A New Species of Japalura (Squamata: Sauria: Agamidae) from Upper Lancang (Mekong) Valley of Eastern Tibet, China

Wang, K., K. Jiang, G. Pan, M. Hou, C.D. Siler, J. Che. 2015
Asian Herpetological Research.
6(3):159–168.

A new species of the agamid genus Japalura is described based on 15 specimens from the upper Lancang (Mekong) Valley of eastern Tibet, PR China. Populations of the new species, Japalura vela sp. nov., were previously recognized as J. flaviceps. The new species is morphologically most similar to J. batangensis, J. micangshanensis, J. variegata, and J. zhaoermii, but is distinguished from the four species and all remaining congeners by the following combination of morphological characters: 1) small adult size (SVL 56–69 mm in males, 59–66 mm in females); 2) ratio of tail TAL/SVL 1.85–2.06; 3) ratio of hind limb HLL/SVL 0.72–0.81; 4) T4S 24 or 25; 5) concealed tympanum; 6) transverse gular fold present; 7) gular pouch present; 8) axillary fold present; 9) a pronounced, continuous, sail-like vertebral crest along length of body in males; 10) ground dorsal coloration black in males; 11) distinct gray transverse streaks on dorsal surface of head; 12) black radiated streaks around eyes; 13) distinct, black vermiculate stripes on ventral surface of head in both sexes; 14) a strongly jagged dorsolateral stripe from neck to base of tail on each side of vertebral crest in males; and 15) absence of gular spots in both sexes. General distribution patterns of the genus in the Hengduan Mountains region are also discussed.