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Brachymeles samad SILER, JONES, DIESMOS, DIESMOS & BROWN, 2012

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesEastern Visayas Slender Skink 
SynonymBrachymeles samad SILER, JONES, DIESMOS, DIESMOS & BROWN 2012 
DistributionPhilippines (Samar, Leyte)

Type locality: under rotting coconut husks in secondary-growth forest (10:00 hr to 12:30 hr), in Taft Forest, Barangay San Rafael, Municipality of Taft, Eastern Samar Province, Samar Island, Philippines (11°48’9.18’’N, 125°17’33.936’’E; WGS-84).  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: PNM 9767 (CDS Field no. 2772, formerly KU 310828), adult male, collected by CDS and J. Fernandez on 18 October 2007.
Paratopotypes.—Five adult males (KU 310826, 310830–31, 310834, 310941), 14 adult females (KU 310731, 310820–21, 310827, 310- 829, 310835, 310928–31, 310933–34, 310937, 310939), one juvenile male (KU 310838) and 11 juveniles of undetermined sex (KU 310730, 310822–25, 310832–33, 310836–37, 310932, 310935) collected between 11 and 26 October 2007. Paratypes.—Three adult males (KU 311216, 311218, PNM 9768), four adult females (KU 311223, PNM 9769, 9773–74), and six juveniles of undetermined sex (KU 311220–21, PNM 9770–72, 9775) collected under rotting logs in secondary-growth forest (1000 hr to 1230 hr) between 29 October and 7 November 2007, in the Sitio San Vicente Tree Nursery, Barangay Pilim, Baybay City, Leyte Province, Leyte Island, Philippines (10u439350N, 124u499050E; WGS-84), by CDS and J. Fernandez. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis.—Brachymeles samad can be distinguished from congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) body size medium (SVL 64.2–76.9 mm); (2) limbs pentadactyl; (3) limb length moderate; (4) relative tail length long; (5) Finger-III lamellae five; (6) Toe-IV lamellae eight or nine; (7) supralabials six; (8) infralabials six; (9) supraci- liaries six; (10) supraoculars five; (11) midbody scale rows 25–26; (12) axilla–groin scale rows 42–45; (13) paravertebral scale rows 64–67; (14) pineal eyespot present; (15) supranasals separate; (16) frontoparietals in contact; (17) parietals in contact; (18) first pair of enlarged chin shields separate; (19) postnasal/supranasal fusion absent; (20) enlarged chin shields in three pairs; (21) nuchal scales undifferentiated; (22) fourth and fifth supralabial below eye; (23) auricular opening present; and (24) presacral vertebrae 31 (Tables 3, 4 in Siler et al. 2012).

Comparisons.—Characters distinguishing B. samad from all medium-sized, pentadactyl species of Brachymeles are summarized in Tables 3 and 4. Brachymeles samad most closely resembles B. hilong; however, B. samad differs from this taxa by having a longer relative tail length (TL/SVL up to 126% vs. , 98%), fewer presacral vertebrae (31 vs. 32), fewer midbody scale rows (25–26 vs. 27–30), a tendency toward fewer axilla–groin scale rows (, 45 vs. up to 50), a tendency toward fewer paravertebral scale rows (, 67 vs. up to 70), enlarged chin shields in three pairs (vs. two or three), the presence of contact between frontoparietal scales (vs. presence or absence), the presence of contact between parietal scales (vs. presence or absence), and the absence of contact between the first pair of enlarged chin shields (vs. presence or absence).
Brachymeles samad 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). 
CommentAbundance: quite common.

Sympatry: Three species of Brachymeles occur on Samar Island (B. orientalis, B. samad, and B. samarensis; Siler and Brown, 2010; Siler et al., 2011b). Other sympatric sincid species observed on Samar and Leyte islands include Emoia atrocos- tata, Eutropis multicarinata, E. multifasciata, Lamprolepis smaragdina, Lipinia pulchella, L. quadrivittata, Otosaurus cumingi, Parvoscincus steerei, Pinoyscincus jagori, P. cf. mindanensis, Sphenomorphus acutus, S. fasciatus, S. variegatus, Tropidophorus misaminus (Siler et al. 2012). 
EtymologyEtymology.—Prior to the Spanish coloniza- tion of the Philippines, numerous names (Samal, Ibabao, Tandaya) had been colloqui- ally given to Samar Island. The name Samar was originally derived from the local dialect ‘‘samad,’’ meaning wound or cut, which described the geographically complex features of the island, and the rough terrain dissected by streams. The specific epithet is a noun in apposition, derived from the ancient name for Samar Island. 
References
  • Siler, Cameron D.; Robin M. Jones, Arvin C. Diesmos, Mae L. Diesmos, and Rafe M. Brown 2012. Phylogeny-Based Species Delimitation In Philippine Slender Skinks (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) III: Taxonomic Revision of the Brachymeles Gracilis Complex, With Descriptions of Three New Species. Herpetological Monographs 26 (1): 135-172. - get paper here
 
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