Additions to Philippine Slender Skinks of the Brachymeles bonitae Complex (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) I: a new species from Lubang Island

Aaron Geheber, Drew Davis, Jessa Watters, Michelle Penrod, Kate Feller, Conner Davey, Wlyse Ellsworth, Rachel Flanagan, Brendan Heitz, Tana Moore, Marie Nguyen, Austyn Roberts, John Sutton, Marites Sanguila, Charles Linkem, Rafe Brown, Cameron Siler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
366 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

A new species of slender skink is described from the Philippines. The species is endemic to Lubang Island, and is assigned to the Brachymeles bonitae Complex based on phenotypic and genetic data. Specimens were collected from Lubang Island between 1991 and 2012, and were examined based on morphological data (qualitative traits, meristic counts, and mensural measurements). Published genetic sequence data from phylogenetic studies of the genus reveal the new species to be high- ly divergent from congeners. Brachymeles ligtas sp. nov. is differentiated from other members of the genus based on a number of distinct morphological features, including small body size (SVL 60.7–79.6 mm), bidactyl fore-limbs, digitless hind limbs, high number of presacral vertebrae (50), and the absence of auricular openings. Additionally, the new species has diagnostic, distinct dorsal head scale patterns. This new species becomes the only member of the genus known to occur on the deep-ocean island of Lubang.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalZootaxa
Volume4132
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2016

Keywords

  • biodiversity
  • endemism
  • fossorial
  • limb reduction
  • non-pentadactyl
  • pentadactyl
  • Philippines

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