Selvasaura brava , 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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Selvasaura brava sp. n.
(Figs 5, 6). MUSM 32738 (sample code IWU 381; MorphoBank pictures: M485668-M485671), an adult male from the border of the Pui Pui Protected Forest (11.211S, 74.958W; WGS84), 1700 m elevation, Distrito Pichanaqui, Provincia Chanchamayo, Región Junín, Peru, collected on 19 May 2014 by Edgar Lehr and Jiří Moravec.
(Fig. 7). Five: two adult males: NMP6V 75653 (sample code IWU 380; MorphoBank pictures: M485674-M485678), NMP6V 75654 (sample code IWU 382) and one juvenile MUSM 32739 (not included in the genetic analyses), all collected at the type locality on 19 May 2014 by Edgar Lehr and Jiří Moravec; one adult female MUSM 32718 (sample code IWU 339; MorphoBank pictures: M485672-M485673) and one juvenile NMP6V 75655 (sample code IWU 340; MorphoBank pictures: M485679-M485680), both collected at the border of the Pui Pui Protected Forest (11.208S, 74.955W; WGS84), 1678 m elevation, Distrito Pichanaqui, Provincia Chanchamayo, Región Junín, Peru, on 12 May 2014 by Edgar Lehr and Jiří Moravec.
A small gymnophthalmid (SVL 42.1-45.9 mm, n = 4), which can be characterised by the following combination of characters: 1) body slender, slightly depressed, maximum SVL 45.9 mm in males, 42.1 mm in a single female; 2) head relatively short, pointed, about 1.5 times longer than wide; 3) ear opening distinct, moderately recessed; 4) nasals separated by undivided frontonasal; 5) prefrontals, frontal, frontoparietals, parietals, postparietals and interparietal present; 6) parietals slightly longer than wide; 7) supraoculars four, anteriormost fused with anteriormost superciliar; 8) superciliar series complete, consisting of four scales; 9) nasal shield divided above and below or behind the nostril; 10) loreal separated or in contact with second supralabial; 11) supralabials seven; 12) genials in four pairs, first and second pair in contact; 13) collar present, containing 9-11 enlarged scales; 14) dorsals in 33-36 transverse rows, rectangular, nearly twice as long as wide, subimbricate, rugose in adults, slightly keeled in juveniles; 15) ventrals in 22-25 transverse rows, squared to rectangular, smooth, juxtaposed; 16) scales around mid-body 32-34; 17) lateral scales at mid-body reduced in 4-7 lines; 18) limbs pentadactyl, all digits clawed, forelimb reaching anteriorly to third supralabial; 19) subdigital lamellae under Finger IV 14-16, under Toe IV 18-22; 20) femoral pores in males 7-9; 21) four large preanal plate scales; 22) tail about 1.5-1.7 times longer than body (in juveniles); 23) caudals subimbricate, rugose to slightly keeled dorsally in adults, slightly keeled in juveniles, smooth ventrally; 24) lower palpebral disc transparent, undivided; 25) in life, dorsal surface of head, body and limbs light brown with fine dark brown speckling, dorsal surface of tail light brown with a reddish tint or reddish-brown markings; a tan or yellowish brown vertebral stripe bordered laterally by dark brown, vertebral stripe extends on head anteriorly and on tail caudally (inconspicuous in the female); a narrow dirty white to tan dorsolateral line extending on each side from above the tympanum to pelvic region (discontinuous caudally from the level of forelimbs in adults, reaching posterior edge of orbit in some individuals); a narrow dirty white to tan stripe running from above the orbit across parietals and first postparietals up to the neck (connected with the dorsolateral line in some individuals); a narrow white stripe extending from below of orbit to insertion of forelimbs (bordered dorsally by black in juveniles and some adults); minute ocelli-like white spots on flanks (most conspicuous at forearm insertion, absent in some adults); ventrolateral parts of flanks whitish brown; throat and belly creamy white with fine dark grey speckling inside the individual scales (yellowish white with black speckling in juveniles); ventral surfaces of limbs, anal area and tail yellowish white in males and juveniles, white in the female; iris tan with orange tint in males, tan in the female.
