalus helioscopus helioscopus — SOLOVYEVA et al. 2012: 1385

Phrynocephalus helioscopus meridionalis DUNAYEV, SOLOVYEVA & POYARKOV 2012: 1389

Phrynocephalus helioscopus saidalievi SATTOROV 1981
Phrynocephalus helioscopus saidalievi SATTOROV 1981: 7
Phrynocephalus saidalievi — EREMCHENKO & PANFILOV 1999: 121
Phrynocephalus (Phrynocephalus) helioscopus saidalievi — BARABANOV & ANANJEVA 2007
Phrynocephalus saidalievi — SINDACO & JEREMČENKO 2008
Phrynocephalus helioscopus saidalievi — SOLOVYEVA et al. 2011
Phrynocephalus helioscopus saidalievi — SOLOVYEVA et al. 2012: 1387
Phrynocephalus saidalievi — DAVLETBAKOV et al. 2016

Phrynocephalus helioscopus sergeevi DUNAYEV, SOLOVYEVA & POYARKOV 2012: 1388

Phrynocephalus helioscopus turcomanus DUNAYEV, SOLOVYEVA & POYARKOV 2012: 1391

Phrynocephalus helioscopus varius EICHWALD 1831
Phrynocephalus varius EICHWALD 1831: 186
Phrynocephalus nigricans EICHWALD 1831: 186.
Phrynocephalus varius — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1837: 515
Phrynocephalus helioscopus saposhnikovi KASHTCHENKO 1909: 122
Phrynocephalus helioscopus orientalis VON BEDRIAGA 1912
Phrynocephalus helioscopus saposchnikowi — NIKOLSKY 1915: 157 (unjustified emend.)
Phrynocephalus (Phrynocephalus) helioscopus varius — BARABANOV & ANANJEVA 2007
Phrynocephalus helioscopus saposhnikovi — SINDACO & JEREMČENKO 2008
Phrynocephalus helioscopus varius — SOLOVYEVA et al. 2011
Phrynocephalus helioscopus varius — SOLOVYEVA et al. 2012: 1386
Phrynocephalus helioscopus varius — MILTO & BARABANOV 2012 
DistributionE Kazakhstan, S Russia (Astrakhan Oblast and Volgograd Oblast), Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan,
Turkey, NW China (W Xinjiang), NW Mongolia, NE Iran

cameranoi: E Kazakhstan; Type locality: “Кульджа” [= Kuldja]

helioscopus: Iran etc.; Type locality: "in deserti australioris collibus ardentissimis"; restricted to the "Inderskija Gory, Gebiet des unteren Uralflusses" [North Kazakhstan] by Mertens & Müller (1928: 26).

meridionalis: S Uzbekistan: southern part of Bukhara region and Surkhandarya region; Eastern Turkmenistan: foothills of Kugitang ridge in Lebap velayat (previously Chardzhou region). Probably, this subspecies penetrates to the north of Afghanistan (environs of Baglan settlement near Kunduz river – № 1503 10909 IZANU). Type locality: Uzbekistan, Surkhandarya region, N Aktash settl. (on the road to Pashkhurt settl.); foothills of Kugitang ridge (37°34.785′ N, 66°39.906′ E), altitude 609 m elevation.

saidalievi: Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan (Ferghana Valley); Type locality: "vicinity of the Kanibadam village (Tajik part of the Fergana Valley)" [= Konibodom village, approximately 40º17' N, 70º25' E, Tajikistan].

sergeevi: Uzbekistan: NE Bukhara region, Navoi region. In the south, perhaps, live together with Ph. h. meridionalis: minimal distance between populations of Ph. h. sergeevi and Ph. h. meridionalis is 200 km. It is not excluded that individuals of Ph. h. sergeevi penetrate the northern foothills to the territory of the Uzbek and Tajik parts of the Ferghana Valley (to the Asht settl.). Type locality: Uzbekistan, Navoi region, NE Tamdytau mts., ~40 km NE Zaravshan; between Tamdybulak and Yangitamdy (= Azhyrykty); 41°42′7.10′′ N, 64°02′0.01′′ E, altitude 330 m above sea level.

turcomanus: Western Turkmenistan, adjacent areas of North-Eastern Iran (most likely, the area is limited to the Kopet Dagh) and, possibly, Western Afghanistan (it is not excluded, that sunwatcher toad-headed agamas from Afghanistan belong to Ph. h. meridionalis). Type locality: Turkmenistan, Balkan velayat, environs of Krasnovodsk [= Turkmenbashi](40°01′00′′ E, 52°58′00′′ N, 27–30 m elevation).

varius: from Eastern Kazakhstan through Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China to western Mongolia. Type locality: "Hab. in Sibiria australi, versus montes Altaicos"  
TypesHolotype: ZMB 781, "Südsibirien", leg. Pallas & Rudolph; Lectotype (designated by Denzer et al., 1997: 324), ZMB 781
Holotype: ZISP 8718, “in Sibiria australi, versus montes Altaicos.” Leg: E. Eichwald [varius]
Holotype: ZMMU R-13436, paratypes (14 specimens) ZMMU R-12264 [sergeevi]
Holotype: ZMMU R-13437, paratypes (6 specimens) ZMMU R-12801 [meridionalis]
Holotype: ZMMU R-13435, paratypes (6 specimens) ZMMU R-2101 [turcomanus]
Holotype: NMNHU Re 12 (given as IZANU by Barabanov & Ananjeva 2007) [saidalievi] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Nasals separated by 3-5 (exceptionally 1) series of scales; width of space between nostrils more than one-half, but not equal to distance between nostril and preocular ridge; scales ofback heterogeneous, enlarged scales nail-like, often tubercular, large part ofscale raised free ofback; sides ofhead and neck without long flat upturned fringe-like scales (but sometimes with short spiny scales); one or both sides of fourth toe with short fringe (Fig. 44); crossbars on tail usually most intense dorsally; nostril not visible in entirety when head viewed from side; no nuchal crest ofmucronate, tubercular scales; transverse fold of skin across back of neck (Anderson 1999: 87). 
CommentSynonymy partly after KHALIKOV & ANANJEVA (pers. comm.) and WERMUTH 1967.

Distribution: not in Armenia fide Jeff Ettling (pers. comm., 2 April 2015). See map in SMID et al. 2014 for distribution in Iran. Not listed for Iraq (by Mohammed et al. 2017, RJH 24: 193, Smid et al. 2014).

Subspecies: Phrynocephalus helioscopus persicus has been elevated to species status. SOLOVYEVA et al. 2011 considered the specific status of saidalievi to be “premature”.

Mertens & Müller’s (1928: 26) restriction of the type locality was not accompanied by designation of a lectotype or neotype and is therefore not valid as such. 
EtymologyNamed after the affinity of the species for sun (Greek: helios) and Greek “skopos” = scout, supervisor.
The subspecies sergeevi is named in honor of the outstanding soviet herpetologist Alexey Mikhailovich Sergeev (1912-1943), who made a significant contribution to the study of embryonic adaptations of reptiles, including lizards of Central Asia.
The subspecies meridionalis was named so as the most southern taxa (“meridianus” – “south”, lat.) comparing to the others Ph. helioscopus.
The subspecies turcomanus was named after the country, within which the main part of the area is located. 
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