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Liolaemus pachacutec 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
MUSM 29683, adult male collected at Challabamba, Paucartambo Province, Cusco Department, Peru, 13.254S, 71.838W, elevation 4364 m, on 1 April 2009 by César Ramírez.
Three males (MUSM 29681, 29687, 29678) and four females (MUSM 29679, 29689, 29680, 29682) from the same locality as the holotype. Two males MUSM (29665, 29668) and one female (MUSM 29669) from Lamay, Calca Province, Cusco Department, on 12 October 2009 by César Ramírez (see Data resources for elevations and coordinates). One male (MUSM 29664), two females (MUSM 29688, BYU 50237) and one juvenile (MUSM 31412) from Pisac, Calca Province, Cusco Department, on 4 July and 11 October 2009 by César Ramírez, and on 28 June 2012 by César Aguilar, Perry Wood and Juan Carlos Cusi (see Data resources for elevations and coordinates). One male (MUSM 31540), two females (MUSM 31538-39) and one juvenile (MUSM 31537) from Tiaparo, Pocohuanca District, Aymaraes Province, Apurímac Department, on 11 June 2013 by Alfredo Guzmán (see Data resources for elevations and coordinates).
Small (51.9 mm maximum SVL) Liolaemus closely related to Liolaemus chavin sp. n., Liolaemus tacnae, Liolaemus walkeri, and Liolaemus wari sp. n. (described below) (Fig. 1). It differs from Liolaemus chavin sp. n. and Liolaemus tacnae in having precloacal pores (males). Liolaemus pachacutec differs from Liolaemus wari sp. n. in having a partial or complete melanistic belly in adult males and in lacking a ringed pattern in ventral tail. Liolaemus pachacutec differs from most individuals (90%) of Liolaemus walkeri in lacking spots in the lateral field. In comparison with other species assigned to the Liolaemus alticolor group, Liolaemus pachacutec differs from Liolaemus chaltin in having precloacal pores in males. It differs from Liolaemus paulinae in the presence of a vertebral line and smooth neck scales. It differs from Liolaemus puna, Liolaemus alticolor and Liolaemus incaicus in having a partial or complete melanistic belly in adult males. It differs from Liolaemus aparicioi in lacking keeled temporal scales. It differs from Liolaemus bitaeniatus and Liolaemus pagaburoi in having a smooth dorsal surface of the head. It differs from Liolaemus pyriphlogos in the absence of red marks in lateral fields. It differs from Liolaemus variegatus in lacking keeled temporal scales, rugose dorsal head scales, and precloacal pores in females.
Description of holotype
Adult male; SVL 44.8 mm; head length 11.0 mm; head width 8.2 mm; head height 6.2 mm; axilla-groin distance 18.4 mm (41.1% of SVL); foot length 13.6 mm (30.4% of SVL); tail length 74.9 mm. (1.7 times SVL).
Dorsal head scales 16, dorsal head scales smooth, scale organs more abundant in loreal and supralabial regions. Two scale organs on postrostral. Nasal scale in contact with rostral, separated from first supralabial by one scale, nasal bordered by six scales; canthus separated from nasal by one scale. Four supralabials. Four lorilabials scales and one in contact with the subocular. Five infralabials. Auditory meatus oval (height 2.0 mm, width 1.0 mm), with two small, projecting scales on anterior margin. Six convex, smooth temporals (counting vertically from buccal commissure to posterior corner of orbit). Orbit–auditory meatus distance 3.9 mm. Orbit–anterior margin of rostral distance 4.3 mm. Rostral about two times wider than high (width 2.3 mm; height 1.0 mm). Mental subpentagonal, about two times as wide as high (width 2.5 mm; height 1.0 mm). Interparietal pentagonal with an elongated posterior apex, bordered by five scales, the parietal of similar size. Frontal trapezoidal.
