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Brachymeles bonitae DUMÉRIL & BIBRON, 1839

IUCN Red List - Brachymeles bonitae - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Stub-limbed Burrowing Skink, Pretty Short-legged Skink 
SynonymBrachymeles bonitae DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 777
Brachymeles bonitae — BROWN & RABOR 1967
Brachymeles bonitae — BROWN & ALCALA 1980: 20
Brachymeles bonitae — SILER et al. 2009
Brachymeles bonitae — SILER et al. 2020 
DistributionPhilippines (Camiguin (Babuyans), Kalotcot, Luzon, Masbate, Polillo, Sibuyan, Tablas)(Crombie, 1994).

Type locality: “Philippines” (Manila, Luzon).  
TypesHolotype: MNHN-RA 3049 (by monotypy) (fide Brown & Rabor 1967: 526, Guibé 1954, Brygoo 1986)
Holotype: Carnegie Museum, CM 1975 [burksi]
Paratypes: MCZ R-26584, R-26585 [burksi] 
DiagnosisDEFINITION. A moderate-sized, slender form of Brachymeles, mature specimens measure about 58 to 79 mm. in snout-vent length; breadth of head about equal to the diameter of body: ratio of head breadth to snout-vent length about 0.059 to 0.077 for 20 specimens; limbs much reduced, length of hind limb about 2% to 5 percent of snout-vent length for 30 specimens; digits usually absent, or one very short stub may be present (populations of the Polillo Islands); frontal large; supranasals and prefrontals not in contact; frontoparietals only rarely so: no postnasal; two frenals: four supraoculars; usually one pair of nuchals; 22 to 24 midbody scale rows and 99 to 113 (mean 102.2 for 23 specimens) mid-dorsal scale rows between parietals and base of tail (table 1): venter brownish, scarcely lighter than the dorsum [BROWN & RABOR 1967: 526]. 
CommentSynonymy: Brachymeles burksi TAYLOR 1917 has been revalidated from the synonymy of bonitae by Siler et al. 2020.

Limb morphology: Species with reduced limbs. See Wagner et al. 2018 and Bergmann et al. 2020 for phylogenetic analyses of digit loss and locomation in Brachymeles.

Type species: Brachymeles bonitae DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839 is the type species of the genus Brachymeles DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839.

