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Cuad. herpetol.

, 21
21 (2):
(2): 115–116,
115–116, 2007
2007 115

NOTA non-chromatic, whereas extra digits of

the hindlimbs were rudimentary, merged
at their base. It could be also an hyper-
phalangy case, where a phalange bifur-
(SQUAMATA: IGUANIDAE: cates creating a new “false digit”; but in
TROPIDURINAE) IN THE DRY order to confirm it, it would be neces-
CHACO OF CÓRDOBA PROVINCE, sary to practicize an x-ray photography
ARGENTINA or bone staining techniques. Pholidosis,
coloration, and body size of the lizard
were as usual for the age class of the
NICOLÁS PELEGRIN species. The specimen was deposited at
Centro de Zoología Aplicada, Universidad Nacio- Herpetological Collection of Fundación
nal de Córdoba. Casilla de Correos 122 (5000) Miguel Lillo, Tucumán (Argentina) (FML
Córdoba, Argentina. 18373). This kind of abnormalities could be
due to genetic or environmental causes,
PALABRAS CLAVE: Extra digits, abnormalities, could be induced by predation or para-
lizard, Chaco forest. sites (Johnson et al. 2006), or even be
artificially induced in the embryo (Car-
Mutations for polydactyly are quite retero et al. 1995; Blaustein and
common in tetrapods (Galis et al. 2001) Johnson 2003). In the reported case,
and have been reported in humans both the extremely low rate of polydac-
(D’Souza et al. 1998), amphibians (Cau- tylous individuals in this large sample
data and Anura) (Blaustein and Wake (0.6%) as well as the absence of pesti-
1995; Blaustein and Johnson 2003; Piha cides and agrochemicals in the area sug-
et al. 2006), and other tetrapods (see gest a genetic determining factor. Ac-
examples in Galis (2001), but it has cording to Lande (1978) and Wright
been rarely reported in lizards (Carrete- (1968) mutations causing polydactyly are
ro et al. 1995). negatively selected through negative
In the context of an ecological study pleiotropic effects at the phylotypic
of lizard assemblages in the Dry Chaco, stage (Galis et al. 2001), so the propor-
a lizard sampling was made in Chan- tion of polydactylous individuals should
caní, province of Córdoba (central Ar- be low. On the other hand, the propor-
gentina) (31º20’14’’ S, 65º20’24’’ W). A tion of polydactylous and hyperphalan-
hundred drift-fence pitfall traps were set geous amphibians is higher than that of
in native forest areas with different de- amniotes, due to the late development
grees of degradation by fire, grazing and of the limbs and the consequent re-
logging. Out of a sample of 171 individ- duced pleiotropic effects (Galis et al.
uals of Tropidurus etheridgei, I found 2001).
one juvenile bearing polydactyly. This
animal (SVL = 28 mm) had one extra
digit in each forelimb and two extra dig- ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
its in each hindlimb (Fig. 1 a and b).
None of these digits was capable of The author has a posgraduate fellow-
movement and they appeared to hinder ship from CONICET. This work was
the lizard’s movement. Forelimb extra funded as a part of the project PIP 6296
digits were apparently normal, although from CONICET.

R e c i b i d o : 2 6 / 0 5 / 0 7 — A c e p t a d o : 1 9 / 0 8 / 0 7
Ed. asoc.: Mario Cabrera
116 N. P E L E G R I N : Polydactyly in Tropidurus etheridgei

Fig. 1. Detail of forelimbs (a) and hindlimbs (b) of a ju-

venile Tropidurus etheridgei showing polydactyly in its
four limbs.



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