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Platysaurus orientalis FITZSIMONS, 1941

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Higher TaxaCordylidae (Platysaurinae), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesPlatysaurus orientalis orientalis FITZSIMONS 1941
Platysaurus orientalis fitzsimonsi LOVERIDGE 1944 
Common Namesorientalis: Sekhukhune Flat Lizard
fitzsimonsi: Fitzsimons’ Flat Lizard 
SynonymPlatysaurus orientalis orientalis FITZSIMONS 1941: 280
Platysaurus minor orientalis FITZSIMONS 1941
Platysaurus guttatus orientalis LOVERIDGE 1944
Platysaurus orientalis orientalis — JACOBSEN & NEWBERY 1989
Platysaurus orientalis orientalis — ADOLPHS 2006
Platysaurus orientalis orientalis — STANLEY et al. 2011
Platysaurus orientalis orientalis — BATES et al. 2014: 222

Platysaurus orientalis fitzsimonsi LOVERIDGE 1944
Platysaurus guttatus fitzsimonsi LOVERIDGE 1944
Platysaurus fitzsimonsi BROADLEY 1978
Platysaurus orientalis fitzsimonsi — JACOBSEN & NEWBERY 1989
Platysaurus orientalis fitzsimonsi — ADOLPHS 2006
Platysaurus orientalis fitzsimonsi — STANLEY et al. 2011
Platysaurus orientalis fitzsimonsi — BATES et al. 2014: 222 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa

Type locality: Sekororo, on the lower slopes of the Drakensberg, about 40 mi south of Leysdorp.

fitzsimonsi: Republic of South Africa (Sekhukhuneland of Mpumalanga and Limpopo)  
TypesSyntypes: DNMNH (= TM) 4527-4530 (3 males, 1 female)
Holotype: MCZ 8982, an adult male, received in exchange from the British Museum, 1913 [fitzsimonsi] 
DiagnosisOriginal description: “Based on a series of three males and one female in the
Transvaal Museum collection (T.M. Nos. 4527-4530), collected by G. van
Dam, November 1922, at Sekororo, on the lower slopes of the Drakensberg,
about 40 miles south of Leydsdorp.
A small form similar to minor, but differing as follows: Snout more sharply
pointed; head more swollen in temporal region and in general a little larger in
proportion to body; granular area on lower temporal region less extensive and
granules confined to 2-3 longitudinal rows (3-4 rows in minor); gular scales
smaller, there being from 19 to 22 across throat on a line between the last large
chin shield on either side (from 16 to 18 in minor); ventral plates smaller, in 34
transverse and 20-22 longitudinal series (30-34 transverse and 16-18 longi
tudinal series in minor); usually 16-20, exceptionally 14, femoral pores on each
side and 2-3 rows of modified glandular scales anterior thereto (in minor
usually 14-16 femoral pores and a single row of glandular scales anterior
thereto); scales on forearm and tibia more strongly keeled and spinose,
especially on heel where spines are long and sharply pointed; scales on tail
obtusely keeled above (more or less smooth in minor), strongly keeled and
sharply spinose on sides (moderately keeled and not or but bluntly spinose in
minor).” (Fitzsimons 1941)

Coloration: “In colouring this form is very similar to typical guttatus, the males
being dull green to bluish green above with pale streaks confined to the head,
and small scattered pale spots over back (olive brown to reddish brown in
minor, pale spots in longitudinal series); lower surfaces blue, passing to dark
blue or bluish black on belly; sides of body similar to back, not orange buff as
in minor. Females very dark brown to blackish above, with white streaks more
clearly cut than in minor and pale spots between absent or at most confined to a
few spots posteriorly (pale spots numerous in minor, and forming irregular
longitudinal series); lower surfaces bluish white, with scattered irregular black
spots (no black spots present in minor).” (Fitzsimons 1941) 
  • Adolphs, K. 2006. Bibliotheca Cordyliformium. Squamata Verlag, Sankt Augustin, 303 pp.
  • 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
  • Branch, William R. 1993. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers, 144 S.
  • 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.M. 1941. Descriptions of some new lizards from South Africa and a frog from southern Rhodesia. Annals Transvaal Mus. 20 (3): 273-281 - 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
  • Kober, I. 2015. Weihnachten im Busch. Reptilien und mehr auf Makutsi (Südafrika). Reptilia (Münster) 20 (116): 68-79 - get paper here
  • Loveridge,A. 1944. Revision of the African lizards of the family Cordylidae. Bull. Mus. comp. Zool. Harvard 95 (1): 1-118 - 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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