Psilops mucugensis, 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: 462-466

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Psilops mucugensis

sp. nov.

Psilops mucugensis  sp. nov.

( Figs. 4–5View FIGURE 4View FIGURE 5)

Psilophthalmus  sp.—Cassimiro and Rodrigues (2009: 49); Freitas et al. (2012: 18, 20, 22); Magalhães et al. (2015: 247, 249, 258, 261)

Holotype. an adult male, MZUSP 106188View Materials, collected by M.A. Freitas and T.F. Santos Silva on October 5th 2005 (field number MTR 11787View Materials) from Fazenda Três Irmãos (12°53'06"S 41°31'41"W, 1075 m above sea level, hereafter asl), district of Guiné, municipality of Mucugê, Serra do Espinhaço (Chapada Diamantina), BahiaGoogleMaps  , Brazil.

Paratypes. MZUSP 96918, 106187 (field number MTR 11520View Materials –21), collected on 8th October 2005 in the same locality and collectors as for the holotype  .

Referred specimens. AAG 6640, 6652, 6663, 6692, 6715–6716, 7026, 7040–7041, 7065, 7080, 7109, 7120, 7142, 7144, 7190, 7199, 7220, 7228, 7249 from Palmeiras (12°32'S, 41°29'W), Bahia, Brazil; collected by Adrian Garda et al. on 6th January to 6th February 2013GoogleMaps  . MZUSP 106196, 106208, 106209 (all from 11°22'24.17"S, 40°31'4.22"W, 1141 m asl), MZUSP 106197 (11°22'23.74"S, 40°31'4.12"W, 1141 m asl), MZUSP 106210View Materials (11°21'32"S, 40°31'37"W), all from Parque Estadual das Sete Passagens, municipality of Miguel Calmon: Bahia: Brazil; collected by the authors between 29th May 2010 to 10th March 2011, field numbers MTR 19871View Materials, RPD 0 40, RPD 110GoogleMaps  , MTR 20012View Materials, RPD 260, respectively. MZUSP 106206View Materials, from Morro do Chapéu hill (11°35'34.45"S, 41°12'27.65"W, 1271 m asl), municipality of Morro do Chapéu, Bahia, BrazilGoogleMaps  ; collected by the authors on 30th December 2011, field number MTR 22533.

Diagnosis. Psilops mucugensis  differs from P. paeminosus  (data in parenthesis) by having a higher number of smooth subcaudal scales, 7–14 (3–7), a higher number of total pores, 16–20 (14–16), two conspicuous dorsolateral white stripes running from supraciliaries to the tail (absent), a bright red tail (brownish in adults) and longer forelimbs, 25.9% SVL (21.5% SVL). Psilops mucugensis  differs from P. seductus  sp. nov. (described below, data in parenthesis) by having lower number of scale rows around midbody, 17–21 (22), a higher number of subdigital lamellae under Finger IV, 16–19 (13–16) and Toe IV, 11–14 (9–11), a higher number of smooth subcaudal scales, 7–14 (2–5), a higher number of total pores, 16–20 (10–13), a larger foot, 17.6% SVL (14.8% SVL), and by the presence of calcified spines (absent) and by lacking papillae ornamenting the hemipenial flounces (present).

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, as long as wide, contacting frontonasal, frontal, first supraocular, first supraciliary, loreal, and nasal; separate at midline by contact between frontonasal and frontal. Frontal hexagonal with posteriorly convergent lateral margins, approximately twice as long as broad, wider anteriorly; in broad contact with first supraocular, its suture with frontonasal as broad as 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, sub-squared, with the same approximate size of the adjacent temporal. Three supraciliaries, first slightly larger than second, third the smallest; first supraciliary expanding on the lateral face of head and in contact with loreal and preocular; second supraciliary in the center of eye. Nasal large, subrectangular, longer than wide, with the nostril in the center, contacting first and second supralabials. Loreal narrow, as high as nasal, diagonally oriented and contacting second and third supralabials, frenocular, first supraciliary, prefrontal and nasal. Frenocular as large as loreal with its postero-ventral corner divided in a small scute and followed posteriorly by a series of small and narrow irregular preoculars and suboculars. 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 and lower margin of eye with an irregularly narrow, smooth, and elongate semidivided scute, thinner at lower margin of eye; posterior margin of eye with a series of juxtaposed smooth granules. 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, higher than wide and covering anterior and superior margin of ear.

