A new species of the Liolaemus elongatus clade


A new species of the Liolaemus elongatus clade
Zootaxa 2667: 28–42 (2010)
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ISSN 1175-5326 (print edition)
Copyright © 2010 · Magnolia Press
ISSN 1175-5334 (online edition)
A new species of the Liolaemus elongatus clade (Reptilia: Iguania: Liolaemini)
from Cordillera del Viento, northwestern Patagonia, Neuquén, Argentina
CENPAT-CONICET. Boulevard Almirante Brown 2915, U9120ACD, Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Argentina.
E-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]
Escuela Superior de Salud y Ambiente, Universidad Nacional del Comahue. Buenos Aires 1400. 8300. Neuquén. Argentina.
E-mail: [email protected]
Department of Biology and M. L. Bean Life Science Museum, Brigham Young University, 401 WIDB, 84602, Provo, Utah, United
States of America. E-mail:[email protected]
Corresponding author: E-mail: [email protected]
A new species of lizard of the genus Liolaemus from Cordillera del Viento, northwestern Neuquén Province, Argentina is
described. The new species is a member of the Andean-Patagonian Liolaemus elongatus clade and is known only from a
single locality above 3000 m in the eastern slopes of Domuyo Volcano. Liolaemus antumalguen sp. nov. is a stout
species, saxicolous, probably viviparous and omnivorous, and seems to have low population density. It is easily
differentiated from all other species of the elongatus complex for a highly variable but characteristic dorsal pattern and a
completely black ventral coloration.
Key words: Sauria, Iguanidae, Liolaemus antumalguen sp. nov., new species
Una nueva especie de lagartija del genero Liolaemus de la Cordillera del Viento, noroeste de la provincia de Neuquén,
Argentina, es descrita. La nueva especie es miembro del cclado andino-patagonico Liolaemus elongatus y es conocida
solo para una unica localidad sobre los 3000 m de altura en el faldeo oriental del volcán Domuyo. Liolaemus
antumalguen sp. nov. es una especie robusta, rupícola, probablemente vivípara y omnívora, y parece tener baja densidad
poblacional. Se diferencia fácilmente de todas las otras especies del grupo por un patrón de coloración dorsal variable
pero característico y por poseer la zona ventral completamente negra.
Palabras claves: Sauria, Iguanidae, Liolaemus antumalguen sp. nov., nueva especie
Lizards of the genus Liolaemus are a common vertebrate component of the Southern Andean and Patagonian
biotas. With a number of described species reaching 225, the genus Liolaemus constitutes the most speciesrich squamate genus of southern South America. During the last 15 years more than 50 species were described
mainly in Argentina and Chile, and one of the main causes of this dramatic recent increase in the number of
known species is that new collections are being made in previously unexplored areas throughout the Andes
and Patagonia. Several new species limited to small basins, high-elevation valleys or single mountaintops,
have been discovered in recent years in northwestern Patagonia and the Southern Andes (e.g. Abdala 2002,
2003, 2005; Avila et al. 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007a; Cei and Videla 2003; Etheridge and Christie 2003,
Accepted by S. Carranza: 7 Oct. 2010; published: 4 Nov. 2010
Pincheira-Donoso and Scolaro 2007, Pincheira-Donoso et al. 2007; Videla and Cei, 1996), and new survey
efforts carried out in several isolated areas of Patagonia, as well as molecular studies of several lizards clades,
demostrate that species diversity in this area is greater than presently known (Morando 2004, Morando et al.
2003, 2007).
Laurent (1983, 1985) split the genus Liolaemus in two subgenera: Liolaemus sensu stricto and Eulaemus,
criteria followed by Etheridge (1995) and supported in a molecular study by Schulte et al. (2000). Within the
subgenus Liolaemus, several subgroups can be recognized on the basis of morphological traits (Lobo 2001,
2005), and in a molecular study, Morando et al. (2003) defined a well-supported clade of saxicolous lizards
distributed across mountain landscapes of Andes and volcanics plateaus of Patagonia. This was recognized as
the Liolaemus elongatus-kriegi complex (Cei 1979, Morando et al. 2003), and now includes three sub-clades:
petrophilus, kriegi, and elongatus. As currently known, the elongatus clade includes L. elongatus Koslowsky
1896, L. chillanensis Müller and Hellmich 1932, L. thermarum Cei and Videla 1996 (Morando unpublished
data, Torres-Perez et al. 2009, but see Lobo et al. 2010 and discussion below), and at least twelve still
undescribed species. These species are distributed in the western slope of the Andes, restricted to Andean and
Patagonian steppe environments of southwestern Mendoza and western areas of Neuquén, Rio Negro,
Chubut, and probably Santa Cruz provinces, in Argentinean Patagonia (Morando et al. 2003; Morando 2004).
Other authors have found or suggested different arrangements for these lizards (Lobo 2001, 2005; PincheiraDonoso and Nuñez 2005, Pincheira-Donoso et al. 2008, but see Lobo et al. 2010). Resolution of alternative
hypotheses of relationships must await more inclusive geographic, taxonomic, and character sampling.
