horvathi or muralis

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horvathi or muralis

Postby Kristian Munkholm » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:12 pm

On steep rock face in forest at 1150 m in Triglav National Park - textbook horvathi habitat.

I was with my wife and kids and we were all tired. Not wanting to test anyone's patience I didn't allow myself the time for good pictures, just grabbed a couple of quick shots. Unfortunately the head isn't in focus in any of them and the tail is regenerated, both factors making identification more difficult for someone like me with no experience wih horvathi.

My own thoughts:

- Pictures are too poor to clearly make out the head scalation but I think the crop below seems to indicate horvathi features.

- Tail is regenerated which I guess might mean tail scalation is not necessarily a reliable character, or?

- What I do see at the - not regenerated - base of the tail seems to indicate muralis though I don't feel certain. Likewise, if scalation of a regenerated tail is a reliable character this must indicate muralis.

- Throat seems unicolor whitish indicating horvathi. I saw the lizard's throat from below as well, though I don't have pictures. It seemed plain white.

- Colouration and pattern seem very typical of what I read for horvathi, though of course this doesn't rule out muralis.

- Morphology appears rather horvathi-like to me with rather short head and very flat body.

- As for the dorsal scales, I am not comfortable making any judgment.

Overall, if it wasn't for the tail, I would hesitantly label it horvathi, but...

Anyone?

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P1000008a.JPG


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P1000512a.JPG



PS: I have a couple of other pics as well but they're worse...
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Re: horvathi or muralis

Postby Mario Schweiger » Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:00 am

for me it is muralis, by the most significant character: in horvathi the scale rings on the tail (at least in the 1st third) are 1 broad - 1 narrow. in muralis the width is (nearly) equal. Also the head is to much pointed for horvathi. Dorsal scales are to large. In horvathi the scales are smaller, giving an oily appearance.
http://vipersgarden.at/ARdb/species.php?cat=2&subcat=42&subcat3=Iberolacerta+horvathi
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Re: horvathi or muralis

Postby Ilian Velikov » Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:50 pm

For me it's horvathi - the close ups of the head are good enough to see that the rostral touches frontonasal and supranasal touches loreal. As for the tail, I can see some alteration of the rings in the original non-regenerated part of the tail.
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Re: horvathi or muralis

Postby Berislav Horvatic » Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:06 pm

Mario Schweiger wrote:In horvathi the scales are smaller, giving an oily appearance.

But the latest Bible (Jeroen & al) says "Dorsal scalation shiny but coarser than in Common
Wall Lizard Podarcis muralis." Well, I suppose "coarser" means larger scales, not smaller...
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Re: horvathi or muralis

Postby Kristian Munkholm » Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:09 pm

A split vote - the plot thickens.

Never having seen (another?) horvathi I hesitate to argue with those with personal experience with the species, but...

Mario Schweiger wrote:Also the head is to much pointed for horvathi.


...& I thought the head seemed less pointed than typical of muralis...

Mario Schweiger wrote:Dorsal scales are to large. In horvathi the scales are smaller, giving an oily appearance.
http://vipersgarden.at/ARdb/species.php?cat=2&subcat=42&subcat3=Iberolacerta+horvathi


I clearly see this difference when comparing with these pictures, but in terms of shininess I wouldn't necessarily put too much faith in the impression conveyed by my pictures. They are not good, and I have several pictures of alpine salamanders from this trip where even these don't appear shiny.

That said, I don't recall thinking of the lizard as particularly shiny irl either.

As for the scale size, I am confused. In the book (yes, that book) it says

"Dorsal scalation shiny but coarser than in Common Wall Lizard".

I'm not sure what to believe now.

Ilian Velikov wrote:the close ups of the head are good enough to see that the rostral touches frontonasal and supranasal touches loreal


That's what I thought I could make out as well.

Ilian Velikov wrote:As for the tail, I can see some alteration of the rings in the original non-regenerated part of the tail.


I thought I could perhaps see a little variation as well - but suspiciously little and with less regularity than I would expect.


Still confused...
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Re: horvathi or muralis

Postby Ilian Velikov » Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:03 pm

For me there's no doubt it's horvathi. Even if you forget about dorsal body scalation and the tail, these two features of the head pholidosis together are never present in Podarcis. I drew a fair share of lizards and I've learned to distinguish head scales from photos with any resolution so I'm confident in what I see.
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Re: horvathi or muralis

Postby Kristian Munkholm » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:44 pm

Ilian Velikov wrote:For me there's no doubt it's horvathi. Even if you forget about dorsal body scalation and the tail, these two features of the head pholidosis together are never present in Podarcis. I drew a fair share of lizards and I've learned to distinguish head scales from photos with any resolution so I'm confident in what I see.


Thanks, Ilian.

Mario,
no disrespect to you and thanks for your contribution but given Ilian's rather unique experience looking at this type of details I am inclined to regard that statement as decisive.
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Re: horvathi or muralis

Postby Clive Brignull » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:48 pm

I also would choose horvathi. See images of this species that I found in the Triglav area. Head and tail views showing those all important scale configurations.
DSCF6405.jpg

DSCF6361.jpg
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Re: horvathi or muralis

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:22 pm

Horvathi to me. Apart from the raised points, the subtle stuff like colours, the curvy upper edge of the dark flank coloration, type of dots on back etc. are there.
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Re: horvathi or muralis

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:27 pm

Cheek also has no larger scale and those who are there are somewhat bulging like in the Pyrenean species, even in aurelioi which also has no larger temporal scales.
In muralis, these are flat.
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