Supraorbital semicircles complete on both sides. Semicircles formed by six scales. Five enlarged supraoculars. Six distinctly imbricate superciliaries on both sides. Eleven upper and lower ciliaries. Subocular elongate, 2.8 mm, longer than eye diameter (2.1 mm; measured between anterior and posterior commissure of ciliaries), separated from supralabials by a single, but interrupted row of lorilabials. Fourth supralabial elongate, 2.0 mm. Four lorilabials with single row of scale organs. Fourth lorilabial 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 four enlarged scales separated one from the other by six smaller scales. Scales of throat round, flat, and imbricate. Twenty-two gulars between auditory meatus. Longitudinal neck fold without keeled scales and smaller in size than dorsal scales. Antehumeral pocket and antehumeral neck fold well developed. Thirty-six scales between auditory meatus and shoulder (counting along postauricular and longitudinal neck fold), twenty-six scales between auditory meatus and antehumeral neck fold. Gular folds absent.
Dorsal scales rhomboidal, keeled, and imbricate. Forty-two dorsal scales between occiput and level of groin. Forty-five scales around midbody. Nineteen rows of keeled scales on dorsum at midtrunk. Scales becoming smooth along flank and toward belly. Ventral scales slightly wider than dorsals. Seventy-seven ventral scales between mental and precloacal pores. Five precloacal pores. Supracarpals laminar, round, and smooth. Subdigital lamellae of fingers with three keels, in number I: 8; II: 12; III: 16; IV: 18; V: 12 (right fingers). Claws moderately long. Supradigital lamellae convex, smooth, and imbricate. Infracarpals and infratarsals keeled, distinctly imbricate. Supratarsals smooth. Subdigital lamellae of toes I: 10; II: 14; III: 18; IV: 22; V: 15 (right toes).
Color in preservation
Dorsal background color from occiput to base of tail brownish-green. Black thin continuous vertebral line present. No dark paravertebral marks. Paravertebral and vertebral fields with same background color. Distinct cream dorsalateral stripes. No marks in lateral field. Cream ventrolateral stripes, beginning on the posterior corner of the eye, continuing across the upper auricular meatus, the longitudinal neck fold, through the shoulders, ending in the groin. No marks in the ventral field. Melanistic venter on throat, femur, tibia, and belly. Small and scattered dark marks in chin area and ventrolateraly. Ventral tail melanistic near the cloaca, with a thin longitudinal stripe, first half with small marks lateral to the stripe.
Color pattern in life
Head dorsally brown with scattered black dots. Subocular white. Thin and faint black vertebral line. Paravertebral field without dark marks. Creamy dorsolateral stripes. Lateral field without marks. Faint cream-white ventrolateral stripe, beginning on upper margin of eye, continuing from auricular meatus, the longitudinal neck fold, through the shoulders, ending in the groin. Ventral field yellow. Forelimbs and chin scales white with scattered black dots. Melanistic belly, hind limbs, posterior two thirds of throat. Belly with scattered yellow dots laterally. Tail with a black region close to the cloaca, black longitudinal stripe and dots at each side of the stripe.
Variation in characters is summarized in Table 1–4. There is sexual dichromatism. Males have a complete or partial melanistic belly and throat, while females have a white or yellow belly and black spots on throat. Some males have orange and yellow dots on lateral belly and yellow dots on chin scales, and ventral field with orange and black dots.
The specific epithet pachacutec refers to one of most important Inca rulers, Pachacutec, who built the best known Inca ruins, including Machu Picchu and Pisac, this last site at a higher elevation just above the type locality. The species name is in the nominative singular.
Distribution and natural history
Liolaemus pachacutec sp. n. is known from four localities in the central Andes, at elevations of 4023–4972 m in the departments of Cusco and Apurímac in southeastern Peru (Fig. 11). The species was found under rocks in grassland habitats (Fig. 9). It was found in sympatry at similar elevations with Liolaemus ortizi Laurent, 1982 and Tachymenis peruviana Wiegmann, 1835. This species is probably viviparous; two females showed one or two uterine chambers per side, with an embryo and abundant yolk in each chamber, but without a visible shell.
- 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