Psilops seductus, Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut, Recoder, Renato, Jr, Mauro Teixeira, Roscito, Juliana Gusson, Guerrero, Agustín Camacho, Sales Nunes,, 2017

Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut, Recoder, Renato, Jr, Mauro Teixeira, Roscito, Juliana Gusson, Guerrero, Agustín Camacho, Sales Nunes,, 2017, A morphological and molecular study of Psilops, a replacement name for the Brazilian microteiid lizard genus Psilophthalmus Rodrigues 1991 (Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae), with the description of, Zootaxa 4286 (4), pp. 451-482: 467-471

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Psilops seductus

sp. nov.

Psilops seductus  sp. nov.

( Figs. 8–9View FIGURE 8View FIGURE 9)

Psilophthalmus  sp.— Nogueira (2006: 99–101, 128, 140, 192, 200–201, 227, 234, 237, 239, 244, 261, 294); Recoder and Nogueira (2007: 267, 270, 272–273, 278); Nogueira et al. (2009: 93); Nogueira et al. (2010: 356).

Holotype. an adult male MNRJ 19099View Materials, collected on 6th June 2008 by Adriana Bocchiglieri and Daniel Fernandes da Silva at Fazenda Jatobá (13°53' S, 45°42'W, 840 m a.s.l.), municipality of Jaborandi , Bahia, Brazil.GoogleMaps 

Paratypes. MNRJ 19097–98View Materials, MNRJ 19100–05View Materials, MNRJ 19417–18View Materials, same data as for the holotype, collected between January 2008 and December 2009. 

Referred specimen. an adult male, MZUSP 94703View Materials (field number CN 489), collected by Cristiano de C. Nogueira on 21st October 2001 at Grande Sertão Veredas National Park (15°15’13”S, 45°53’20”W, 795 m asl), municipality of Formoso , Minas Gerais, Brazil.GoogleMaps 

Diagnosis. Psilops seductus  differs from P. paeminosus  (data in parenthesis) by having a higher number of scale rows around midbody, 22 (17–20), a lower number of subdigital lamellae under Finger IV, 13–16 (15–20), and Toe IV, 9–11 (11–13), a lower number of total pores, 10–13 (14–16), and a red tail in adults (brown). It differs from P. mucugensis  by having more scale rows around midbody, 22 (17–21), a lower number of subdigital lamellae under Finger IV, 13–16 (16-19) and Toe IV, 9–11 (11–14), a lower number of smooth subcaudal scales, 2–5 (7–14), a lower number of total pores, 10–13 (16–20), and a shorter foot, 14.8% SVL (17.6 %). Additionally, it differs from P. paeminosus  and P. mucugensis  in lacking calcified spines (present) and by having papillae ornamenting the hemipenial flounces (absent).

Description of the holotype. Rostral broad, visible from above wider than high, contacting first supralabial, nasal and frontonasal. Frontonasal hexagonal, slightly wider than long; in broad contact with rostral, nasal, prefrontals, and frontal. Prefrontals hexagonal, slightly longer than wide, contacting frontonasal, frontal, first supraocular, first superciliar, loreal, and nasal; separate at midline by contact between frontonasal and frontal. Frontal hexagonal with posteriorly convergent lateral margins, approximately one and half time as long as broad, wider anteriorly; in broad contact with first supraocular, suture with frontonasal much larger than that of interparietal. Frontoparietals absent. Interparietal hexagonal, posteriorly rounded, with strongly posteriorly convergent lateral margins, longer than wide, longer and wider than frontal and contacting frontal, first supraocular, parietals, and occipitals. Parietals irregularly hexagonal, as long as wide and smaller and shorter than interparietal, contacting first and second supraoculars, temporals, occipitals, and interparietal. Two supraoculars, first the largest, longer than wide, occupying most of supraocular area, second very small, subsquared, smaller than adjacent temporal. Three supraciliaries, second the largest, in the center of eye, third the smallest; first supraciliary expanded on lateral face of head and in contact with loreal and frenocular. Nasal large, subrectangular, longer than wide, with nostril in the center, contacting first and second supralabials. Loreal pentagonal, narrower than nasal, contacting second supralabial, frenocular, first supraciliary, prefrontal, and nasal. Frenocular contacting first supraciliary, a small preocular granule and an enlarged subocular which is thinner at the level of center of eye. Seven supralabials, fourth the largest, under the eye, fifth the highest, separated from parietal by two postocular scutes; seventh supralabial contacting ear border. Eyelid absent. Eye large, pupil rounded. Anterior margin of eye emarginated by first supraciliary, a preocular granule and a subocular, posterior margin of eye with a group of juxtaposed smooth granules and two postoculars. Temporal region covered by enlarged, smooth, and imbricate cycloid scales. Tympanum recessed. Ear opening bordered by cycloid, smooth, and imbricate scales, those on posterior margin smaller, those above tympanum larger than posterior ones and covering anterior and superior margin of ear.

Mental wider than long. Postmental single, slightly wider than long, contacting first and second infralabials. Two pairs of enlarged genials in medial contact and contacting infralabials, both wider than long, second the largest. Six infralabials, second and third the largest. All head scales smooth with irregularly disposed sensorial pits. Gulars disposed in 10 irregularly transverse rows, smooth, imbricate, posteriorly rounded; central and posterior ones wider than long, diagonally or transversally disposed. Lateral gular scales smaller, cycloid, smooth, imbricate. Interbrachial row with five enlarged imbricate scales, central one the largest and subtriangular.

