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Potamites erythrocularis CHÁVEZ & CATENAZZI, 2014

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Higher TaxaGymnophthalmidae (Cercosaurinae), Sauria, Gymnophthalmoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymPotamites erythrocularis CHÁVEZ & CATENAZZI 2014 
DistributionPeru (Cusco Region, Madre de Dios Region)

Type locality: Peru, Cusco Region, Province of Paucartambo, District of Kosñipata, Suecia, S13.106270, W71.570640, 1950 m elevation.  
TypesHolotype: MUSM 28056, an adult male (Figures 1, 2), collected on 4 February 2009 by A. Catenazzi, J. C. Jahuanchi, A. Machaca, C. Quispe, E. Luna and R. Sotelo. Paratypes (Figure 3A–D). Five males: MUSM 28057 collected on 4 February 2009, MUSM 26309, CORBIDI 11484, 11485 collected on 28 June 2012 by A. Catenazzi from the type locality (Figure 4), and MUSM 28058 from the District of Kosñipata, Quebrada San Pedro (S13.058310, W71.549620), 1380 m, collected on 28 January 2009 by A. Catenazzi. Nine females, all from the District of Kosñipata: MUSM 17243–45, MUSM 17247–48 and MUSM 17250 from Bosque de Nubes (S13.07035 W71.56849), 1700 m, collected on 9–11 September 1991 by R. P. Reynolds, A. W. Salas, R. W. Bouchard; MUSM 17265 from San Pedro at km. 155 of Paucartambo–Pilcopata road, 1520 m, collected on 15 September 1991 by R. P. Reynolds, A. W. Salas, R. W. Bouchard; MUSM 28059 from between San Pedro and Santa Isabel, 1320 m, collected on 29 January 2009 by A. Catenazzi; MUSM 17272 from Santa Isabel at km. 157 of Paucartambo–Pilcopata road, 1300 m, collected on 24 September 1991 by R. P. Reynolds, A. W. Salas, R. W. Bouchard. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Assigned to Potamites by having a tongue with imbricate scale-like papillae, movable eyelids, external ear and heterogeneous dorsal scalation (Doan & Castoe 005). (1) Head acuminate from dorsal view, rounded from lateral view, scales on the dorsal surface of the head smooth; () frontonasal undivided, usually equal or slightly shorter than frontal, azygous scale absent; (3) prefrontals present; (4) frontal present; (5) nasoloreal suture present; (6) supraoculars four, anteriormost not fused with first superciliary, all supraoculars separated from superciliaries; (7) superciliary series complete, usually four; exceptionally five (8) supralabial-subocular fusion absent; (9) postoculars three; (10) postparietals three; (11) hemipenis in two pairs, transverse sutures perpendicular with respect to midline of body; (1) dorsal scales rectangular, juxtaposed, granular and keeled; (13) 4–45 enlarged transverse dorsal rows at midbody; (14) 30–33 longitudinal rows of dorsal keeled scales; (15) – 4 longitudinal ventral rows; (16) 40–4 femoral pores in males, absent in females; two scales between femoral pores; (17) 9–14 subdigital scales on 4th finger, and 0–4 on 4th toe; (18) forelimb reaching anteriorly the fourth supralabial; (19) tail slightly compressed with two rows of lateral scales per two ventral caudal scales; (0) hemipenis acapitate; flounces lacking calcified spines and forming two chevrons on distal half of hemipenis while its basal half is covered with 4 transverse flounces; some asulcate flounces separated by a small expansion pleat; sulcate flounces about as wide as asulcate flounces; sulcus spermaticus single, flanked by a broad naked expansion pleat widened distally; (1)0dorsum dark brown; lateral ocelli present, in two or three pairs in males, usually absent in females; ventral color pattern in males red bright on lower extremities and belly, creamy to pale blue on chest, and blue with red sprinkles and dark blotches on throat and head; ventral coloration in females yellow to pale brown on limbs, chest and tail, orange on the belly, and creamy white on throat and head; () lower palpebral disc transparent, undivided, oval.