During a recent field exploration, a sample of Liolaemus was collected on a large volcanic outcrops and
lava flows on the eastern slopes of the Domuyo Volcano, the highest peak of southern Andes in northwestern
Neuquén province. A morphological and molecular analysis of these lizards show that they represent a new
taxon in the elongatus species clade, which we describe here as a new species.
Material and methods
We examined sample series of the species determined by Morando et al. (2003) and Morando (2004) as
members of the elongatus clade (Table 1, Appendix I), and samples of Liolaemus buergeri, L. ceii, L.
flavipiceus, L. kriegi, and L. punmahuida, because they are distributed in the closest mountain range region
and at similar altitudes, also because of their body sizes or general morphology they can be confused with the
new species. All are deposited in the herpetological collections of Fundación Miguel Lillo (FML), Argentina;
Monte L. Bean Museum, Brigham Young University (BYU), Provo, USA; Museo de La Plata, Universidad
Nacional de La Plata (MLP.S), Argentina; Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UC–Berkeley (MVZ), Berkeley,
USA; Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales (MACN), Argentina, and the collection LJAMM-CNP of the
Centro Nacional Patagonico (CENPAT-CONICET), Puerto Madryn, Argentina. Ten specimens of the new
species were examined. Specimens were collected by hand, sacrificed by a pericardiac injection of sodium
pentothal Abbot®, fixed in 10–20% formalin and later transferred to 70% ethanol. Measurements were taken
with a Mitutoyo® digital caliper to the nearest 0.1 mm. Some character states were observed with the aid of a
binocular stereomicroscope. Scale definitions, measurements, and chromatic characters follow Smith (1946),
and recent treatments of the genus Liolaemus by Etheridge and Christie (2003) and Espinoza et al. (2000);
neck-fold terminology follows Frost (1992). Descriptions of color in life are based on notes taken in the field
and color photographs of recently captured animals. Data for some species used for comparison were obtained
from the original description, Cei (1986) and Pincheira-Donoso and Ñuñez (2005). Protocols for DNA
extraction, mtDNA primer descriptions, PCR, and sequencing procedures for the cytochrome–b (811 bp)
region, as well as analytical methodology follow Morando et al. (2003) and Morando (2004).
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TABLE 1. Morphometric, meristic, and chromatic characteristics from species phylogenetically related to the Liolaemus
elongatus clade. Data for Liolaemus chillanensis were taken from Pincheira-Donoso and Nuñez (2005).
Liolaemus antumalguen
(n = 9)
Liolaemus chillanensis
Liolaemus elongatus
(n = 128)
Liolaemus thermarum
(n = 27)
Maximum SVL (mm)
Scales around midbody
Scales between occiput
and rump
Ventral scales
Dorsal pattern
Variable, from
patternless to two
dorsolateral series of
black ocelli sometimes
fused longitudinally
Variable but usually a
wide vertebral band,
with longitudinal lines of
black dots in
longitudinal lines
A vertebral band formed
by transversal black lines
irregularly fused,
flanked by two more
clear dorsal longitudinal
A vertebral band formed
by small and irregular
black dots, sometimes
fused forming a black
vertebral solid band to
almost disappearing
Ventral melanism
Precloacal pores
Body color
Light gray to ochre
Ochre to light gray
Ochre to almost black
Light tan to ochre
Tail rings
Present in some
Liolaemus antumalguen sp. nov.
(Figure 1, 2)
Type material. Holotype. MACN 38985, an adult male from rocky boulders from the eastern piedmont of
Domuyo volcano, around Chadileu Creek (36º 39’ S, 70º 20’’ W), Chos Malal Department, Neuquén
Province, Argentina; collected by D. R. Perez; 23 Enero 2005.
Paratypes. MACN 38987, MLP.S 2592–3, (males); BYU 12592, MACN 38986, MLP.S 2594–5, LJAMM
6172–3 (females); same data as holotype.
Diagnosis. Liolaemus antumalguen is a member of the elongatus clade that currently includes L.
elongatus, L. thermarum (Morando et al., 2003; Morando, 2004), L. chillanensis (Torrez-Perez et al. 2009),
and many “candidate species” represented by well-supported mtDNA haploclades (Morando et al.
unpublished). Differs from all other members of the clade due to a unique and very variable dorsal coloration
pattern, ranging from large irregular black dots distributed along the dorsolateral areas on ochre background
coloration, to an almost plain pattern without any dorsal mark. Liolaemus antumalguen has a complete ventral
melanism in adult specimens, characteristic not observed in any other species within the L. elongatus clade,
with the exception of populations of L. elongatus from western Rio Negro province, Argentina (Morando et
al. 2003, Avila et al. unpublished data). It is the largest species in the clade (maximum SVL 107.8 mm vs 94
mm in L. elongatus, vs 70.3 mm in L. chillanensis, and 85.0 mm in L. thermarum), and at difference of all
other species has a robust body vs a more slender shape, with well developed and evident neck folds.
