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Alpinoscincus alpinus (GREER, ALLISON & COGGER, 2005)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymLobulia alpina GREER, ALLISON & COGGER 2005
Alpinoscincus alpinus — SLAVENKO et al. 2021 
DistributionPapua New Guinea (Central Province)

Type locality: Sidibamul, Murray Pass, Wharton ranges, Woitape District, Central Province, Papua New Guinea, 2700-3000 m elevation.  
TypesHolotype: AMS (AM) R 23339 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus) : Medium-sized (adult SVL 46.1–72.7 mm) terrestrial to semi-arboreal skinks with moderate limbs (forelimbs 27.0–39.8% of SVL, hindlimbs 31.7–48.7% of SVL); small lobules present on anterior edge of ear opening; two pairs of chin shields in medial contact; modally three supralabials posterior to subocular supralabial; chin shields separated from infralabials by a row of genials; lower eyelid scaly; temporal region fragmented (> 3 scales); nasal scale undivided; frontoparietals unfused; viviparous; litter size 1–4.
Alpinoscincus differs from all other genera by modally having three (vs. two) supralabials posterior to the subocular supralabial. It further differs from Prasinohaema by lacking green blood and tissues, a prehensile tail with a glandular tip, and basally expanded subdigital lamellae. It further differs from Lobulia, Palaia and Papuascincus by having the lower eyelid scaly (vs. lower eyelid with a semi-transparent window), a fragmented (vs. the standard three-scale) temporal region and the chin shields separated from the infralabials by a row of genials (vs. chin shields abutting infralabials). It further differs from Palaia and Papuascincus by having two pairs of chin shields in medial contact (vs. one pair), unfused (vs. fused) frontoparietals and a viviparous (vs. oviparous) reproductive mode. It further differs from Palaia by its longer adult SVL (46.1–72.7 vs. 37.3–41.2 mm) and by lacking basally slightly expanded subidigital lamellae. It further differs from Papuascincus by having an undivided (vs. divided) nasal scale (Slavenko et al. 2021). 
CommentType species: Lobulia alpina GREER, ALLISON & COGGER 2005 is the type species of the genus Alpinoscincus SLAVENKO et al. 2021. 
EtymologyNamed after the high altitude distribution of the species.

The genus name is a combinatorial noun derived from the Latin adjective alpinus, of high mountains, and Latin noun scincus, a type of lizard, in reference to the extremely high elevations in which species in this genus occur. 
  • Greer, A.E.; Allison, A. & Cogger, H.G. 2005. Four new species of Lobulia (Lacertilia: Scincidae) from high altitude in New Guinea. Herpetological Monographs 19: 153-179 - get paper here
  • Slavenko, Alex, Karin Tamar, Oliver J. S. Tallowin, Fred Kraus, Allen Allison, Salvador Carranza & Shai Meiri. 2021. Revision of the montane New Guinean skink genus Lobulia (Squamata: Scincidae), with the description of four new genera and nine new species. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 195 (1): 220–278 - get paper here
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