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1 June 2018 On the Occurrences of Japalura kumaonensis and Japalura tricarinata (Reptilia: Sauria: Draconinae) in China
Kai Wang, Ke Jiang, V. Deepak, Das Abhijit, Mian Hou, Jing Che, Cameron D. Siler
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Abstract

Although the recognized distribution of Japalura kumaonensis is restricted largely to western Himalaya, a single, isolated outlier population was reported in eastern Himalaya at the China-Nepal border in southeastern Tibet, China in Zhangmu, Nyalam County. Interestingly, subsequent studies have recognized another morphologically similar species, J. tricarinata, from the same locality in Tibet based on photographic evidence only. Despite these reports, no studies have examined the referred specimens for either record to confirm their taxonomic identifications with robust comparisons to congener species. Here, we examine the referred specimen of the record of J. kumaonensis from southeastern Tibet, China; recently collected specimens from the same locality in southeastern Tibet; type specimens; and topotypic specimens of both J. kumaonensis and J. tricarinata, to clarify the taxonomic identity of the focal population from southeastern Tibet, China. Our results indicate that individuals of the referred Tibetan population differ from J. kumaonensis in external morphology, but match descriptions and specimens of J. tricarinata. We conclude that the previous record of J. kumaonensis from Tibet was a misidentification of J. tricarinata, and J. kumaonensis should be recognized as occurring in western Himalaya only. To facilitate future taxonomic studies of the genus Japalura sensu lato in the Himalaya, we provide a detailed description of J. tricarinata and an updated diagnostic key to the genus from the Himalaya.

© 2018 by The Herpetologists' League, Inc.
Kai Wang, Ke Jiang, V. Deepak, Das Abhijit, Mian Hou, Jing Che, and Cameron D. Siler "On the Occurrences of Japalura kumaonensis and Japalura tricarinata (Reptilia: Sauria: Draconinae) in China," Herpetologica 74(2), 181-190, (1 June 2018). https://doi.org/10.1655/Herpetologica-D-17-00018.1
Accepted: 1 November 2017; Published: 1 June 2018
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