Liolaemus elongatus is characterized by a pattern of longitudinal bands, a vertebral band defined by irregular
transversal black lines, frequently fused, with a dark background, two more clearly-defined dorsal
longitudinal bands, and dorsolateral bands with black, gray, and a few white scales, usually the tail is ringed;
all of these characteristics are absent in L. antumalguen. Liolaemus antumalguen differs from L. thermarum in
that males of this species lack precloacal pores (according to original description) or have less (2–3 vs 4,
according to our data), and have a dorsal coloration characterized by two wide and dark lateral bands; a
pattern never present in L. antumalguen. Liolaemus chillanensis have slender and smaller body, with higher
midbody scale count (81–95 vs 72–82), lack of conspicuous neck pouches, have a white or gray venter, and in
· Zootaxa 2667 © 2010 Magnolia Press
life a conspicuous lateral and posterior body cyan coloration never found in L. antumalguen. From L.
buergeri, L. ceii, and L. kriegi, L. antumalguen can be distinguished because this species have smaller dorsal
scales, and a higher number of scales around midbody (94–98, 96–110, 98–115 vs 72–82), lack of ventral
melanic coloration (usually is white or gray, with small grey dots or uniformily slight grey), and have darker
body coloration. Liolaemus curis is a smaller species (maximum SVL 102.6 vs 107.8 mm), have completely
black body coloration or with a dorsal pattern of longitudinal bars not observed in L. antumalguen. Liolaemus
flavipiceus have smaller size (SVL 90.3 vs 107.8 mm) and a very particular dorsal coloration with widely
distributed yellow and/or orange scales never found in L. altumalguen. Liolaemus leopardinus, L. ramonensis
and L. valdesianus are smaller species (87.5, 86.6, 90.4 mm vs 107.8 mm), with different dorsal coloration
patterns, and higher number of midbody scales in L. ramonensis (87–96 vs 72–82). Liolaemus antumalguen
can be easily distinguished from L. punmahuida by the lack of the conspicuous black line between orbit and
nasal scales, white cream head coloration, and absence of any extendend brightly red or yellow ventral
coloration. Liolaemus tregenzai, L. coeruleus, and L. neuquensis are smaller species (80.2, 60. 2 and 61.1 mm
vs 102.7 mm), have a conspicuous cyan ventral coloration and lack of precloacal pores. Liolaemus cristiani
have a very conspicuous cyan coloration, with a dorsal pattern very different from L. antumalguen, and lack
of extended ventral melanism and precloacal pores.
Description of holotype. Adult male (Fig. 1, 2) 107.8 mm snout-vent length (SVL); tail length 87.3.0
mm, regenerated 70.4 mm. Axilla-groin distance 46.0 mm. Head length 22.5 mm (from anterior border of
tympanum to tip of snout), 19.5 mm wide (at anterior border of tympanum), 11.5 mm high (at anterior border
of tympanum). Snout length 7.3 mm (posterior margin of canthal to tip of snout). Interorbital distance 4.2 mm.
Eye-nostril distance 6.4 mm. Orbit-auditory meatus distance 8.9 mm. Orbit-tip of snout distance 9.9 mm.
Forelimb length 29.6 mm. Tibial length 21.1 mm. Foot length 30.8 mm (ankle to tip of claw on fourth toe).
Dorsal head scales bulged, rough, 14 between occiput at level of anterior border of tympanum to rostral, pitted
with numerous scale organs. Rostral scale wider (4.2 mm) than high (2.0 mm). Two postrostrals, together with
anterior lorilabial, separate nasal scales from rostral. Nasal scales longer than wide, irregularly triangular;
nostril over one-half length of nasal, posterior in position. Scales surrounding nasals 8–8. Four internasals,
central scales four times bigger than laterals, right subdivided, with small supernumeraries behind.
Frontonasal 8, irregular in size and position, with several supernumeraries as small granular scales;
prefrontals 5, almost equal in size, but irregular in shape, with scar damage. A subtriangular scale on each side
overlapping the superior border of posterior canthal. Frontal scale with scar damage and small
supernumeraries. Frontoparietals in two rows, two anterior and three posterior scales. Interparietal depressed,
with scar damage, subpentagonal, surrounded by six scales; four smaller in front and sides, two larger in back.
Parietal eye not evident. Parietals bulged, oval to irregularly shaped, two similar in size to interparietal, other
smaller. Circumorbitals:14–10. Transversally expanded supraoculars 7–7. Smaller lateral supraoculars: 24–
19. Anterior canthal wider than long, separate from nasal by two postnasals. Posterior canthal longer than
wide; a well marked canthal ridge. Loreal scales, concave (4–3). Lorilabials small, reduce (2–4).
Superciliaries 8–7, flattened and elongated, anterior four broadly overlapping dorsally. Orbit with 15–16
upper and 12–13 lower ciliaries. Orbit diameter 2.5 x 4.5 mm. Preocular small, unfragmented, longer than
wide. Subocular scale elongated, six times longer than wide (6.5 x 1 mm). A well marked longitudinal ridge
along upper margin of preocular and subocular scales. Postocular small, slightly bulged, without ridge.
