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Takydromus luyeanus LUE & LIN, 2008

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Higher TaxaLacertidae, Lacertinae, Lacertini, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymTakydromus luyeanus LUE & LIN 2008
Takydromus formosanus — ARNOLD 1997 (part.) 
DistributionC Taiwan

Type locality: Luye, Taidong County, Taiwan (22° 53’ 47.0” N, 121° 05’ 19.0” E, on the bank of Luye Stream, the branch of Beinan River, elevation 180 m.  
TypesHolotype: NMNS 4433, an adult male. Perching on high grasslands (Miscanthus sinensis). Collected at night on 13 July 2004 by Chun-Wen Chang and Si-Min Lin. Deposited in Natural Museum of Natural Science, Taichung, Taiwan. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis.—As mentioned in the diagnosis of T. viridipunctatus, only 4 among the 19 currently recognized species in Takydromus exhibit the characters of ‘‘3 pairs of chin shields’’ and ‘‘2 pairs of femoral pores’’ (Table 3 in LUE & LIN 2008). Conjunction of these two characters helps to separate these four species from the others. Similar to T. viridipunctatus, T. luyeanus can be distinguished from T. hsuehshanensis by its keeled ventrals. The body shape of T. luyeanus is smaller and more slender compared to T. hsuehshanensis, which has stronger limbs and toes, a shorter tail without curling ability, and lacks the ability to climb on vegetation.
Takydromus luyeanus can be distinguished from T. formosanus and T. viridipunctatus by fewer dorsal scales counted in the longitudinal direction (mean +/- SD = 40.62 +/- 1.56). This character usually exceeds 43 in T. viridipunctatus (45.58 6 2.23) and 44 in T. formosanus (46.79 +/- 1.68) but seldom exceeds 42 in T. luyeanus. Takydromus luyeanus can be further distinguished from T. formosanus by having fewer caudal scales (14 rows, occasionally 15 or 16), fewer supratemporals (3 or 4 versus .4), and larger and more robust body shapes. Similar to T. viridipunctatus, T. luyeanus adults also exhibit noticeable sexual dimorphism. Male T. luyeanus exhibit white or light-yellow spots on a black background along the lateral surfaces during breeding seasons (Fig. 6). Color of these spots provides a further diagnosis between male T. luyeanus and T. viridipunctatus: the latter exhibit greenish spots on a brownish background on their lateral surfaces.
Takydromus luyeanus is sometimes sympatrically distributed with T. sauteri and T. kuehnei in eastern Taiwan. It may be distinguished from both of these species by a difference in number of femoral pores (2 pairs in T. luyeanus, 1 pair in T. sauteri, and 3–5 pairs in T. kuehnei) and number of chin shields (3 pairs in T. luyeanus, versus 4 pairs in the others). 
CommentThis species has been previously confused with Takydromus formosanus. In contrast to T. formosanus T. viridipunctatus and T. luyeanus exhibit prominent sexual dichromatism, have males and females with similar body sizes but differ in their head lengths and HL/SVL ratios. 
EtymologyEtymology.—The specific name has multiple meanings. First, it refers to the place ‘‘Luye’’, in eastern Taiwan, where the type specimen was collected. The name of this place in Chinese means ‘‘the field where the Sika Deer wandered’’, indicating the typical habitat of this species. The writing of these words in Chinese is coincidently identical to the name of the famous Japanese naturalist and anthropologist Tadao Kano (1906–1945), who dedicated most of his life to Taiwan and made remarkable contributions in biogeography. 
  • Lue, Kuang-Yang and Si-Min Lin 2008. Two New Cryptic Species of Takydromus (Squamata: Lacertidae) from Taiwan. Herpetologica 64 (3): 379-395 - get paper here
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