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Brachymeles ilocandia SILER, DAVIS, FREITAS, HURON, GEHEBER, WATTERS, PENROD, PAPES, AMREIN, ANWAWR, COOPER HEIN, MANNING, PATEL, PINAROC, DIESMOS, DIESMOS, OLIVEROS & BROWN, 2016

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Ilokano Slender Skink 
SynonymBrachymeles ilocandia SILER, DAVIS, FREITAS, HURON, GEHEBER, WATTERS, PENROD, PAPES, AMREIN, ANWAWR, COOPER HEIN, MANNING, PATEL, PINAROC, DIESMOS, DIESMOS, OLIVEROS & BROWN 2016
Brachymeles bonitae — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839
Brachymeles bonitae — TAYLOR 1917
Brachymeles bonitae — BROWN 1956: 5
Brachymeles bonitae — BROWN & RABOR 1967: 526
Brachymeles bonitae — BROWN & ALCALA 1970
Brachymeles bonitae — BROWN & ALCALA 1980: 20
Brachymeles bonitae — DAVIS et al. 2014 
DistributionPhilippines (Cagayan Province, Camiguin Norte Island, Luzon)

Type locality: Sitio Kauringan, Barangay Balatubat, Municipality of Calayan, Cagayan Province, Camiguin Norte Island, Philippines (18.902° N, 121.908° E; WGS 84; 303 m elev  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: PNM 9819 (RMB Field No. 7324, formerly KU 308004), adult female, collected under a decaying log in secondary-growth forest on 10 February 2007 by J. Fernandez. Paratypes (Paratopotypes). One adult female (KU 307967), collected on 8 February 2006 in Sitio Kauringan, Barangay Balatubat, Municipality of Calayan, Cagayan Province, Camiguin Norte Island, Philippines, by J. Fernandez and RMB. Four adult females, collected under a decaying log in secondary-growth forest on 11 February 2007 (KU 308019, 308020), 12 February 2007 (KU 308027), and 14 February 2007 (KU 308030) in Sitio Kauringan, Barangay Balatubat, Municipality of Calayan, Cagayan Province, Camiguin Norte Island, Philippines, by J. Fernandez and C. Oliveros. Paratypes. One adult female (CAS 61377), collected in 1920 in Nayon, Ifugao Subprovince, Mountain Province, Luzon Island, Philippines. One adult female (FMNH 259449), collected on 10 March 2001 in Kalinga Province, Luzon Island, Philippines, by RMB and ACD. One adult female (KU 304567), collected on 5 March 2006 in “Limandok,” Barangay Balatabat, Municipality of Calayan, Cagayan Province, Camiguin Norte Island, Philippines (18.92927° N, 121.89881° E; WGS 84; 403 m elev.), by J. Fernandez and RMB. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Following recent taxonomic revisions of Brachymeles (Siler et al. 2011; Davis et al. 2014; Geheber et al. 2016) the new species is assigned to the B. bonitae Complex based on the following suite of morphological characters: (1) limbs present, (2) non-pentadactyl, (3) fore-limbs with 0–3 fingers, (4) hind limbs with 0–2 toes, (5) paravertebral scale rows ≥ 91, (6) presacral vertebrae 47–53, (7) supraoculars four, (8) enlarged, differentiated nuchals present, (9) longitudinal rows of dark spots around the body absent, and (10) auricular opening absent. Brachymeles ilocandia sp. nov. can be distinguished from congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) body size small (SVL 65.7–77.6 mm), (2) limbs digitless, (3) limb length short, (4) supralabials six, (5) infralabials five or six, (6) supraciliaries five, (7) supraoculars four, (8) midbody scale rows 22–24, (9) axilla– groin scale rows 80–82, (10) paravertebral scale rows 97–100, (11) mental/first infralabial fusion present or absent, (12) prefrontal contact absent or in point contact, (13) frontoparietal contact present, (14) enlarged chin shields in three pairs, (15) nuchals enlarged, (16) auricular opening absent, (17) presacral vertebrae 50–53, and (18) uniform body color (Tables 1, 2).