Palpebral scales small, irregular, flat, a few anterior granular and bulged. Supralabials 7–8, convex. Fifth
supralabial curved upward posteriorly slightly overlapping sixth scale. Temporals smooth, bulged,
subimbricate. Anterior auriculars slightly smaller than adjacent posterior temporals, projecting outward (2–3).
Posterior auriculars small, granular, outprojecting. External auditory meatus inconspicuous, higher (4.5 mm)
than wide (1.1 mm). Lateral scales of neck granular with inflated skin. Mental scale wider (4.9 mm) than high
(2.6 mm), in contact with four scales. Mental followed posteriorly by two rows of five chinshields. Five
infralabials on each side, first on each side quadrangular, two times wider than supralabials; all others
stretched, slightly smaller than supralabials. Gular scales smooth, flat, imbricate, with rounded posterior
margins. Scales of throat between chinshields slightly juxtaposed, becoming slightly imbricate toward
auditory meatus. Forty-two gulars between tympanum openings. Infralabials separated from chinshields by
one to three rows of smaller scales.
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Antehumeral, gular, longitudinal neck, rictal, dorsolateral, and postauricular well developed, large, very
distinctive; oblique unconspicuous. A distinct lateral body fold in the first quarter between axilla and groin.
Scales of dorsal neck region granular, projecting outward. Seventy-eight dorsal scales between occiput
and anterior surface of thighs. Dorsal body scales rhomboidal to lanceolate, imbricate, with a keel well
marked on dorsal region. At midbody, eighteen longitudinal rows of keeled scales. Dorsal scales grade
laterally into slightly smaller, smooth scales at midbody. Scales immediately anterior to, above, and posterior
to forelimb and hindlimb insertion small, smooth, granular, and non-overlapping, with conspicuous 1–2 organ
scales. Body lateral scales grading from rhomboidal to quadrangular at midbody. Ventral body scales
quadrangular, smooth, flat, imbricate, same size or a little smaller than dorsal scales. Eigthty two scales
around midbody; scales between mental and precloacal pores 107. Scales of cloacal region about equal in size
to ventral body scales. Four insconspicuous precloacal pores.
FIGURE 1. Liolaemus antumalguen, holotype adult male (MACN 38985), from Chadileu Creek, eastern piedmont of
Domuyo Volcano, Chos Malal Department, Neuquén Province, Argentina.
Anterior suprabrachials rhomboidal, some faintly keeled, equal in size to dorsal body scales, grading into
rounded and smooth scales posteriorly. Posterior suprabrachials smaller, smooth, becoming granular near
axilla. Anterior antebrachials similar to suprabrachial. Posterior antebrachials smaller, smooth, rounded.
Supracarpals imbricated, rhomboidal, smooth. Infracarpals strongly imbricate, rhomboidal, keeled. Pre– and
postdigital scales of manus smooth. Subdigital lamellae with three blunt keels, each terminating in a short
mucron, numbering: I: 15, II: 24, II: 22, IV: 16, V: 11. Claws robust, moderately curved, black.
Anterior suprafemorals as large as dorsal body scales, rhomboidal to lanceolate, slighltly keeled or
smooth. Posterior suprafemorals small, granular shape. Supratibial rhomboidal to lanceolate, keeled, grading
into rounded, smooth, posterior supratibials, same size as ventral body scales. Supratarsal and first
supradigital keeled, middle and distal supradigital smooth. Infratarsal small, rhomboidal, imbricate, keeled,
some with a small mucron. Subdigital scales keeled, most with two or three keels, mucronate, numbering: I:
12, II: 18, III: 23, IV: 26, V: 19. Claws robust, moderately curved, opaque brown or black. Dorsal and lateral
caudals on non-regenerated tail, slightly keeled, ventral smooth. Caudal scales on regenerated tail strongly
keeled and mucronated, ventrally becaming less keeled and non-mucronated.
Color in life. Ground color dorsal and lateral scales in body, limbs, and non-regenerated portion of tail
ochre to light brown, with lighter margins (Fig. 1). Dorsal head scales black. Two conspicuous lateral rows of
large, irregular black spots between limbs. Lateral areas of neck, insertion zones of limbs, posterior and
anterior surface of limbs, dully grey. Ventral areas of head, body, limbs and tail (including regenerated
portion) brilliant black, a few scales of femoral and interfemoral areas brightly yellow. Same color in
preservative than live animals after two years but less vibrant. Yellow coloration disappears.
· Zootaxa 2667 © 2010 Magnolia Press
FIGURE 2. Dorsal and ventral view of the preserved holotype (MACN 38985).
Variation in paratypes. Based on the paratypes (Table 2, Fig. 3): In three males: SVL (mean ± SD
(range)): 95.5 ± 10.9 (86.6–107.8). Axilla–groin distance: 40.6 ± 4.3 (36.7–47.6). Head length: 20.2 ± 2.04
(18.7–22.5). Head width: 17.2 ± 1.95 (16.0–19.5). Foot length: 30.0 ± 0.8 (29.1–30.8). Tibial length: 19.9 ±
1.0 (19.0–21.0). Hand length: 28.8 ± 0.7 (28.3–29.6). Midbody scales: 80.3 ± 2.0 (78–82). Dorsal scales: 75.0
± 3.0 (72–78). Ventral scales: 111 ± 6.0 (107–118). Precloacal pores: 3–4. Scales around interparietal: 5–6–7.
