Tuesday, February 14, 2012

[Herpetology • 2005] Proctoporus subsolanus • Phylogenetic relationships of the genus Proctoporus sensu stricto (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae), with a new species from Puno, Southeastern Peru

The genus Proctoporus sensu stricto is a poorly known gymnophthalmid lizard clade distributed across the Andes  of  southern Peru  and  Bolivia. Recent  collecting  efforts in  central and southeru Peru  recovered specimens and tissues of all known members of the genus, enabling the first complete phylogeny of the genus to be constructed. In addition, a new species was found in Puno, Peru and is described herein. We analyzed  DNA sequences of three mitochondrial genes using maximum parsimony and Bayesian MCMC methods to reconstruct a phylogeny of the group. The phylogeny suggests an ancient split between a newly discovered lineage from Puno and the remaining species that coincides geographically with its isolated range. Proctoporus pachyurus and P. sucullucu form sister species; P. bolivianus forms a clade with P. unsaacae + P. guentheri. The elevationally restricted ranges of all known Proctoporus species likely have contributed to the high species diversity found in southerm Peru. Both allopatric and parapatric modes of speciation are proposed to explain the diversification of Proctoporus species. 

Keywords:  Andes;  Gymnophthalmidae; New  species;  Peru;  Phylogeny; Proctoporus; Puno;  South America; Squamata; Taxonomy

Proctoporus subsolanus  sp. nov. 
Holotype.-UTA  R-52944 (Fig. 3), a gravid adult  female,  from  the  town  of  Sandia (14.342750  S,  69.462740  W),  Province  of Sandia, Department of  Puno, Peru; 2100  m; collected on 19 June 2003 by Tiffany M. Doan.

Distribution.- Proctoporus  subsolanus  is known only from the type locality in northern Puno, in the  Sandia Province. This area lies within the Cordillera de Apolobamba, on the easternmost  flank  of  the  central  Andes  of southern Peru. Specimens of this species were found between  2100  and 2221 m. This slope abruptly drops into the  lowland rainforest of the Tambopata National Reserve. 

Habitat and ecology.- Specimens  of  this species  were  found  within  and  around the town of  Sandia often on agricultural terraces where maize and other crops were being cultivated. These areas were probably once covered in cloud forest before human occupation of the area by the Incan civilization. All specimens  were  found  beneath  stones  on  the ground. Stomach contents were  analyzed in four specimens and consisted of coleopterans, hymenopterans (adult and larval ants), isopods, and some unknown arthropod legs. Two gravid females were found to contain two eggs each. 

Etymology.- The  specific epithet 'subsolanus ' is a Latin adjective meaning eastern. This name refers to the species occurring on the easternmost flank of the Andes Mountains in southern Peru. The Cordillera de Apolobamba is the final mountain range before the mountains descend into the Amazon Basin.

Doan, T.F.; Castoe, T.A. & Arizábal Arriaga, W. 2005. Phylogenetic relationships of the genus Proctoporus sensu stricto (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae), with a new species from Puno, Southeastern Peru. Herpetologica 61 (3): 325-336 http://www.jstor.org/stable/3893478