ArticlePDF Available

A New Species of Japalura (Squamata: Sauria: Agamidae) from Upper Lancang (Mekong) Valley of Eastern Tibet, China

Authors:
  • Chengdu Institute of Biology CAS

Abstract and Figures

A new species of the agamid genus Japalura is described based on 15 specimens from the upper Lancang (Mekong) Valley of eastern Tibet, PR China. Populations of the new species, Japalura vela sp. nov., were previously recognized as J. flaviceps. The new species is morphologically most similar to J. batangensis, J. micangshanensis, J. variegata, and J. zhaoermii, but is distinguished from the four species and all remaining congeners by the following combination of morphological characters: 1) small adult size (SVL 56–69 mm in males, 59–66 mm in females); 2) ratio of tail TAL/SVL 1.85–2.06; 3) ratio of hind limb HLL/SVL 0.72–0.81; 4) T4S 24 or 25; 5) concealed tympanum; 6) transverse gular fold present; 7) gular pouch present; 8) axillary fold present; 9) a pronounced, continuous, sail-like vertebral crest along length of body in males; 10) ground dorsal coloration black in males; 11) distinct gray transverse streaks on dorsal surface of head; 12) black radiated streaks around eyes; 13) distinct, black vermiculate stripes on ventral surface of head in both sexes; 14) a strongly jagged dorsolateral stripe from neck to base of tail on each side of vertebral crest in males; and 15) absence of gular spots in both sexes. General distribution patterns of the genus in the Hengduan Mountains region are also discussed.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Asian Herpetological Research 2015, 6(3): 159–168
DOI: 10.16373/j.cnki.ahr.140042
1. Introduction
The agamid lizards of the genus Japalura Gray, 1853 are
widely distributed in Asia from northwest India eastward
to Japan. Currently, the genus contains 28 recognized
species (Manthey et al., 2012; Uetz and Hošek, 2014),
with 14 of them recorded in mainland China: J.
andersoniana Annandale, 1905; J. batangensis Li et al.,
2001; J. brevicauda Manthey et al., 2012; J. dymondi
(Boulenger, 1906); J. fasciata Mertens, 1926; J. aviceps
Barbour and Dunn, 1919; J. grahami (Stejneger, 1924);
J. kumaonensis (Annandale, 1907); J. micangshanensis
Song, 1987; J. splendida Barbour and Dunn, 1919; J.
varcoae (Boulenger, 1918), J. yulongensis Manthey et al.,
2012; J. yunnanensis Anderson, 1878; and J. zhaoermii
Gao and Hou, 2002.
Among these species found in Mainland China, J.
flaviceps was reported from Chamdo (=Changdu) and
Markam (=Mangkang) of Chamdo Prefecture in eastern
Tibet (Hu et al., 1987; Li et al., 2010; Pope, 1935; Zhao
and Jiang, 1977). However, because later examinations of
historically collected specimens of Japalura restricted the
distribution of J. aviceps to the Dadu River Valley only
(Gao and Peng, 2005; Manthey et al., 2012), and since
Manthey et al. (2012) stated that the previously identied
specimen of J. flaviceps from the upper Lancang
(=Mekong) River at Jerkalo (=Yanjing) of Tibet may
represent an undescribed species, the taxonomic statuses
of Tibetan populations of J. aviceps are questionable.
A New Species of Japalura (Squamata: Sauria: Agamidae) from
Upper Lancang (Mekong) Valley of Eastern Tibet, China
Kai WANG
1, 2
, Ke JIANG
1
, Gang PAN
3
, Mian HOU
4
, Cameron D. SILER
2
and Jing CHE
1*
Abstract A new species of the agamid genus Japalura is described based on 15 specimens from the upper Lancang
(Mekong) Valley of eastern Tibet, PR China. Populations of the new species, Japalura vela sp. nov., were previously
recognized as J. aviceps. The new species is morphologically most similar to J. batangensis, J. micangshanensis, J.
variegata, and J. zhaoermii, but is distinguished from the four species and all remaining congeners by the following
combination of morphological characters: 1) small adult size (SVL 56–69 mm in males, 59–66 mm in females); 2)
ratio of tail TAL/SVL 1.85–2.06; 3) ratio of hind limb HLL/SVL 0.72–0.81; 4) T4S 24 or 25; 5) concealed tympanum;
6) transverse gular fold present; 7) gular pouch present; 8) axillary fold present; 9) a pronounced, continuous, sail-like
vertebral crest along length of body in males; 10) ground dorsal coloration black in males; 11) distinct gray transverse
streaks on dorsal surface of head; 12) black radiated streaks around eyes; 13) distinct, black vermiculate stripes on
ventral surface of head in both sexes; 14) a strongly jagged dorsolateral stripe from neck to base of tail on each side of
vertebral crest in males; and 15) absence of gular spots in both sexes. General distribution patterns of the genus in the
Hengduan Mountains region are also discussed.
Keywords distribution, Hengduan Mountains, Japalura, J. aviceps, species complex
*
Corresponding author: Prof. Jing CHE, from Kunming Institute of
Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, Yunnan, China,
with her research focusing on systematics, molecular evolution, and
biogeography of Asian amphibians and reptiles.
E-mail: chej@mail.kiz.ac.cn
Received: 28 July 2014 Accepted: 22 May 2015
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
1
State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of
Sciences, Kunming 650223, Yunnan, China
2
Sam Nobel Oklahoma Museum of Natural History and Department of Biology, University of Oklahoma, Norman
73072-7029, OK, USA
3
Institute of Plateau Ecology, Tibet Agriculture and Animal Husbandry College, Linzhi 860000, Tibet, China
4
Academy of Continuing Education, Sichuan Normal University, Chengdu 610068, Sichuan, China
Asian Herpetological Research160
Vol. 6
During a herpetofaunal survey of Tibet in 2013, we
collected 15 specimens of lizards identied to the genus
Japalura from the upper Lancang Valley at Quzika (near
Jerkalo) of the Chamdo Prefecture. In additional to a
number of morphometric differences, these specimens can
be distinguished easily from J. aviceps by the presence
of distinct radial streaks of pigmentation around the
eyes. Following robust morphological comparisons, this
population could not be assigned to any known congener.
Therefore, we describe this lineage as a new species
of Japalura and comment on the unique geographic
distributions of members of the genus in the Hengduan
Mountain regions.
2. Materials and Methods
All together 15 specimens of the new species were
collected from the upper Lancang Valley at Quzika,
eastern Tibet of China, including 10 adult males, two
adult females, and three juveniles. After euthanasia, tissue
samples were taken from the liver and preserved in 95%
ethanol, and the voucher specimens were fixed in 10%
buffered formalin and transferred to 70% ethanol after
eldwork. With the exception of a single male possessing
an incomplete tail (KIZ013798), the remaining 11
adult specimens were designated as the type series. All
specimens were deposited in the museum of the Kunming
Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
We measured morphological characters with a slide
caliper to the nearest 0.1 mm, except for the snout-vent
length (SVL) and tail length (TAL), which were measured
by a ruler to the nearest 1 mm, following the denitions of
Ota (1989). The following abbreviations of morphological
characters were used: snout–vent length (SVL), tail
length (TAL), head length (HL), head width (HW),
snout–eye length (SEL), orbital radius (OR), interorbital
distance (IOD), fore-limb length (FLL), hind limb length
(HLL), supralabial number (SL), infralabial number (IL),
subdigital lamellae number beneath Toe IV (T4S), and
mid-dorsal crest scale number, (MD). In addition to these
morphological characters, the following morphometric
characters were also examined: nasal–first supralabial
scale count (NSL), scale number between the nasal and
the first supralabial (NSL); supraciliary count (SCL),
elongated and overlapping scale number in a continuous
series from the posteriordorsal boundary of the nasal to
the point in line with the posterior margin of the orbit;
and supralabial–orbit scale row count (SOR), number of
horizontal scale rows between the sixth supralabial and
granular scales of the orbit right below the eye; length of
Toe IV (T4L), measured from the base of Toe IV to its
tip, excluding the claw; trunk length (TRL), measured
from the posterior insertion of fore-limbs to the anterior
insertion of hind limb. Values of paired characters from
both sides of the body are given in left/right order.