Supraoculars scales: 6–5. Scales around nasal 5–7. Supralabial scales: 7–8. Infralabial scales: 6. Fourth toe
lamellae: 28–34. Third toe lamellae: 23–24. In six females: SVL (mean ± SD (range)): 95.9 ± 6.9 (84.0–
101.6). Axilla–groin distance: 44.7 ± 4.5 (36.7–47.6). Head length: 19.5 ± 1.0 (17.7–20.3). Head width: 16.7
± 0.8 (15.2–17.3). Foot length: 27.7 ± 0.2 (27.5–28.0). Tibial length: 18.5 ± 0.7 (17.7–19.7). Hand length:
28.3 ± 0.9 (26.8–29.0). Midbody scales: 77.4 ± 3.8 (72–82). Dorsal scales: 72.8 ± 2.1 (70–76). Ventral scales:
108.2 ± 4.5 (105–116). Precloacal pores not present in females. Interparietal usually irregularly shaped. Scales
around interparietal: 7–8. Supraoculars scales: 6–5. Supralabial scales: 7–8. Infralabial scales: 5–6. Fourth toe
lamellae: 27–32. Third toe lamellae: 21–23. As in other members of this complex, no strong body-size
morphometric dimorphism or squamation differences were observed. The tail base of males is expanded
laterally and cloacal opening is slightly quadrangular; at difference of other species of the group precloacal
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pores of males were small and inconspicuos. Dorsal coloration exhibits a strong variation between
individuals. In some lizards head is completely black, meanwhile others exhibits almost any black scale and
head color is light-tan or ochre. Some lizards exhibit only parts of the head black. Dorsal body coloration
show similar variation, some lizards are almost completely dark brown or ochre with a pattern of large and
rounded dorsolateral spots with different grades of fusion. In some individuals, this fussion is almost complete
showing an irregular dorsolateral black band. MLP.S 2594 show complete light tan or ochre body coloration
with small and irregular black spots irregularly distributed on dorsal areas, with some dark areas on head
scales. Some lizards have gray lateral coloration in head, body, limbs, and tail. Ventral coloration varies from
completely black to dark gray dotted with irregular rounded black spots. Tail coloration is plain, without rings,
but varies from complete black, ochre, or gray, sometimes with small irregularly shaped and distributed black
dots. A faded yellow coloration is restricted to the femoral and precloacal areas in a few individuals.
TABLE 2. Morphometric and meristic variation in Liolaemus antumalguen type series.
Axilla-groin distance
Head length
Head width
Head high
Foot length
Tibial length
Arm length
Midbody scales
Dorsal scales
Ventral scales
Fourth toe lamellae
Third toe lamellae
Supralabial scales
Infralabial scales
Precloacal pores
Etymology. The species name is in reference to a mithological fairy, Antú Malguén, wife of the sun,
which according to a legend of the Mapuche people, inhabits the summit of the Domuyo Volcano.
Geographic distribution. Liolaemus antumalguen is known only from its type locality in the eastern
slope of Domuyo Volcano along Chadileu Creek, Chos Malal Department, Neuquén Province (Fig. 4, 5). It
may be expected to occur in other localities around Domuyo Volcano and Cordillera del Viento mountains
where habitats similar to the type locality exist but was not found in several field surveys carried out in
surrounding lowlands and adjacent mountains. Cordillera del Viento is a higher mountainous range than the
southern Andes in the region. The distributional area belong phytogeographycally to the Andean Dominio,
High Andean District (Cabrera, 1976). The substrate is composed of between 40–90 % rocky outcrops or
rocky fields, with some soil in areas with some kind of protection from wind or flat areas. Liolaemus
antumalguen appears to be restricted to this rocky zone that extends ~ 200 m on each side of the Chadileu
Creek. Vegetation is dominated by bushes Mulinum spinosum, Chuquiraga oppositifolia, Anarthrophyllum
rigidum, Adesmia rigida, Fabiana imbricata, intermixed with the grasses Festuca spp. and Stipa speciosa.
· Zootaxa 2667 © 2010 Magnolia Press
FIGURE 3. Dorsal and ventral variation in color patterns of individuals of the type series. From upper to below: males,
dorsal and ventral view, females, dorsal and ventral view.
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FIGURE 4. Type locality of Liolaemus antumalguen (red dot). Open circles identify main towns in the region. Yellow
doted area: approximate extension of the Cordillera del Viento massif. Red dot-line mark boundaries between Mendoza
and Neuquén province. Insert: the area in South America.
Natural history. Liolaemus antumalguen was observed basking on rocks along a narrow zone on each
side of Chadileu Creek. A few lizards were observed running or foraging between small plants along stream
shores, but they usually retreated to seek refuge under bushes, rocks or crevices if a capture attempt was made.
