Tuesday, April 3, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Lophocalotes achlios Sumatra's Endemic Crested Dragons (Agamidae: Lophocalotes): A New Species from the Bukit Barisan Range, Comments on Lophocalotes ludekingi, and Ecology


Lophocalotes achlios 
Harvey, Scrivani, Shaney, Hamidy, Kurniawan & Smith, 2018


Abstract
With the use of a concordance and a mitochondrial tree–morphological character congruence approach, we show that recently discovered populations of Lophocalotes represent a new species. Like its only known congener, the new species occurs only on Sumatra in montane forests above 1000 m. The new species differs from L. ludekingi in having more gulars, ventrals, and subdigital lamellae; in having males with a lower nuchal crest not supported by an arched flap of skin and white gular markings; and in having females with cream buccal epithelia. These agamids are slow-moving, arboreal, generalist predators and lay 2–6 eggs, multiple times per year. Lophocalotes exhibits pronounced sexual dimorphism. Interestingly, coloration of the buccal epithelium is sexually dichromatic in the new species. The recently described nematode Spinicauda sumatrana infected most hosts in our sample, and parasite load increased with snout-to-vent length. Lophocalotes is closely related to Dendragama and Pseudocalotes and shares two derived characters with Pseudocophotis sumatrana: a prehensile tail and reduced keels on the subdigital lamellae.

Keywords: Clutch size, Diet, Lophocalotes achlios sp. nov., ND4, Parasites, Sexual dimorphism, Spinicauda sumatrana, Systematics


 Holotype of Lophocalotes achlios (MZB 14038, SVL 90 mm) from Gunung Kaba, Bengkulu Province, Sumatra.  

Lophocalotes achlios sp. nov.

Diagnosis.— A species of Lophocalotes differing from the L. ludekingi in having more gulars, ventrals, and subdigital lamellae; in having males with a lower nuchal crest not supported by an arched flap of skin and white gular markings; and in having females with cream buccal epithelia.

Etymology and standard English name.— The specific epithet achlios is a feminine noun in apposition derived by affixing the Greek suffix –ios meaning ‘‘pertaining to’’ or ‘‘of’’ to achlys, meaning mist. The new name refers to the misty cloud forests where Lophocalotes achlios occurs. We propose the standard English name ‘‘White-throated Crested Dragons’’ for this species in reference to the pattern of white and green on its gular scales. 

Nuchal crest (MZB 14043) of Lophocalotes ludekingi from Gunung Kerinci, Jambi Province, Sumatra. 

Michael B. Harvey, James Scrivani, Kyle Shaney, Amir Hamidy, Nia Kurniawan and Eric N. Smith. 2018. Sumatra's Endemic Crested Dragons (Agamidae: Lophocalotes): A New Species from the Bukit Barisan Range, Comments on Lophocalotes ludekingi, and Ecology. Herpetologica. 74(1); 73-88.  DOI: 10.1655/Herpetologica-D-17-00022.1

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