Cercosaura oshaughnessyi (Boulenger, 1885)

Ribeiro-Júnior, Marco A. & Amaral, Silvana, 2017, Catalogue of distribution of lizards (Reptilia: Squamata) from the Brazilian Amazonia. IV. Alopoglossidae, Gymnophthalmidae, Zootaxa 4269 (2), pp. 151-196: 164-165

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Cercosaura oshaughnessyi (Boulenger, 1885)


Cercosaura oshaughnessyi (Boulenger, 1885) 

Type-locality. Canelos and Pallatanga, Ecuador.

Pertinent taxonomic references. Boulenger (1885), Cunha (1961), Uzzell (1973), Duellman (1978), Ávila- Pires (1995), Pellegrino et al. (2001), Doan (2003), Vitt et al. (2003), Echevarría et al. (2015), Torres-Carvajal et al. (2015), Goicoechea et al. (2016).

Taxonomic remarks. Uzzell (1973), based on morphological analysis of only four individuals of Cercosaura oshaughnessyi  , synonymized C. argula  and C. oshaughnessyi  for the first time. The author, without major details, argued that the four specimens of C. oshaughnessyi  had fallen within his concept of C. argula  (see Uzzell 1973: 37). Ávila-Pires (1995), analyzing 90 specimens of C. oshaughnessyi  and 33 of C. argula  , recognized them back as two distinct species, presenting some differences between the species, as size of scales on flanks, number of scales around midbody, number of ventrals, and of pores. Pellegrino et al. (2001) presented molecular results supporting Ávila-Pires’ findings. Later, Doan (2003) synonymized them again based on statistical analysis of seven characters collected from 39 individuals of C. oshaughnessyi  and suggested that the variation found by Ávila-Pires (1995) was clinal in nature and not due to distinct species. Recently, Echevarría et al. (2015) and Torres-Carvajal et al. (2015) presented new phylogenetic hypothesis supporting the recognition of C. argula  and C. oshaughnessyi  as two distinct species (taxons were genetically separated and reciprocally monophyletic). Based on MAR-J experience—after examined 232 specimens of C. argula  and 242 of C. oshaughnessyi—, we present two characters that can readily distinguish the two species, serving to diagnose the two species: 1) femoral pores in preanal position (presence in C. oshaughnessyi  ; absent in C. argulus  ); and 2) number of ventral scales separated by femoral pores (two in C. oshaughnessyi  ; four in C. argulus  ); supporting the recognition of C. argula  and C. oshaughnessyi  as different species. Differences in ecological aspects (microhabitat use and diet) between the two species can be found in Vitt et al. (2003).

Distribution and habitat. Cercosaura oshaughnessyi  is endemic to western Amazonia  , with its eastern distribution delimited by the upper Iquiri, and the Japurá, Solimões, and Vaupés rivers, occurring in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru ( Fig. 9View FIGURE 9). In Brazil, it is known from the states of Amazonas and Acre. Cercosaura oshaughnessyi  is predominantly terrestrial and diurnal, inhabits terra firme and flooded primary forest, where it is mainly found among leaf litter, but also on elevated perches like buttresses and other aerial roots, logs, low vegetation, and the base of trunks (Duellman 1978; Duellman & Salas 1991; Duellman & Mendelson 1995; Vitt & Zani 1996; Vitt et al. 2003).