Friday, April 8, 2016

Shiny Lizard, Gymnophthalmus underwoodi (Family Gymnophthalmidae)


Gymnophthalmus underwoodi Grant 1958: 228. Type locality: Barbados.

Size. Adults reach 44 mm SVL, the tail 1.7x SVL, hind legs are 29% of the SVL. Diagnosis. G. underwoodi can be distinguished from all other Trinidad and Tobago lizards by having lateral scales which are only slightly smaller than the dorsal scales, it has a dorsolateral stripe that extends only to mid body, and it has 21–24 ventral scales. G. speciosus has 23–27 ventrals, a dorsolateral stripe that extends to the tail. Cole et al (1990) considers this unisexual species to have resulted from the hybridization of G. cryptus and G. speciosus. Distribution. In the Trinidad and Tobago area this lizard occurs on Trinidad and on most of the Boca Islands with the exception of Chacachacare Island. Otherwise it is known from Venezuela, Brazil (Amazonas), Guyana, Surinam, Barbados, Guadeloupe (incl. Les Saintes, Terre-de-Haut), St. Vincent, Martinique, Antigua, St. Kitts, Petit Cul-de-sac, Saint-Barthelme. Habits. Inhabits open, sunny areas on lawns and at the forest edge, seems to prefer habitats without leaves. This is an all-female species.

Literature

Cole CJ. Dessauer HC. Markezich AL 1993 Missing Link Found: The Second Ancestor of Gymnophthalmus underwoodi (Squamata: Teiidae), A South American Unisexual Lizard of Hybrid Origin. American Museum Novitates (3055): 1-13.

Grant C. 1958. A new Gymnophthalmus (Reptilia, Teiidae) from Barbados, B.W.I. Herpetologica 14: 227-228.

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