|Abronia zongolica |
García-Vázquez, Clause, Gutiérrez-Rodríguez, Cazares-Hernández & Torre-Loranca, 2022
We describe a new arboreal alligator lizard species in the genus Abronia from the Sierra de Zongolica in west-central Veracruz, Mexico. The new species is presently known only from the vicinity of the type locality. It is diagnosable from all congeners by the following combination of characters: one occipital scale, two primary temporal scales contacting the postocular series, moderately protuberant posterolateral head scales, lack of protuberant or spine-like supra-auricular scales, 30–34 transverse dorsal scale rows, dorsal scales on the flanks arranged in slightly oblique longitudinal rows relative to the ventrolateral fold, and lateralmost ventral scale row unexpanded relative to the adjacent medial row. The new species occurs sympatrically with Abronia graminea, but genomic data assign it to the oaxacae group as the sister species of A. oaxacae, a finding that is corroborated by morphological evidence. We briefly discuss the regional biogeography of arboreal Abronia and comment on the Sierra de Zongolica as a complex transitional area of high species richness and conservation importance.
Abronia zongolica, new species
Sierra de Zongolica Arboreal Alligator Lizard
Dragoncito de la Sierra de Zongolica
Diagnosis.—Abronia zongolica can be distinguished from all described congeners (including members of the former genus Mesaspis) by the following combination of characters: (1) one occipital scale; (2) two primary temporal scales contacting the postocular series; (3) posterolateral head scales moderately protuberant; (4) supra-auricular scales granular, not protuberant or spine-like; (5) 30–34 transverse dorsal scale rows; (6) dorsal scales on the flanks arranged in slightly oblique longitudinal rows relative to the ventrolateral fold; (7) lateralmost row of ventral scales unexpanded relative to the adjacent medial row.
Etymology.—The specific epithet zongolica is a feminine singular adjective in the nominative case and refers to the Sierra de Zongolica of Veracruz, Mexico. This mountain range supports the only confirmed populations of the new species. The name “zongolica” appears to be derived from the words “tzoncolican” or “tzoncolihucan” in the Nahuatl language, which roughly translate as “where hair is braided” (Melgarejo Vivanco, 1950).
Uri Omar García-Vázquez, Adam G. Clause, Jorge Gutiérrez-Rodríguez, Erasmo Cazares-Hernández and Miguel Ángel de la Torre-Loranca. 2022. A New Species of Abronia (Squamata: Anguidae) from the Sierra de Zongolica of Veracruz, Mexico. Ichthyology & Herpetology. 110(1); 33-49. DOI: 10.1643/h2021051