Aspidoscelis neotesselata 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Teiidae

Scientific Name: Aspidoscelis neotesselata (Walker, Cordes & Taylor, 1997)
Common Name(s):
English Colorado Checkered Whiptail, Triploid Checkered Whiptail
Cnemidophorus neotesselatus Walker, Cordes & Taylor, 1997
Taxonomic Notes: Reeder et al. (2002) examined phylogenetic relationships of the whiptail lizards of the genus Cnemidophorus based on a combined analysis of mitochondrial DNA, morphology, and allozymes. They determined that Cnemidophorus in the traditional sense is paraphyletic and thus in need of nomenclatural revision. Rather than subsume all cnemidophorine species (including Kentropyx) in a single large genus (Ameiva), they proposed a split that placed the North American "Cnemidophorus" clade in the monophyletic genus Aspidoscelis; under this arrangement, South American taxa remain in the genus Cnemidophorus.

Walker et al. (1997) recognized this triploid parthenogen as a distinct species; formerly it was included in C. tesselatus (A. tesselata).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Hammerson, G.A.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N., Chanson, J.S. & Stuart, S.N. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team)
Listed as Near Threatened because its extent of occurrence is less than 20,000 kmĀ², extent and quality of habitat are undergoing decline, and if such declines continue the distribution might become severely fragmented (which it is probably not at the moment). Hence almost qualifies as threatened under criterion B1ab(iii). However, this parthenogenetic species has good reproductive potential, tolerates moderate levels of habitat alteration, and might be able to persist in relatively small patches of suitable habitat.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to the United States. Its known range include only southeastern Colorado, at elevations below 2,135 m (7,000 feet) (Walker et al. 1997, Hammerson 1999, Stebbins 2003).
Countries occurrence:
United States
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:When originally described as a distinct species, this lizard was known from about 15 to 20 localities (Walker et al. 1997). Hammerson (1999) mapped 23 localities. The total adult population size is unknown but is probably at least a few thousand. The extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and populations size have declined in recent decades; the rate of decline probably has been less than 30% in any particular period of 10 years or three generations. Populations in natural areas appear to be stable, but current trend is not well documented.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This whiptail occurs in valleys, arroyos (dry creeks), canyons, and on hillsides, in areas dominated by plains grassland or juniper woodland, including areas such as parks with frequent human use and habitat disturbance (Walker et al. 1997). This lizard is an all-female, parthenogenetic species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species has been extirpated from, or has greatly declined in, some areas as a result of urbanization or conversion of habitat to agricultural uses, whereas other populations exist in moderately or heavily disturbed areas (e.g., around buildings in parks and at rural landfills) and in nearby undisturbed habitats (Walker et al. 1996, 1997).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is relatively common in at least a few protected areas (e.g., state parks). Better information is needed on the current status of this species.

Citation: Hammerson, G.A. 2007. Aspidoscelis neotesselata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2007: e.T64279A12752503. . Downloaded on 24 September 2018.
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