Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Trinidad Ameiva Populations Re-assigned an Old Name.

Ugento and Harvey (2011) noted Ameiva ameiva has been a polytypic species and that the nomenclatural history of the species has been chaotic. They reviewed the species and concluded that Ameiva ameiva in Venezuela is composed of four species: A. ameiva (Linnaeus), A. atrigularis Garman, A. praesignis (Baird & Girard), and they describe a new species, A. pantherina. Garman’s Ameiva atrigularis inhabits the forested areas of northcentral and northeastern Venezuela, the Isla de Margarita, the Peninsula de Paria and Trinidad.
An Amevia atrigularis from the Arima Valley, Trinidad. JCM
Garman’s Ameiva atrigularis can be distinguished from other species by a combination of traits including: smooth dorsal head scales; a single frontal; and a frontoparietal and parietal that contact the interparietals. Males reach a maximum body length of 186 mm and total length of 526 mm; females are slightly smaller with a body length of 146 mm and a total length of 420 mm.  Ugento and Harvey did not examine Tobago specimens, but note that color photographs suggest the Tobago population is also A. atrigularis.
An Ameiva from central Tobago. JCM

Ugento, GN & Harvey, MB. 2011. Revision of Ameiva ameiva Linnaeus (Squamata: Teiidae) in Venezuela: recognition of four species and status of introduced populations in southern Florida, USA. Herpetological Monographs 25:113-170.

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