Wednesday, September 21, 2016

[Herpetology • 2016] Placosoma limaverdorum • A New Species of Lizard Placosoma Tschudi, 1847 (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from the Relictual Forest Mountains of the State of Ceará, Brazil

Placosoma limaverdorum 
Borges-Nojosa, Caramaschi & Rodrigues,  2016 


A new species of Placosoma Tschudi, 1847, until now restricted to the Atlantic Forest areas of southeastern Brazil is described based on specimens obtained about 1700 km north to the current distribution of the genus. Placosoma limaverdorum spec. nov. is apparently endemic to three “brejos-de-altitude”, relictual forest mountains surrounded by dry Caatingas, in the State of Ceará, northeastern Brazil. It differs from their congeners by the presence of an undivided transparent palpebral disk, a divided nasal scale with a central nostril, a deep tympanic recess, a distinctive and thin light vertebral stripe on the dorsal surface of the head, body and tail, femoral pores present only in males (21–26), preanal pores absent and additionally by having 21–24 rows of transverse ventral scales, 34–38 dorsals, dorsal, lateral and ventral scales smooth, dorsal scales quadrangular, longer than wide, except in the neck region, where they are wider than long.

Keywords: Reptilia, Placosoma limaverdorum spec. nov., Brejos-de-altitude, Northeastern Brazil

Etymology. The species honors Prof. Dr. José Santiago Lima-Verde, an important collaborator of herpetological studies in the State of Ceará, who started the Herpetological Collection of the Universidade Federal do Ceará (CHUFC) and the Núcleo Regional de Ofiologia da UFC (NUROF-UFC). This description is also a tribute to the agronomist Wilson Luiz Lima-Verde, owner of the cottage (Sítio Olho d’Água dos Tangarás) where the holotype was obtained.

Distribution and natural history. The type series of Placosoma limaverdorum indicate that the species occurs in the forested mountains of Serra de Baturité (4o05’–4o40’S/38o30’–39o10’W), and Serra de Maranguape (3o54’–4o03’S/38o32’–38o40’W) in the state of Ceará, northeastern Brazil from where it is apparently endemic (Figure 4). Another record, although without voucher (P.C.M.D. Mesquita, personal information and photo) confirm its occurrence at Serra da Aratanha (3º55’–3º58’S/38º38’–38º36’W), another nearby forest region. These areas, the called “brejos de altitude”, are forest islands isolated in the semiarid Caatingas. Placosoma limaverdorum was always found inside the forest. Most specimens were spotted on the leaf litter of the primary and secondary vegetation, or in banana plantations (Lima 2005), in sympatry with the gymnophthalmids Leposoma baturitensis Rodrigues & Borges, 1997, Colobosauroides cearensis Cunha, Lima-Verde & Lima, 1991 and Stenolepis ridleyi Boulenger, 1887. Two specimens were found in tree trunks, one on a central part of the trunk of a thin tree, about 1.3 m high, and the other in a vertical branch, about 1.2 m from the ground, between epiphytes and lichens. Three specimens were taken from the stomach contents of the snake Drymoluber dichrous (Peters, 1863) from Serra de Maranguape (Borges-Nojosa & Lima 2001).

 Diva Maria Borges-Nojosa, Ulisses Caramaschi and Miguel Trefaut Rodrigues. 2016. A New Species of Lizard Placosoma Tschudi, 1847 (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from the Relictual Forest Mountains of the State of Ceará, Brazil.
 4169(1); 160–170. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4169.1.8

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