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Stenocercus omari VENEGAS, ECHEVARRÍA, GARCÍA-BURNEO & KOCH, 2016

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Higher TaxaTropiduridae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymStenocercus omari VENEGAS, ECHEVARRÍA, GARCÍA-BURNEO & KOCH 2016 
DistributionN Peru (Amazonas, La Libertad), elevation 2300 - 3035 m

Type locality: Abra Chanchillo (06 ̊47'07.00'' S, 77 ̊56'32.50'' W), 2786 m, Chachapoyas province, Amazonas department, Peru  
Reproductionoviparous. A gravid female (CORBIDI 00570) with SVL 65 mm collected on June contained eight yolked follicles, four in each ovary. Another gravid female (CORBIDI 11962) with SVL 69 mm collected on September contained seven well developed eggs four in the left oviduct and three in the right one, eggs ranged from 13.96–15.15 mm in length, 7.56–8.87 mm in width, and 422.33–613.98 cubic mm in volume. 
TypesHolotype: CORBIDI 00577, an adult male, collected by P. J. Venegas on 17 June 2007. Paratypes. Peru: Amazonas department: Chachapoyas province: CORBIDI 00569–70, 00578–80, adult females, and CORBIDI 00571–76, adult males, collected with the holotype; Luya province: CORBIDI 11961, adult male, and CORBIDI 11962, adult female, from Pircopampa (06°19'32.17'' S, 78°13'1.99'' W), 2378 m, collected by K. García-Burneo on 23 September 2012; La Libertad department: Bolivar province: CORBIDI 05793–94, sub adult female and adult male, respectively, and ZFMK 90835 adult female from Bolivar (07°10'00.00'' S, 77°42'46.50'' W), 2772–3035 m, collected by A. García-Bravo and C. Koch on 21 April 2009. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Stenocercus omari is distinguished from other species in the genus, except for S. amydrorhytus, S. chrysopygus, S. cupreus, S. johaberfellneri, S. latebrosus, S. melanopygus, S. modestus, S. ornatissimus, S. orientalis, and S. stigmosus by having granular scales on the posterior surfaces of thighs, a conspicuous antehumeral fold and by lacking a vertebral crest. Stenocercus omari is easily distinguished from the aforementioned species, except for S. orientalis, by the presence of prominently keeled dorsal head scales. The new species differs from S. orientalis in lacking a prominent oblique neck fold with a mite pocket under it, a distinctive character in S. orientalis, and also present in S. latebrosus and S. ornatissimus. Another important difference between the new species and S. orientalis is the presence of a longitudinal neck fold in the former, absent in S. orientalis; such fold is also present in S. melanopygus and S. stigmosus; however, unlike the new species described herein, both species have smooth or slightly keeled dorsal head scales. Additionally, the new species has a distinct deep postfemoral mite pocket with a posteroventrally oriented slit-like opening, whereas S. orientalis has one or more vertical folds instead (Fig. 4 in Venegas et al. 2016).
The new species can be distinguished from S. orientalis in the field by color pattern. Adult males of S. omari have distinct dark triangular marks longitudinally arranged on each side of the vertebral line (Fig. 1A, 3A, 5A) and S. orientalis usually has a tabby dorsal pattern (Fig. 5D) that in some individuals is indistinct. Although males of both species share a yellow ventral coloration, males of the new species have a blue throat with dark flecks, whereas males of S. orientalis have a yellow throat with or without dark flecks and a bluish center in some specimens (Fig. 5E). Adult females of S. omari and S. orientalis are similar in coloration pattern; however, females of S. omari, have dorsolateral and ventrolateral light stripes on each side of the neck and females of S. orientalis have only one dorsolateral light stripe on each side of the neck (Fig. 5F). 
CommentStenocercus omari sp. nov. differs from other Stenocercus species, with the exception of S. amydrorhytus, S. chrysopygus, S. cupreus, S. johaberfellneri, S. latebrosus, S. melanopygus, S. modestus, S. ornatissimus, S. orientalis, and S. stigmosus, by having granular scales on the posterior surfaces of thighs, a conspicuous antehumeral fold and by lacking a vertebral crest. However, Stenocercus omari sp. nov. is easily distinguished from the aforementioned species, except S. orientalis, by the presence of prominently keeled dorsal head scales. The new species differs from S. orientalis by lacking a prominent oblique neck fold and by having a distinct deep postfemoral mite pocket.

Habitat: the Peruvian Yungas ecoregion. The habitat at the type locality is a steep area located on the right side of the Marañón river with the presence of corn plantations, cattle pasture and some scattered patches of montane forest along the slope. Stenocercus omari was very common along the sides of the Leimebamba-Balsas road, a steep band covered by herbaceous vegetation with big boulders and scattered bushes. All collected individuals were found active in daylight (between 11:00 and 15:00) basking on rocks, fallen tree trunks and at the base of bushes. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet omari is a noun in the genitive case and is a patronym for our appreciated friend, the Ecuadorian herpetologist Omar Torres-Carvajal, who has published important contributions to the taxonomy and systematics of Neotropical lizards, especially of the genus Stenocercus. 
References
  • Kwet, Axel 2017. Neue Arten: Liste der im Jahr 2016 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Terraria-Elaphe 2017 (3): 54-70 - get paper here
  • VENEGAS, PABLO J.; LOURDES Y. ECHEVARRÍA, KARLA GARCÍA-BURNEO, CLAUDIA KOCH 2016. A new species of iguanid lizard, genus Stenocercus (Squamata, Iguania), from the Central Andes in Peru. Zootaxa 4205 (1): 052–064 - get paper here
 
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