Brachymeles gracilis (FISCHER, 1885)
|Higher Taxa||Scincidae, Scincinae, Sauria (lizards)|
|Common Names||Graceful Short-legged Skink|
|Synonym||Eumeces (Riopa) gracilis FISCHER 1885: 85|
Brachymeles gracilis — BETTGER 1886: 103
Brachymeles gracilis gracilis — BROWN & RABOR 1967: 536
Brachymeles gracilis — BROWN & ALCALA 1980: 36
Brachymeles gracilis — SILER et al. 2009
|Distribution||Philippine Islands (Mindanao)|
Type locality: Mindanao Island.
hilong: Philippine Islands (NE Mindanao); Type locality: Diuata Mountains in the extreme northeastern part of Mindanao Island
|Types||Holotype: Dresden; probably not extant (BROWN & RABOR 1967)|
Holotype: CAS-SUR 24407 (hilong)
|Comment||Synonymy: after SILER et al. 2012. Brachymeles suluensis TAYLOR 1918 has been removed from the synonymy of B. gracilis by SILER et al. 2012.|
Subspecies: all former subspecies (including hilong, mindorensis, boholensis, taylori) have been elevated to full species.
Distribution: see map in SILER et al. 2012.
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.
Diagnosis.—Brachymeles gracilis can be distinguished from congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) body size medium (SVL 58.6–83.4 mm); (2) limbs pentadactyl; (3) limb length moderate; (4) relative tail length long; (5) Finger-III lamel- lae four or five; (6) Toe-IV lamellae seven or eight; (7) supralabials six; (8) infralabials six or seven; (9) supraciliaries six; (10) supraoculars five; (11) midbody scale rows 24–27; (12) axilla–groin scale rows 46–49; (13) paraver- tebral scale rows 67–70; (14) supranasals separate; (15) parietals in contact; (16) post- nasal/supranasal fusion present or absent; (17) enlarged chin shields in two pairs; (18) nuchal scales undifferentiated; (19) fourth and fifth supralabial below eye; (20) auricular opening present; and (21) presacral vertebrae 34 (Tables 3, 4 in SILER et al. 2012).
Comparisons.—Characters distinguishing B. gracilis from all medium-sized, pentadactyl species of Brachymeles are summarized in Tables 3 and 4. Brachymeles gracilis most closely resembles B. vulcani, B. tiboliorum, and B. suluensis. However, B. gracilis differs from these three taxa by having seven or eight Toe-IV lamellae (vs. eight or nine [B. vulcani], six [B. tiboliorum], eight [B. suluensis]), a greater number of presacral vertebrae (34 vs. 31 [B. suluensis], 32 [B. vulcani], 33 [B. tiboliorum]), six or seven infralabials (vs. six), and the presence or absence of a fused postnasal/supranasal scale (vs. absence; Fig. 4). Brachymeles gracilis further differs from B. vulcani and B. suluensis by having four or five Finger-III lamellae (vs. five); from B. vulcani and B. tiboliorum by having a tendency toward a longer relative tail length (TL/SVL up to 102% vs. , 90%); from B. tiboliorum and B. suluensis by having enlarged chin shields in two pairs (vs. 3); and from B. suluensis by the presence of contact between parietal scales (vs. presence or absence). Brachymeles gracilis can be distinguished from all limbless species of Brachymeles (B. apus, B. lukbani, B. minimus, B. miriamae, B. vermis) by having limbs; and from all non- pentadactyl species of Brachymeles (B. bico- landia, B. bonitae, B. brevidactylus, B. ce- buensis, B. cobos, B. elerae, B. libayani, B. muntingkamay, B. paeforum, B. pathfinderi, B. samarensis, B. tridactylus, B. wrighti) by having pentadactyl (vs. nonpentadactyl) limbs [SILER et al. 2012].
|Etymology||Named after Latin “gracilis”, meaning small or lanky, or gracile.|