Selvasaura , Moravec, Jiri, Smid, Jiri, Stundl, Jan & Lehr, Edgar, 2018

Moravec, Jiri, Smid, Jiri, Stundl, Jan & Lehr, Edgar, 2018, Systematics of Neotropical microteiid lizards (Gymnophthalmidae, Cercosaurinae), with the description of a new genus and species from the Andean montane forests, ZooKeys 774, pp. 105-139: 105

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gen. n.

Genus Selvasaura  gen. n.

Unnamed clade 3 (in Torres-Carvajal et al. 2016)

Type species.

Selvasaura brava  sp. n.


Phenotypic synapomorphies are not known for this genus. Morphologically, Selvasaura  gen. n. can be distinguished from all other genera of Cercosaurinae  by the combination of the following characters: lower palpebral disc transparent, not divided (divided in Andinosaura  , Euspondylus  , Gelanesaurus  , Oreosaurus  , Petracola  , Riama  , and most Anadia  and Placosoma  species; opaque in Pholidobolus  ); dorsal scales slightly rugose (smooth in Anadia  ; keeled in Cercosaura  ; strongly keeled and tuberculate in Echinosaura  , Gelanesaurus  , Neusticurus  , Potamites  ; minute tubercles on posterior dorsal scales in Placosoma  ); lateral scales distinctly smaller than dorsal scales (lateral scales not distinctly reduced in size in Macropholidus  ); lateral scales adjacent to ventrals non-granular (granular in Proctoporus  ) (see e.g., Oftedal 1974; Cadle and Chuna 1995; Altamirano-Benavides et al. 2013; Kok et al. 2013; Torres-Carvajal and Mafla-Endara 2013; Echevarría et al. 2015; Borges-Nojosa et al. 2016; Chávez et al. 2017; Sánchez-Pacheco et al. 2017b). Genetically, the genus is differentiated from the other cercosaurines by distances given in Table 3 and 4.


(1) head shields smooth; (2) frontoparietal and parietal shields paired; (3) frontonasal, frontal and interparietal shields single; (4) prefrontal shields present; (5) lower palpebral disc transparent, not divided; (6) loreal shield present; (7) scale organs on labials present; (8) anteriormost supraocular and anteriormost superciliary shields fused; (9) dorsal surface of the tongue covered by scale-like papillae; (10) nuchal scales smooth; (11) dorsal scales rectangular, slightly rugose; (12) ventral scales squared to rectangular, smooth; (13) limbs pentadactyl, digits clawed; (14) femoral pores present in males, absent in females; (15) hemipenial lobes large, distinct from the hemipenial body.


Selvasaura brava  sp. n. and undescribed species of Unnamed clade 3 (sensu Torres-Carvajal et al. 2016) whose formal descriptions are underway (see Torres-Carvajal et al. 2016).


Peru: Región Junín, Provincia de Chanchamayo, Pui Pui Protected Forest ( Selvasaura brava  sp. n.); Región San Martin, Provincia Mariscal Cáceres, Laurel ( Cercosaurinae  sp. 3; Torres-Carvajal et al. 2016). Ecuador: Provincia de Zamora Chinchipe, El Pangui ( Cercosaurinae  sp. 3; Torres-Carvajal et al. 2016); Provincia de Napo, Wildsumaco Wildlife Sanctuary ( Cercosaurinae  sp. 3; Torres-Carvajal et al. 2016).


The generic name Selvasaura is derived from the Spanish noun ‘selva’ (forest) and the Greek noun σαύρα (lizard; saura is the feminine form) and refers to the habitat (montane rainforest) of the type species.