Voucher specimens of mainland species of Japalura
were examined (Appendix 1), including J. batangensis, J.
dymondi, J. aviceps, J. grahami, J. micangshanensis, J.
splendida, J. varcoae, J. yunnanensis, and J. zhaoermii.
In addition, data of the following ten species were also
obtained from Manthey et al. (2012): J. andersoniana,
J. brevicauda, J. chapaensis, J. fasciata, J. hamptoni, J.
otai, J. planidorsata, J. sagittifera, J. variegata, and J.
yulongensis. Morphometric data of the following nine
species were obtained from additional studies: J. brevipes
(Ota, 1989b), J. batangensis (Li et al., 2001; Wu et al.,
2004), J. kumaonensis
(Schleich and Kästle, 2002), J.
luei (Ota et al., 1998), J. makii (Ota, 1989a), J. swinhonis
(Ota, 1989b), J. tricarinata (Schleich and Kästle, 2002),
and J. zhaoermii (Gao and Hou, 2002). Coloration data of
live individuals of known Japalura species was obtained
from primary literatures listed above or published books
(Manthey, 2010; Schleich and Kästle, 2002; Yang and
Rao, 2008; Zhao et al., 1999). The museum abbreviations
referenced in this study include: Smithsonian National
Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Chengdu Institute
of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CIB),
Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of
Sciences (KIZ), and China West Normal University
(CWNU).
3. Results
Japalura vela sp. nov. Wang, Jiang, Che (Figures 1–6)
Synonymies
Japalura yunnanensis Vogt, 1924: 338
Japalura aviceps Hu et al., 1987: 112
Japalura aviceps Pope, 1935: 467
Japalura aviceps Zhao and Jiang, 1977: 293 –298
Japalura aviceps Zhao et al., 1999: 111–115
Japalura aviceps Li et al., 2010: 115
Japalura sp. A Manthey et al., 2012
Holotype KIZ013801 (Figures 1–4, 6), adult male from
Quzika of Markam, eastern Tibet, PR China (29°5' N,
98°36' E), at elevation of 2370 m, collected by Ke JIANG
and Kai WANG on May 23
rd
, 2013.
Paratypes Two adult females (KIZ013802 and
KIZ013813) and eight adult males (KIZ013800 and
KIZ013805–013811) all share the same data as the
holotype, collected by Ke JIANG, Kai WANG, and
Kai WANG et al. New Species of Japalura from TibetNo. 3 161
Duan YOU.
Diagnosis Following Ingers (1960) definition of the
genus, the new species is assigned to Japalura based on
a number of diagnostic characters, including: 1) dorsal
scales unequal in size, 2) presence of enlarged crest
scales, 3) presence of gular sac, 4) presence of lateral
fold of skin in axilla–groin region, 5) supraciliary scales
greatly imbricate; 6) head relatively long, at; 7) tail long,
slender; 8) tail cylindrical in shape; and 9) absence of
precloacal or femoral pores.
The new species differs from all known congeners by
the following combination of characters: 1) small adult
size (SVL 56–69 mm in males, 59–66 mm in females);
2) moderate tail length (TAL/SVL 1.92–2.06 in males,
1.85–1.86 in females); 3) moderate hind limb length
(HLL/SVL 0.72–0.81); 4) T4S 24 or 25; 5) tympanum
concealed; 6) transverse gular fold present; 7) gular
pouch present; 8) axillary folds present; 9) males with
pronounced, continuous, sail-like vertebral crest along
entire length of body from posterior margin of head to
base of tail; 10) ground body coloration black in males,
medium to dark brown in females; 11) white coloration
on ventral surface of body in males; 12) presence of white
transverse streaks on dorsal head; 13) presence of black
radiated streaks around eyes; 14) ventral surface of head
with prominent black vermiculate stripes; 15) gular spots
absent; 16) presence of distinct, jagged, yellowish-white
dorsolateral stripes in males; and 17) presence of faint,
reddish, dorsolateral lines restricted to anterior half of
axilla–groin region in females.
Description of holotype Adult male, SVL 69 mm, TAL
136 mm, HL 20.8 mm, HW 14.5 mm, FLL 31.2 mm,
HLL 50.8 mm, T4L 13.2 mm, TRL 33.0 mm. Rostral
rectangular, four times longer than height, in contact with
nine scales including supralabials; nasal sub-rectangular,
separated from rostral by two small scales; supralabials
nine on both sides of head, weakly keeled, rst supralabial
separated from nasal by single small scale; scales in loreal
region irregularly arranged; small ciliaries around eyes,
separated from SL by three rows of scales; supraobital
ridge with single row of elongated, strongly keeled,
imbricate canthals and supraciliaries; scales posterior
to orbit greatly enlarged compared to loreals, strongly
keeled; tympanum concealed, covered with small scales.
Scales on dorsal surface of head heterogeneous in
size, strongly keeled, forming “Y”-shaped ridge from
postrostral to posterior edge of orbit. Mental pentagonal;
infralabials 10 on both sides of head, lacking keels;
scales on ventral surface of head homogeneous in size,
keel protuberance increasing posteriorly towards throat;
transverse gular fold present; gular pouch present; scales
covered by gular fold smaller than those on ventral
surface of head; shoulder fold posterior to gular fold on
each side of body.
Middorsal scales serrated, consisting of 46 relatively
large scales; in life, males with pronounced, sail-
like, continuous vertebral crest along entire length
of body from posterior margin of head to base of
tail; in preservation, crest reduced in protuberance;
dorsolateral ridge composed of large, strongly keeled
Figure 1 Dorsolateral close-ups, dorsolateral overviews, and ventral
overviews of Japalura vela sp. nov.: The male holotype KIZ013801
(A, B, and C) and the female paratype KIZ013802 (D, E, and F) in
life. Images not to scale. Photos by Kai WANG.
Figure 2 Dorsal (left) and ventral (right) views of holotype
(KIZ013801) of Japalura vela sp. nov. in preservative. Photo by
Kai WANG.
Asian Herpetological Research162
Vol. 6
scales continuous along length of body, centered along
dorsolateral stripes on each side; dorsal ground scales
small, slightly keeled, randomly distributed; lateral
ground scales similar to dorsal ground scales in size,
shape, keel protuberance, distribution; large, distinctively
keeled scales scattered among ground scales on dorsal
Figure 3 Dorsal head views of males of Japalura vela sp. nov. holotype KIZ013801 (A) and J. batangensis CIB1902 (B), J. aviceps
CIB2333 (C), J. zhaoermii CIB85722 (D), and J. micangshanensis CIB2572 (E) in preservative. Images not to scale. Photos by Ke JIANG.