Liolaemus antumalguen is sympatric with other lizards of the genera Liolaemus and Phymaturus, but the
majority of these species are still undescribed. Liolaemus punmahuida, a recently described lizard initially
· Zootaxa 2667 © 2010 Magnolia Press
known only from the nearby Tromen Volcano, is syntopic in same areas (Avila and Perez, 2006), as well as
Phymaturus verdugo (Avila et al., 2007b). At least two small species related to the elongatus and rothi clades
of Liolaemus are also found in syntopy. With the exception of this undescribed species of the elongatus clade,
no other species related with this clade are found sintopically with L. antumalguen, all other species of the
clade are in lower altitudes or in separated mountains ranges. As was observed in other saxicolous Liolaemus,
this new species seems to be territorial; males were observed defending areas in the rocks, making body
displays, and fighting with neighbors (Perez, personal observation). No conclusive evidence of viviparity can
be offered, but all related species have this reproductive mode. Difficulty of access to the type locality did not
allow additional trips to this area to obtain more data about L. antumalguen.
Remarks. A mtDNA gene tree analysis, including the new described species as well as other related
species and candidate species of the clade is depicted on Fig. 6. This tree is based on the mitochondrial gene
fragment cyt-b (805 bp). We used JModeltest v0.1.1 (Guindon and Gascuel, 2003; Posada, 2008) to select the
appropriate model of evolution (GTR+I+G). Two independent MrBayes analyses were run for 10 million
generations, with Markov chains sampled at intervals of 4,000 generations. The equilibrium samples (after
10% of burn-in) were used to generate a 50% majority rule consensus tree, and posterior probabilities (Pp)
were considered significant when ≥ 0.95 (Huelsenbeck and Ronquist, 2001). Liolaemus antumalguen is
recovered within the elongatus clade that also includes L. chillanensis, L. thermarum and four candidate
species (PP: 100%). The petrophilus and buergeri clades also include candidate species and are recovered
with strong support (94% and 99% respectively); here we renamed the clade ceii-kriegi used by (Morando et
al. 2003) as buergeri. The objective of this tree is to show the position of this new species in relation with
these three related clades. Phylogenetic relationships for these clades are under study by our research group
and a detailed analysis will be published elsewhere.
The Liolaemus elongatus – kriegi complex as defined by Cei (1979) on the basis of several diagnostic
morphological characters includes widespread polytypic species for which species recognition rests on an
inadequate taxonomy (Morando et al. 2003). Different taxonomic groupings for the species included in this
complex have been proposed by Cei (1974, 1979, but also see Cei 1975, 1986, 1993), Ortiz (1981), Etheridge
(1995), Espinoza et al. (2000), Schulte et al. (2000), Lobo (2001, 2005), Espinoza and Lobo (2003), Pincheira
Donoso and Nuñez (2005), and Scolaro and Pincheira Donoso (2007). Morando et al. (2003) used the name
Liolaemus elongatus-kriegi complex to be consistent with the original hypothesis of group content by Cei
(1979), but resolved three well-supported species groups on the basis of mtDNA sequences.
The Liolaemus elongatus clade includes L. elongatus Koslowsky 1896, L. antumalguen described here, L.
chillanensis (Torres-Perez et al. 2009) and L. thermarum Videla and Cei, 1996 (L. thermarum was originally
described as a member of the neuquensis clade by these authors; but see Espinoza et al., 2000). We analyzed
lizards from the type series of L. thermarum deposited in the MACN but they are in poor condition
(completely black and deformed) as result of improper preservation techniques. Thus, we were not able to
compare these specimens with other taxa, and no tissues were preserved for genetic analysis. We collected
lizards in the type locality a few years later, and they match the photographs of the original description of
Videla and Cei (1996), and those shown by Espinoza et al. (2000), allowing us to infer that this population
corresponds to L. thermarum. As was suggested by Espinoza et al. (2000), we recovered this species as a
member of the elongatus clade, and not closely related to L. neuquensis (in disagreement with Cei and Videla
[2002, 2003] and Pincheira-Donoso and Scolaro [2007]). Also, in Morando (2004) in a phylogenetic tree
including many species from the chiliensis group and several genes, L. neuquensis was not recovered as part
of the elongatus clade. Other species such as L. leopardinus, L. ramonensis, L. valdesianus, L. curis,
L.cristiani, as well as some “subspecies” of the L. monticola clade, may also be related to the Liolaemus
elongatus clade (Lobo, 2001, 2005, Torres Perez et al. 2009), here we find L. chillanensis recovered within
the elongatus clade, but a test of this hypothesis must await a more extensive study. In a recent publication,
Zootaxa 2667 © 2010 Magnolia Press ·
FIGURE 5. Upper: general view of the type locality of Liolaemus antumalguen from a southern perspective. Below:
detail of the type locality rocky environment. Lizard activity was more intense around the rocks surrounding the
Chadileu Creek.
· Zootaxa 2667 © 2010 Magnolia Press
FIGURE 6. Phylogenetic relationships of Liolaemus antumalguen with other members of the elongatus-kriegi complex,
based on Bayesian analyses; numbers above the nodes are posterior probability values.
