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Liolaemus chavin Aguilar & Wood Jr & Cusi & Guzmán & Huari & Lundberg & Mortensen & Ramírez & Robles & Suárez & Ticona & Vargas & Venegas & Sites Jr, 2013 sp. n. – Wikispecies link – ZooBank link – Pensoft Profile
- Liolaemus alticolor Lehr 2002
- Liolaemus incaicus Lobo, Quinteros and Díaz Gómez 2007
- Liolaemus aff. walkeri Langstroth 2011
MUSM 25417, adult male collected at Conococha, Recuay Province, Ancash Department, Peru, 10.123S, 77.293W, elevation 4100 m, on 31 March 2006 by Mikael Lundberg.
Three males (MUSM 20141, 20143, 20146) and twelve females (MUSM 25324, 25327, 25328, 25331, 25333, 25334, 25340, 25423, 25412, 30812, 30813, BYU 50192) from the same locality as the holotype. One male (MUSM 20147) from Carpa, Recuay Province, Ancash Department, on 28 February 2001 by Edgar Lehr and César Aguilar (see Data resources for elevation and coordinates). One female (MUSM 20201) from La Unión, Huánuco Department, on 3 March 1997 by Edgar Lehr (see Data resources for elevation and coordinates). Seven males (CORBIDI 10439, 10450, 10452, 10442, 10441, 10443, 10437) and six females (CORBIDI 10444, 10451, 10440, 10438, 10445, 10449) from Pampas de Huamani, San Marcos District, Huari Province, Ancash Department, on 12 February 2012 by Pablo J. Venegas (see Data resources for elevation and coordinates).
Small (61.7 mm maximum SVL), slender Liolaemus closely related to Liolaemus walkeri, Liolaemus tacnae, Liolaemus pachacutec sp. n. and Liolaemus wari sp. n. (described below) (Fig. 1). It differs from Liolaemus walkeri, Liolaemus pachacutec sp. n. and Liolaemus wari sp. n. in the absence of precloacal pores in males. It differs from Liolaemus tacnae in having a melanistic belly in adult males (not melanistic in adult Liolaemus tacnae males).In comparison with other species assigned to the Liolaemus alticolor group, Liolaemus chavin sp. n. differs from Liolaemus bitaeniatus and Liolaemus pagaburoi in having a smooth dorsal surface of the head (rough to slightly rough dorsal surface). It differs from Liolaemus alticolor, Liolaemus aparicioi, Liolaemus incaicus, Liolaemus paulinae, Liolaemus pyriphlogos, Liolaemus puna, and Liolaemus variegatus in the absence of precloacal pores in males. Liolaemus chaltin also lacks precloacal pores in males, but Liolaemus chavin sp. n. differs in having also a melanistic belly in adult males.
Description of holotype
Adult male; SVL 56.8 mm; head length 13.7 mm; head width 11.3 mm; head height 7.7 mm; axilla-groin 21.0 mm (37% of SVL); foot length 10.3 mm (18.3% of SVL); tail length (regenerated) 35.2 mm (0.6 times SVL).
Fifteen dorsal head scales (from a line drawn horizontally between anterior edges of external auditory meatus to anterior border of rostral). Dorsal head scales smooth except for the interparietal and surrounding scales, scale organs more abundant in prefrontal, internasal, and supralabial regions. Five scale organs on postrostral. Nasal scale in contact with rostral, separated from first supralabial by one scale, nasal bordered by eight scales; canthus separated from nasal by one scale. Six supralabials. Six lorilabial scales, three in contact with the subocular. Six infralabials. Auditory meatus oval (height 2.3 mm, width 1.2 mm), with three small, projecting scales on anterior margin. Seven convex, smooth temporals. Orbit–auditory meatus distance 4.9 mm. Orbit–anterior margin of rostral distance 6.3 mm. Rostral almost three times wider than high (width 2.9 mm; height 1.2 mm). Mental subpentagonal, about two times as wide as high (width 3.2 mm; height 1.7 mm). Interparietal pentagonal with an elongated posterior apex, bordered by eight scales, the parietal slightly smaller. Frontal quadrangular. Supraorbital semicircles complete on both sides. Semicircles formed by 6 scales. Four enlarged supraoculars. Six distinctly imbricate superciliaries on both sides. Eleven upper and ten lower ciliaries. Subocular elongate, 3.8 mm, longer than eye diameter (2.9 mm), separated from supralabials by a single, but interrupted row of lorilabials. Second supralabial elongate, 1.9 mm. Six lorilabials with single and double rows of scale organs. Sixth, fifth and fourth lorilabials contacting subocular. Preocular small, separated from lorilabial row by one scale. Postocular as large as preocular. Mental in contact with four scales: first infralabials (on each side) and two enlarged chin shields. Chin shields forming a longitudinal row of three enlarged scales separated one from the other by seven smaller scales. Scales of throat round, flat, and imbricate. Twenty-four gulars between auditory meatus. Longitudinal neck fold without keeled scales, that are similar to dorsal in size scales. Antehumeral pocket and antehumeral neck fold well developed. Forty-two scales between auditory meatus and shoulder (counting along postauricular and longitudinal neck fold), thirty-two scales between auditory meatus and antehumeral neck fold. Gular folds absent.