Habitat: semifossorial and typically found in dry, rotting material inside or underneath decaying logs or in loose soil, forest floor detritus, and leaf litter of lowland forest. 
  • Andrade, Julia B.; Ryshonda P. Lewis and Phil Senter 2016. Appendicular skeletons of five Asian skink species of the genera Brachymeles and Ophiomorus, including species with vestigial appendicular structures. Amphibia-Reptilia, DOI: 10.1163/15685381-00003062 - get paper here
  • Bergmann, P. J., Morinaga, G., Freitas, E. S., Irschick, D. J., Wagner, G. P., & Siler, C. D. 2020. Locomotion and palaeoclimate explain the re-evolution of quadrupedal body form in Brachymeles lizards. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 287(1938), 20201994 - get paper here
  • Brown WC & RABOR DS 1967. Review of the genus Brachymeles (Sauria), with descriptions of new species and subspecies. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (4) 34: 525-548 - get paper here
  • Brown, R.M.; C.H. Oliveros; C.D. Siler; J.B. Fernandez; L.J. Welton; P.A.C. Buenavente; M.L.L. Diesmos; A.C. Diesmos 2012. Amphibians and Reptiles of Luzon Island (Philippines), VII: Herpetofauna of Ilocos Norte Province, Northern Cordillera Mountain Range. Check List 8(3):469-490 - get paper here
  • Brown, R.M.; McGuire, J.A.; Ferner,J.W.; Icarangal Jr., N. & Kennedy, R.S. 2000. Amphibians and reptiles of Luzon island, II: preliminary report on the herptofauna of Aurora Memorial national Park, Philippines. Hamadryad 25 (2): 175-195 - get paper here
  • Brown, WC. & A.C. ALCALA 1980. Philippine Lizards of the family Scincidae. Silliman Univ. Nat. Sci., Dumaguete City, Mon., Ser. 2: i-xi + 1-246.
  • Brown; Rafe; Cameron Siler, Carl Oliveros, Luke Welton, Ashley Rock, John Swab, Merlijn Van Weerd, Jonah van Beijnen, Dominic Rodriguez, Edmund Jose, Arvin Diesmos 2013. The amphibians and reptiles of Luzon Island, Philippines, VIII: the herpetofauna of Cagayan and Isabela Provinces, northern Sierra Madre Mountain Range. ZooKeys 266 (2013) Special Issue: 1-120<br />doi: 10.3897/zookeys.266.3982 - get paper here
  • DAVIS, DREW R.; AARON D. GEHEBER, JESSA L. WATTERS, MICHELLE L. PENROD, KATHRYN D. FELLER, ALISSA ASHFORD, JOSH KOURI, DANIEL NGUYEN, KATHRYN SHAUBERGER, KYRA SHEATSLEY, CLAIRE WINFREY, RACHEL WONG, MARITES B. SANGUILA, RAFE M. BROWN & CAMERON D. SIL 2016. Additions to Philippine Slender Skinks of the Brachymeles bonitae Complex (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) III: a new species from Tablas Island. Zootaxa 4132 (1): 030–043 - get paper here
  • Davis, Drew R.; Kathryn D. Feller, Rafe M. Brown, and Cameron D. Siler 2014. Evaluating the Diversity of Philippine Slender Skinks of the Brachymeles bonitae Complex (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae): Redescription of B. tridactylus and Descriptions of Two New Species. Journal of Herpetology 48 (4): 480-494. - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron. 1839. Erpétologie Générale on Histoire Naturelle Complète des Reptiles. Vol. 5. Roret/Fain et Thunot, Paris, 871 pp. - get paper here
  • Gojo-Cruz, Paul Henric P. and Leticia E. Afuang 2018. The Zoogeographic Significance of Caraballo Mountain Range, Luzon Island, Philippines With Focus on the Biogeography of Luzon’s Herpetofauna. Philippine Journal of Science 147 (3): 393-409 - get paper here
  • Lagat, Ronaldo D. and Rubie M. Causaren 2019. Initial terrestrial vertebrate diversity assessment in upland Cavite, Philippines. Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology 12 (2): 70-91 - get paper here
  • MCLEOD, David S.; Cameron D. SILER, Arvin C. DIESMOS, Mae L. DIESMOS, Vhon S. GARCIA, Angela O. ARKONCEO, Kelvin L. BALAQUIT, Charlene C. UY, Mariden M. VILLASERAN, Earle C. YARRA, Rafe M. BROWN 2011. Amphibians and Reptiles of Luzon Island, V: The Herpetofauna of Angat Dam Watershed, Bulacan Province, Luzon Island, Philippines. Asian Herpetological Research 2 (4): 177–198 - get paper here
  • Schaper, E G; Bergmann, P J; Morinaga, G; Fernandez, J; Freitas, E S & Siler, C D 2018. Geographic Distribution: Brachymeles bonitae (Stub-limbed Burrowing Skink). Herpetological Review 49 (3): 503 - get paper here
  • Siler, C. D., Freitas, E. S., Sheridan, J. A., Maguire, S. N., Davis, D. R., Watters, J. L., ... & Brown, R. M. 2020. Additions to Philippine slender skinks of the Brachymeles bonitae complex (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) IV: Resurrection and redescription of Brachymeles burksi. Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology, DOI 10.26757/pjsb2020b14005 - get paper here
  • Siler, C. D.; D.S. Balete; A. C. Diesmos and R. M. Brown 2010. A New Legless Loam-swimming Lizard (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae: Genus Brachymeles) from the Bicol Peninsula, Luzon Island, Philippines. Copeia 2010 (1): 114–122 - get paper here
  • Siler, Cameron D.; Arvin C. Diesmos, Angel C. Alcala and Rafe M. Brown 2011. Phylogeny of Philippine slender skinks (Scincidae: Brachymeles) reveals underestimated species diversity, complex biogeographical relationships, and cryptic patterns of lineage diversification. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 59 (1): 53-65 - get paper here
  • Siler, Cameron D.; Edmond L. Rico, Mariano R. Duya, and Rafe M. Brown 2009. A NEW LIMB-REDUCED, LOAM-SWIMMING SKINK (SQUAMATA: SCINCIDAE: BRACHYMELES) FROM CENTRAL LUZON ISLAND, PHILIPPINES. Herpetologica 65 (4): 449 - get paper here
  • Taylor, E.H. 1922. The lizards of the Philippine Islands. Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Bureau of Science, Government of the Philippine Islands, Manila, Publication no. 17: 269 pp. - get paper here
  • Taylor,E.H. 1917. Brachymeles, a genus of Philippine lizards. Philippine Journal of Science 12: 267-279 - get paper here
  • Wagner, Günter P.; Oliver W. Griffith; Philip J. Bergmann; Gaelle Bello‐Hellegouarch; Tiana Kohlsdorf; Anjan Bhullar & Cameron D. Siler 2018. Are there general laws for digit evolution in squamates? The loss and re‐evolution of digits in a clade of fossorial lizards (Brachymeles, Scincinae). Journal of Morphology - get paper here
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