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Platysaurus minor FITZSIMONS, 1930

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Higher TaxaCordylidae (Platysaurinae), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Waterberg Flat Lizard 
SynonymPlatysaurus guttatus minor FITZSIMONS 1930: 30
Platysaurus guttatus minor — BROADLEY 1978
Platysaurus minor — JACOBSEN & NEWBERY 1989
Platysaurus minor — SCOTT et al. 2004
Platysaurus minor — STANLEY et al. 2011 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa (Northern Transvaal)

Type locality: at Vygeboompoort, Waterberg District.  
TypesSyntypes: DNMNH (= TM) 2109, adult male, DNMNH (= TM) 2367, adult female 
DiagnosisDESCRIPTION. Head strongly depressed, much longer than broad; rostral large; fronto-nasal one and a half times as broad as long, separated from rostral by nasals : a pair of pre-frontals forming a wide suture in middle line; frontal trapezoid, considerably broader anteriorly than posteriorly; inter parietal lozenge-shaped, separating anterior parietals; occipital well developed, in contact anteriorly with interparietal; anterior parietals considerably smaller than posterior. Four supra-oculars, first sub-triangular, second largest and fourth smallest; four supra-ciliaries, second largest; lower eyelid with large trans parent disc; two longitudinal rows of large temporals, upper five vertically elongated, lower four hexagonal in shape; a loreal and large pre-orbital; four infra-orbitals, second and third bordering lip, former longer than any other two together; four upper labials anterior to second infra-orbital. Mental large and sub-pentagonal; four to five lower labials, bordered by a row of five large shields, the fourth of which is almost twice as large as any one other; gular scales small, elongate and quadrangular anteriorly, with a median row of enlarged scales; scales under neck small, rounded and almost granular, increasing in size again toward the collar, which is edged with seven to eight enlarged scales. Dorsal scales homogeneous, small, flattened and granular, becoming slightly larger and more convex on sides. Ventrals square, or slightly broader than long, in 18 longitudinal and 32 to 34 transverse series. Pre-anal scales slightly larger than ventrals, five- or six-sided. Fifteen femoral pores. Limbs moderately short; length of tibia not more than two-thirds of distance from end of snout to lower inferior corner of ear-opening; digits moderate and slender. Scales on upper surface of fore limbs and tibia keeled, granular on thighs and under arms; lower surface of tibia with a series of six enlarged plates. Tail depressed and tapering; scales of annuli elongate, quadrangular and strongly keeled, elongation more accentuated on posterior two thirds of tail. (FITZSIMONS 1930)

COLOUR. (Spirit specimen.) Male: Dorsally, olive green, with three in distinct longitudinal bands, median commencing on snout, while lateral start from just behind last supra-ocular; between are longitudinal series of ill-defined whitish dots. Ventrally, vivid blue on chin, throat and chest; belly prussian blue, extending to root of tail. Flanks buff-coloured. Tail salmon buff, brighter posteriorly and ventrally. Female: Above, dark olive brown, with white bands well defined, and intermediate dotted rows also more pronounced. Ventrally, a uniform pale blue, slightly brighter on chin and throat. Tail dun-coloured. (FITZSIMONS 1930) 
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • Blackburn, D.G. 1993. STANDARDIZED CRITERIA FOR THE RECOGNITION OF REPRODUCTIVE MODES IN SQUAMATE REPTILES. Herpetologica 49 (1): 118-132 - get paper here
  • Broadley, D. G. 1978. A revision of the Genus Platysaurus A. Smith. Occ. Papers Nat. Museum south. Rhodesia, B, 6 (4): 129-185
  • FitzSimons, V. F. 1930. Descriptions of new South African Reptilia and Batrachia, with distribution records of allied species in the Transvaal Museum collection. Annals Transvaal Mus. 14: 20-48. - get paper here
  • Jacobsen, N. H. G., Newbery, R. E. 1989. The genus Platysaurus A.SMITH 1844 in the Transvaal. J. Herp. Assoc. Africa 36: 51-63 - get paper here
  • Scott, Ian A.W.; J. Scott Keogh and Martin J. Whiting 2004. Shifting sands and shifty lizards: molecular phylogeny and biogeography of African flat lizards (Platysaurus). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 31: 618–629 - get paper here
  • Stanley, Edward L.; Aaron M. Bauer; Todd R. Jackman, William R. Branch, P. Le Fras N. Mouton 2011. Between a rock and a hard polytomy: rapid radiation in the rupicolous girdled lizard (Squamata: Cordylidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 58(1): 53-70. - get paper here
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