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Heloderma horridum

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA HELODERMATIDAE

Scientific Name: Heloderma horridum
Species Authority: (Weigmann, 1829)
Common Name(s):
English Beaded Lizard
French Héloderme granuleux, Héloderme horrible
Spanish Escorpión, Lagarto de Cuentas
Synonym(s):
Trachyderma horridum Weigmann, 1829
Taxonomic Notes: Reiserer et al. (2013) proposed recognizing the four established subspecies of Heloderma horridum as full species, as these are morphologically diagnosable and have been found to exhibit relatively high levels of genetic divergence. This latter observation was based on the results of Douglas et al. (2010), however these authors did not propose elevating these taxa to specific status and Reiserer et al. (2013) presented no novel evidence to support this assignment. While recognizing that taxa within H. horridum may warrant specific recognition in future, this account retains the traditional concept pending better support and expert agreement on proposed taxonomic revisions.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2012-05-07
Assessor(s): Ariano-Sánchez, D., Muñoz-Alons, A., Marquez, L.C. & Acevedo, M.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P.
Justification:

Listed as Least Concern in view of the large extent of occurrence (over 212,000 km2) and large number of locations, and because while habitat loss is ongoing and the population is thought to be in decline due to both this and pressure from persecution, at a global scale there is no evidence that the rate of decline is sufficient to qualify for any of the threatened categories. If recently-proposed taxonomic changes are adopted, this species will require immediate reassessment and the Guatemalan taxon is likely to warrant listing in a threatened category.

History:
2007 Least Concern
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Indeterminate (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Indeterminate (IUCN 1990)
1988 Indeterminate (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Indeterminate (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found at low to moderate elevations in the Pacific foothills of Mexico from southern Sonora to Chiapas, along the Pacific drainages in southeastern Guatemala (Departamento de Santa Rosa and Jutiapa; Anzueto and Campbell 2010), and on the Atlantic versant in the Central Depression of Chiapas and the Motagua Valley in Guatemala (Beck 2005). Elevational range extends from near sea level to 1,529 meters (Wilson and Johnson 2010). The subpopulation in the Motagua Valley corresponds to the subspecies H. h. charlesbogerti (Ariano 2003, 2006).
Countries:
Native:
Guatemala; Mexico
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Total adult population size is unknown. It appears to be an uncommon species. Presumably the population is declining at a slow rate (see threats), though supporting documentation is lacking.

An estimate of the Guatemalan subspecies (H. h. charlesbogerti) is around 350 mature individuals (also reported as 170-250 individuals (Anonymous 2006)). It is now far more difficult to find individuals of this subspecies than it was in the 1980s (D. Ariano pers. comm. 2012), suggesting that the population of this subspecies is declining.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This lizard is most regularly encountered in tropical deciduous forest, but it can also be found in thorn forest, tropical scrubland, and low elevation pine-oak forest. It does not seem to be present in disturbed areas.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is found in the illegal pet trade, particularly in Japan, Europe, and the USA.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In general, the species is threatened by various forms of deforestation (e.g., for agricultural purposes) and by human persecution and deliberate killing. In some places, urban sprawl and road construction pose threats to this species. Forest fires are also a threat in some parts of its range. These factors probably are causing a slow ongoing population decline.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is protected by Mexican law under the category A (Threatened), and it has been recorded from several protected areas. In Guatemala, it is protected by national legislation, with part of the range within private and municipal protected areas. It is listed on Appendix II of CITES. Heloderma horridum charlesbogerti is listed on CITES Appendix I. Additional research is needed into the taxonomic status, distribution, and threats to this species. In Guatemala, there is an education program for the conservation of the species, and it has been used as the flagship species in the Motagua Valley (Ariano 2006).

Bibliography [top]

Anonymous. 2006. Guatemalan Beaded Lizard Conservation Project. Conservation program narrative.

Ariano-Sánchez, D. 2006. The Guatemalan beaded lizard: endangered inhabitant of a unique ecosystem. Iguana 13(3): 178-183.

Baillie, J. and Groombridge, B. (eds). 1996. 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. pp. 378. International Union for Conservation of Nature, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Beck, D.D. 2005. Biology of Gila Monsters and Beaded Lizards. The University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles and London.

Beck, D.D. and Lowe, C.H. 1991. Ecology of the beaded lizard, Heloderma horridum, in a tropical dry forest in Jalisco, Mexico. Journal of Herpetology 25(4): 395-406.

Campbell, J.A. and Lamar, W.W. 1989. The venomous reptiles of Latin America. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York.

Campbell, J.A. and Vannini, J.P. 1988. A new subspecies of Beaded Lizard, Heloderma horridum, from Motagua Valley of Guatemala. Journal Of Herpetology 22(4): 457-468.

DeGraaf, R.M. and Rudis, D.D. 1983. Amphibians and Reptiles of New England: Habitats and Natural History. University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, Massachusetts.

Douglas, M.E., Douglas, M.R., Schuett, G.W., Beck, D.D. and Sullivan, B.K. 2010. Conservation phylogenetics of helodermatid lizards using multiple molecular markers and a supertree approach. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 55: 153-167.

Groombridge, B. (ed.). 1994. 1994 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN. 1990. 1990 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN. 2014. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 12 June 2014).

IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre. 1986. 1986 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre. 1988. 1988 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Köhler, G. 2003. Reptiles of Central America. Herpeton, Germany. 368 pp.

Platt, D.R. 1969. Natural history of the hognose snakes Heterodon platyrhinos and Heterodon nasicus. University of Kansas Publications, Museum of Natural History 18: 253-420.

Reiserer, R.S., Schuett, G.W. and Beck, D.D. 2013. Taxonomic reassessment and conservation status of the beaded lizard, Heloderma horridum (Squamata: Helodermatidae). Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 7(1): 74-96.

Wilson, L.D., Townsend, J.H. and Johnson, J.D. (eds.). 2010. Conservation of Mesoamerican Amphibians and Reptiles. Eagle Mountain Publishing, Eagle Mountain, Utah.


Citation: Ariano-Sánchez, D., Muñoz-Alons, A., Marquez, L.C. & Acevedo, M. 2014. Heloderma horridum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 December 2014.
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