Saturday, April 22, 2017

[Herpetology • 2017] Revision of the Phylogeny and Chorology of the Tribe Iphisini with the Revalidation of Colobosaura kraepelini Werner, 1910 (Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae)

Colobosaura kraepelini Werner, 1910

The family Gymnophthalmidae contains nearly 235 species with a distribution range from southern Mexico to central Argentina as well as in the Antilles. Among gymnophthalmids, the genus Colobosaura is a member of the tribe Iphisini, and currently is considered monotypic (C. modesta). The diversity of the tribe was studied recently, with the erection of several new genera. In this work genetic and morphological data of specimens of Colobosaura recently collected in Paraguay were analyzed. Genetic (16S barcode) data indicate that these samples are not conspecific with C. modesta and they are allocated to the nominal species C. kraepelini. Because the original primary type of the latter taxon is considered to be lost, a neotype (SMF 101370) is designated for this species and a redescription provided based on our material. Colobosaura kraepelini is distributed in the Humid Chaco, being the only member of the whole tribe in this ecoregion.

Keywords: 16S barcodes, Humid Chaco, neotype, Paraguay, taxonomy

Figure 3. Neotype of Colobosaura kraepelini (SMF 101370) from the vicinity of Altos, Cordillera Department, Paraguay. 

Colobosaura kraepelini Werner, 1910

Colobosaura kraepelini Werner, 1910: 32 (neotype, SMF 101370 [by present designation] (Fig. 3); type locality: 2.5 km E of Altos (25.2588°S, 57.2850°W, ca 280 masl), Cordillera Department, Paraguay by neotype selection). Original type locality: Puerto Max, San Pedro Department, Paraguay.

Diagnosis: Colobosaura kraepelini differs from the other species of the family Gymnophthalmidae except for C. modesta, by a combination of the following characters: limbs short but well developed; Finger I vestigial, not clawed; dorsal and lateral body scales keeled; four longitudinal series of ventral scales; prefrontal present; occipital present; two pairs of chin shields. Colobosaura kraepelini differs from C. modesta by having two mid-central rows of immaculate scales (vs. four immaculate ventral rows in C. modesta); flanks completely dark (Fig. 3) (vs. clear mottling in that area in C. modesta, Fig. 4); and gular shields profusely suffused with dark reaching the midline (vs. dark mottling restricted to the external edge of the shields, Fig. 5).

Distribution and habitat: The species is distributed in the Humid Chaco. The environment is basically a savanna composed of palms (Copernicia alba), native bunch grasses, and scattered islands of semideciduous temperate forest. The area is adapted to periodical floods from the Paraguay River. The locality of Puerto Max (former type locality of C. kraepelini) consists of a small village and cattle farm with intense anthropic pressure. The new specimens (SMF 101370 and MNHNP 11726) came from the vicinities of the capital city, about 280 km (airline) southwards from the original type locality, also in Humid Chaco.

Figure 4. Specimen of Colobosaura modesta showing lateral coloration patter.
Image by Paul Smith (Fauna Paraguay). 

    Pier Cacciali, Nicolás Martínez and Gunther Köhler. 2017. Revision of the Phylogeny and Chorology of the Tribe Iphisini with the Revalidation of Colobosaura kraepelini Werner, 1910 (Reptilia, Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae).
 ZooKeys. 669; 89-105.  DOI:  10.3897/zookeys.669.12245

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