Taxonomic and nomenclatural status of Iberian Algyroides (Lacertidae)

in Amphibia-Reptilia
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Abstract

The taxonomy and nomenclature of Iberian Algyroides are problematic. The first taxon described, A. hidalgoi Boscá, 1916, was based on a single specimen that was subsequently lost. The description of the second taxon, A. marchi Valverde, 1958, was based on the comparison of a newly discovered population with the original description of A. hidalgoi. However, A. hidalgoi specimens have never been recorded since for any locality. Therefore, three questions need to be addressed: Is A. hidalgoi Boscá, 1916 a morphologically diagnosable taxon different from all non-Iberian species of Algyroides? are A. hidalgoi and A. marchi conspecific? And if so, which is the correct name for the species? To clarify the taxonomic status of the Iberian Algyroides we (1) compare Boscá’s A. hidalgoi original description against the descriptions of all other species of Algyroides, (2) test the accuracy of Boscá’s A. hidalgoi by comparing it against 204 Iberian museum specimens, and (3) designate a neotype of A. hidalgoi that fits the head pholidosis described in the original description. We show that none of the diagnostic characters used by Valverde to differentiate between A. hidalgoi and A. marchi are actually diagnostic, as we found high levels of variability on those characters in the studied specimens. Our results validate Boscá’s description of A. hidalgoi, which fits within the morphological variability observed for southern Iberian Algyroides. As a result, we propose the strict synonymy of A. marchi Valverde, 1958 with A. hidalgoi Boscá, 1916.

Taxonomic and nomenclatural status of Iberian Algyroides (Lacertidae)

in Amphibia-Reptilia

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References

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Figures

  • View in gallery

    A. Dorsal row of scales fitting the number counted by Boscá’s description. B. Homogeneous dorsal body coloration after years of fluid preservation.

  • View in gallery

    Dorsal variability in head scales (a red dot is placed on the left parietal scale). A-C represents parietals in contact as noted by Boscá (1916a). D-F shows individuals with parietals separated as described by Valverde (1958). E represent a distinctive individual with parietal plates fragmented, note also that its internasal is divided in two plates. Figure F shows the interparietal fragmented. A: MNCN 32020; B: MNCN 32125; C: MNCN 32082; D: MNCN 32058; E: MNCN 32144; F: MNCN 31976.

  • View in gallery

    Lateral view of the head: scales variability. White lines point to tympanic scale (A-F) and masseteric plate (D). A-B: Tympanic scale horizontally positioned as described by Boscá (1916a). C-E: Tympanic scale positioned as described by Valverde (1958). F: Tympanic scale fragmented. Note the presence of masseteric plate in specimen of D. A: MNCN 32054; B: 32074; C: 32058; D: 32139; E: 32013; F: 32098.

  • View in gallery

    Differences in ventral coloration between preserved and living specimens of Iberian Algyroides. A shows the ventral grey-bluish coloration of a preserved specimen (MNCN 32144) as described by Boscá (1916a). B depicts the canary yellow ventral coloration of a live individual from Río Mundo (Albacete) (not collected).

  • View in gallery

    Habitus of the neotype of Algyroides hidalgoi (MNCN 32128) (Los Rasos, Peal de Becerro, Jaén). A: dorsal view; B: ventral view.

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