Description of the holotype.
Body slender; legs moderately long, tail regenerated; head length 22.0% of SVL, head width 14.6% of SVL; snout pointed, moderately long, eye-nose distance 34.7% of HL; neck distinct, collar present; head scales smooth; rostral scale wider than long, slightly higher than adjacent supralabials, in contact with frontonasal, nasals, and first supralabials; frontonasal slightly wider than long, prefrontals present, in wide contact medially; frontal longer than wide, in contact with second and third supraoculars; frontoparietals in contact with third and fourth supraoculars, parietals and interparietal; supraoculars four, none in contact with ciliaries; superciliary series complete, consisting of four shields; anteriormost superciliary fused with anteriormost supraocular, in contact with prefrontal and loreal anteriorly; parietals (left divided) in contact with frontoparietal, fourth supraocular, dorsalmost postocular (separated by small interstitial shield on the left side), one temporal and two postparietals; interparietal longer than wide (divided posteriorly), in contact with three postparietals posteriorly; postparietals six; nasal shield divided above and below the nostril, in contact with first and second supralabial; frenocular triangular, in contact with loreal and second, third and fourth (at one point) supralabial ventrally on the left side and with loreal, nasal (at one point) and second and third supralabial on the right side; palpebral disc oval, translucent, undivided; postoculars three; temporals polygonal, supratympanic temporal one; supralabials seven, fifth below the centre of eye; infralabials six; mental wider than long, in contact with first infralabials; postmental single, in contact with first and second infralabials; genials in four pairs, first and second pair in contact medially, first pair in contact with second and third infralabials, second pair in contact with third and fourth infralabials, third pair in contact with fourth and fifth infralabials, fourth pair in contact with fifth and sixth infralabials; gulars 14; plates in collar 11; dorsal scales homogenous, rectangular, longer than wide, subimbricate, rugose, in 34 transverse rows; dorsals (enlarged scales) across body at fifth transverse ventral scale row 10, at 10th transverse ventral scale row 16, at 15th transverse ventral scale row 16; laterals (smaller lateral scales) at fifth transverse ventral scale row 8-9, at 10th transverse ventral scale row 4-5, at 15th transverse ventral scale row 4-5; ventrals squared to rectangular, juxtaposed, in 23 transverse rows; ventrals across belly at mid-body 10; scales around midbody 32; anterior preanal plate scales two; posterior preanal plate scales four; scales on tail rectangular, subimbricate, slightly keeled dorsally at tail base, smooth and juxtaposed ventrally; subdigital lamellae under Finger IV 14/15 (4/5 distal lamellae single and smooth, remaining lamellae divided in two subconical segments); subdigital lamellae under Toe IV 19/18 (4/4 distal lamellae single and smooth, remaining lamellae divided in two subconical segments); femoral pores 9/7.
Measurements of the holotype (in mm).
SVL 45.9; TL (tail regenerated) 38.5; HL 10.1; HW 6.7; HD 5.4; EN 3.5; FLL 11.5; HLL 16.5; AGD 25.0.
Colouration of the holotype in life.
(Fig. 6). Head, body, and limbs light brown dorsally with fine dark brown speckling, dorsal surface of tail light brown with reddish brown markings; a tan to yellowish brown vertebral stripe bordered laterally by dark brown, the vertebral stripe is about two dorsal scales wide and extends on the head anteriorly and the tail caudally; a nearly inconspicuous tan dorsolateral line extending on each side from above the tympanum to pelvic region, the line becomes discontinuous and barely visible from the level of forelimbs; a barely visible narrow tan stripe bordered by dark brown ventrally running from above the orbit across parietals and first postparietals and disappearing before reaching the neck; a narrow white stripe bordered by dark brown dorsally extending from below of orbit to insertion of forelimbs; ocelli-like spots on flanks absent; ventrolateral parts of flanks whitish brown; throat and belly creamy white with fine dark grey speckling inside the individual scales; ventral surfaces of limbs, anal area and tail yellowish white; iris tan with an orange tint.
