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Brachymeles elerae TAYLOR, 1917

IUCN Red List - Brachymeles elerae - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Common Short-legged Skink 
SynonymBrachymeles elerae TAYLOR 1917: 273
Brachymeles elerae — TAYLOR 1922: 273
Brachymeles elerae — BROWN & RABOR 1967
Brachymeles elerae — BROWN & ALCALA 1980: 23
Brachymeles elerae — SILER et al. 2009 
DistributionPhilippines (Luzon: Kalinga)

Type locality: Philippines  
TypesHolotype: STUM, Unnumbered specimen (Museum of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines), possibly lost (M. Diesmos, in Siler et al., 2011, was unable to locate herpetological collections among the residue of that museum in 2009). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Habitus very slender; snout to vent length 69-71 mm. for 2 mature specimens; limbs greatly reduced with vestiges of 4 clawed toes on both fore and hind limbs; length of hindlimb 7.2 to 9.3 per cent of the snout-vent length (4 specimens); no ear opening; no postnasal; 22 scale rows around the middle of the body; 83-85 scale rows along the middorsal line between the parietals and the base of the tail (from BROWN 1956). 
CommentLimb morphology: Species with reduced limbs (4 digits on both fore and hind limbs).

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 higher elevation forest.

Abundance: Rare. This is one of the species called 'lost' and 'rediscovered' by Lindken et al. 2024. 
  • 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, Walter C. 1956. A revision of the genus Brachymeles (Scincidae), with descriptions of new species and subspecies. Breviora (54): 1-19 - 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.
  • 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
  • GOJO-CRUZ, Paul Henric P.; Leticia E. AFUANG, Juan Carlos T. GONZALEZ and William SM. GRUEZO 2018. Amphibians and Reptiles of Luzon Island, Philippines: the Herpetofauna of Pantabangan-Carranglan Watershed, Nueva Ecija Province, Caraballo Mountain Range. Asian Herpetological Research 9(4): 201–223 - get paper here
  • Lindken T.; Anderson, C. V., Ariano-Sánchez, D., Barki, G., Biggs, C., Bowles, P., Chaitanya, R., Cronin, D. T., Jähnig, S. C., Jeschke, J. M., Kennerley, R. J., Lacher, T. E. Jr., Luedtke, J. A., Liu, C., Long, B., Mallon, D., Martin, G. M., Meiri, 2024. What factors influence the rediscovery of lost tetrapod species? Global Change Biology, 30: 1-18 - get paper here
  • Siler, C.D. 2010. Reptilia, Squamata, Scincidae, Brachymeles elerae (Taylor, 1917): Rediscovery in Old Balbalan, Cordillera Mountain Range, Luzon Island, Philippines, and natural history. Check List 6 (4): 616-618 - 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
  • Siler, Cameron D.; Robin M. Jones, Luke J. Welton, and Rafe M. Brown 2011. Redescription of Tetradactyl Philippine Slender Skinks (Genus Brachymeles). Herpetologica 67 (3): 300-317. - 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. 1944. Present location of certain herpetological and other type specimens. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 30 (1): 117-187. - get paper here
  • Taylor,E.H. 1917. Brachymeles, a genus of Philippine lizards. Philippine Journal of Science 12: 267-279 - get paper here
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