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A New Subspecies of Lizard, Cnemidophorus sacki, from Michoacan, Mexico   By: (1930-)

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~University of Kansas Publications~

~Museum of Natural History~

Vol. 10, No. 9, pp. 587 598, 2 figs.

May 2, 1960

A New Subspecies of Lizard, Cnemidophorus sacki, from Michoacán, México



~University of Kansas~ ~Lawrence~ 1960

~University of Kansas Publications, Museum of Natural History~

Editors: E. Raymond Hall, Chairman, Henry S. Fitch, Robert W. Wilson

Volume 10, No. 9, pp. 587 598, 2 figs. Published May 2, 1960

~University of Kansas~ Lawrence, Kansas


28 2494

A New Subspecies of Lizard, Cnemidophorus sacki, from Michoacán, México



The systematic status of the populations of lizards assignable to Cnemidophorus sacki in western México (Sonora southward to Jalisco) has been reviewed in detail by Zweifel (1959, Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist, 117 (2):57 116), who stated that the use of the specific name sacki for the western populations rests upon a reasonable, but as yet unproved, assumption that intergradation occurs. Although Zweifel examined specimens of the nominal subspecies from the upper Balsas Basin, he did not study specimens from the intervening area the Tepalcatepec Valley in Michoacán.

Field studies and the examination of large series of preserved specimens of Cnemidophorus from the Tepalcatepec Valley show the presence of Cnemidophorus sacki in the region between the ranges of C. sacki sacki in the upper Balsas Basin and C. sacki occidentalis in Jalisco and southern Nayarit. Furthermore, the populations of sacki inhabiting the Tepalcatepec Valley have characters of scutellation and coloration that distinguish them from other described subspecies of sacki . In recognition of the important contributions to the systematics of the genus Cnemidophorus made by Dr. Richard G. Zweifel, I propose that the subspecies of Cnemidophorus sacki in the Tepalcatepec Valley be named as follows:

Cnemidophorus sacki zweifeli new subspecies

Holotype. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology No. 119542, from Capirio, Michoacán, México (185 meters), an adult male, one of a series collected on June 13, 1958, by William E. Duellman, Jerome B. Tulecke, and John Wellman. Original number WED 12310.

Paratopotypes. UMMZ Nos. 119536 119541 and 119543 119550.

Diagnosis. A race of Cnemidophorus sacki characterized by large size (more than 130 mm. snout vent length in males), approximately 106 dorsal granules around the midbody, about 41 femoral pores, and a dorsal color pattern in adult males consisting of lateral and dorsolateral rows of spots, paravertebral rows fused with middorsal light green area at least anteriorly, and pink throat having a median light blue spot or transverse band.

Description of Holotype. Snout vent length, 128 mm.; tail length, 252 mm.; tail/body ratio, 1.97; scutellation typical of sacki four supraoculars, enlarged postantebrachials, and enlarged mesoptychials; 107 granules around midbody (excluding enlarged ventrals); 45 femoral pores; three enlarged preanal scales; supraorbital semicircle series extending anteriorly to posterior edge of frontal (Fig. 1).

[Illustration: Top View Head Cnemidophorus sacki zweifeli]

~Fig. 1.~ Top view of the head of the holotype of Cnemidophorus sacki zweifeli (UMMZ 119542) showing scutellation... Continue reading book >>

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