A Review of Patagonian Lizard Diversity

Avila, Luciano Javier

Instituto Patagonico para el Estudio de los Ecosistemas Continentales IPEEC-CONICET

Puerto Madryn

Chubut, Argentina, SA

avilacnp@gmail.com

Sites Jr., Jack W.

Department of Biology and Monte L. Beam Life Sciences Museum

Brigham Young University

Provo, UT USA

Morando, Mariana

Instituto Patagonico para el Estudio de los Ecosistemas Continentales IPEEC-CONICET

Puerto Madryn

Chubut, Argentina SA

Patagonia, the “cone” of South America (34° 30´ S 54° 14´ S), is globally the southernmost land for reptiles. For the past 20 years, our research group has conducted extensive field work here, and we summarize our findings on lizard biodiversity, including geographic distributions and conservation status. The lizard fauna of Patagonia consists of 162 described species distributed across four main biogeographic region or ecoregions, Austral Monte, Patagonian Steppe, Andean Patagonian Forest and Southern High Andes. Almost all species have restricted distributions; some are known only from type localities, while a few widespread species are shared with other Argentinean (or Chilean) biogeographic regions. Some of these are species complexes containing undescribed taxa. Members of Liolaemidae constitute > 90 % of all Patagonian species, while members of Leiosauridae and Phyllodactylidae, both restricted to Patagonian arid habitats, comprise ~ 4.3 % and 1.8 % of the total, respectively.