Marisora roatanae Hedges & Conn, 2012

Mccranie, James R., Matthews, Amy J. & Hedges, S. Blair, 2020, A morphological and molecular revision of lizards of the genus Marisora Hedges & Conn (Squamata: Mabuyidae) from Central America and Mexico, with descriptions of four new species, Zootaxa 4763 (3), pp. 301-353 : 334-337

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.4763.3.1

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Marisora roatanae Hedges & Conn


Marisora roatanae Hedges & Conn

Honduran Skink

Figs. 13A, B, C View FIGURE 13

Marisora roatanae Hedges & Conn 2012:132 (in part) (holotype TCWC 21955; type locality: “Jonesville, Isla de Roatán, Islas de la Bahía, Honduras, 3 m ”); McCranie 2015:370 (in part); McCranie 2018:344 (in part).

Mabuya unimarginata complex: Pinto-Sánchez et al. 2015:195 (in part).

Marisora brachypoda : McCranie 2018:344 (in part).

Diagnosis. Marisora roatanae is a relatively large, relatively short-limbed, species of Marisora characterized (data from 11 males, 20 females; with * in Appendix 1) by (1) maximum known SVL in males 76.1 mm; (2) maximum known SVL in females 90.2 mm; (3) SW 2.7–4.4% SVL in males, 2.4–4.7% in females; (4) HL 16.4–20.8% SVL in males, 15.7–19.5% in females; (5) HW 11.4–12.7% SVL in males, 11.8–14.0% in females; (6) EAL 1.3–2.2% SVL in five males, 1.1–2.0% in ten females; (7) Toe IV length 9.9–12.5% SVL in five males, 9.0–12.1% in ten females; (8) prefrontals one per side; (9) supraoculars four per side; (10) supraciliaries four per side; (11) frontoparietals one per side; (12) usually fifth supralabial below orbit (80.4%), rarely sixth below orbit (19.6%); (13) nuchal rows one per side; (14) dorsals 55–59 (57.0 ± 1.6) in males, 50–59 (56.2 ± 2.4) in females; (15) ventrals 55–64 (59.7 ± 2.5) in males, 58–67 (60.4 ± 2.6) in females; (16) dorsals + ventrals 113–123 (116.7 ± 3.2) in males, 109–125 (116.6 ± 3.8) in females; (17) scales around midbody most often 30 (57.1%), occasionally 32 (25.0%) or 28 (17.9%); (18) Finger IV lamellae 10–16 (13.2 ± 1.7) per side in males, 11–16 (13.4 ± 1.4) in females; (19) Toe IV lamellae 13–18 (15.8 ± 1.6) per side in males, 11–18 (15.8 ± 1.5) in females; (20) Finger IV + Toe IV lamellae 23–34 (29.0 ± 3.2) per side in males, 22–34 (29.3 ± 2.7) in females; (21) supranasals in medial contact, preventing frontonasal-rostral contact; (22) prefrontals not in contact medially; (23) supraocular 1-frontal contact present (55.4%) or absent (44.6%); (24) parietals in contact posterior to interparietal; (25) pale middorsal stripe absent; (26) thin, indistinct dark brown dorsolateral stripe and pale dorsolateral stripe present or absent; (27) dark brown lateral stripe present; (28) distinct white lateral stripe present; (29) palms and soles dark brown to nearly black in almost all populations; (30) total lamellae for five fingers 48–55 (50.5 ± 3.1, n = 4) in males, 44–52 (48.8 ± 3.4, n = 6) in females; (31) total lamellae for five toes 55–62 (60.3 ± 0.5, n = 4) in males, 54–61 (59.0 ± 2.7, n = 6) in females. In addition, this is a relatively short-limbed species with combined FLL + HLL/SVL 53.5–58.4% in males, 47.8–57.7% in females that usually has 1 (70.8%) or occasionally 2 (29.2%) chinshields contacting infralabials ( Table 3 View TABLE 3 ).

