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Brachymeles brevidactylus SILER, FUITEN, JONES, ALCALA & BROWN, 2011

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Southern Bicol Slender Skink 
SynonymBrachymeles brevidactylus SILER, FUITEN, JONES, ALCALA & BROWN 2011 
DistributionPhilippine Island (Luzon: S Bicol Peninsula)

Type locality: under pile of rotting coconut husks in secondary-growth forest, in the Municipality of Irosin, Sorsogon Province, Luzon Island, Philippines (15°50’ N, 123°55’ E; WGS-84).  
Reproductionviviparous (phylogenetic imputation, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: PNM 9764 (CDS Field No. 4099, formerly KU 324017), adult male 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Brachymeles brevidactylus can be distinguished from congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) body size small (SVL 54.0–60.0 mm), (2) limbs bidactyl, (3) limb length short, (4) suprala- bials six, (5) infralabials six, (6) supraciliaries six, (7) supraoculars five, (8) midbody scale rows 20, (9) axilla–groin scale rows 73–77, (10) paravertebral scale rows 90–94, (11) pineal eye spot present, (12) prefrontals not contacting on midline, (13) frontoparietals contact, (14) postnasals absent, (15) enlarged chin shields in three pairs, (16) nuchals enlarged, (17) fourth supralabial below eye midline, (18) auricular opening absent, (19) presacral vertebrae 47–48, (20) nonfusion of mental and first infralabials, (21) nonfusion of loreals, and (22) uniform body color (Tables 4 and 5 in SILER et al. 2011). 
CommentHabitat: 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. 
EtymologyThe name of the new species is derived from the Latin root word ‘‘brevis,’’ meaning short, and ‘‘dactylus,’’ meaning digit, to represent the species’ small, highly reduced digits. 
  • Siler, Cameron D.; Allison M. Fuiten, Robin M. Jones, Angel C. Alcala, and Rafe M. Brown 2011. Phylogeny-Based Species Delimitation in Philippine Slender Skinks (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) II: Taxonomic Revision of Brachymeles samarensis and Description of Five New Species. Herpetological Monographs 25 (1): 76-112 - get paper here
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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