Thursday, June 4, 2020

[Herpetology • 2020] Eremias kakari • A New Species of Eremias (Squamata: Lacertidae) from the Arid Mountains of Pakistan

Eremias kakari 
Masroor, Khisroon, Khan & Jablonski, 2020

A new, morphologically distinctive lacertid lizard of the genus Eremias (Rhabderemias) is described from the arid mountains of northwestern Balochistan Province in Pakistan. Eremias kakari sp. nov. has an isolated distribution and can be easily distinguished from all other species of mainly desert subgenus Rhabderemias (E. andersoni, E. cholistanica, E. fasciata, E. lineolata, E. pleskei, E. scripta, E. vermiculata). Apart from other differences, Eremias kakari sp. nov. can be distinguished from geographically close members of the subgenus Rhabderemias (E. cholistanica, E. fasciata, and E. scripta) by having a single row of subdigital lamellae and a complete row of lateral scales and hence three scales around the penultimate phalanx of 4th toe. The new species is morphologically (dorsal pattern) very similar to E. fasciata but can be distinguished from this species for having 22–26 subdigital lamellae under 4th toe, 48–55 dorsal scales across midbody, ventrals in 11–14 oblique longitudinal series across the belly, 17–21 femoral pores and 17–21 scales in the 9th–10th annulus posterior to the postcloacal granules. The new species is currently known only from the type locality situated in the Toba Kakar Range, near to Tanishpa village. However, we expect that Eremias kakari sp. nov. would have a broader range in northwestern Pakistan and southeastern Afghanistan. An identification key for the Pakistani Eremias, together with other remarks to the new species, is presented.

Keywords: Reptilia, Afghanistan, Balochistan, Eremias fasciata, endemism, Palearctic region, Rhabderemias, Torghar Mountains.

FIGURE 6. Live individuals of Eremias kakari sp. nov. in type locality:
A—paratype PMNH 4048, adult, male; B—paratype PMNH 4092, subadult.

Genus Eremias Fitzinger, 1834
Subgenus Rhabderemias Lantz, 1928

Eremias kakari sp. nov.
 Suggested vernacular name: Kakar’s Racerunner

Diagnosis. A medium-sized lacertid lizard, maximum snout-vent length (SVL) = 52.2 mm, tail being 1.9 to 2.2 times longer than body length (SVL), hindlimbs relatively long (HLL/SVL ratio 0.58–0.66); subocular scale reaching to the edge of the mouth, 5–7 (mainly 6) supralabials anterior to subocular; dorsals 48–55; ventrals in 11–14 oblique longitudinal series; frontal mostly separated from supraoculars or in few instances in contact with anterior large supraocular only; height of the first two to three transverse rows of ventral scales in pectoral region more than its breadth; 17–21 femoral pores on each side, separated medially by 4–5 scales, the space between the femoral pores about one–fourth or less than one–fourth length of each row; toes without fringe, encircled by three scales and with a single series of 22–26 unicarinate scales underneath. Hindlimbs reach to the base of collar in males and to the axilla of forelimbs in females. Color creamy beige in life with eight dark brown stripes on body dorsum (including the narrow stripes on flanks) and an additional short median stripe (nuchal) originating from the junction of parietals.

 Etymology: The species is dedicated to the “Kakar” tribe of Pashtun people inhabiting the Torghar Mountains in the Toba Kakar Range where the holotype and paratypes were collected.

FIGURE 1. The type localities of the members of the subgenus Rhabderemias including the new species, Eremias kakari sp. nov.

FIGURE 7. The type locality and habitat of Eremias kakari sp. nov. near the Tanishpa village, Toba Kakar Range:
A—cultivated orchards along the type locality; B—type locality of E. kakari sp. nov.

Rafaqat Masroor, Muhammad Khisroon, Muazzam Ali Khan and Daniel Jablonski. 2020. A New Species of Eremias (Squamata: Lacertidae) from the Arid Mountains of Pakistan. Zootaxa. 4786(1); 101–121. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4786.1.8