Figure 4 Ventral head views of males of Japalura vela sp. nov. holotype KIZ013801 (A) and paratype KIZ013805 (B), J. batangensis
CIB1902 (C), J. aviceps CIB2333 (D), J. zhaoermii CIB85722 (E), and J. micangshanensis CIB2572 (F) in preservative. Images not to
scale. Photos by Ke JIANG and Kai WANG.
Figure 5 Ventral head views of females of Japalura vela sp. nov. paratype KIZ013802 (A), J. batangensis CIB1908 (B), J. flaviceps
CIB2234 (C), J. zhaoermii CIB86432 (D), and J. micangshanensis CIB86356 (E) in preservative. Photos by Ke JIANG.
Figure 6 Dorsal views of males of Japalura vela sp. nov. holotype KIZ013801 (A), J. aviceps KIZ05181 (B), and J. batangensis CIB2233 (C)
in preservative. Photos by Ke JIANG and Kai WANG.
Kai WANG et al. New Species of Japalura from TibetNo. 3 163
and lateral surfaces of body.
Scales on ventral surface homogeneous in size, greatly
keeled compared to dorsal ones. Limb scales more or
less homogeneous in size, keeled, more pronounced on
ventral surface; Toe IV subdigital lamellae 24. Tail scales
homogeneous in size, strongly keeled, keels align in
longitudinal rows along entire length of tail.
Coloration of holotype The dorsal surface of the head
is black with three distinct, narrow, ash gray transverse
streaks, one in a “m”-shape between the nares, and two
in a “X”-shape between the eyes. The lateral surface of
the head is white with nine or ten black streaks radiating
around each eye. Four of these streaks are observed below
the eyes on both sides of the head, and extend to the
supralabial scales, with the posteriormost streak being the
broadest. The infralabial scales have short black bars that
are aligned with streaks on the supralabials. Pigmentation
on the chin and throat is white with distinct black
vermiculate stripes angled medially towards the midline
of the body. Dorsal and lateral surfaces of the body are
black, but gradually fade to brownish black from the base
of the tail to its tip, as well as from the proximal to the
distal end of the limbs. Prior to capture, the individual
possessed a strongly jagged yellow dorsolateral stripe
on each side of the vertebral crest along the length of
the body. Following capture, the coloration of the two
stripes changed to yellowish brown. Seven narrow yellow
bands are present across the dorsal surface of the body
from the neck to the groin. Posterior bands 3–7 extend
across the dorsolateral stripes on both sides of the body.
Lateral surface of the body in the axilla–groin region
possesses irregularly distributed, small to moderate-
sized, yellow spots. The larger lateral yellow spots nearly
form two longitudinal rows. The dorsal surface of the tail
is brownish black with 16 light-gray, transverse bands
evenly distributed along the length of the tail. Coloration
of the dorsal surfaces of limbs consists of a brownish
black ground color with white transverse bands running
along their length. The ventral surfaces of the body and
limbs are uniformly white, except the palms and soles,
which are yellowish-white (Figure 1).
Although the coloration of the holotype in preservation
closely matches its coloration in life, the following
differences were observed: 1) dorsolateral stripes are dark
gray, 2) transverse bands on the dorsal surface of the body
and spots on lateral surface of the body are white, and 3)
dorsal surface of the tail is dark gray (Figure 2).
Variation Variation in morphometric and meristic
characters is summarized in Table 1. Additionally,
the following coloration differences exist in the male
paratypes: 1) three male paratypes (KIZ013805, 013806,
and 013809) have signicantly faded bluish coloration on
the gular pouches, but nevertheless the faded color does
not form clear gular spots (Figure 4); 2) several dorsal
transverse bands do not extend completely across the
dorsal midline in three males (KIZ013808–10); and 3)
the vertebral skin fold of one male (KIZ 013800) is less
developed than the holotype.
Sexual dimorphism is observed for a number of
characters. Females have more vertically compressed
bodies (vs. less compressed), shorter tails (ratio of
TAL/SVL 1.85–1.86 vs.
1.92), highly reduced vertebral
crests (vs. pronounced and sail-like), brown ground
coloration on the dorsal and lateral surfaces of the body
(vs. black), a greater number of keeled, paravertebral
scale rows on dorsal and lateral surfaces of body (four vs.
two), and a faint, reddish dorsolateral lines restricted to
anterior half of axilla–groin region (vs. a distinct yellow
stripes along the entire length of the body). Additionally,
females possess chevron-shaped brown pigmentation
blotches along the dorsal midline of the body (vs. absent),
and white, dorsal, transverse bands that extend across
the lateral portions of the body (vs. extension just past
the dorsolateral stripes; Figure 1). Overall, the juveniles
(KIZ013799, 013804, 013812) resemble the adult
females, but they differ by having granular scales on the
dorsal and lateral surfaces of the head, broader, white
transverse bands on the dorsal surface of body, and by the
absence of unclear reddish dorsolateral lines.
Comparisons Japalura vela sp. nov. was previously
recognized as J. aviceps (Hu et al., 1987; Li et al., 2010;
Zhao and Jiang, 1977), but it can be distinguished easily
from the latter by having a greater number of T4S (24 or
25 vs. 21–23), a smaller adult body size (maximum SVL
up to 69mm vs. to 83mm), a relatively shorter snout (ratio
of SEL/HL 0.33–0.38 vs. 0.39–0.44), a pronounced, sail-
like, and continuous vertebral crest in males (vs. weak or
discontinuous with a clear break in the skin fold between
the nuchal and dorsal regions of the body), a black dorsal
background coloration in males (vs. brownish gray), black
(in males) or brown (in females) rectangular patches on
the dorsal surface of the body along the midline (vs. a
lateral series of dark brown rhombs with yellow centers),
as well as by the presence of multiple distinct transverse
streaks on the dorsal surface of the head (vs. absent,
signicantly faded, or in low numbers), and the presence
of distinct radiated streaks around the eyes (vs. absent).
The new species is morphologically most similar to
J. batangensis, J. micangshanensis, J. zhaoermii, and J.
variegata in external morphology, with all five species
Asian Herpetological Research164
Vol. 6
having transverse streaks on the dorsal surface of the head,
distinct radiated streaks around the eyes, pronounced
vertebral crest in males, and dorsolateral stripes that run
parallel to the dorsal midline in males. However, males
of the new species can be distinguished from males of
the latter four species by having a pronounced, sail-like,
continuous vertebral crest running along the entire length
of the body, with no distinct break between the nuchal and
dorsal sections (vs. discontinuous or having a clear break
between the two sections). Additionally, the new species
differs from J. batangensis by having a greater number
of T4S (24 or 25 vs. 18–22), a tendency towards longer
hind limbs (ratio of HLL/SVL 0.72–0.81 vs. 0.65–0.75),
a white coloration on ventral surface of body in males
(vs. bright yellow), as well as by the presence of unclear
reddish lines dorsolaterally in females (vs. absent or
presence of distinct dorsolateral stripes), and the absence
of a distinct gular spot (vs. always present in males, often
in females, greenish blue); from J. micangshanensis by
having a black dorsal background coloration in males (vs.
brownish), as well as by the presence of a gular fold (vs.
absent), the presence of distinct black vermiculate stripes
on the ventral surface of the head (vs. absent), and by the
presence of unclear reddish lines dorsolaterally in females
in life (vs. absent); from J. zhaoermii by having a smaller
adult body sizes (maximum SVL up to 69 mm vs. to 85
mm), as well as by the absence of a gular spot (vs. present
in males, yellowish green), and the presence of distinct,
narrow, black vermiculate stripes on ventral surface of
heads in males (vs. indistinct, broad stripes that fade
signicantly towards the center of the gular pouch); and
from J. variegata by having fewer MD (41–51 vs. 54–67),
a black dorsal background coloration (vs. olive green),
as well as by the absence of black reticulated patterns on
the lateral surface of the body (vs. present), and by the
absence of a gular spot (vs. present, violet).
