A new cryptic genus of terrestrial lizard (Gymnophthalmidae: Cercosaurinae) from the eastern Andes of central Peru

Edgar Lehr, Jiří Moravec, Rudolf von May

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


. (DGHT), Mannheim, Germany. We describe a new terrestrial genus of the family Gymnophthalmidae, subfamily Cercosaurinae, from central Peru on the basis of genetic and morphological characters. The monotypic Wilsonosaura gen. n. can be distinguished morphologi-cally from all other genera of Cercosaurinae except of Proctoporus by having lower palpebral disc semi-transparent and undivided, dorsal scales weakly keeled to smooth, lateral scales distinctly smaller than dorsal scales, lateral scales forming a distinct longitudinal line of smaller scales, and absence of distinctly enlarged gulars. Wilsonosaura gen. n. can be distinguished from most species of Proctoporus by following characters: frequent occurrence of prefrontal shields, presence of weakly keeled to nearly smooth dorsal scales, by having a continuous line of lateral scales at the middle of flanks occasionally widened vertically by additional lateral scales interspacing the dorsals. Nevertheless, an unambiguous morphological character distinguishing the new genus from Proctoporus has not been identified. Phenotypic synapomorphies are not known for the new genus. In previously published phylogenies, Wilsonosaura gen. n. was identified as a distinct clade separated from all other cerco-saurines. Wilsonosaura gen. n. is distributed in the regions of Junín, Pasco, and Huancavelica in upper montane forests and puna habitats from 2400 to 3726 m a.s.l. of the eastern Andes. We transfer Euspondylus josyi Köhler, 2003 as designated type species to Wilsonosaura gen. n. as Wilsonosaura josyi (Köhler, 2003) comb. n. and update the species diagnosis, description, and distribution.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Cryptic genus
  • Morphology
  • N. Euspondylus josyi
  • New combination
  • Phylogeny
  • Squamata
  • Systematics
  • Taxonomy
  • Wilsonosaura gen


Dive into the research topics of 'A new cryptic genus of terrestrial lizard (Gymnophthalmidae: Cercosaurinae) from the eastern Andes of central Peru'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this