Mental wider than long. Postmental single, as wide as long, contacting first and second infralabials. Two pairs of enlarged genials in medial contact and contacting infralabials; first pair the largest, longer than wide, second one wider than long. Six infralabials, second and third the largest. All head scales smooth with irregularly disposed sensorial pits. Gulars disposed in nine irregularly transverse rows, smooth, imbricate, posteriorly rounded; central ones wider than long, diagonally disposed anteriorly, becoming gradually transverse posteriorly. Lateral gular scales smaller, cycloid, smooth, imbricate. Interbrachial row with five enlarged imbricate scales, central one the largest, subtriangular.

Anterior dorsal scales disposed in three longitudinal rows until the level of arm, dorsolateral ones wider than long, scales in central row smaller, as wide as long. Scales of the first transverse dorsal row smooth or slightly striate becoming gradually tri or pentacarinate. After arm level dorsal scales become progressively more elongate, mucronate and tricarinate, having the central keel sharper. Thirty-four transverse rows 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. Eighteen scales around midbody. Ventrals wide, smooth, imbricate, in four longitudinal rows from interbrachials to precloacals and in 24 transverse rows between interbrachials and precloacals. Central rows distinctively enlarged, wider than long. Posterior margin of vent with four scales; central ones smaller. Total pores 20, two precloacals and eight femoral on each side.

Scales of dorsal and lateral portion of tail imbricate, strongly keeled, elongate, mucronate, in complete rings; those covering dorsal portion of base of tail tricarinate, becoming unicarinate more elongate and lanceolate posteriorly. Scales of ventral portion of tail smooth, larger than correspondent dorsals at the base of tail but becoming gradually identical to them in shape and ornamentation toward the tip; 15 irregularly transverse rows of smooth subcaudals.

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, 12 on finger IV and 19 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 olive brown with irregular and scattered dark brown reticulum. A dorsolateral white stripe runs from supraciliaries to the tail, becoming inconspicuous toward its extremity. Below it a dark brown lateral stripe extends from posterior margin of eye to tail. Between supraocular region and midbody the white stripe is also dorsally emarginated by an irregularly dark brown stripe which makes its anterior third highly conspicuous. Dorsal and lateral surfaces of head identical to corresponding parts of dorsum and flanks. Ventral parts of head, body, and tail creamy white with dark brown to black spots especially concentrated on external rows of ventral scales and in gular region which is mottled with dark spots. Limbs olive brown dorsally, mottled with darker pigment; ventrally creamy white, almost immaculate. Tail dorsal color identical to that of body proximally, becoming uniformly light brown posteriorly. Ventral portion of tail with dark spots proximally, creamily immaculate posteriorly.

Measurements. SVL= 35.3 mm; TAL = 42.3 mm (regenerated); TRL = 20.2 mm; HW = 4.3 mm; HL = 6.7 mm; FEM = 4.0 mm; TIB = 3.5 mm; FTL = 6.3 mm; HUM = 2.7 mm; FAL = 5.4 mm.

Variation. Individuals from southern (municipalities of Mucugê and Palmeiras) and northern (Morro do Chapéu and Miguel Calmon) populations, agree in most scale counts. Nevertheless, northern populations show fewer femoral pores (15–16, 16– 20 in south) and number of smooth subcaudals (6–8, 10– 14 in south) ( Table 2). Males and females are sexually dimorphic in body size, with females having larger SVL than males ( ANOVA; F 1,17 = 7,95; P <0,05). Differences in shape are also significant, with females showing proportionally larger TRL (ANCOVA, SVL as covariate; F 1,16 = 13.42; P <0,01), but shorter HL (F 1,16 = 13.67; P <0,01), FEM (F 1,16 = 12.37; P <0.01) and TIB (F 1,16 = 10.49; P <0.01).

Distribution and natural history. Known from the municipalities of Mucugê, Palmeiras (Parque Nacional Chapada Diamantina), Morro do Chapéu and Miguel Calmon, state of Bahia, Brazil ( Fig. 6View FIGURE 6). At Miguel Calmon it is found at high altitude open areas over quartzite sandy soils (1140 m asl), while at Morro do Chapéu, the single specimen was found within a semi-deciduous montane open forest (1270 m asl) ( Fig. 7View FIGURE 7). At Mucugê it was found at a flat plateau (1100 m a.s.l.) covered by a type of low semi-deciduous arborescent vegetation. At Palmeiras it was found in areas of rocky grasslands campos rupestres ( Magalhães et al. 2015).

Etymology. Named after the type locality, Mucugê, at Chapada Diamantina, Bahia.


Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo


Jardin botanique de Talence


Humboldt University Zoologisches Museum














Psilops mucugensis

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


Magalhaes 2015: 247
Freitas 2012: 18