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Type: Article
Published: 2016-01-07
Page range: 201–226
Abstract views: 140
PDF downloaded: 111

A review of Cordylus machadoi (Squamata: Cordylidae) in southwestern Angola, with the description of a new species from the Pro-Namib desert

Department of Vertebrate Zoology and Anthropology, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco 94118, USA Department of Herpetology, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA
Museu Nacional de História Natural e da Ciência, Universidade de Lisboa, Rua da Escola Politécnica, 58, 1269-102 Lisbon, Portugal Department of Herpetology, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA
Instituto Nacional da Biodiversidade e Áreas de Conservação, Ministério do Ambiente de Angola, Centralidade do Kilamba, Rua 26 de Fevereiro, quarteirão Nimi ya Lukemi, edíficio Q11, 3º andar, Angola
Instituto Nacional da Biodiversidade e Áreas de Conservação, Ministério do Ambiente de Angola, Centralidade do Kilamba, Rua 26 de Fevereiro, quarteirão Nimi ya Lukemi, edíficio Q11, 3º andar, Angola
Department of Herpetology, National Museum, P.O. Box 266, Bloemfontein 9300, South Africa
Port Elizabeth Museum, P.O. Box 13147, Humewood 6013, South Africa Research Associate, Department of Zoology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, P.O. Box 77000, Port Elizabeth 6031, South Africa
Reptilia computed tomography girdled lizard Kaokoveld molecular phylogeny ontogeny osteoderms osteology


The girdled lizard genus Cordylus is represented in Angola by two species, Cordylus angolensis and C. machadoi, separated from their nearest congeners by over 700 km. Here we describe a new species, Cordylus namakuiyus sp. nov., endemic to the arid lowlands west of the southern Angolan escarpment. Phylogenetic analysis using three mitochondrial and eight nuclear genes shows that the low-elevation forms and the proximate, high-elevation species C. machadoi are genetically divergent and reciprocally monophyletic, and together form the earliest diverging lineage of the northern Cordylus clade. Morphological data, collected using computed tomography and traditional techniques (scalation and morphology), identify consistent phenotypic differences between these high- and low-elevation species and allows for a detailed description of the osteology and osteodermal arrangements of the new species. A series of 50 specimens, collected during the 1925 Vernay expedition to southwestern Angola and housed at the American Museum of Natural History, are assigned to the new species, although the identity of Cordylus from northern Namibia remains ambiguous and requires further investigation.



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