Systematics of Neotropical microteiid lizards (Gymnophthalmidae, Cercosaurinae), with the description of a new genus and species from the Andean montane forests

  • Jiří Moravec, Jiří Šmíd, Jan Štundl, Edgar Lehr



    Cercosaurine lizards (subfamily Cercosaurinae of the family Gymnophthalmidae) represent a substantial component of the reptile fauna in the Neotropics. Several attempts have been made to reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships within this group, but most studies focused on particular genera or regions and did not cover the subfamily as a whole. In this study, material from the montane forests of Peru was newly sequenced. In combination with all cercosaurine sequences available on GenBank, an updated phylogeny of Cercosaurinae is provided. Monophyly was not supported for three of the currently recognised genera (Echinosaura, Oreosaurus, and Proctoporus). The genus Proctoporus is formed by five monophyletic groups, which should be used in future taxonomic revisions as feasible entities. Recognition of two previously identified undescribed clades (Unnamed clades 2 and 3) was supported and yet another undescribed clade (termed here Unnamed clade 4), which deserves recognition as an independent genus, was identified herein. Selvasaura brava, a new genus and new species of arboreal gymnophthalmid lizard is described from the montane forests of the Pui Pui Protected Forest, Provincia de Chanchamayo, Región Junín, Peru. The new species is characterised by its small size (SVL 42.1–45.9 mm), slender body, smooth head shields, presence of paired prefrontal shields, fused anteriormost supraocular and anteriormost superciliary shields, transparent not divided lower palpebral disc, slightly rugose subimbricate rectangular dorsal scales in adults (slightly keeled in juveniles), distinctly smaller but non-granular lateral scales, smooth squared to rectangular ventral scales, and hemipenial lobes large, distinct from the hemipenial body. Phylogenetic affinities of the new genus to the other cercosaurine genera, as well as basal phylogenetic relationships between the other cercosaurine genera remain unresolved.

    Quelle: ZooKeys 774 (2018)