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Anomalopus mackayi GREER & COGGER, 1985

IUCN Red List - Anomalopus mackayi - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Five-clawed Worm-skink 
SynonymAnomalopus mackayi GREER & COGGER 1985: 14
Anomalopus mackayi — COGGER 2000: 385
Anomalopus mackayi — WILSON & SWAN 2010 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, Queensland)

Type locality: Euroka, Walgett, NSW  
TypesHolotype: AMS (AM) R3834, collected by Mr Raven 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Differs from all other Anomalopus and indeed all other lygosomines in having a digital formula of 3-2 (Greer & Cogger 1985: 14).

Description. A moderately long, attenuate skink with small front and rear limbs and a plain brown colour pattern.
Snout bluntly rounded; rostral with broad, moderately deep median lobe projecting between nasals to make narrow contact with frontonasals; frontonasal wider than long (1.4-1.8 x); prefrontals well developed but widely separated; frontal slightly longer than wide (1.2-1.4 x) and slightly shorter than midline length of frontoparietals and interparietal; supraoculars 4, first 2 in contact with frontal; frontoparietals paired, in contact, each shorter and broader than interparietal; interparietal distinct, with distinct parietal eye spot; parietals meet behind interparietal; each parietal bordered posterolaterally by large upper secondary temporal and 2 to 3 more-or-Iess equally sized body scales; transversely enlarged nuchals 0-1.
Nasals large and separated, nostril situated slightly forward and below centre point; loreals 2, approximately equal in size and proportions; preoculars 2, lower much the larger; supraciliaries 6 to 7, first separated from frontal, penultimate occasionally projects slightly medially between third and fourth supraoculars, and ultimate projects medially between last supraocular and pretemporals; suboculars large and forming a continuous row comprised of 1presubocular, 2 suboculars and 1 postocular; lower eyelid scaly; pretemporals 2; primary temporal single; secondary temporals 2, upper very long and overlapping lower which is about equal in size to primary temporal; tertiary temporal single; external ear opening absent, represented by an anteriorly dipping, shallow auricular crease; supralabials 6 or 7, fourth smallest and situated directly below centre of eye; postsupralabials 2; infralabials 6 or 5; mental large, wider than long (1.7-2.3 x); postmental much wider than long, in contact with first two infralabials on each side; enlarged pairs of chin scales 3, first in contact, second separated by 1 scale row and third separated by 3.
Body scales smooth, in 18-20 longitudinal rows at midbody; paravertebral scales only slightly wider than those in more lateral rows, 97-116 in a single row; inner preanals overlap outer, medial pair enlarged; median row or subcaudals equal in size to immediately adjacent rows.
Snout-vent length 63-123 mm; front leg with 3 very short, clawed toes of which middle is longest, 0.05-0.07 x SVL; rear leg with 2 very short clawed toes of which second is longer, 0.04-0.08 x SVL; tail pointed, 1.03-1.21 x SVL.
Presacral vertebrae 51-58; complete inscriptional chevrons 11-13; sternalimesosternal ribs 212.
Manus comprises radiale, ulnare and pisiform (intermedium could not be assessed); centrale; distal carpals 2-4; metacarpals 2-5, and phalanges
Pes comprises fused astragalus and calcaneum; distal tarsals 3-4; metatarsals 2-5; phalanges (Greer & Cogger 1985: 14).

Colour. In preservative the ground colour of the dorsum ranges from light, greyish brown to dark-brown and the venter from off-white to light-brown. The dorsal pattern is uniform in New South Wales specimens but consists of rows of dark-brown dots or dashes through the centres of the dorsal and lateral scales in the Queensland specimens. The venters are unpatterned in most specimens but consists of rows of dark spots like the dorsum in one Queensland specimen (QM J 8516) (Greer & Cogger 1985: 15). 
CommentLimb morphology: 2 digits, 1 toe (Reduced limbs, Singhal et al. 2018, Brandley et al 2008; Cogger 2014 says it is 3, 2) 
EtymologyNamed for Roy D. Mackay, formerly of the Australian Museum and founder of the Australian Herpetological Society. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Couper, P., Covacevich, J., Amey, A. & Baker, A. 2006. The genera of skinks (Family Scincidae) of Australia and its island territories: diversity, distribution and identification. in: Merrick, J.R., Archer, M., Hickey, G.M. & Lee, M.S.Y. (eds.). Evolution and Zoogeography of Australasian Vertebrates. Australian Scientific Publishing, Sydney, pp. 367-384
  • Covacevich J.A., Couper, P.J., McDonald, K.R. 1998. Reptile diversity at risk in the Brigalow Belt, Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 42 (2): 475-486 - get paper here
  • Greer A E; Cogger H G 1985. Systematics of the reduce-limbed and limbless skinks currently assigned to the genus Anomalopus (Lacertilia: Scincidae). Rec. Austral. Mus. 37(1) 1985: 11-54 - get paper here
  • Hutchinson, M. N., Couper, P., Amey, A., & Wilmer, J. W. 2021. Diversity and Systematics of Limbless Skinks (Anomalopus) from Eastern Australia and the Skeletal Changes that Accompany the Substrate Swimming Body Form. Journal of Herpetology 55 (4): 361-384 - get paper here
  • Reeder, T.W. 2003. A phylogeny of the Australian Sphenomorphus group (Scincidae: Squamata) and the phylogenetic placement of the crocodile skinks (Tribolonotus): Bayesian approaches to assessing congruence and obtaining confidence in maximum likelihood inferred relatio Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 27: 384–397 - get paper here
  • Shea, G.;Millgate, M.;Peck, S. 1987. A range extension for the rare skink Anomalopus mackayi. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 17 (1-2): 16-19
  • Shea, Glenn M; Sadlier, Ross A 1999. A catalogue of the non-fossil amphibian and reptile type specimens in the collection of the Australian Museum: types currently, previously and purportedly present. TECHNICAL REPORTS OF THE AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM 15, 1999: 1-91 - get paper here
  • Singhal, Sonal; Huateng Huang, Maggie R. Grundler, María R. Marchán-Rivadeneira, Iris Holmes, Pascal O. Title, Stephen C. Donnellan, and Daniel L. Rabosky 2018. Does Population Structure Predict the Rate of Speciation? A Comparative Test across Australia’s Most Diverse Vertebrate Radiation. The American Naturalist - get paper here
  • Skinner, Adam; Mark N. Hutchinson, Michael S.Y. Lee 2013. Phylogeny and Divergence Times of Australian Sphenomorphus Group Skinks (Scincidae, Squamata). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 69 (3): 906–918 - get paper here
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 pp.
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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