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A New Tortoise, Genus Gopherus, From North-central

UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS PUBLICATIONS MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

Volume 11, No. 5, pp. 335-343, pls. 7 and 8 April 24, 1959

A New Tortoise, Genus Gopherus, From North-central Mexico

BY

JOHN M. LEGLER

UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS LAWRENCE 1959

UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS PUBLICATIONS, MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

Editors: E. Raymond Hall, Chairman, Henry S. Fitch, Robert W. Wilson

Volume 11, No. 5, pp. 335-343 Published April 24, 1959

UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS Lawrence, Kansas

PRINTED IN THE STATE PRINTING PLANT TOPEKA, KANSAS 1959

A New Tortoise, Genus Gopherus, From North-central Mexico

BY

JOHN M. LEGLER

In the course of taxonomic studies of the genus _Gopherus_ it was found that specimens from north-central Mexico belong to an hitherto unrecognized species, which is named and described below.

Gopherus flavomarginatus new species

_Holotype._--U.S. National Museum 61253, adult; stuffed specimen with disassociated skull; 30 to 40 miles from Lerdo, Durango, Mexico; obtained by Dr. Elswood Chaffee, 1918.

_Paratypes._--USNM 61254, adult, stuffed specimen with skull in place, other data the same as those for holotype; USNM 60976, adult, stuffed specimen with disassociated skull, Lerdo, Durango, Dr. Elswood Chaffee, May 1918; University of Illinois 42953-4, adults, two carapaces, Carrillo, Chihuahua, Pete S. Chrapliwy and Kenneth L. Williams, 1 August 1958; University of Kansas 39415, adult, carapace only, 8 mi. E and 2 mi. S Americanos, Coahuila, Robert W. Dickerman, 19 May 1954.

_Diagnosis._--A large tortoise of the genus _Gopherus_, having a flat-topped, posteriorly-flared shell, carapacal laminae that are pale with contrasting dark centers (at least on the lateral margins of the carapace), intergular seam longer than interhumeral, obtuse gular projections, and a relatively wider skull than other Mexican representatives of the genus.

_Description of species._--Ground color of carapace pale yellow to straw in smaller specimens, pale brown in larger specimens; in some specimens a slight indication of darker radial markings on carapace; epidermal areolae of carapace (if present) and first two or three zones of growth (around areolae) dark brown to black, their contrast with the ground color greater in smaller specimens; ground color of lateral marginals yellowish, much paler than remainder of carapace; black areolae of marginals contrasting sharply with ground color even in old individuals; plastron pale, approximately the same shade of yellow as lateral marginals, marked with sharply contrasting blotches of black or dark brown in younger specimens, becoming immaculate with age.

Carapace low, evenly arched or slightly flat-topped in cross section, its height slightly more than 50 per cent of its length; top of carapace, between highest parts of first and fourth central laminae, more or less flat in profile; carapace flared, wider posteriorly than anteriorly; central laminae all broader than long, the first not (or but slightly) narrower posteriorly than anteriorly; plastron deeply notched behind, the inner margins of the notch straight, neither convex nor concave; gular projections truncate (not pronglike) having no notch or but a shallow notch between them; greatest combined width of gular laminae much greater than greatest length; interlaminal length of gular greater than that of humeral; one large axillary scute on each side, approximately rectangular but slightly wider below than above; one or two inguinal scutes on each side, the anterior roughly triangular and much larger than posterior.


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