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

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Catanduañes Slender Skink. 
SynonymBrachymeles cobos SILER, FUITEN, JONES, ALCALA & BROWN 2011 
DistributionPhilippines (Catanduañes Island)

Type locality: under rotting coconut husks in secondary-growth forest, in Barangay Palta Small, Municipality of Virac, Catanduañes Province, Catanduañes Island, Philippines (13°34’44’’N, 124°13’52’’E; WGS-84)  
Reproductionviviparous (phylogenetic imputation, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: PNM 9761 (CDS Field No. 5255, formerly KU 324023), adult female 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Brachymeles cobos can be distinguished from congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) body size small (SVL 54.0–64.4 mm), (2) limbs bidactyl, (3) limb length short, (4) supralabials six, (5) infralabials six, (6) supraciliaries six, (7) supraoculars five, (8) midbody scale rows 21–22, (9) axilla–groin scale rows 68–72, (10) paravertebral scale rows 85–89, (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 45, (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 specific epithet is chosen in recognition of the Catanduan ̃ es indigenous people’s group for which the first adopted name for the island, ‘‘Isla de Cobos,’’ was coined. The name was adopted by the Spanish conquistadores who encountered the original Catanduan ̃es tribes living in thatched huts called ‘‘cobos.’’ 
  • 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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