Peru: Biologists report new species of lizards in Ica | News | ANDEAN

Biologists from the Herpetology Department of the Natural History Museum (MHN) in San Marcos University (UNMSM) reported the discovery of a new species of lizard, named “Stenocercus Ica”, in the basin of the Ica river located between 300 and 450 m above sea level

It is similar – in ecology and morphology – to Stenocercus modestus but differs – among other characteristics – in the absence of an oblique fold on the neck and the absence of scale plate as well as yellow spots in males.

Females have a broad dark band extending from the subocular scales to the antehumeral area, as well as dark reticles on the neck.

Regarding its conservation status, the authors recommend that the new species be classified as “endangered”, based on area of ​​occupancy and threatened localities.

75 species described

According to the study, the genus Stenocercus – to which the new species belongs – includes 75 described species that inhabit the Amazonian and desert environments of South America but are more present in the Andean region.

Peru is home to at least 62% of these species, most of which live in habitats as diverse as equatorial, tropical moist and dry montane forests.

Until now, the S. modestus lizard, native to the Lima region, was the only species of this genus reported from coastal desert habitats.

The report of this new species extends the distribution of the genus Stenocercus to some 300 km to the south, in the Pacific coastal desert.

(END) NDP/JOT/RMB/MVB

Posted: 02/16/2021

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