Lobo et al. (2010) includes as part of the elongatus clade, the following species: austromendocinus,
elongatus, flavipiceus, gununakuna, parvus, petrophilus, punmahuida, thermarum, tregenzai, and all other
species previously suggested as related with the elongatus clade are included in new created groups
(leopardinus, chillanensis, monticola and kriegi) of the subgenus Liolaemus. Strong phylogenetic hypothesis
for all these related groups are still missing and more geographic, taxonomic, and character sampling is still
We thank Consejo Federal de Inversiones (CFI) for providing funds for field trips. Studies on the Liolaemus
elongatus species are supported by fellowships to L. J. Avila and M. Morando from Consejo Nacional de
Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), and Fondo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnica (FONCYT);
and funds from the Biology Department, M. L. Bean Museum Life Science, and Kennedy Center for
International Studies of BYU issued to J. W. Sites, Jr. We acknowledge the NSF “Partnership for International
Research and Education” award (OISE 0530267) for support of collaborative research on Patagonian
biodiversity, granted to the following institutions (listed alphabetically): BYU, CENPAT, Dalhousie
University, Darwinion Botanical Institute, Universidad Austral de Chile, Universidad Nacional de Cordoba,
Universidad Nacional de Comahue, Universidad de Concepcion, and University of Nebraska. M.
Archangelsky, J. C. Acosta, L. Belver, M. I. Christie, K. Delhey, K. Dittmar, N. Frutos, R. Kiesling, C. Perez,
P. Petracci, and Y. Vilina helped on field trips and/or provided samples of the Liolaemus elongatus species.
Zootaxa 2667 © 2010 Magnolia Press ·
We thank Fauna authorities of Neuquén Province for collection permits. We thank scout H. Castillo and
provincial park ranger D. Castillo for help in field work.
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Appendix I
Specimens examined
Liolaemus antumalguen (10).—ARGENTINA: NEUQUEN: Chos Malal Department, eastern piedmont of Domuyo
volcano, around Chadileu Creek: MACN 38985 to 87, MLP.S 2592 to 5, LJAMM-CNP 6172–3, BYU 12592.
Liolaemus buergeri (12).—ARGENTINA: MENDOZA: Malargue Department, 16 km W Las Leñas: LJAMM-CNP
2682, 2732. Mallines Colgados: LJAMM-CNP 2744-5, 2747. NEUQUEN: Ñorquin, Cascada del Rio Agrio:
LJAMM-CNP 3286–3292.
Liolaemus ceii (14).—ARGENTINA: NEUQUEN: Alumine Department, Provincial Road 13, Pampa de Lonco Luan:
LJAMM-CNP 1174–5, 1198, 2606–16.
Liolaemus elongatus (128).—ARGENTINA: CHUBUT: Cushamen Department: Ruta Provincial 12, 9.1 km E La
Cancha Railroad Post, road to Gualjaina: LJAMM-CNP 8852. Futaleufu Department: Ruta Nacional 40, Km 1530,
17 km S Esquel, 5 km S junction Ruta Nacional 40 and Ruta Nacional 259: LJAMM-CNP 2128, 2156/7, 2262. Ruta
Nacional 40, Km 1589, 18 km N Tecka: LJAMM-CNP 2164. Languineo Department: Ruta Nacional 25, 5 km W
Colan Conhue, Cuesta del Paisano: LJAMM-CNP 6177 to 80. Rio Senguer Department: Ruta Provincial 20, 23 km
W Los Manantiales: FML13070, LJAMM-CNP 3046/7. Tehuelches Department: Ruta Nacional 40, 22 km S
Gobernador Costa: FML 13071, LJAMM-CNP 3049. Ruta Provincial 53, 40 km S junction Ruta Nacional 25:
LJAMM-CNP 4681 to 83. Near Gobernador Costa: LJAMM-CNP 6145/6. NEUQUEN: Alumine Department.
Portal La Atravesada, 3 km S, 7 km W Primeros Pinos: MVZ 232401/5. 3 km ENE Lago Ruca Choroi, 8 km E, 9 km
N Cerro Ruca Choroi: MVZ 188761. Along Arroyo Rucaco, SE end of Lago Ruca Choroi, 3.5 km E and 6.5 km N
Cerro Ruca Choroi: MVZ 188762/3. Catan Lil Departament. Campo de la Pistola, 4 km W and 2 km N Las
Coloradas: MVZ 188766/67, 188769/70, 188772/3/4. On E side of Rio Alumine, 31 km S Rahue via Ruta Provincial
23: MVZ 188746. Lacar Department. Pampa de Alicura on Ruta 40 and 237, 5 km W and 6 km N Paso Flores: MVZ
Los Lagos Department, on W side of Rio Limay, 2 km E and 16 km S Confluencia: MVZ 18845. Sandy flat along
highway, Estancia Tehuel Malal, ca. 6 km WNW Nahuel Huapi: MVZ 188760. 0.5 km S, 3 km W Cerro de las
Zootaxa 2667 © 2010 Magnolia Press ·
Ardillas: MVZ 232399. Zapala Department. Ruta Provincial 13, 12 km W, 1 km N Estacion Zapala: MVZ 232402/4/
7/8. SW end of Laguna Blanca, 8.5 km W and 1 km N Cerro Mellizo Sud: MVZ 188777/8. W end of Laguna
Blanca: MVZ 126476. Ruta Provincial 46, 0.5 km N limite PN Laguna Blanca: MVZ 232410. RIO NEGRO:
Bariloche Deparment. Ridge above Refugio Neumeyer, 15 km S Bariloche: MVZ 188779/90/81/82. Chalhuaco
Valley: FML 13072/3, LJAMM-CNP 2811, 3051/2, 2055 to 57, 3051/2, 3055 to 7. El Cuy Department: Ruta
Provincial 67, 19.2 km NE Mencue: LJAMM-CNP 5532 to 57. Ruta Provincial 67, 20 km S Mencue: LJAMM
5559/60. Ñorquinco Department. Along Rimrock, 4 km S and 1 km E Alto del Escorial: MVZ 188736, 188743,
