Stenocercus diploauris VENEGAS, ECHEVARRÍA, GARCÍA-AYACHI & LANDAURO, 2020
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|Higher Taxa||Tropiduridae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Synonym||Stenocercus diploauris VENEGAS, ECHEVARRÍA, GARCÍA-AYACHI & LANDAURO 2020: 557|
Type locality: Limonal (12°13’55.097’’ S, 74°41’27.487’’ W), at 1,678 m asl, Surcubamba District, Tayacaja Province, Huancavelica Department, Peru
|Types||Holotype. CORBIDI 13643, adult male, collected on September 1, 2013 by A. Escobar.|
Paratypes. Peru: Huancavelica Department: Tayacaja Province: CORBIDI 9913 (adult female), CORBIDI 9914 (juvenile male), CORBIDI 9915 (adult female), CORBIDI 9916 (adult male) from Jatuspata (12°15’1.2’’ S, 74°41’33.6’’ W), at 2,609 m asl, collected on April 7, 2011 by D. Amaya; CORBIDI 14672 adult female from Chupto (12°18’42.56’’ S, 74°39’13.23’’ W) at 2,328 m asl, collected on July 2, 2014 by L. Y. Echevarría; CORBIDI 14901 adult female from Jatuspata (12°15’28.83’’ S, 74°41’28.74’’ W) at 2,816 m asl, collected on July 2, 2014 by C. Landauro; CORBIDI 14902 and CORBIDI 14903 adult females from Jatuspata (12°15’35.31’’ S, 74°41’31.74’’ W) at 2,835 m asl, collected on July 3, 2014 by C. Landauro; CORBIDI 14904 adult male from Jatuspata (12°15’34.23’’ S, 74°41’25.12’’ W) at 2,920 m asl, collected on July 3, 2014 by C. Landauro; CORBIDI 14906 adult male from Limonal (12°13’58.82’’ S, 74°41’23.09’’ W) at 1,753 m asl, collected on July 8, 2014 by C. Landauro; CORBIDI 16036 adult female from Pichiu (12°19’50’’ S, 74°39’13.07’’ W) at 2090 m asl, collected on July 12, 2015 by J. Malqui.
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. Adult specimens of Stenocercus diploauris can be easily distinguished from all known species of Stenocercus by having a C-shaped nuchal mite pocket around the oblique fold, posteriorly limited by the antehumeral fold (Fig. 4). However, among the 69 currently known species of Stenocercus, S. diploauris resembles S. formosus Tschudi, 1845, and S. ochoai Fritts, 1972, by the combination of the following characters: (1) imbricate scales on the posterior surface of thighs, (2) well developed postfemoral mite pocket, (3) antehumeral and oblique neck folds, and (4) absence of posthumeral mite pocket.|
The new species can be distinguished from S. ochoai and S. formosus by having dorsal and lateral nuchals similar in size and the presence of longitudinal neck fold, in the former species lateral nuchals are smaller than dorsal nuchals and the longitudinal neck fold is absent. Furthermore, S. diploauris differs from S. formosus (character state of latter in parenthesis) by having three whorls per autotomic segment (four), smooth dorsal head scales (keeled), and fewer scales, 50–61, around midbody (74–82) (Venegas et al. 2020).
Color in life of the holotype. Dorsal surface dusty brown with light cream chevrons over the vertebral line, irregular light cream transversal bars on limbs and a reddish hue on tail; flanks cinnamon, dotted with yellowish cream scales; dorsal surface of head darker than dorsum and with some scattered cream dots; temporal surface of head dark brown, with scattered reddish pigmentation and white dots; loreal region and canthus rostralis dark brown and subocular region, supralabials and infralabials bright cream; sublabials forming a thin black stripe along the lower jaw; superciliaries cream with transversal brown bars; dark brown stripe from postocular region to supratemporals; sides of neck dusty brown with reddish pigmentation; a black blotch covers the nuchal mite pocket; black line below antehumeral fold. Gular region and throat cream with reddish pigmentation on the sides and a faint pink blotch over the throat; chest and ventral surfaces of forelimbs dirty cream; first portion of venter, immediately after forelimb insertion, yellow; belly dirty cream flanked by pink pigmentation; pelvic region and ventral surfaces of thighs yellow; tail pale pink, with yellow pigmentation on the base (Fig. 11B). Irises light brown (Venegas et al. 2020).
Variation. Scale counts and measurements for Stenocercus diploauris are presented in Table 1. Loreals 4–8; supralabials 5–6; infralabials 5–6; postrostrals 2–4; second infralabial not in contact with third sublabial in 91% of specimens; first pair of postmentals in contact in 91% of specimens (n = 11).
The nuchal mite pocket is conspicuous only in adult specimens, after preservation it becomes less defined. The type series of S. diploauris contains three adult males (CORBIDI 9916, 14904 and 14906) of 68.0 mm to 78.0 mm of SVL, and one juvenile male (CORBIDI 9914) with 61.0 mm of SVL. Two adult males (CORBIDI 9916 and 14906) are identical in dorsal coloration to the holotype. However, ventrally both specimens differ from the holotype by having the posterior portion of the gular region and ventral surface of neck gray and a gray midventral line on the belly. The dorsal coloration of one adult male (CORBIDI 14904) is similar to the holotype differing only by having the flanks dusty brown as the dorsum and not cinnamon as the holotype (Fig. 3A). Ventrally this specimen differs from the holotype by having the gular region cream and the ventral surface of neck gray, the chest and belly are cream with an indistinct light gray midventral line and a dark cream patch covering the pelvic region and the ventral surface of thighs (Fig. 3B). A juvenile male (CORBIDI 9914), has the dorsum grayish and the flanks dusty brown (Fig. 3C). Ventrally this specimen has the gular region, ventral surfaces of neck and chest cream with gray reticulations, and the belly cream with a faint gray midventral line (Fig. 3D).
Sexual dimorphism is conspicuous with respect to size (maximum SVL in males 94.82 mm versus 76.0 mm in females) and coloration. Females have brown dorsal surfaces with a gray dorsolateral stripe, and pairs of dark brown triangular blotches along the vertebral line becoming chevrons on the tail (Fig. 3E); flanks are brown as dorsum or cinnamon (CORBIDI 14901) without marks; sides of head brown with a dark brown subocular stripe; jaw, ventrolateral region of head and sides of neck black (Fig. 3E). Ventral surfaces in adult females are brownish cream with a black patch covering the gular region and ventral surface of neck (Fig. 3F). One specimen (CORBIDI 14902) has the gular region and ventral surface of neck black with a cream blotch on the middle. One of the five female paratypes (CORBIDI 14672) has a dusty brown dorsum with dark brown chevrons along the vertebral line and the loreal and subocular regions bright cream like adult males. One juvenile female (CORBIDI 9913) differs from the adult females by having a light cream dorsolateral stripe (gray in adult females) (Venegas et al. 2020).
|Etymology||The specific epithet “diploauris” is a noun (in apposition) in the nominative singular and derives from the Greek word diploos (= double) and the Latin word auris (= ear). It refers to the depression on both sides of the neck of the new species, appearing like a second tympanic opening.|
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