Acontias albigularis CONRADIE, BUSSCHAU & EDWARDS, 2018
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Acontias albigularis?
|Higher Taxa||Scincidae, Acontinae; Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||White-throated Legless Skink|
|Synonym||Acontias albigularis CONRADIE, BUSSCHAU & EDWARDS 2018|
Acontias breviceps — FITZSIMONS 1943
Acontias breviceps — BROADLEY & GREER 1969 (part)
Acontias breviceps — BRANCH 1988 (part)
Acontias breviceps — BRANCH 1994 (part)
Acontias breviceps — BRANCH 1998 (part)
Acontias breviceps — BATES et al. 2014 (part)
|Distribution||Republic of South Africa (Mpumalanga)|
Type locality: Mauchsberg, Long Tom Pass, Mpumalanga, South Africa (-25.14113 S 30.60522 E, 2530BA, 2149 m elevation)
|Types||Holotype: PEM R20655, collected by Werner Conradie, Theo Busschau and Adriaan Jordaan on 9 December 2013. Mid ventral incision, otherwise in good condition.|
Paratypes (12). PEM R20650-2, 20661, Top of Long Tom Pass, Mpumalanga, South Africa (-25,149109 S 30.61938 E, 2530BA, 2206 m asl); PEM R20653-4, 20656-60, 20662, Mauchsberg, Long Tom Pass, Mpumalanga, South Africa (-25.14113 S 30.60522 E, 2530BA, 2149 m asl). All voucher specimens collected by Werner Conradie, Theo Busschau and Adriaan Jordaan on 9 December 2013. All material are adults except for PEM R20651-3 being juveniles. All voucher specimens with mid-ventral incisions and in otherwise good condition.
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. A medium sized legless skink assigned to the genus Acontias (part) based on the body being moderately attenuate, snout not strongly acutely angled, movable eyelids present, lower eyelid immovable, and overall genetic placement (Lamb et al. 2010; this study). Distinguished from A. jappi (Broadley), A. kgalagadi (Lamb, Biswas & Bauer), A. lineatus Peters (previously included in Typhlosaurus), and A. schmitzi Wagner, Broadley & Bauer in possessing moveable eyelids. It can be distinguished from other congeners possessing moveable eyelids by: ventral pigmentation concentrated at posterior scale margins giving a checkered appearance (all species except A. breviceps and A. sp. 2) compared to dorsally and ventrally uniform (A. plumbeus, A. occidentalis (part)) or no ventral pigmentation (A. gracilicauda, A. meleagris complex, A. lineicauda, A. occidentalis (part), A. namaquensis, and A. percivali Loveridge). It can be distinguished from typical A. breviceps and A. sp. 2 by the lack of pigmentation in the region around the throat and the cloaca, and lower average number of scales around the midbody (14 scales vs 16 in both A. breviceps and A. sp. 2). It differs from A. breviceps in that the second upper label is touching the eye 17 out of 19 (90%) times (vs 1 out of 39 ~5%). In the phylogenetic analysis, it is sister to A. gracilicauda, from which it differs by 2.2 ± 0.6 % (16S mtDNA) and 3.5 ± 0.7 % (Cytb mtDNA) sequence divergence. It further differs 5.3 ± 1.2 % (16S) and 7.0 ± 0.9 % (Cytb) from A. breviceps, and 2.1 ± 0.8 % (16S) and 3.6 ± 0.7 % (Cytb) from. A. sp. 2.|
|Comment||Habitat. Found in montane grassland under large flat rocks on the Mpumalanga escarpment at an altitude above 2000 m asl.|
|Etymology||The name albigularis is derived from the Latin words: albi (white) and gula (throat), and alludes to the unpigmented gular or throat region of the species, giving it a white throat.|
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