Comparisons. Brachymeles ilocandia sp. nov. can be distinguished from B. bonitae by having fewer axilla– groin scale rows (80–82 versus 83–90) and fewer paravertebral scale rows (97–100 versus 103–110); from B. ligtas by having a greater number axilla–groin scale rows (80–82 versus 74–76), paravertebral scale rows (97–100 versus 91–93), and fewer presacral vertebrae (47 versus 50); from B. isangdaliri by having fewer supraciliaries (5 versus 6), the presence (versus absence) of a third chin shield pair, and a longer snout–vent length (65.7–77.6 mm versus 59.5); from B. mapalanggaon by having a longer fore-limb length (1.1–1.4 mm versus 0.8–1.0); from B. tridactylus by having a shorter fore-limb length (1.1–1.4 mm versus 1.5–2.5); from B. isangdaliri and B. mapalanggaon by having a longer total length (122.3–146.0 mm versus 106.1 [B. isangdaliri] or 120.2 [B. mapalanggaon]); from B. isangdaliri and B. tridactylus by having digitless limbs (versus unidactyl [B. isangdaliri] or tridactyl [B. tridactylus]), a greater number of presacral vertebrae (50–53 versus 47 [B. isangdaliri, B. tridactylus]), greater number of axilla–groin scale rows (80–82 versus 73 [B. isangdaliri] or 72–79 [B. tridactylus]), and a shorter hindlimb length (1.6–1.9 mm versus 2.2 [B. isangdaliri] or 2.6–3.6 [B. tridactylus]).
Brachymeles ilocandia sp. nov. can be distinguished from all limbless species of Brachymeles by having limbs, and from all pentadactyl species of Brachymeles by having digitless limbs. 
CommentHabitat: The new species likely once occurred in low- to mid-elevation primary forest habitats; however, all recent observations of this species have occurred in secondary growth forest habitats. In contrast to the other members of the B. bonitae complex, this species appears to be quite common in secondary growth forest fragments throughout the northern Philippines.

Sympatry: Brachymeles ilocandia sp. nov. is found in parts of its distribution with B. bicolor, B. kadwa, and B. boulengeri. Other species of Brachymeles known to occur in the Luzon PAIC include B. bicolandia, B. bonitae, B. brevidactylus, B. cobos, B. elerae, B. isangdaliri, B. kadwa, B. lukbani, B. makusog, B. minimus, B. muntingkamay, and B. wrighti (Davis et al. 2014). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is chosen in reference to the biogeographically and culturally distinct homeland, “Ilocandia”, of the Ilokano people of the northern Philippines, the third largest ethnolinguistic group in the country. Including the Babuyan Island Group north of Luzon Island, Ilocandia stretches from the western coast of northern Luzon, across the Cagayan Valley, to parts of central Luzon and the boundaries of Aurora Province in the east. The region is home to many endemic vertebrates, diverse geographic landscape, unique local cuisine, and rich cultural traditions. 
References
  • 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, Walter C.; Alcala, Angel C. 1970. The zoogeography of the herpetofauna of the Philippine Islands, a fringing archipelago. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 38 (6): 105-130 - 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.
  • DAVIS, DREW R.; AARON D. GEHEBER, JESSA L. WATTERS, MICHELLE L. PENROD, KATHRYN D. FELLER, ALISSA ASHFORD, JOSH KOURI, DANIEL NGUYEN, KATHRYN SHAUBERGER, KYRA SHEATSLEY, CLAIRE WINFREY, RACHEL WONG, MARITES B. SANGUILA, RAFE M. BROWN & CAMERON D. SIL 2016. Additions to Philippine Slender Skinks of the Brachymeles bonitae Complex (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) III: a new species from Tablas Island. Zootaxa 4132 (1): 030–043 - get paper here
  • Davis, Drew R.; Kathryn D. Feller, Rafe M. Brown, and Cameron D. Siler 2014. Evaluating the Diversity of Philippine Slender Skinks of the Brachymeles bonitae Complex (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae): Redescription of B. tridactylus and Descriptions of Two New Species. Journal of Herpetology Dec 2014, Vol. 48, No. 4: 480-494. - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron. 1839. Erpétologie Générale on Histoire Naturelle Complète des Reptiles. Vol.5. Roret/Fain et Thunot, Paris, 871 pp. - get paper here
  • 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
  • Taylor,E.H. 1917. Brachymeles, a genus of Philippine lizards. Philippine Journal of Science 12: 267-279 - get paper here
 
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