Potamites erythrocularis is distinguished from other Potamites and Neusticurus species except for P. montanicola by having keeled scales that are scattered, and by females lacking femoral pores, and except for P. strangulatus, by males having a red ring around the eyes. The new species is differentiated from P. montanicola by bearing an undivided frontonasal (divided in P. montanicola) and showing flat temporal scales (slightly tuberculate temporal scales in P. montanicola). Superficially, P. erythrocularis resembles P. ecpleopus and P. ocellatus, however it differs from P. ecpleopus (characters for P. ecpleopus in parenthesis) by having a lower number of keeled scales on dorsum (see specimens reviewed Appendix 1): 30–33 (36–45), frontonasal undivided (divided), frenocular scale pentagonal (triangular) and a lower number of femoral pores bearing 19–1 in males and lacking in females (5–48 in males and 1–15 in females). Furthermore, the new species differs from P. ocellatus (characters for P. ocellatus in parenthesis) by its bigger size: 83.6 mm as maximum SVL in males (75 mm), dorsal scales highly keeled (dorsal scales slightly keeled), temporal region covered by medium size polygonal flat scales (vs. covered by large scales interspersed with granules) and has a lower number of femoral pores in males: 0–1 (vs. 41).
Furthermore, the new species has an undivided transparent oval in the lower eyelid (divided in P. cochranae), bears dorsal crests (absent in P. strangulatus), has tubercles on flanks (absent in P. cochranae and P. strangulatus), possesses a superficial tympanum (shallow in P. cochranae), females lack femoral pores (femoral pores present in females of all species of Potamites excepting some individuals of P. juruazensis and females of P. montanicola), and males have 40–4 femoral pores (vs 6–30 in P. apodemus,10–16 in P. juruazensis and 45–59 in P. strangulatus).
Furthermore, the new species can be distinguished from species of the genus Neusticurus by bearing an undivided palpebral disc (divided in N. bicarinatus, N. racenisi, N. rudis, N. tatei), a dorsal crest (absent in N. racenisi, N.rudis), tubercles on flanks (absent in N.medemi, N.racenisi, N.tatei), by having a slightly recessed tympanum (deep in N.bicarinatus, N.medemi, N.racenisi and shallow in N.rudis), by females lacking femoral pores (present in females of all species of Neusticurus), by males having 40–4 femoral pores (vs 40–6 in N. bicarinatus, 58–64 in N. medemi, 6–7 in N. racenisi, 3–46 in N. rudis, 60–61 in N. tatei), and by its intermediate size.
CommentSize: maximum SVL of 83.6 mm (males) 
EtymologyNamed after the red ring surrounding eyes in males. 
  • ARRIVILLAGA, CRISTINA & BERIT QUINKERT 2019. Observations on the diving behaviour and defensive strategies of the endemic, semi-aquatic lizard Potamites erythrocularis (Squamata: Gymnophtalmidae). Herpetological Bulletin 147: - get paper here
  • Chávez, G., Malqui, J., & Catenazzi, A. 2021. A new riparian Andean Potamites (Reptilia, Squamata, Gymnophtalmidae) from El Sira Mountains, central Peru, with comments on P. ecpleopus Cope 1875, and on the taxonomy and biogeography of Potamites. European Journal of Taxonomy, 760: 136-159 - get paper here
  • CHÁVEZ, GERMÁN & ALESSANDRO CATENAZZI 2014. A new Andean lizard of the genus Potamites (Sauria, Gymnophthalmidae) from Manu National Park, southeastern Peru. Zootaxa 3774 (1): 045–056 - get paper here
  • Chávez-Arribasplata, Juan Carlos; Vilma Duran, Germán Chávez 2015. Reptilia, Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae, Potamites erythrocularis Chávez & Catenazzi, 2014: Distribution extension. Herpetology Notes 8: 625-628 - get paper here
  • Fang, José M.; Juan D. Vásquez-Restrepo & Juan M. Daza 2020. Filling the gaps in a highly diverse Neotropical lizard lineage: a new and endemic genus of Cercosaurinae (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) with the description of two new species from the Northern Andes of Colombia. Systematics and Biodiversity, DOI: 10.1080/14772000.2020.1783714 - get paper here
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