Japalura vela sp. nov. can also be distinguished from
the congeners that distribute along the same river or in
close proximity. The new species can be distinguished
from J. yunnanensis, which occupies the lower reaches
of Lancang River, by having a shorter tail (ratio of TAL/
SVL
2.06 vs.
2.25), one or two scales between nasal
and the first SL (vs. in direct contact), a black ground
coloration of the dorsal surface of the body in males
(vs. brown or olive green), as well as by the absence of
a distinct gular spot in males (vs. present in males, light
yellow), and the presence of prominent black vermiculate
stripes on the ventral surface of the head (vs. absent). For
species from adjacent areas, the new species differs from
J. brevicauda by having a longer tail (ratio of TAL/SVL
Number Status Sex SVL TAL TAL/SVL HL HL/SVL HW HW/SVL SEL IOD FLL FLL/SVL HLL HLL/SVL T4L TRL SL IL NSL MD T4S SOR
SCL
KIZ013801 holotype male 69 136 1.97 20.8 0.3 14.5 0.21 7.4 9.5 31.2 0.45 50.8 0.74 13.2 33.0 9/9 10/10 1/1 46 25/25 3/3
7/7
KIZ013809 paratype male 60 115 1.92 18 0.3 12.8 0.21 6.4 8.7 28.4 0.47 44.9 0.75 11.3 25.3 8/8 10/11 1/1 42 24/25 3/3
7/7
KIZ013808 paratype male 65 134 2.06 19.5 0.3 14 0.22 6.9 9.6 31.5 0.49 50.3 0.77 12.3 31.3 8/8 9/10 2/2 47 24/25 3/3
7/7
KIZ013800 paratype male 62 122 1.97 18.7 0.3 13.5 0.22 6.8 9.3 29.9 0.48 50.1 0.81 12.0 29.4 8/8 11/11 2/1 41 24/24 3/3
7/7
KIZ013805 paratype male 60 123 2.05 18.8 0.31 13 0.22 7 9.2 28.6 0.48 43.9 0.73 11.9 29.0 9/10 11/10 1/2 44 25/25 4/4
7/7
KIZ013807 paratype male 56 110 1.96 17.3 0.31 12.2 0.22 6.5 8.4 28.0 0.50 44.0 0.79 11.3 26.0 9/9 10/10 1/1 44 24/24 3/3
7/7
KIZ013806 paratype male 65 129 1.98 20 0.31 13.6 0.21 7.4 9.6 31.5 0.48 46.6 0.72 12.6 29.7 9/10 10/10 1/1 44 25/24 3/3
7/7
KIZ013811 paratype male 64 127 1.98 19.9 0.31 14.1 0.22 6.9 9.2 29.3 0.46 45.8 0.72 13.1 28.6 7/8 9/9 1/2 44 24/25 3/3
7/7
KIZ013810 paratype male 57 112 1.96 19.2 0.34 13.9 0.24 6.4 9 25.5 0.45 44.7 0.78 11.9 26.3 9/9 11/11 2/2 45 24/24 4/4
7/7
Range 56–69 110–136 1.92–2.06 17.3–20.8 0.30–0.34 12.2–14.5 0.21–0.24 6.4–7.4 8.4–9.6 25.5–31.5 0.45–0.50 43.9–50.8 0.72–0.81 11.3–13.2 25.3–33.0 7–10 9–11 1–2 41–47 24–25 3 or 4
7
Average 62 123 1.98 19.1 0.31 13.5 0.22 6.9 9.2 29.2 0.47 46.9 0.76 12.2 28.8 8.61 10.17 1.39 44.1 24.4 3.22
7
KIZ013802 paratype female 66 123 1.86 19.5 0.3 14 0.21 7.4 9.1 32.0 0.48 47.9 0.73 13.9 32.7 9/9 11/10 2/2 51 24/24 3/3
8/8
KIZ013813 paratype female 59 109 1.85 17.3 0.29 12.4 0.21 6.2 8.8 28.0 0.47 43.1 0.73 12.1 30.2 9/9 10/11 2/1 47 25/25 3/3
7/8
Average 63 116 1.86 18.4 0.3 13.2 0.21 6.8 9 30.0 0.48 45.5 0.73 13.0 31.5 9 10.5 1.75 49 24.5 3
7.33
Table 1 Morphometric characters and meristic data of the type series of Japalura vela sp. nov.
Measurements of SVL, TAL, HL, HW, T4L, TRL, FLL, and HLL are in the unit of millimeter (mm), all meristic data are given in decimals, and paired meristic characters are all given in left/right
order. For average calculation of paired measurements, each one of the paired measurements is treated independently. Full terms of abbreviations are shown in the method section.
Kai WANG et al. New Species of Japalura from TibetNo. 3 165
1.85 vs.
1.45), longer fore-limbs (ratio of FLL/SVL
0.45 vs.
0.40), longer hind limbs (ratio of HLL/SVL
0.72 vs.
0.64), greater number of T4S (24 or 25 vs.
16–20), as well as by the presence of a distinct gular
pouch (vs. not visible); and from J. yulongensis by having
a shorter tail (ratio of TAL/SVL ratio < 2.06 vs. >2.23), as
well as by the absence of a distinct gular spot in preserved
male specimens (vs. present, dark in preservation).
The new species J. vela sp. nov. can be easily
distinguished from the remaining mainland congeners
by having distinct ornamentations and obvious
morphological characteristics without detailed
comparisons of pholidosis. The new species differs from
J. andersoniana by having shorter hind limbs (ratio of
HLL/SVL 0.72–0.81 vs. 0.88–1.10); from J. fasciata by
the absence of pale-blue, hourglass-shaped pattern on mid
body (vs. present); from J. grahami by having a greater
number of MD (41–45 vs. 10); from J. otai Mahony,
2009, J. sagittifera Smith, 1940, and J. planidorsata
Jerdon, 1870 by having a un-depressed body shape (vs.
vertically depressed), as well as by the presence of two
distinct, broad dorsolateral stripes in males (vs. absence or
distinctively narrow), and the absence of a light vertebral
strip on the dorsal surface of the body (vs. present); from
J. dasi, J. dymondi, J. kumaonensis, J. tricarinata (Blyth,
1854), and J. varcoae by having a concealed tympanum
(vs. exposed); from J. major (Jerdon, 1870) by having a
concealed tympanum (vs. mostly exposed), a black ground
coloration with white spots on the lateral surface of the
body in males (vs. olive ground color, reticulated with
black on the lateral sides), a uniform white coloration on
ventral surface of the body (vs. speckled with black), as
well as by the absence of white lip-stripes below the eyes
(vs. present); from J. splendida by having a smaller adult
body size (maximum SVL < 69 mm vs. <92 mm), jagged
dorsolateral stripes in males (vs. with smooth edges),
a black (males) or brown (females) ground coloration
of the dorsal surface of the body (vs. gray or green), as
well as by the presence of pronounced, continuous, sail-
like vertebral crest in males (vs. feebly developed and
discontinuous); from J. hamptoni Smith, 1935 by having
parallel, strongly jagged dorsolateral stripes in males (vs.
diagonally away from the dorsal midline and with smooth
edges); and from J. chapaensis Bourret, 1937 by having
fewer T4S (24 to 25 vs. 28), a light-pink coloration of the
oval cavity in life (vs. yellow), as well as by the absence
of distinct gular spot (vs. present in males, yellow), and
the absence of reticulated black pigmentation on the
lateral surface of the body (vs. present).