Colouration of the holotype in preservative.
General colouration pattern is as described for the holotype in life. The dorsal colouration has a bronze-brown tint, the reddish brown markings on the tail disappeared. Ventral surfaces dirty white with fine dark grey speckling.
(Fig. 7c; MorphoBank pictures: M485676-M485677). The hemipenes of the paratype NMP6V 75653 were everted during preservation and fixed in alcohol. The completely everted organs measure approximately 5 mm. The hemipenial body has a conical shape with proximal region distinctly thinner than the distal region with lobes. The hemipenial lobes are relatively large, ovoid, distinct from the hemipenial body and do not possess filiform appendages. The flounces on the asulcate side form about 14 discontinuous, but nearly complete, more or less horizontal lines expanding widely on the lateral sides of the distal part of the hemipenial body. There are about seven isolated nearly horizontal flounces on the proximal-central region of the asulcate side. Flounce ornamentation consists of subtle, barely visible denticulation. The sulcus spermaticus begins at the hemipenial base and proceeds in a straight central line towards the lobes. It is edged by lateral fleshy nude areas, which expand in two lateral wings covering the area of lobular division. In that area, the sulcus spermaticus forks into two arms separated by a central fold, which has about eight horizontal ribs. The sulcate arms terminate among lobes and lateral fleshy wings in the apical area of the hemipenis.
Measurements and scutellation data of the type series are given in Table 5. Colour variation is described in the species diagnosis. In juveniles, the colour pattern is generally brighter than in adults and consists of distinct vertebral and dorsolateral lines and ocelli-like spots on flanks. In the single female, the dorsal colouration is nearly uniformly light brown and the vertebral and dorsolateral lines as well as the ocelli-like spots are poorly developed (Fig. 7.).
The species epithet brava is derived from the Spanish adjective bravo (brave, courageous, wild; brava the feminine form) and refers to Río Bravo, the largest river in the area of occurrence of the new species, as well as to the fearless nature of the lizard to share shelter with people.
Distribution, natural history, and threat status.
Selvasaura brava sp. n. is known from two localities lying at the northeastern border of the Pui Pui Protected Forest, ca. 18 km (straight airline distance) NW of the town of Satipo (Fig. 1). Both localities are located in the valley of the tributary of Río Bravo (on opposite banks of the tributary) about 500 m (straight distance) from each other. The valley and its slopes are covered by a primary montane rainforest characterized by 15-20 m high canopy and frequent occurrence of bromeliads, ferns, and epiphytic mosses (see also Lehr and Moravec (2017). All specimens of S. brava sp. n. were collected during the day within roofs of provisional camp shacks consisting of dried palm leaves and built by locals on small forest clearings (Fig. 8; MorphoBank picture: M485681). The roofs of the shacks were placed on 1.5-4 m pillars made of tree trunks and stood in an open space fully exposed to sun. The activity of all observed specimens seemed correlated with the intensity of solar radiation. During the sunny hours, the animals emerged from their shelters in the leaf layer, climbed and basked on the roof surface and searched for prey. As agile climbers, the lizards were able to climb up thin vertical tree trunks and jump between the palm leaves. These observations indicate that S. brava sp. n. represents an arboreal heliothermic species. Other gymnophthalmid species found at the type locality in sympatry with S. brava sp. n. included Potamites sp. (not included in the genetic analyses), which inhabited banks of small forest brooks, and Proctoporus sp. 4 (sensu this publication, Fig. 3) collected on the ground in the open clearing. With respect to the sparse data available, we suggest classifying S. brava as "Data Deficient" according to the IUCN red list criteria.
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