The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

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pdf 03. A new species of Contomastix (Squamata, Teiidae) supported by total evidence, with remarks on diagnostic characters defining the genus


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pp. 23-36

Authors: Mario R. Cabrera, Santiago Carreira, Diego O. Di Pietro & Paula C. Rivera

Abstract: Formerly Cnemidophorus was thought to be the most speciose genus of Teiidae. This genus comprised four morphological groups that were later defined as four different genera, Ameivula, Aurivela, Cnemidophorus and Contomastix. The last appears as paraphyletic in a recent phylogenetic reconstruction based on morphology, but monophyletic in a reconstruction using molecular characters. Six species are allocated to Contomastix. One of them, C. lacertoides, having an extensive and disjunct geographic distribution in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. Preliminary analyses revealed morphological differences among its populations, suggesting that it is actually a complex of species. Here, we describe a new species corresponding to the Argentinian populations hitherto regarded as C. lacertoides, by integrating morphological and molecular evidence. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the presence of notched proximal margin of the tongue is a character that defines the genus Contomastix.

Key words: C. lacertoides species group, lizards, Reptilia, South America, systematics

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