188922. Along Rio Chenqueniyen, 10 km E and 3 km S Cerro Pico Quemado: MVZ 188732 to 34, 188740 to 41.
Laguna de Los Juncos, Escorial de Chenqueniyen, 5 km N Alto del Escorial: LJAMM-CNP 188758/9. Ruta
Provincial 6, 1 km NW Ojo de Agua: LJAMM-CNP 2139. Pilcaniyeu Department. Rocky knoll, Cañadon Bonito,
23 km NE Pilcaniyeu: MVZ 188727/8. Ruta Provincial 23, 2.3 km SE Comallo: LJAMM-CNP 5424. Ruta
Provincial 23, 4.8 km SE Comallo: LJAMM 5449/50. Ruta Nacional 40, 2.7 km S Estancia San Pedro: LJAMMCNP 5428 to 5435. Ruta Provincial 67, 2 km N Cañadon Chileno, 37 km NE Comallo: LJAMM-CNP 5644. Ruta
Provincial 67, 3.5 km 3.5 km N Cañadon Chileno: 5621 to 26. Veinticinco de Mayo Department: Ruta Provincial 8,
17 km S San Antonio del Cuy: FML 13060/1, LJAMM-CNP 1519/20, 1615, 1636/7, 1639 to 1641, 1818 to 22,
1915, 2433 to 36, 2721, 2726. Ingeniero Jacobacci: LJAMM-CNP 263/4, 269/70, 278, 5868.
Liolaemus flavipiceus (4).—ARGENTINA: MENDOZA: Malargüe Department: Provincial Road 145, Paso Pehuenche:
LJAMM-CNP 7906-9.
Liolaemus kriegi (22).—ARGENTINA: RIO NEGRO: Ñorquinco Department: Provincial Road 6, 1 km NW Ojo de
Agua: LJAMM-CNP 2154-5, 2267-8, 2336-7. National Road 1s40, 2.5 km N Chenqueniyen: LJAMM-CNP 3498-9,
3501, 3503. 25 de Mayo Department: Provincial Road 76, 57 km S Ingeniero Jacobacci: LJAMM-CNP 3044, 3071,
3073-4, 3565-8. Provincial Road 5, 40 km SE Maquinchao. LJAMM-CNP 3045, 3081-2, 3379.
Liolaemus thermarum (27).—ARGENTINA: MENDOZA: Malargüe Department: Provincial Road 226, 1 km N Baños
del Azufre: LJAMM-CNP 5782-3, 5786 to 5791. Provincial Road 226, 11.4 km S Baños del Azufre: LJAMM-CNP
5799 to 5805. Provincial Road 226, Paraje Mallines Colgados: LJAMM-CNP 2748 to 2751. San Carlos Department:
Along Rio Diamante, 3 km S Lago Diamante: MVZ 188729; S side Laguna Diamante: MVZ 180741 to 180745.
Specimens used for phylogenetic analyses
Liolaemus elongatus-kriegi complex: -buergeri clade: L. aff. austromendocinus: 2244; L. buergeri NQN: 5796; L.
sp. nov. A: 2533; L. kriegi: SDSU 3695; L. aff. buergeri 5297; L. kriegi: fn 174. -elongatus clade: L.
antumalguen: 6155 ; L. sp. nov. 7: 2602; L. sp. nov. 6: 2454; L. chillanensis: 3434; L. sp. nov. 15: 5268; L.
elongatus: 2128; L. sp. nov. 16: 5238 ; L. thermarum: 5792; L. sp. nov. 19: 5537. -petrophilus clade : L.
austromendocinus MZ: 5147; L. sp. nov. 48: 540; L. parvus: 2711; L. gununakuna: 2690; L. sp. nov. 12: 5375;
L. sp. nov. 13: 5356; L. petrophilus CH: 2125; L. petrophilus RN: 1914; L. capillitas: 2786; L. umbrifer: 5029;
L. tulkas: 4227; L. dicktracy: 5750; L. talampaya: 1972. punmahuida clade: Liolaemus flavipiceus: 7906; L.
punmahuida: 2626. Outgroup: L. kingii : 2309. All LJAMM-CNP collection.
· Zootaxa 2667 © 2010 Magnolia Press