Brachymeles hilong (BROWN & RABOR, 1967)
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Brachymeles hilong?
|Higher Taxa||Scincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||Graceful Short-legged Skink|
|Synonym||Eumeces (Riopa) gracilis FISCHER 1885: 85|
Brachymeles gracilis — BETTGER 1886: 103
Brachymeles suluensis TAYLOR 1918: 254 (fide TAYLOR 1922)
Brachymeles gracilis gracilis — BROWN & RABOR 1967: 536
Brachymeles gracilis — BROWN & ALCALA 1980: 36
Brachymeles gracilis — SILER et al. 2009
|Distribution||Philippines (NW Mindanao)|
Type locality: Diuata Mountains in the extreme northeastern part of Mindanao Island
|Types||Holotype: CAS-SUR 24407|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis.—Brachymeles hilong can be distinguished from congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) body size medium (SVL 59.9–81.5 mm); (2) limbs pentadactyl; (3) limb length moderate; (4) relative tail length moderate; (5) Finger-III lamellae five; (6) Toe-IV lamellae eight or nine; (7) supralabials six; (8) infralabials six; (9) supraciliaries six; (10) supraoculars five; (11) midbody scale rows 27–30; (12) axilla– groin scale rows 44–50; (13) paravertebral scale rows 66–73; (14) pineal eyespot present; (15) supranasals separate; (16) prefrontals separate; (17) postnasal/supranasal fusion absent; (18) enlarged chin shields in two or three pairs; (19) nuchal scales undifferentiat- ed; (20) fourth and fifth supralabial below eye; (21) auricular opening present; and (22) presacral vertebrae 32 (Tables 3, 4 in SILER et al. 2012).|
Comparisons.—Characters distinguishing B. hilong from all medium-sized, pentadactyl species of Brachymeles are summarized in Tables 3 and 4. Brachymeles hilong most closely resembles B. samad; however, B. hilong differs from this taxon by having a shorter relative tail length (TL/SVL up to 126% vs. , 98%), a greater number of presacral vertebrae (32 vs. 31), a greater number of midbody scale rows (27–30 vs. 25–26), a tendency toward a greater number of axilla–groin scale rows (up to 50 vs. # 45), a tendency toward a greater number of para- vertebral scale rows (up to 73 vs. # 67), enlarged chin shields in two or three pairs (vs. three), and the absence of contact between prefrontal scales (vs. presence or absence).
Brachymeles hilong 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.
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.
Sympatry: In contrast to B. gracilis and B. tiboliorum, B. hilong does not occur in sympatry with any other medium- sized, pentadactyl species of Brachymeles. However, B. orientalis also occurs throughout the recognized range of B. hilong. In addition to B. hilong and B. orientalis, four other species of Brachymeles have been confirmed to occur on Mindanao Island (B. gracilis, B. tiboliorum, B. pathfinderi, and B. schaden- bergi; Siler and Brown, 2010; Siler et al., 2011c). 20 other species of skinks also occur on Mindanao Island (Siler et al. 2012).