First and second transverse rows of dorsal scales with three smooth and imbricate scales, external ones wider than long, modified as occipitals and post-occipitals and separated by a much smaller cycloid scale. Posterior to these differentiated rows dorsal scales are uni or tricarinate, transversely disposed, becoming progressively more elongate, mucronate and tricarinate posteriorly. Thirty-six transverse rows of dorsals between interparietal and posterior level of hindlimbs. Lateral scales cycloid, smooth, imbricate, except for an area with small, flat, smooth and juxtaposed scales around arm insertion. Twenty-two scales around midbody. Ventrals wide, smooth, imbricate, in four longitudinal rows and twenty-three transversal rows in midline from interbrachials to precloacals. Central rows of ventral scales as wide as the external ones at midbody. Posterior margin of vent with four scales; central ones smaller. Total pores 12, two precloacals and four femorals on each side.

Scales of dorsal and lateral parts of tail imbricate, strongly keeled, uni or tricarinate, elongate, strongly mucronate, in complete rings, becoming more elongate and lanceolate posteriorly. Scales of base of tail smooth, larger than correspondent dorsals at the base of tail but becoming gradually identical to them in shape and ornamentation towards the tip.

Forelimbs with large, smooth, and imbricate scales except for those on ventral parts of arm and forearm which are smaller. Anterior and posterior parts of tights with large, smooth, and imbricate scales; posterior part of tights with granular, juxtaposed, smooth scales which grade progressively to a posterior irregular row of enlarged, mucronate, and keeled scales, identical to those covering dorsal part of tibia. Ventral parts of tibia with smooth, enlarged, and imbricate scales. Palmar and plantar surfaces with small, conical, juxtaposed granules. Subdigital lamellae single, nine on finger IV and 15 on toe IV. Fingers and toes clawed; first finger absent externally. Toes and fingers with the following relative sizes, respectively: 2=5<3<4 and 1<2<5<3<4.

Dorsal surface of body and tail iridescent olive brown with irregular and scattered dark brown reticulum. A dorsolateral thin and inconspicuous light white stripe runs from postocular region to the first third of body and becomes gradually inconspicuous posteriorly, merging with the dorsal color. Below it a wide dark brown lateral stripe reticulated with olive brown reaching the paraventral area, extends from posterior margin of eye to tail. Dorsal and lateral surfaces of head identical to corresponding parts of dorsum and flanks. Ventral parts of head, body, and tail creamy white with scattered slight dark brown to black spots that are especially concentrated in gular region. Limbs olive brown dorsally, mottled with darker pigment; ventrally creamy white, almost immaculate. Tail color identical to that of body proximally, becoming uniformly light brown posteriorly.

Measurements. SVL = 32.1 mm; TAL = 51.0 mm; TRL = 18.3 mm; HW = 3.9 mm; HL = 5.8 mm; FEM = 3.9 mm; TIB = 3.0 mm; FTL = 4.6 mm; HUM = 2.4 mm; FAL = 4.5 mm.

Variation. Little variation was observed in the type series. A single individual from the municipality of Formoso, Minas Gerais state ( MZUSP 94703), agrees in all characters with type series, with scale counts falling within the variation observed ( Table 2), except for a smaller number of femoral pores (10) than other males (12– 13). Although the small sample of females precludes a quantitative analysis of sexual dimorphism, the largest female of Psilops seductus  (36.6 mm SVL) was 1.12 times larger than the largest male (32.8 mm SVL).

Distribution and natural history. The only two localities from which it is known are located at “Serra dos Gerais” plateau ( Fig. 6View FIGURE 6). The type locality, Fazenda Jatobá, is situated near the border between the states of Bahia, Minas Gerais and Goiás, an area dominated by extensive upland sandstone plateaus separated by river valleys, covered by different types of cerrado vegetation ( Fig. 10View FIGURE 10). The Fazenda Jatobá is bounded by two rivers of the São Francisco basin (Arrojado and Veredãozinho) and has a total area of 92.000 ha, of which 40.000 ha were occupied by Pinus  and Eucalyptus  plantations. The remaining area is kept as a protected area with native cerrado ( Fenger & Sevensson 2004). With an effort equivalent to 18.960 traps/day, 11 specimens were collected, seven in areas of continuous cerrado, three in areas of Pinus  and Eucalyptus  plantations, and one in a small fragmented cerrado. A single specimen ( MZUSP 94703) was collected at a nearby locality, in Formoso, Minas Gerais, in Grande Sertão Veredas National Park, a large (230.714 ha) protected area at the border between Bahia and Minas Gerais. This specimen was collected in a pitfall trap within carrasco vegetation, a dense semideciduous arboreal phytophysiognomy occurring in isolated patches on top of the Serra Geral plateau, dominated by open cerrado savannas. Both carrascos and cerrados in Grande Sertão Veredas develop on flat, tabletop sandy soils ( Recoder & Nogueira 2007). Besides a total of 180 lizards of 15 species captured in five sites in Grande Sertão Veredas NP, in a sampling effort of 3.400 trap x days, only a single specimen of the Psilops seductus  was found ( Nogueira et al. 2009).

Etymology. from the Latin remote, apart, in reference to the geographic isolation of this species, which is restricted to the Cerrado plateaus of Serra Geral, west to the São Francisco River.


Museu Nacional/Universidade Federal de Rio de Janeiro


Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo


Jardin botanique de Talence


Humboldt University Zoologisches Museum