Dorsal scales rhomboidal, keeled, and imbricate. Sixty-six dorsal scales between occiput and level of groin. Sixty-two scales around midbody. Thirty rows of keeled scales on dorsum at midtrunk. Scales become smooth along flank and toward belly. Ventral scales slightly wider than dorsals. Eighty-two ventral scales between mental and cloaca; no precloacal pores. Supracarpals laminar, round, and smooth. Subdigital lamellae of fingers with three keels, in number I: 6; II: 11; III: 14; IV: 15; V: 10 (right hand). Claws moderately long. Supradigital lamellae convex, smooth, and imbricate. Infracarpals and infratarsals keeled, distinctly imbricate. Supratarsals smooth. Subdigital lamellae of toes I: 13; II: 13; III: 13; IV: 12; V: 6 (right foot).
Color pattern in preservation
Dorsal background color from occiput to base of tail greenish brown. Black continuous vertebral stripe present. Dark paravertebral marks. Paravertebral and vertebral fields of same background color. Dorsolateral stripes distinctly cream-color. Small dark cream-colored markings scattered in lateral field. Cream ventrolateral stripe, beginning on the upper auricular meatus, continuing across the longitudinal neck fold, through the shoulders, ending in the groin. Dark and small cream-colored marks in the ventral field. Black ventral color from about second third of head to femur, tibia and first third of tail. Dark and cream-colored small markings in first third of ventral head and two posterior thirds of tail.
Color pattern in life
Head dorsally brown with black and light brown dots. Subocular cream colored, dorsum bisected by a dark vertebral line. Vertebral field not conspicuous, bordering the vertebral line with a tenuous yellowish line. Paravertebral field with dark marks, bordered dorsally by a yellowish cream dorsolateral stripe. Lateral field with black and yellow reticulated pattern and white dots. Inconspicuous ventrolateral stripe, beginning on upper margin of auricular meatus, continuing from the longitudinal neck fold, through the shoulders, ending in the groin. Ventrolateral similar to lateral field but with more white dots. Fore and hind limbs same color as the paravertebral field, with diffuse dorsal markings. Dark, melanistic ventral color from about second third of head to femur, tibia and first third of tail. Dark and white dots in first third of ventral head and two posterior thirds of tail.
Variation in characters is summarized in Tables 1–4. There is sexual dichromatism. Adult males exhibit melanistic belly, cloacal region and throat, or melanistic belly only; adult females exhibit black and white spots on belly, cloacal region and throat, or yellowish belly and tail.
The specific epithet chavin refers to the pre-Inca culture Chavin, which had its center close to the type locality and frequently depicted reptile figures on some of its most remarkable sculptures. The species name is in the nominative singular.
Distribution and natural history
Liolaemus chavin sp. n. is known from four localities in the central Andes, at elevations of 3535–4450 m in Ancash and Huánuco Departments in western central Peru (Fig. 11). It is the northernmost species of the subgenus Liolaemus.
Liolaemus chavin sp. n. was found active and under rocks in grassland and shrubland habitats at higher and lower elevations respectively (Fig. 8). In Pampas de Huamani the new species was usually found basking on grass up to 60 cm above the ground, and when they were disturbed they escaped into the base of grass clumps. Individuals basking on rocks were very rare in all localities. On cloudy days we found this species inactive hidden in the base of grass clumps, although some individuals were also found inactive under rocks. This species is viviparous; one female showed two uterine chambers per side with developed embryos, yolk and no visible shell in either chamber, and three females showed two uterine chambers per side with yolk, without developed embryos and no visible shell in each chamber. At the type locality no sympatric species of reptiles were found, but four amphibians are known: Pleurodema marmoratum (Duméril & Bibron, 1840), Telmatobius mayoloi Salas & Sinsch, 1996, Gastrotheca peruana and Rhinella (Bufo) spinulosa (Wiegmann, 1834) (Lehr 2002; personal observations). Sympatric species at Catac include the anurans Gastrotheca peruana, Rhinella (Bufo) spinulosa, Telmatobius rimac Schmidt, 1954, Telmatobius mayoloi, and the lizard Stenocercus chrysopygus Boulenger, 1900; at Carpa, Gastrotheca peruana (Boulenger, 1900), Rhinella (Bufo) spinulosa and Pleurodema marmoratum; at Pampas de Huamani, Gastrotheca peruana, Pleurodema marmoratum and Rhinella (Bufo) spinulosa; and at La Unión, Gastrotheca griswoldi Shreve, 1941, Gastrotheca peruana, Rhinella (Bufo) spinulosa and Stenocercus chrysopygus (Lehr, 2002).
- Aguilar, C; Wood Jr, P; Cusi, J; Guzmán, A; Huari, F; Lundberg, M; Mortensen, E; Ramírez, C; Robles, D; Suárez, J; Ticona, A; Vargas, V; Venegas, P; Sites Jr, J; 2013: Integrative taxonomy and preliminary assessment of species limits in the Liolaemus walkeri complex (Squamata, Liolaemidae) with descriptions of three new species from Peru ZooKeys, 364: 47-91. doi
- Lehr E (2002) Amphibien und Reptilien in Peru. Natur und Tier-Verlag, Münster, 208 pp.