Marisora roatanae is a member of the M. alliacea Group of Middle American Marisora and is apparently most closely related to M. alliacea (99% confidence level [ Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 ], but no genetic data are available for the geographically closer M. magnacornae ). Marisora roatanae is a short-limbed species with a FLL + HLL/SVL of 53.5–58.4% in males and 47.8–57.7 in females (versus 62.5–74.6% and 58.0–67.6%, respectively, in the long limbed M. alliacea ), lacks frontonasal-rostral contact (versus that contact present in 83.0% in M. alliacea ), and has 30 or 32 scales around midbody in 76.7% (versus 26 or 28 in 88.5% in M. alliacea ). Those same short limbs will also distinguish M. roatanae from the long limbed M. magnacornae (HLL + FLL/SVL 60.8–68.7% in males and 55.8–68.0% in females in M. magnacornae ). Marisora roatanae has been diagnosed from the four species of Marisora described herein ( M. lineola , M. aquilonaria , M. syntoma , and M. urtica ) in their respective diagnosis above. Marisora roatanae is most easily distinguished from M. brachypoda in almost always having dark brown to black palms and soles (versus pale brown or cream palms and soles in M. brachypoda ) and having 55–62, x = 60.3 ± 0.5 total lamellae for five toes and 48–55, x = 50.5 + 3.1 for five fingers in males (versus 52–55 x = 53.5 ± 1.3 total lamellae for five toes and 43–46, x = 45.7 ± 1.8 for five fingers in males in M. brachypoda ). Marisora roatanae differs from the extralimital M. pergravis by having fewer ventrals (55–64 in both sexes combined versus 70–73 in M. pergravis ) and fewer dorsals (50–59 versus 62–63 in M. pergravis ). Marisora roatanae has been confused with M. unimarginata of the M. unimarginata group ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 ), but differs from that species in normally lacking distinct dorsal spots (versus distinct dorsal spots present in M. unimarginata ), having the fifth supralabial below the orbit in 80.4% (versus sixth in 81.9% in M. unimarginata ), and in almost always having shorter limbs with a FLL + HLL/SVL of 53.5–58.4% in males and 47.8–57.7 in females (versus 56.9–66.9% and 55.9–69.1%, respectively, in M. unimarginata ).

Distribution. Marisora roatanae is known to occur on the Honduran Bay Islands (Guanaja, Roatán, and Utila) and on the mainland of the Caribbean versant from extreme southeastern Guatemala across northern to north-central Honduras and the southwestern portion (with the exception of the Copán region) to northeastern Nicaragua ( Fig. 6 View FIGURE 6 ). Its known elevational range is from near sea level to about 1510 m, but it appears most common below 600 m.

Remarks. Marisora roatanae was thought to be restricted to Isla de Roatán in Hedges & Conn (2012), but the new genetic data recovered from this study ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 ), and then a closer look at the morphology of numerous specimens, including tissued voucher specimens (Appendix 1) plus the previously sequenced voucher UTA R-41227, discovered the species as occurring widely on the Honduran mainland as far south as the Caribbean headwaters in the southwestern portion. It is also distributed on the extreme southeastern Guatemalan mainland (based only on morphology), as well as in northeastern Nicaragua (voucher of tissued UF 190315). Marisora roatanae was also recovered as a monophyletic clade in the Pinto-Sánchez et al. (2015) genetic study, but not recognized as a species or commented upon. The specimens from the southwestern portion (still Caribbean versant) of Honduras from Intibucá, La Paz, and Lempira are assigned to M. roatanae because of the tissue results from FMNH 283593, which clusters with M. roatanae . However, those specimens differ from typical M. roatanae by having paler palms and soles. Also, some Honduran specimens of M. roatanae from Yoro and near Lago de Yojoa, Cortés and Santa Bárbara, can also have less pigmented palms and soles.

Hedges & Conn (2012) believed Marisora roatanae occurred in “unnaturally low abundance” on Roatán Island, but that does not appear to be the case. This species appears to frequently inhabit the fronds of coconut palms on that island. At least seven were seen on one such palm on a largely overcast afternoon, but none could be captured at that time because of their reluctance to sufficiently leave their hiding places. However, two were collected at that site the following morning during sunny conditions before heavy rains began. Given the number of coconut palms on Roatán, this is likely a quite common lizard on the island. Also, an American living on a small key off the southern coast of Roatán, who owns a copy of the Bay Island book ( McCranie et al. 2005) told JRM these lizards are commonly seen on the ground on his property. That resident also said he generally sees those skinks only during the rainy season. That was also the opinion of the man and woman on whose property the coconut palm discussed above was on.

Summaries of the Honduran lizard fauna have recorded these lizards in Honduras as Mabuya agilis (see Dunn & Emlen 1932), M. mabouya (see Meyer & Wilson 1973), or Marisora brachypoda or M. roatanae (see McCranie 2015, 2018). Images of M. roatanae are in Hedges & Conn (2012), Köhler (2000, 2003; both as M. unimarginata ), McCranie (2018), and McCranie et al. (2002, 2005, 2006; as M. unimarginata in all three). The study of endoparasites by Goldberg and Bursey (2003; as M. unimarginata ) represent M. roatanae .














Marisora roatanae Hedges & Conn

Mccranie, James R., Matthews, Amy J. & Hedges, S. Blair 2020

Marisora roatanae Hedges & Conn 2012:132

Marisora roatanae Hedges & Conn 2012:132
McCranie 2015:370
McCranie 2018:344

Mabuya unimarginata

Pinto-Sánchez et al. 2015:195

Marisora brachypoda

McCranie 2018:344
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