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First Report of Hemiclitores in Females of South American Liolaemid Lizards
- Valdecantos, Soledad, Lobo, Fernando
- Journal of Herpetology 2015 v.49 no.2 pp. 291-294
- Varanus, females, interspecific variation, lizards, penis, pigmentation
- Studies about copulatory organs in Squamata were restricted to the morphology of hemipenes until Böhme reported homologous paired structures in females of a species of Varanus, which he called hemiclitores. We report the presence of hemiclitores in females of Phymaturus and of two species of Liolaemus and describe observations on the interspecific variation in hemipenis morphology in Phymaturus. Phymaturus and Liolaemus belong to Liolaemidae, a species-rich family of lizards; research about hemipenis morphology is scarce and limited to a few species of those genera. We found the retractor clitoridis magnus in all of the species analyzed; however, the transverse penis was not present in all of them. The general structure of hemiclitores of Phymaturus and Liolaemus females resembled that described for other squamate species; they were smaller than hemipenes and exhibited a sulcus spermaticus. The variation found in different features of these organs (shape, size, pigmentation), as well as the general morphology of hemipenes, should be studied more extensively in more species. These results contribute to the description of structures that are still poorly known in the large groups of Squamata and support the idea that hemiclitores should be considered an apomorphy of Squamata.