Platysaurus attenboroughi WHITING, BRANCH, PEPPER & KEOGH, 2015
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Platysaurus attenboroughi?
|Higher Taxa||Cordylidae (Platysaurinae), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||E: Attenborough’s Flat Lizard|
Afrikaans: Attenborough se Platakkedis
|Synonym||Platysaurus attenboroughi WHITING, BRANCH, PEPPER & KEOGH 2015|
Platysaurus capensis — FITZSIMONS 1935: 535 (part)
Platysaurus capensis — FITZSIMONS 1943: 473
Platysaurus capensis — LOVERIDGE 1944: 97
Platysaurus capensis — ROSE 1950: 155; 1962: 156
Platysaurus capensis — BROADLEY 1978: 157
Platysaurus capensis — BRANCH 1998: 165
Platysaurus capensis — VAN WYK & MOUTON 1996: 117
Platysaurus capensis — WHITING in BATES et al. 2014: 214
Type locality: Fish River Canyon, Karasburg District, southern Namibia (27 ̊52'21.7°S, 17 ̊31'15.7°E; quarter-degree unit, 2717Dc).
|Types||Holotype: DNMNH (= TM) 85806 (MJW 936), adult male collected by Bryan Maritz, Nick Tye and Chris Barichievy, May 2008 (Table 2, Figure 4–5 in Whiting et al. 2015); Allotype. DNMNH (= TM) 85807 (MJW 937), adult female collected by Bryan Maritz, Nick Tye and Chris Barichievy, May 2008; same locality data as holotype. Paratypes (2 specimens): DNMNH (= TM) 85805 (MJW 935), adult male, DNMNH (= TM) 85804 (MJW 934), adult female, both collected by Bryan Maritz, Nick Tye and Chris Barichievy, May 2008, Fish River Canyon, Karasburg District, southern Namibia (27 ̊50'03.7S, 17 ̊32'47.5E; quarter-degree unit, 2717Dc) (Table 2).|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. A medium-sized Platysaurus (Table 3, Figure 4) distinguished from all congeners, except P. capensis and P. broadleyi, in that the scales on the side of the neck are indistinguishable from those on the dorsum. It can be distinguished from P. broadleyi as follows: the breeding male has blue forelimbs (anterior surface) while that of P. broadleyi may be orange, yellow, or a combination; the male has a light blue throat (Fig. 4, 5) compared to the dark blue of P. broadleyi (although this may be highly variable and could be related to male fighting ability (Whiting et al., 2006); and the male also has an extensive blue belly with a small orange lower abdominal patch and sometimes with an irregular black abdominal patch (centre), while P. broadleyi has a darker (deep blue-black) abdomen with the lower abdomen usually orange (but may also be yellow or a mix). It also differs from P. broadleyi in some features of scalation, particularly the number of collar scales (mean P. attenboroughi sp. nov. 7.93 ± 1.06, P. broadleyi 9.22 ± 1.04), transverse dorsal scale rows (mean P. attenboroughi sp. nov. 85.23 ± 4.32, P. broadleyi 104.96 ± 5.38) and the smaller upper forelimb scales (mean P. attenboroughi sp. nov. 17.17 ± 2.09, P. broadleyi 25.82 ± 2.31; Table 3). Adult male coloration in P. attenboroughi sp. nov. is further distinguished from P. capensis by having the dorsum more extensively covered with white spots (Figure 4), and with a reduced fine vertebral stripe that only partially extends on to the hindbody, and with reduced (or absent) broad, dark paravertebral stripes; adult female coloration is more vaguely patterned than in either P. capensis or P. broadleyi, lacking the bold dark and pale paravertebral stripes and with scattered pale spots. It also differs from P. capensis in features of scalation (summarized in Table 3), particularly the greater number of upper forelimb scale rows (mean P. attenboroughi sp. nov. 17.17 ± 2.09, P. capensis 14.62 ± 1.04) and number of subdigital lammelae beneath the 4th toe (mean P. attenboroughi sp. nov. 19.10 ± 1.11, P. capensis 17.92 ± 0.64).|
|Etymology||Named after Sir David F. Attenborough, in recognition of his immense contribution to the public understanding and appreciation of animals, plants, ecosystems and nature in general. David Attenborough made flat lizards, specifically the closely related Platysaurus broadleyi, famous in the BBC documentary series Life in Cold Blood.|
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