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Phrynocephalus kulagini BEDRIAGA, 1909

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Agaminae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Kulagin’s variegated toadhead agama 
SynonymPhrynocephalus versicolor kulagini BEDRIAGA 1909
Phrynocephalus versicolor var. Kulagini BEDRIAGA 1909: 329
Phrynocephalus versicolor kulagini — NIKOLSKY 1915: 189
Phrynocephalus (Phrynocephalus) versicolor kulagini — BARABANOV & ANANJEVA 2007
Phrynocephalus kulagini — DUNAYEV et al. 2021
Phrynocephalus versicolor kulagini — GANBOLD et al. 2022 
DistributionNW Mongolia, Russia (Tyva Autonomous Region).

Terra typica restricta: Chirgis-nur Lake in northwestern Mongolia.  
TypesLectotype: ZISP 5840, designated by Peters, 1984), “Sabul bei Kirgis-Nor” [Chirgis-nur lake, Uvs province, Mongolia]. Leg: G. N. Potanin, 1889. 
DiagnosisPholidosis. 20 – 27 scales across cap (23 on average); 2.5 – 3.0 internasals (very rarely — 3.5); 9 – 13 scales between parietal and supranasals; 11 – 16 supraand infralabials on each side of head; 3 – 4 rows of infraorbitals; 24 – 27 scales on outside of fourth finger of hindlimb. Three edges on subdigital plates (four in joint regions) (Dunayev et al. 2021).

Color in life. Dorsum of the body gray (often matching the color of substrate): smoky (fumosus), mouse-gray (murinus), bluish-gray (cyaneo-griseus), or leatherybrown (alutaceus) in gravel deserts to ash-gray (cinereus), beige-sand (arenicolor), pale reddish-brown (rubroargillaceus), Isabel (isabellinous), terracotta (testaceus), marbled-pink (marmoreo-roseum), or dark incarnate (intense incarnatus) in various types of sandy deserts. The author of the original description of Kulagin’s toadhead agama described an olive or gray-green background of dorsum, which is most likely characteristic of the gravelly form of this species, inhabiting rhyolite, silicic, sodalite and serpentine crushed rock. Dorsal patterns of substrate races differ by number of dark transversal bands (Fig. 2). Gravel form either has two black (niger, ater) or blackish (nigricans, atratus) pairs of bands (above scapulas and in front of thighs) or bands are absent. Sandy race has three pairs of bands or spots of dark-gray (atratus), pale brown (argillaceus), brownish (fuscatus, fumanus), brownish-yellow (fulvidus), or pale-terracotta (pallido-testaceus) and Isabel (isabellinus) color in several individuals, with thin black edging. Anterior (suprascapular) and posterior (in front of the hips) bands are often merged with each other on sides of body in both races. Edges in sandy form are fringed with whitish (albidus), whitish-gray (canescens), or even pale-gray (pallido-caeruleus) elongated spots with gray intermittent edging or without any edging. Several randomly scattered black scales can be on back (especially in individuals of sandy race). In the axillary area, there are no bright spots of red shades with bluish edging along inner margin. Several researchers note the presence of such spots in individual specimens, but most likely this refers to the variegated toadhead agama that exists near the southeastern border of the range of Kulagin’s toadhead agama (see above). Transverse or oblique stripes occur on upper surface of limbs. Up to 5 – 6 dark transverse bands on tail. Between the fore and hind limbs, an unclear light band or a series of whitish spots with a thin dark edging occurs. The contrasting border between lateral and abdominal surfaces is wavy due to white spots. Throat, belly and lower limbs monochromatic white, but occasionally throat and chest are slightly darker. Lower side of tail of young individuals white, with 3–4 black transverse bands (widest bands are usually located distally, the narrowest occur proximally), often with oblique boundaries. White gaps occur between stripes. Cloacal region of immature individuals pale lemon-yellow (pallido-citrinus), distal end of tail black. Yellowness in cloacal region disappears with age (it appears after the first molting of an animal one year of age); contrast of dark transverse bands on lower side of tail decreases. Females retain juvenile type of tail underside coloring for longer (Dunayev et al. 2021). 
CommentSynonymy after BARABANOV & ANANJEVA (2007) who consider doriai and hispidus as synonyms of versicolor (and thus recognize only 2 subspecies: versicolor and kulagini). Dunayev et al. 2021 elevated kulagini to full species status.

Distribution: for a map see Dunayev et al. 2021: 46 (Fig. 1). 
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