Tuesday, November 7, 2017

[Herpetology • 2017] Takydromus albomaculosus • A New Species of the Genus Takydromus (Squamata: Lacertidae) from Tianjingshan Forestry Station, northern Guangdong, China

Takydromus albomaculosus
Wang, Gong, Liu & Wang, 2017 


Many early descriptions of species of the genus Takydromus were based on limited diagnostic characteristics. This has caused considerable challenges in accurate species identification, meaning that a number of cryptic species have been erroneously identified as known species, resulting in substantially underestimated species diversity. We have integrated evidence from morphology and DNA sequence data to describe a new species of the Asian Grass Lizard, Takydromus albomaculosus sp. nov., based on two specimens from Tianjingshan Forestry Station, Ruyuan County, Guangdong Province, China. The new species can be distinguished from other known Takydromus species by distinctive morphological differences and significant genetic divergence in the mitochondrial COI gene. Morphologically, the new species differs from the known 22 congeners in the following combination of characters: relatively large body size, SVL 70.9 mm in female, 65.5 mm in male; presence of three or four pairs of femoral pores and four pairs of chin-shields; supraoculars three, rarely four, the posterior loreal either in contact with the anteriormost supraocular or not; the presence of supraciliary granules; the presence of six rows of ventral scales, strongly keeled in the male, and smooth but with the outermost row keeled in the female; the presence of enlarged and keeled lateral scales in a row above the ventrals, but shorter than the ventrals; subdigital lamellae 23–24 under the fourth finger and 29–30 under the fourth toe; dorsal surface brown, ventral surface green, flank dark brown or brown black with several prominent white round spots; the presence of a pair of white longitudinal dorsolateral stripes and a pair of white longitudinal ventrolateral stripes. Takydromus albomaculosus sp. nov. represents the twenty-third species of this genus, of which six species occur in northern Guangdong, where the biodiversity level of Takydromus is the second highest in the world, just below that of Taiwan.

Keywords: Reptilia, China, Lacertidae, Takydromus, morphology, mtDNA, new species, taxonomy

FIGURE 3. Showing the main morphological features of Takydromus albomaculosus sp. nov.:
M: male holotype SYS r 001624; F: female paratype SYS r 001296.
a: dorsal view of head and nape; b: ventral view of head and neck; c: lateral view of head and neck; d: showing ventral scales on posterior belly and hindlimbs, femoral pores, preanal scales and subcaudals; e: dorsal head and body.

Takydromus albomaculosus sp. nov.

Etymology. The specific name “albomaculosus” refers to the “white round spots” on the flanks of body, which are the diagnostic features of this new species. We propose the standard English name “white spotted East Asian Grass Lizard”, and the Chinese name “Tianjingshan Cao Xi”.

FIGURE 4. The general aspects (in life) of six species occurring on the Chinese mainland.
A: Takydromus albomaculosus sp. nov., Am: adult male holotype SYS r 001624; Af: adult female paratype SYS r 001292;
B: T. sexlineatus, Bm: adult male SYS r 000127; By: subadult female SYS r 001335;
C: T. septentrionalis, upper: adult female; lower: adult male;
D: T. sylvaticus, adult male topotype SYS 001276;
E: T. intermedius, Em: adult male topotype SYS r 001601; Ef: adult female topotype SYS r 001602;
F: T. kuehnei, Fm: adult male specimen SYS r 001268; Ff: adult female specimen SYS r 001338.

 Ying-Yong Wang, Shi-Ping Gong, Peng Liu and Xin Wang. 2017. A New Species of the Genus Takydromus (Squamata: Lacertidae) from Tianjingshan Forestry Station, northern Guangdong, China.  Zootaxa. 4338(3); 441–458.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4338.3.2

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