Thursday, January 5, 2023

[Herpetology • 2023] Proctoporus titans • A New Species of Proctoporus (Gymnophthalmidae: Cercosaurinae) from the Puna of the Otishi National Park in Peru


Proctoporus titans 
Lehr, Cusi, Fernandez, Vera & Catenazzi, 2023

We describe a new species of Proctoporus from the scientifically unexplored southern sector of the Otishi National Park (Region Cusco) in Peru, on the basis of molecular and morphological characters. Seven type specimens were obtained from six localities between 3241–3269 m a.s.l. within a radius of ca. 1.5 km in a Puna valley. Nine adult specimens (four males, five females) from Chiquintirca (Region Ayacucho, ca. 85 km airline from the type locality) are considered referred specimens. Males of the new species have a snout–vent length of 41.3–53.9 mm ( = 46.7, n = 6), females have a snout–vent length of 43.6–52.6 mm ( = 48.1, n = 8). The new species has dorsal scales striated, four supraoculars, four anterior supralabials, loreal and prefrontal scales absent, two pairs of genials (rarely one or three), three rows of pregulars, and five to seven femoral pores in males (absent in females). Sexual dimorphism is evident in the ventral coloration: males have neck, chest, and belly dark gray to black, whereas females have neck, chest, and belly pale gray with a diffuse dark gray fleck in the center of each scale, and an orange iris with a fringed pupil in both sexes.

Keywords: reptiles; lizards; Andean montane forests; Region Ayacucho; Region Cusco; Region Junín; protected areas; narco-trafficking

Family Gymnophthalmidae Fitzinger, 1826 
Subfamily Cercosaurinae Gray, 1838

Genus Proctoporus Tschudi, 1845

Proctoporus titans sp. nov. Lehr, Cusi, Fernandez, Vera and Catenazzi, 2023.

 Life holotype of Proctoporus titans sp. nov. (MUSM 40916)
in dorsolateral (A), dorsal (B), and ventral views (C). SVL 53.9 mm.

  Life female of Proctoporus titans sp. nov. (MUSM 40915, paratype)
 in dorsolateral (A), dorsal (B), and ventral views (C). SVL 46.0 mm.

Etymology: The species epithet titans is used in reference to the Titan community of Illinois Wesleyan University, including former, current, and future students, faculty, and staff. We dedicate this species in recognition of the Titans’ mission “To go out and do well, but more importantly, to do good.”

  Habitat and natural history of Proctoporus titans sp. nov. 
 (A): Panorama of the valley in southern view over the Pantano la Esperanza swamp toward the mountain ridge and swamp, taken 25 May 2022 at 11:44 AM.
(B): western slope of the valley with Peruvian feathergrass in southeastern view taken from the campsite on 21 May 2022 at 8:22 AM. (C): Kitamarapó Waterfall in close aspect taken 25 May 2022 at 11:20 AM.
(D): type locality of P. titans sp. nov. in western view taken on 17 May 2022 at 11:10 AM. (E): Hatchling (MUSM 40917) of P. titans sp. nov., taken on 17 May 2022 at 9:46 AM.

Edgar Lehr, Juan C. Cusi, Maura I. Fernandez, Ricardo J. Vera and Alessandro Catenazzi. 2023. A New Species of Proctoporus (Reptilia, Gymnophthalmidae, Cercosaurinae) from the Puna of the Otishi National Park in Peru. Taxonomy. 3(1); 10-28. DOI: 10.3390/taxonomy3010002