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Pseudocalotes andamanensis (BOULENGER, 1891)

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Draconinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Green Crestless Forest Lizard 
SynonymCalotes andamanensis BOULENGER 1891: 288
Calotes andamanensis — SMITH 1935: 205
Calotes andamanensis — WERMUTH 1967: 34
Calotes andamanensis — DAS 1996: 43
Calotes andamanensis — MANTHEY 2008: 57
Pseudocalotes andamanensis — HARIKRISHNAN & VASUDEVAN 2013 
DistributionIndia (South Andaman Islands)

Type locality: Andaman Islands.  
TypesHolotype: ZMUC 36944146 (Zoological Museum, Københavns Universitet, Copenhagen, Denmark) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Calotes andamanensis is diagnosed by having enlarged keeled scales on posterior surface of thigh, dorsal head scales obtusely keeled, smooth dorsal body scales (upper six rows directed posterodorsally, remainder posteroventrally), and lacking body crest, antehumeral pit present; nuchal crest well developed; 67 scales around midbody; tympanum (11% HL); toe III shorter than IV. Distinguished from Calotes aurantolabium in having smooth dorsals, dorsal body scales unequal, upper six scale rows larger, remainder equal in size to ventral scales; three enlarged scales on caudal thigh; dorsal head scales obtusely keeled; parietal ridge raised; enlarged scale between nuchal crest and tympanum; antehumeral pit present; toe-IV longer than III; stretched hindlimb reaches eye. Distinguished from Calotes versicolor and Calotes liocephalus groups and C. rouxi and C. elliotti in presence of enlarged keeled scales on caudal surface of thigh. Distinguished from Calotes versicolor group in scale orientation – distinguished from Calotes versicolor in having an antehumeral pit; distinguished from C. nemoricola and C. grandisquamis in having equal size dorsal and ventral scales, toe IV longer than III, scales around midbody 67 (36–43 and 27–35 respectively); distinguished from C. calotes in lacking flattened spines in the nuchal region. Distinguished from C. elliotti and C. rouxi in having an antehumeral pit (instead of folds) and in lacking spines in the nuchal region. Distinguished from Calotes liocephalus group (C. ceylonensis, C. desilvai, C. liolepis, C. nigrilabris) in lacking spines in the nuchal region; distinguished from C. liocephalus by midbody scale count and body crest scales.

Diagnosis (revised): relatively long head (hw: hl = 0.59); 56-67 longitudinal scale rows around midbody; dorsals and laterals smooth, sometimes weakly keeled near the sacral region; ventrals strongly keeled; dorsals of 4-7 paravertebral longitudinal rows larger than laterals, of irregular shape, pointing posterodorsally; laterals pointing posteroventrally; laterals and ventrals of similar size; ventrals slightly irregular; a row of enlarged scales between supralabials and orbit, bordered by one or two smaller scale rows; gular scales smaller than ventrals, weakly keeled; gular pouch present in males; antehumeral fold/pit weakly developed; nuchal crest composed of 11-15 lanceolate spines; dorsal crest a denticulate ridge; enlarged conical lamellae under the leading edge of third toe; 27-30 lamellae under fourth toe; hind limb length 70-75 % of sVl; tail length 238-265 % of sVl, slightly compressed at the base (HARIKRISHNAN & VASUDEVAN 2013).

Used to be distinguished from Pseudocalotes in having stronger and proportionately longer limbs (proportional antebrachial length not different); nuchal crest vertically directed compressed triangle scales, nuchal crest scales not intermittent as in several Pseudocalotes; presence of enlarged keeled scales on posterior surface of thigh. Distinguished from Bronchocela and Calotes in having enlarged keeled scales on caudal surface of thigh . Distinguished from Complicitus in having enlarged keeled scales on caudal face of thigh, lacking a gular pouch or dewlap, and having smaller head length and head height proportions. Distinguished from Salea in having predominantly uniform dorsal body scales, smooth body scales, lacks body crest, and laterally compressed body (depressed body in Salea khakienensis). Distinguished from Dendragama in lacking a lateral crest on either side of neck; lacking raised parietal ridges; lacking a row of enlarged keeled body scales; lacking keeled dorsal body scales; having flat forehead. 
CommentDistribution: originally reported from the Andaman Islands (the type locality, which is in error fide Ishwar & Das 1998). However, the species does indeed occur on the Andamans but NOT in S India (Harikrishnan & Vasudevan, 2013). Records from S India represent Calotes aurantolabium.

Habitat: arboreal

Similar species: The only other native agamid species in the same habitat are species of the genus Coryphophylax, which are primarily inhabiting the understory and easily differentiated from P. andamanensis by the strong transverse skin fold across the shoulder and neck. Calotes cf. versicolor, probably an introduced species in Andaman Islands, occurs in north Andaman and the harbor town of port Blair in south Andaman but is restricted to anthropogenic modified landscapes and not found in forests. Pseudocalotes andamanensis is easily distinguished from C. versi- color by the regularly arranged, strongly keeled, posterodorsally directed body scales, the relatively short head, and long nuchal and dorsal spines in the latter (Harikrishnan & Vasudevan, 2013). 
EtymologyNamed after its distribution on the Andaman Islands. 
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1891. On new or little known Indian and Malayan reptiles and batrachians. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (6) 8: 288-292 - get paper here
  • Hallermann, J. 2000. A new species of Calotes from the Moluccas (Indonesia) with notes on the biogeogreaphy of the genus (Sauria: Agamidae). Bonner Zoologische Beiträge 49 (1-2): 155-163 - get paper here
  • Harikrishnan & Vasudevan 2013. Rediscovery of Calotes andamanensis Boulenger, 1891, and assessment of its generic allocation (squamata: sauria: Agamidae). Herpetozoa 26 (1/2): 3 - 13 - get paper here
  • Ishwar,N.M. & Das,I. 1998. Rediscovery of Calotes andamanensis Boulenger 1891, and a reassessment of the type locality. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 95: 513-514 - get paper here
  • Krishnan, S. 2008. New Species of Calotes (Reptilia: Squamata: Agamidae) from the Southern Western Ghats, India. Journal of Herpetology 42 (3): 530-535 - get paper here
  • Manthey U 2008. Agamid lizards of Southern Asia, Draconinae 1. Terralog 7, 160 pp.
  • Murthy, T.S.N. 1990. A field book of the lizards of India. Records Zool. Survey India 115: 1-122 - get paper here
  • Smith, M.A. 1935. The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Reptiles and Amphibia, Vol. II. Sauria. Taylor and Francis, London, 440 pp.
  • Venugopal, P.D. 2010. An updated and annotated list of Indian lizards (Reptilia: Sauria) based on a review of distribution records and checklists of Indian reptiles. Journal of Threatened Taxa 2 (3): 725-738. - get paper here
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