Additionally, the new species differs from all island
species (J. breviceps Gressit, 1936; J. luei Ota, Chen
and Shang, 1998; J. makii Ota, 1989; J. polygonata
polygonata (Hallowell, 1860); J. polygonata donan Ota,
2003; J. polygonata ishigakiensis Van Denburgh, 1912;
J. polygonata xanthostoma Ota, 1991; and J. swinhonis
Günther, 1864) by having a transverse gular fold (vs.
absent), a black ground coloration of the dorsal surface
of the body in males (vs. brown or green), the parallel
dorsolateral stripes (vs. absent or diagonally away from
dorsal midline), and a terrestrial lifestyle (vs. arboreal),
as well as by the absence of a distinct gular spot in males
(vs. present).
Distribution and Ecology The new species is currently
known only from the type locality (Figures 7–8), but
it may be found in valleys of adjacent reaches along
Lancang Rivers. As a terrestrial species, individuals were
observed commonly in rocky areas or steppe-shrub habitat
along the arid river valley (Figure 7). Adult males usually
basked on high rocks, while adult females and juveniles
stayed lower in the rock piles, suggesting possible niche
Figure 7 The microhabitat (A) and macrohabitat (B) of Japalura
vela sp. nov. at the type locality, Quzika, Tibet. Photos by Duan
YOU.
Asian Herpetological Research166
Vol. 6
partitioning among different age-groups and between
different sexes. Males are territorial, in which the territory
holder will perform vertical head-nodding movements
and display gular pouch toward the invader, and physical
contacts (biting and chasing) will happen if the invader
refuses to leave. No territorial behaviors were seen among
females or juveniles. Possible predations may come from
snakes (Chinese Beauty Snake, Orthriophis taeniurus,
KIZ013803, was collected from the same locality) and
large birds (Corvus sp., also commonly observed at
this locality).
Etymology The Latin word vela means “sail”, which
describes the shape of the pronounced and continuous
vertebral crest as the diagnostic morphology of the males
of the new species. Hence according to the Latin name,
we suggest Sail Moutain Lizards or Sail Japalura as its
English common name, and Fan Bei Pan Xi (
帆背攀蜥
)
as its Chinese common name.
4. Discussion
Previous studies have suggested that Japalura lizards
show a strong tendency to distribute along river valleys in
the Hengduan Mountains, where each species is endemic
to specific reaches of the river (Manthey et al., 2012;
Yang and Rao, 1992). For example, along the Yangtze
River, J. batangensis is endemic to the very upper reaches
of Jinsha River (Li et al., 2001; Wu et al., 2005); J.
yulongensis and J. brevicauda have been found in slightly
lower reaches in northwestern Yunnan only (Manthey et
al., 2012); J. dymondi has been reported in further lower
reaches of north central Yunnan and southern Sichuan
(Yang and Rao, 2008; Zhao et al., 1999); and J. splendida
has been found in the rest of the middle reaches of
Yangtze River (Manthey et al., 2012; Zhao et al., 1999).
For the Lancang River, J. yunnanensis was reported to
occur in the lower reaches in southwestern Yunnan (Jiang,
1992; Yang and Rao, 2008; Zhao et al., 1999), and J.
vela appears to be distributed along the upper reaches of
the Lancang River in Tibet. This continuous distribution
pattern of species in the genus along the Lancang River
is consistent with the river-based distribution pattern of
other mainland congeners in East Asia. Given the large
number of un-surveyed river habitats and additional
unexamined records J. cf. flaviceps in Yunnan Province
(Pan et al., 2002; Yang and Rao, 2008), there may still be
undiscovered species diversity in the valleys of the upper
Lancang River Basin and adjacent areas.
The rise of the Hengduan Mountains have
been shown to have created geographic barriers to
formerly continuous populations of species within the
herpetofauna, which resulted in population diversication
and, subsequently, speciation (Che et al., 2010; Huang et
al., 2009; Yang et al. 1987). For the genus Japalura, J.
vela and J. batangensis occur in close proximity (about
60 km between their native valleys), and yet the two
river valleys are separated by continuous mountains
reaching over 3 500 m in elevation (Figure 8). Given that
the known upper distribution limit of Japalura in the
area is 3 000 m in elevation only (Yang et al., 1987), we
believe these two species to be allopatrically distributed.
Much work remains to be done with this genus, including
Figure 8 Map showing the relative positions of the type locality of Japalura vela sp. nov. (A) and J. batangensis (B) in PR China.
Kai WANG et al. New Species of Japalura from TibetNo. 3 167
studies on sexually dimorphic traits, crest evolution,
and biogeographic patterns. Future phylogeographic
and behavioral studies are needed to gain a better
understanding of their unique evolutionary history.
Acknowledgements This work was supported by
the Ministry of Science and Technology of China
(2014FY210200, 2011FY120200), the National Natural
Science Foundation of China (31090250), and the
Animal Branch of the Germplasm Bank of Wild Species
of Chinese Academy of Sciences (the Large Research
Infrastructure Funding). We thank Mr. Duan You, who
assisted us in the fieldwork in Tibet, Dr. Gernot Vogel
(Society for Southeast Herpetology, Germany), who
gracefully provided suggestions on the Latin name of this
new species. We also thank Prof. Yuezhao Wang (CIB),
Prof. Yueying Chen (CIB), Mr. Ke Lu (CIB), Mr. Guiwu
He (KIZ), and Mr. Wynn Addison (NMNH) for their
help in examining the specimens, and Ms. Jingting Liu
(Washington State University) for her help in editing the
photographs.
References
Anderson J. 1879 “1878”. Reptilia and amphibia. In Anatomical
and Zoological Researches: Comprising an Account of the
Zoological Results of the Two Expeditions to Western Yunnan in
1868 and 1875, Vol. I. London: Bernard Quarich, 703–869
Annandale N. 1905. Contributions to the oriental herpetology II.
Notes on the oriental lizards in the Indian Museum, with a list
of the species recorded from British India and Ceylon. J Proc
Asiatic Soc Bengal, New Ser, 1 (3): 81–93
Annandale N. 1907. Reptiles. In Boulenger G. A., Annandale, N.,
Wall, F., Regan C. T. (Eds.), Report on a collection of batrachia,
reptiles and fish from Nepal and the western Himalayas. Rec
Indian Mus, 1: 149–158
Barbour T., Dunn E. R. 1919. Two new Chinese japaluras. Proc
New England Zoöl Club, 7: 15–19
Boulenger G. A. 1906. Descriptions of new reptiles from Yunnan.
