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Brachymeles hilong BROWN & RABOR, 1967

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Hilong Short-legged Skink 
SynonymBrachymeles hilong BROWN & RABOR 1967: 543
Brachymeles hilong — SILER et al. 2020 
DistributionPhilippines (NW Mindanao, Agusan Province)

Type locality: Hilong-hilong Peak, Agusan Province, Mindanao Island, Philippine Islands  
TypesHolotype: CAS-SUR 24407 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. 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. 
CommentPentadactyl 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.

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). 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Alcala, Angel C.;Reyes, Alfredo Y. 1957. Notes on the habitat of the scincoid lizard, Brachymeles gracilis taylori Brown. Copeia 1957 (2): 144 - get paper here
  • 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.
  • Fischer, J. G. 1885. Ichthyologische und herpetologische Bemerkungen. V. Herpetologische Bemerkungen. Jahrb. Hamburg. Wiss. Anst. 2: 82-121 - get paper here
  • Sanguila MB, Cobb KA, Siler CD, Diesmos AC, Alcala AC, Brown RM 2016. The amphibians and reptiles of Mindanao Island, southern Philippines, II: the herpetofauna of northeast Mindanao and adjacent islands. ZooKeys 624: 1–132, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.624.9814 - get paper here
  • Siler, C. D., Freitas, E. S., Sheridan, J. A., Maguire, S. N., Davis, D. R., Watters, J. L., ... & Brown, R. M. 2020. Additions to Philippine slender skinks of the Brachymeles bonitae complex (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) IV: Resurrection and redescription of Brachymeles burksi. Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology, DOI 10.26757/pjsb2020b14005 - get paper here
  • Siler, Cameron D.; Arvin C. Diesmos, Rafe M. Brown 2010. New Loam-Swimming Skink, Genus Brachymeles (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) from Luzon and Catanduanes Islands, Philippines. Journal of Herpetology 44 (1): 49–60 - 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
  • VENTURINA, Russell Evan L.;Ynigo Luis C. DEL PRADO,Rhim Ayyah C. KAMIR, Marlon N. BALMORES and Arvin C. DIESMOS 2020. A Revised Checklist of Amphibians and Reptiles in Camiguin Sur, Misamis Oriental, Mindaanao, Philippines. Asian Herpetological Research 11 (1): 28-43 - get paper here
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