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Potamites montanicola CHÁVEZ & VÁSQUEZ, 2012

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Higher TaxaGymnophthalmidae (Cercosaurinae), Sauria, Gymnophthalmoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymPotamites montanicola CHÁVEZ & VÁSQUEZ 2012 
DistributionPeru (La Convención)

Type locality: Peru, Cusco Region, La Convención Province, 4.8 km E of Alto Shimá Native Community (12°34'16.4"S, 73°09'42.3"W), 1577 m elevation.  
TypesHolotype: CORBIDI 08322, adult male, collected by Germán Chávez and Diego Vasquez on 3 December 2010. Paratypes. (Fig. 1b, d; 3b, c; 4a) CORBIDI 08324-27, 08335 (all adult males), 08328, 08334, 08336, (all adult females), same data as holotype, CORBIDI 06957 (adult male), Peru, Ayacucho Region, La Mar Province, Cajadela Community (12°57'27.8"S, 73°36'22.4"W), 2098 m elevation, collected by Karla García on 23 August 2010. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Assigned to Potamites sensu stricto by having a tongue with imbricate scale-like papillae, movable eyelids, external ear and heterogeneous dorsal scalation. 1) Head acuminate from dorsal and lateral views, frontonasal length usually equal or slightly shorter than frontal length; (2) nasoloreal suture present; (3) supraoculars four, anteriormost supraocular not fused with anteriormost superciliary, all supraocu- lars separated from superciliaries; (4) superciliary series complete, usually four; (5) supralabial-subocular fusion absent; (6) postoculars three; (7) postparietals three; (8) genials in two pairs, transverse sutures perpendicular with respect to midline of body; (9) dorsal scales rectangular, juxtaposed, granular and keeled; (10) transverse dorsal count (enlarged rows at midbody) at midbody 36–42 in both sexes; (11) longitudinal dorsal keeled scales count 32–37 in both sexes; (12) longitudinal ventral count 21 – 23 in both sexes; (13) femoral pores in males 19–21, absent in females; two scales between femoral pores; (14) subdigital scales on 4th finger 13–17, on 4th toe 22–27; (15) forelimb reaching anteriorly to fourth supralabial; (16) Tail slightly compressed with two rows of lateral scales per two ventral caudal scales; (17) hemipenis acapitate; flounces lacking calcified spines and forming two chevrons on distal half of hemipenis while basal half is covered with 5 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; (18) dorsum dark brown; lateral ocelli present in two or three pairs in males, usually absent in females; ventral color pattern pale blue or yellow with black blotches in males and creamy white in females; (19) transparent lower palpebral disc an undivided oval; (20) prefrontals present. Potamites montanicola is easily distinguished of all other Potamites and Neusticurus species by having highly keeled scales scattered all over the dorsum (all species have either tubercles or keeled scales forming longitudinal rows from neck to the insertion of the hind limbs, or lack of them) and by females lacking femoral pores (only some female specimens of the type series in P. juruazensis lack femoral pores). Of all Potamites species, P. montanicola best resembles P. ecpleopus, P. juruazenzis and P. ocellatus. It differs from P. ecpleopus by having a lower number of keeled scales on dorsum (see specimens reviewed in Appendix 1): 32–37 (vs 36–45), a higher number of scales around midbody: 43–50 (vs 34–46), frenocular scale pentagonal (vs triangular) and a lower number of femoral pores bearing 19–21 in males and lacking in females (vs 25–48 in males and 1–15 in females). Differs from P. juruazenzis by having a higher number of scales around midbody: 42–50 (vs 31–40), bearing scattered dorsal highly keeled scales (vs bearing four longitudinal rows of dorsal tubercles), a higher number of lamellae of fourth toe: 22–27 (vs 16–22), a higher number of femoral pores in males: 19–21 (vs 10 -16) and by lacking femoral pores in females (vs 0–2 femoral pores). Differs from P. ocellatus by its smaller size: 68.6 mm as maximum SVL in males (vs 75 mm in P. ocellatus), dorsal highly keeled scales present (vs flat dorsal tubercles present), temporal region covered by medium size polygonal scales (vs covered by large scales interspersed with granules) and has a lower number of femoral pores in males: 19–21 (vs 41). Furthermore, P. montanicola differs from other Potamites and Neusticurus species in bearing dorsal crests (absent in N. racenisi, N. rudis and P. strangulatus), bearing tubercles on flanks (absent in P. cochranae, N. medemi, N. racenisi, P. strangulatus and N. tatei), having a superficial tympanum (deep in N. bicarinatus, N. medemi, N. racenisi and shallow in P. cochranae and N. rudis), having a low number of femoral pores in males:19–21 (vs 26–30 in P. apodemus, 40–62 in N. bicarinatus, 58–64 in N. medemi, 62–72 in N. racenisi, 32–46 in N. rudis, 45–59 in P. strangulatus and 60–61 in N. tatei) and lacking femoral pores in females (femoral pores present in all Potamites and Neusticurus excepting some indi- viduals of P. juruazensis) [CHÁVEZ & VÁSQUEZ 2012]. 
EtymologyNamed after the spanish word “montano”, adjective to describe something from a mountain, and the latin suffix “-icola” for “inhabitant” and refers to the montane forests where this species lives. 
  • 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; Diego Vásquez 2012. A new species of Andean semiaquatic lizard of the genus Potamites (Sauria, Gymnophtalmidae) from southern Peru. ZooKeys 168: 31–43 - 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
  • Kwet, Axel 2013. Liste der im Jahr 2012 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Terraria-Elaphe 2013 (3): 52-67 - get paper here
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