Ann Mag Nat Hist, Ser. 7, 17: 567–568
Boulenger G. A. 1918. Description of a new lizard of the genus
Acanthosaura from Yunnan. Ann Mag Nat Hist, Ser. 9, 2: 162
Che J., Zhou W. W., Hu J. S., Yan F., Papenfuss T. J., Wake D.
B., Zhang Y. P. 2010. Spiny frogs (Paini) illuminate the history
of the Himalayan region and Southeast Asia. Proc Natl Acad Sci
USA, 107 (31), 13765–13770
Gao Z. F., Hou M. 2002. Description of a new Japalura species
from western Sichuan Province, China. Sichuan J Zool, 21 (1):
3–5 (In Chinese)
Gao Z. F., Qin A. M. 2000. Japalura micangshanensis.—A new
reptile record in Sichuan. Sichuan J Zool, 19 (5): 27 (In Chinese)
Gray J. E. 1853. Descriptions of some undescribed species
of reptiles collected by Dr. Joseph Hooker in the Khassia
Mountains, East Bengal, and Sikkim Himalaya. Ann Mag Nat
Hist, 12 (2): 386–392
Gressitt J. L. 1936. New reptiles from Formosa and Hainan. Proc
Biol Soc Washington, 49: 117–121
Günther G. A. 1864. The Reptiles of British India. Ray Society,
London, xxvii+452 pp., pl. 1–26
Hallowell E. 1861. Report upon the Reptilia of the north Pacific
exploring expedition, under command of Capt. John Roger, U.
S. N. Proc Acad Nat Sci Philadelphia, 12: 480–510
Hu S. Q. 1987. Amphibia-Reptilia of Xizang. Beijing: Science
Press, 153pp (In Chinese)
Huang S., Liu S. Y., Guo P., Zhang Y. P., Zhao E. M. 2009. What
are the closest relatives of the hot spring snakes (Colubridae,
Thermophis), the relict species endemic to the Tibetan Plateau?
Mol Phylogenet Evol, 51 (3), 438–446
Jiang Y. M. 1992. Japalura yunnanensis. Sichuan J Zool, 11 (4): 31
(In Chinese)
Jiang Y. M., Hu Q. X., Zhao E. M. 1983. Studies on amphibians
and reptiles of Mt. Gongga region, Sichuan, China. 4. Species
composition and faunal analysis (including records of birds
collected from this region). Acta Herpetol Sinica, 2 (1): 63–69
(In Chinese)
Li C., Deng Q. X., Wu Y., Wang Y. 2001. A new species of
Japalura from Sichuan (Agamidae Gray. Japa Lura). J Sichuan
Teachers College (Nat Sci), 22 (4): 329–331 (In Chinese)
Li P. P., Zhao E. M., Dong B. J. 2010. Amphibians and Reptiles of
Tibet. Beijing: Science Press, 251 pp (In Chinese)
Mahony S. 2009. A new species of Japalura (Reptilia: Agamidae)
from northeast India with a discussion of the similar species
Japalura sagittifera Smith, 1940 and Japalura planidorsata
Jerdon, 1870. Zootaxa, 2212: 41–61
Mahony S. 2010. Systematic and taxonomic revaluation of four
little known Asian agamid species, Calotes kingdonwardi Smith,
1935, Japalura kaulbacki Smith, 1937, Salea kakhienensis
Anderson, 1879 and the monotypic genus Mictopholis Smith,
1935 (Reptilia: Agamidae). Zootaxa, 2514: 1–23
Manthey U. 2010. Agamid Lizards of Southern Asia—Draconinae
2, Leiolepidinae. Frankfurt/M: Chimaira, 168 pp
Manthey U., Denzer W., Hou M., Wang X. H. 2012. Discovered
in historical collections: two new Japalura species (Squamata:
Sauria: Agamidae) from Yulong Snow Mountains, Lijiang
Prefecture, Yunnan, PR China. Zootaxa, 3200: 27–48
Mertens R. 1926. Herpetologische Mitteilung X—Eine neue
Japalura Art. Senckenbergiana, 8: 146–149
Ota H. 1989a. A new species of Japalura (Agamidae: Lacertilia:
Reptilia) from Taiwan. Copeia, 1989 (3): 569–576
Ota H. 1989b. Japalura brevipes Gressitt (Agamidae: Reptilia), a
valid species from high altitude area of Taiwan. Herpetologica,
45 (1): 55–60
Ota H. 2000. Japalura szechwanensis, a junior synonym of J.
fasciata. J Herpetol, 34 (4): 611–614
Ota H., Chen S. L., Shang G. 1998. Japalura luei: A new agamid
lizard from Taiwan (Reptilia: Squamata). Copeia, 1998 (3):
649–656
Pan X. F., Zhou W., Zhou, Y. W., Wu F., Zhang Q. 2002.
Amphibian and reptile in Zhongdian area of northwest Yunnan.
Sichuan J Zool, 21 (2): 88–91 (In Chinese)
Pope C. H. 1935. The Reptiles of China: Turtles, Crocodilians,
Snakes, Lizards. Natural History of Central Asia, Vol. X. New
York: American Museum of Natural History, 603 pp
Asian Herpetological Research168
Vol. 6
Schleich H. H., Kästle W. 2002. Amphibians and Reptiles of
Nepal: Biology, Systematics, Field Guide. Ruggell: Koeltz
Scientic Books, 1201 pp
Smith M. A. 1935. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma.
Reptilia and Amphibia. Vol. II, Sauria. London: Taylor and
Francis, 440 pp
Smith M. A. 1937. Description of a new species of agamid lizard
from upper Burma. J Bombay Nat Hist Soc, 39 (4): 755
Song M. T. 1987. Survey of the reptiles of southern Shaanxi. Acta
Herpetologica Sinica, 6 (1): 59–64 (In Chinese)
Stejneger L. 1924. Herpetological novelties from China. Occas Pap
Boston Soc Nat Hist, 5: 119–121
Stejneger L. 1926. Chinese amphibians and reptiles in the United
States National Museum. Proc U.S. Nat Mus, 66 (25), 1–115
Vogt T. 1924. Reptilien und amphibien aus Szetschwan, Osttibet
und Tschili. Zoologischer Anzeiger 60 (11/12): 337–344 (In
German)
Uetz P., Hošek J. 2014. The Retiles Database, http://www.reptile-
database.org, accessed Jan 8, 2014
Wu J. W., Gao Z. F., Qin A. M. 2005. A re-description of Japalura
batangensis. Sichuan J Zool, 24 (3): 344–345 (In Chinese)
Yang D. T., Su C. Y., Li S. M. 1987. A study on amphibians and
reptiles from the Hengduanshan Mountains of Yunnan. Acta
Herpetol Sinica, 2 (3): 37–49 (In Chinese)
Yang D. T., Rao D. Q. 1992. The identity of reptiles and their
origination and evolution in southeastern Asia and Yunnan
Province of China. Zool Res, 13 (2): 101–108. (In Chinese)
Yang D. T., Rao, D. Q. 2008. Amphibia and Reptilia of Yunnan.
Kunming: Yunnan Publishing Group Corporation, 411 pp (In
Chinese)
Zhao E. M., Adler K. 1993. Herpetology of China. Oxford: Society
for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, 522 pp
Zhao E. M., Zhao K., Zhou K. Y. 1999. Fauna Sinica, Reptilia,
Vol. 2, Squamata, Lacertilia. Beijing: Science Press, 394 pp (In
Chinese)
Zhao, E. M., Jiang Y. M. 1977. A survey of reptiles in Xizang
Autonomous Region, with faunal analysis and descriptions of
new forms. Acta Zoological Sinica, 23 (1): 64–71 (In Chinese)
Appendix 1 Specimens examined.
