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Brachymeles samarensis BROWN, 1956

IUCN Red List - Brachymeles samarensis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Brown's Short-legged Skink 
SynonymBrachymeles samarensis BROWN 1956
Brachymeles samarensis — BROWN & RABOR 1967: 528
Brachymeles samarensis — BROWN & ALCALA 1980: 26
Brachymeles samarensis — SILER et al. 2009 
DistributionPhilippines (Samar, Luzon)

Type locality: Guisian, Samar Island  
TypesHolotype: FMNH 44472 (= CNHM) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Brachymeles samarensis can be distinguished from congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) body size small (SVL 57.9–66.1 mm), (2) limbs bidactyl, (3) limb length short, (4) supralabials six, (5) infralabials six, (6) supraciliaries six, (7) supraoculars five, (8) midbody scale rows 19– 22, (9) axilla–groin scale rows 66–69, (10) paravertebral scale rows 86–88, (11) pineal eye spot present, (12) prefrontals not contacting on midline, (13) frontoparietals contact, (14) mental/first infralabial fusion absent, (15) postnasals absent, (16) enlarged chin shields in three pairs, (17) nuchal scales differentiated, (18) fourth supralabial below eye midline, (19) auricular opening absent, (20) presacral vertebrae 45, and (21) uniform body color (Tables 4 and 5) [SILER et al. 2011]. 
CommentLimb morphology: reduced limbs.

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. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • 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, W.C. & E.L. Alcala 1995. A new species of Brachymeles (Reptilia: Scincidae) from Catanduanes Island, Philippines [B. minimus]. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 108 (3): 392-394. - 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.
  • 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
  • Realubit, Nikki Dyanne C., Mae L. Diesmos, Antonio Lorenzo, II, Louis Abigael De Layola, Arvin C. Diesmos, Joseph C. Brown, Rafe M. Brown, Kerry A. Cobb, Philip Bergmann, Gen Morinaga, Cameron D. Siler, Nicholas A. Huron and Jessi M. Siler. 2016. Geographic Distribution: Brachymeles samarensis (Brown's Short-legged Skink). Herpetological Review 47 (1): 80 - get paper here
  • Siler, C. D.; D.S. Balete; A. C. Diesmos and R. M. Brown 2010. A New Legless Loam-swimming Lizard (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae: Genus Brachymeles) from the Bicol Peninsula, Luzon Island, Philippines. Copeia 2010 (1): 114–122 - 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
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