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Brachymeles makusog SILER, DIESMOS & BROWN, 2010

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymBrachymeles makusog SILER, DIESMOS & BROWN 2010 
DistributionPhilippines (Luzon: Mt. Labo, Catanduanes Island)

Type locality: 2-1 m elevation (13°47’19.3492’’N, 124°21’17.712’’E; WGS-84) Sitio Tungaw, Barangay San Pedro, Municipality of Gigmoto, Catanduanes Province, Catanduanes Island, Philippines.  
Reproductionviviparous (phylogenetic imputation, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: PNM 9565 (field number CDS 2379, formerly KU 308135; Fig. 3), an adult male collected at 1030 h on 1 March 2007 by Cameron D. Siler and Jason B. Fernandez. Paratopotypes.—KU 308126, 308128, 308136, 308208, PNM 9583–9584, three adult females, two adult males, and two juvenile males collected between 27 February and 3 March 2007 from 200–530-m elevation. Paratypes.—KU 313612–313614, 313616, 313617, PNM 9585–9588 (formerly KU 313610, 313616, 313609, and 313611, respectively), five adult males, two adult females, and two juvenile females collected between 21 June and 4 July 2008 from 200–1,000-m elevation (14°02’35.52’’N, 122°47’12.48’’E; WGS-84) Mt. Labo, Barangay Tulay Na Lupa, Municipality of Labo, Camarines Norte Province, Luzon Island, Philippines, by Cameron D. Siler, Rafe M. Brown, John Phenix, Luke Welton, Jason B. Fernandez, Vicente Yngente, and Mavic Yngente; FMNH 270200, adult male, collected between on 21 April, 2006 at 1,115-m elevation at the same locality by Danny S. Balete. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Brachymeles makusog can be distinguished from congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) body size large; (2) pentadactyl; (3) maximum relative tail length large; (4) limbs long; (5) midbody scale rows 25– 28; (6) axilla–groin scale rows 42–47; (7) paravertebral scale rows 85–90; (8) supraciliaries six; (9) supraoculars five; (10) pineal eye spot present; (11) supranasals not in contact; (12) prefrontals not in contact; (13) parietals not in contact; (14) postmental wider than mental; (15) first pair of chin shields not in contact; (16) third pair of enlarged chin shields absent; (17) nuchal scales undifferentiated; (18) dorsolateral stripes absent; and (19) continuous dorsal longitudinal rows absent (Tables 1, 2 in SILER et a. 2010).
CommentHabitat: 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. 
EtymologyThe name of the new species is derived from the local dialect of the Bicol Peninsula. The word ‘‘makusog’’ is the Bicolano term for strong, robust, or brave, in reference to the large and distinctive body form of the new species. Suggested common name: Bicol Loam Swimming Skink. 
  • 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
  • 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
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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