Japalura batangensis (n=19): CWNU98012 (holotype), CWNU98004, 98010, 98014–18, CIB2227, 2233, 2243, 1902–
09, Batang, Sichuan, China.
J. dymondi (n=3): CIB87234, 1869, 1817, Panzhihua, Sichuan, China.
J. aviceps (n=10): CIB2332, 2341, 2354, 2355, 2333, 2234, 2561, 2556, Luding, Sichuan, China; KIZ05181–05182,
Luding, Sichuan, China.
J. grahami (n=1): USMN65500 (holotype), Yibin, Sichuan, China.
J. micangshanensis (n=9): CIB86351, 86348, Xianyang, Shanxi, China; CIB86360, 86361, 86356, 86357, Luonan,
Shanxi, China; CIB2572, 2578, 2582, Wenxian, Gansu, China.
J. splendida (n=6): USNM 35522 (holotype), Yichang, Hubei, China; CIB2588, 2591, 2596, Wushan, Chongqin, China;
CIB72468, 72469, Yunyang, Chongqin, China.
J. varcoae: (n=2): CIB2651, 2650, Kunming, Yunnan, China.
J. yunnanensis (n=4): CIB2686, 2687, 2689, 2684, Longling, Yunnan, China.
J. zhaoermii (n=8): CIB002690 (holotype), CIB86435, 86432, 85722, 85721, Wenchuan, Sichuan, China; CIB2232,
2244, 2240, Lixian, Sichuan, China.
... As a result, nearly all Diploderma populations in Southwest and central China were long considered as D. flaviceps, a species believed to have the widest distribution among all Chinese congeners (Yang & Rao, 2008;Yao & Gong, 2012;Zhao et al., 1999). Valley only, and studies have shown that the majority of congeners from the HMR are micro-endemic lineages restricted to only specific sections of isolated river valleys Wang et al., 2015Wang et al., , 2016. Therefore, populations of previously identified D. cf. ...
... flaviceps outside of the upper Dadu River Valley represent a large species complex of misidentified congeners. Since the early 2000s, multiple distinct evolutionary lineages have been discovered from the D. flaviceps complex across the HMR, including D. batangense (Li, Deng, Wu, Wang, 2001), D. brevicaudum (Manthey, Wolfgang, Gou, Wang, 2012), D. drukdaypo (Wang, Ren, Jiang, Zou, Wu, Che, Siler, 2019), D. iadinum (Wang, Jiang, Zou, Yan, Siler, Che, 2016), D. laeviventre (Wang, Jiang, Zou, Yan, Siler, Che, 2016), D. micangshanense (Song, 1987), D. vela (Wang, Jiang, Pan, Hou, Siler, Che, 2015), D. yulongense (Manthey, Wolfgang, Hou, Wang, 2012), and D. zhaoermii (Gao, Hou, 2002; Figure 1). However, cf. ...
... Based on their descriptions, these Yunnan populations of D. cf. flaviceps possess distinct dark radial stripes around the eyes and colorful gular spots, which contradict the revised diagnoses of true D. flaviceps (radial stripes around the eyes absent or faint; gular spots absent; Wang et al., 2015;Wang et al., 2016;. ...
Article
Full-text available
Cryptic diversity not only introduces confusion to taxonomic studies, but it also poses major challenges to conservation and environmental legislation. One such troubling group are the Mountain Dragons in the genus Diploderma in Southwest China. Previous studies have suggested that the genus contains considerable cryptic diversity, particularly in the D. flaviceps complex. Owing to taxonomic confusion, micro‐endemic lineages are still neglected by the Chinese wildlife protection laws, despite their urgent conservation needs. Combining multivariate morphological and multi‐locus phylogenetic data, we provide the first integrative systematic revision of the genus Diploderma. Specifically, we confirm that the six examined populations of D. cf. flaviceps from the upper Jinsha and Yalong River Valleys in Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces represent six cryptic, undescribed lineages, and we describe each of them as a new species. With the updated taxonomy and distribution information, we discuss the taxonomy of the D. flaviceps complex in Southwest China, provide an updated diagnostic key along with distributional ranges for all species of the genus, and discuss some of the suspicious records of other congeners in China. Lastly, we evaluate the IUCN status of each of the six new species and highlight the major challenges for Diploderma conservation in China due to delayed environmental legislation and misleading conservation assessments.
... Despite the recent split, Diploderma still represents one of the most diverse groups of agamid lizard from Asia, including 25 species recognized currently, with most species found in China (Wang et al., 2019a(Wang et al., , 2019b. Although increasing attention has been paid to cryptic diversity within the genus in Southwest China during the past decade, most studies have focused on a single species complex, D. flaviceps, only (Manthey et al., 2012;Wang et al., 2015Wang et al., , 2016Wang et al., , 2017Wang et al., , 2019a, with few studies on other congeners that also have widespread distributions. One such example is D. dymondi (Boulenger, 1906). ...
Article
Full-text available
Despite continuous studies on the cryptic diversity of the Diploderma flaviceps complex in Southwest China for the pastdecade, little attention has been given to other widespreadcongeners in China. Combining both morphological and phylogenetic data, we describe a new species of Diplodermafrom populations identified previously as D. dymondi in thelower Yalong River Basin in southern Sichuan Province. Thenew species is morphologically most similar to D. dymondiand D. varcoae, but it can be differentiated by a considerablegenetic divergence and a suite of morphological characters,including having taller nuchal crest scales, smaller tympana,and a distinct oral coloration. Additionally, we discuss otherputative species complexes within the genus Diploderma inChina.
... Finally we would like to mention that a number of recent publications (e. g. Manthey et al. 2015, Wang et al. 2015 referred to 1860 as the year of both erecting the genus Diploderma and the describing of D. polygonatum. However, Hallowell (1860) was not published until early 1861 (see Nolan 1913) and the correct notation has to be Diploderma Hallowell, 1861. ...
Article
Full-text available
The genus Japalura Gray, 1853 s. l. currently comprises 34 species (Japalura n=7; Cristidorsa Wang, Deepak, Datta-Roy, Lin, Jiang, Che & Siler, 2018, n=2; Diploderma Hallowell, 1861, n=25). Furthermore the species Diploderma polygonatum is composed of its nominate form and three additional subspecies. For all but one species primary types (holo-, syn- or lectotypes) are available, and in most cases paratypical specimens have also been deposited. The type specimen of Japalura yunnannensis appears to be lost.
