Saturday, March 10, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Ophisops pushkarensis & O. kutchensis • Two New Species of the Ophisops microlepis (Squamata: Lacertidae) Complex from northwestern India with A Key to Indian Ophisops


Ophisops pushkarensis Ophisops kutchensis
Agarwal, Khandekar, Ramakrishnan, Vyas & Giri, 2018


ABSTRACT
We describe two new species of the lacertid genus Ophisops based on a series of 19 specimens from semi-arid habitats in the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan in northwestern India, provide a description of Ophisops microlepis sensu stricto, and a key to Indian OphisopsOphisops pushkarensis sp. nov. and Ophisops kutchensis sp. nov. are allied to Ophisops microlepis and can be diagnosed from all other Indian Ophisops by the fusion of the lower and upper eyelids, their large body size (snout to vent length > 50 mm), and ≥ 50 scales around midbody. They differ from O. microlepis and each other in the number of scales around midbody, the number of dorsal scales, subtle colour pattern differences, as well as uncorrected mitochondrial sequence divergence (6–9%). These are some of the only known endemic reptiles in these semi-arid landscapes and indicate that many other such habitats may harbour endemic biodiversity.

KEYWORDS: Aravalli Range, cytochrome b, Eremiadinae, Kutch, tropic of cancer


Figure 7. (B) Ophisops pushkarensis sp. nov., holotype BNHS 2031;
(C) Ophisops kutchensis sp. nov., paratype BNHS 2024.


Ophisops pushkarensis sp. nov. 
Pushkar small-scaled snake-eye

Etymology. The name is for the type locality of the new species, Pushkar, in Rajasthan, India.


Ophisops kutchensis sp. nov. 
Kutch small-scaled snake-eye

Etymology. The name is for the type locality of the new species, in Kutch District, India.

  
Ishan Agarwal, Akshay Khandekar, Uma Ramakrishnan, Raju Vyas and Varad B. Giri. 2018. Two New Species of the Ophisops microlepis (Squamata: Lacertidae) Complex from northwestern India with A Key to Indian OphisopsJournal of Natural History.  DOI: 10.1080/00222933.2018.1436203

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