Friday, February 17, 2012

[Herpetology • 2004 ] Echinosaura brachycephala • A new species of Echinosaura (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from Ecuador

FIG. 2.  Head of holotype of Echinosaura  brachycephala (MHNG 2359.77). (A) Lateral view; (B) dorsal view; (C) ventral view. Scale bars equal 5.0 mm. 

A new species of Echinosaura, Echinosaura brachycephala, is described from two localities on the Pacific versant of the Ecuadorian Andes. The new species differs from all other species of the genus by its conspicuously short head with a high domed snout in lateral profile and various scalation characteristics including the number of ventral scales per caudal segment, the arrangement of  dorsal body scales, and a reduced or absent postmental scale. A key to the species of Echinosaura and Teuchocercus  is provided.

Etymology.- The  species  name  is  derived  the Greek  brachy, meaning  "short"  and  the  Greek cephal, meaning  "head" in  reference to the  conspicuously short head  of this species.

FIG. 6. Distribution of the Ecuadorian species of Echinosaura. Echinosaura brachycephala (triangles; typelocality encircled), Echinosaura horrida (circles), Echinosaura orcesi (squares), and Teuchocercus keyi (inverted triangles).

FIG. 4.  Lateral view  of head. (A) Echinosaura horrida (ZFMK 43768); (B) Echinosaura brachycephala (ZFMK 46371); (C) Teuchocercus keyi (MHNG 2284.59); (D) Echinosaura palmeri (BMNH 1923.10.12.14); (E) Echinosaura panamensis (ZFMK 49107); (F) Echinosaura orcesi (NMW F 3087). Drawings  by Mathias Giinther. 

Köhler, G.; Böhme, W. & Schmitz, A. 2004. A new species of Echinosaura (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from Ecuador. Journal of Herpetology 38 (1): 52-60