... Specimens were measured with digital calipers by KW and VD (60.01 mm). Focal characters follow Wang et al. (2015Wang et al. ( , 2016, and include (definitions given after abbreviation in parentheses): snout-vent length (SVL); tail length (TAL; from vent to tip of tail); head length (HL; measured from rostral to the jaw joint); head width (HW; measured at the widest point); snout-eye length (SEL; from rostral to the anterior corner of eye); forelimb length (FLL; axillary to the end of the longest finger, excluding claw); hindlimb length (HLL; groin to the end of Finger IV, excluding claw); supralabial count (SL); infralabial count (IL); middorsal scale count (MD; count of dorsal crest scale, from the beginning on occipital of head to position above vent); Finger IV subdigital lamellae count (F4S; subdigital lamellae count from the base to the tip of Finger IV); Toe IV subdigital lamellae count (T4S; subdigital lamellae count from the base to the tip of Toe IV); Toe IV length (T4L); trunk length (TRL); number of scales between nasal and first supralabials (NSL; lowest number of scales, counted in straight line, between the nasal and the first supralabial); number of scale rows between supralabials and orbit circle (SOR; counted from the midpoint of lower edge of orbit circle); enlarged, modified, postoccipital scale count (POS); enlarged, modified, posttympanic scale count (PTY); and enlarged, modified, postrictal scale count (PRS). Measurements were taken on the left side of the specimen only (unless the left side was damaged, then the right side was used), and values for paired pholidosis characters (SL, IL, NSL, SCL, SOR, PTY, and PRS) were recorded from both sides of the body, with counts provided in left/right order. ...
Article
Full-text available
Although the recognized distribution of Japalura kumaonensis is restricted largely to western Himalaya, a single, isolated outlier population was reported in eastern Himalaya at the China-Nepal border in southeastern Tibet, China in Zhangmu, Nyalam County. Interestingly, subsequent studies have recognized another morphologically similar species, J. tricarinata, from the same locality in Tibet based on photographic evidence only. Despite these reports, no studies have examined the referred specimens for either record to confirm their taxonomic identifications with robust comparisons to congener species. Here, we examine the referred specimen of the record of J. kumaonensis from southeastern Tibet, China; recently collected specimens from the same locality in southeastern Tibet; type specimens; and topotypic specimens of both J. kumaonensis and J. tricarinata, to clarify the taxonomic identity of the focal population from southeastern Tibet, China. Our results indicate that individuals of the referred Tibetan population differ from J. kumaonensis in external morphology, but match descriptions and specimens of J. tricarinata. We conclude that the previous record of J. kumaonensis from Tibet was a misidentification of J. tricarinata, and J. kumaonensis should be recognized as occurring in western Himalaya only. To facilitate future taxonomic studies of the genus Japalura sensu lato in the Himalaya, we provide a detailed description of J. tricarinata and an updated diagnostic key to the genus from the Himalaya.
... These molecular studies show strongly supported monophyly of the Southeast Asian line of Japalura, Acanthosaura, and Pseudocalotes. Genus includes 31 species; more than a half (18) live in continental China (Ananjeva et al., 2011;Uetz and Hošek, 2016), among them 2 new species were discovered in historical collections (Manthey et al., 2012) and 3 more new species are recently described from Eastern Tibet (Wang et al., 2015Wang et al., , 2016). Japalura genus occurs from tropical to warm temperate region in the eastern half of Asia, ranging from northern India, Nepal and China to the northern Indochina and subtropical islands of East Asia: Taiwan, China and islands in Southern Japan (Figure 1). ...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract A new species of the agamid genus Japalura is described based on three specimens from southern part of Central Vietnam. It is distinguished from remaining congeners by the following combination of characters: adult size (SVL females 68–69 mm), tail length/SVL ratio 226%–239%, HW/SVL ratio 17%–18%; FLL/SVL ratio 41%–43%; HLL/SVL ratio 72%–73%; 7–9 supralabials, 7–9 infralabials, 54–56 middorsal scales, 20–22 lamellae under finger IV, 24–26 lamellae under toe IV, 1 scale between nasal and supralabials; tympanum concealed; absence of transverse gular fold. The geographical distribution of Japalura genus in general and of a new species in particular is discussed. Keywords Agamidae, Japalura, taxonomy, Vietnam, description of a new species, distribution
Article
Full-text available
The mountain dragon, Diploderma vela, is an endemic and protected valley lizard that inhabits the upper Lantsang Valley in West China. In this study, we sequenced the complete mitochondrial genome of a male individuals of D. vela using next-generation sequencing methodologies. The complete mitogenome is 16,432 bp in length and contains one noncoding control regions, 13 protein-coding, 22 transfer RNA and two ribosomal RNA genes. The mitogenome content and structure of D. vela was consistent with the previously published representatives of the family. A Bayesian phylogenetic analysis using the complete mitochondrial genomes of Agamidae fully resolved D. vela in the Draconinae, a result consistent with previous investigations. This study provides bioinformatic data for better understanding the evolution and the phylogenetic history of the mountain dragon.
Article
Full-text available
From the perspectives of biodiversity conservation and management, there is an urgent need to have at hand current synopses of classification and distributions of species. In this paper, we review and summarize the classifica tions, Chinese and English names, type specimens, type localities and distributions of China's lizard fauna to promote scientific exchange and species conservation among relevant people in China and internationally. As of December 31, 2020, a total of 230 species of lizard, belonging to 44 genera and 12 families, have been recorded from China, including 4 invasive species: 2 in the family Gekkonidae, 1 in Iguanidae and one in Dactyloidae. There are 115 endemic species, accounting for 50% of this group. The proportion of endemic species to China was the highest in the family Eublepharidae (84.62%), and the number of endemic species to China was the highest in the family Agamidae (42 species). The species distributions and classification in the "Fauna Sinica (Reptilia 2): Squamata (Lacertilia)" were updated. Among the provincial administrative units, there is a larger number of species in the southern provinces, such
Article
Full-text available
Although the genus Japalura s.l. has long been recognized as paraphyletic based on limited genetic sampling, its problematic taxonomy has not been revised, and phylogenetic relationships among the majority of congeners remain unknown. Here we utilize a densely sampled dataset of both multilocus genetic and morphological data to provide the first phylogenetic inference of relationships among Japalura s.l.species. Our results show that Japalura s.l. is paraphyletic, consisting of four major clades that are scattered across the phylogeny of the subfamily Draconinae: the first clade from the western, central and middle-eastern Trans-Himalayas, the second clade from the far eastern Trans-Himalayas, the third clade from East Asia and the last clade from Indochina. To address this widespread paraphyly of the genus and to stabilize the taxonomy within the family Draconinae, we revise the current taxonomy and split Japalura s.l. into four genera. By doing so, we recognize two existing generic names, Japalura sensu stricto and Pseudocalotes, resurrect one name available in the literature, Diploderma, and describe one new genus, Cristidorsa gen. nov. We discuss phylogenetic relationships and taxonomy within Japalura s.l. and present a diagnostic key to all recognized genera of the subfamily Draconinae.
Article
A new agamid lizard, Japalura makii, is described from the central and southern mountain regions of Taiwan. This species most closely resembles J. brevipes, another Taiwanese species also occurring in a high altitude area, but differs from other congeners in a combination of morphological and karyological characteristics. A dichotomous key to the four Taiwanese species of the genus Japalura is provided.
Article
A new species, Japalura luei, is described from Mt. Taipingshan (1950-2000 m), northern Taiwan. This species differs from two other montane Japalura, J. brevipes and J. makii, from Taiwan in having elongated smooth scales on the ventrolateral corner of the chin just beneath the orbit and a discontinuous pale color pattern on the shoulder and flank, as well as in lacking dark pigmentation in the buccal-palatal mucosa and keeled dorsal scales on the snout. Japalura luei shares the diploid chromosome number of 36 only with J. brevipes among other congeneric species so far karyotyped. From J. brevipes, J. luei differs in having one pair of metacentric and two pairs of telocentric chromosomes forming an intermediate-size group.