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Brachymeles suluensis TAYLOR, 1918

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Graceful Short-legged Skink 
SynonymBrachymeles suluensis TAYLOR 1918: 254
Brachymeles gracilis — TAYLOR 1922: 247
Brachymeles gracilis gracilis — BROWN 1956: 10
Brachymeles gracilis — BROWN & ALCALA 1970: 112
Brachymeles suluensis — SILER et al. 2012: 153 
DistributionPhilippines (Basilan and Bubuan islands)

Type locality: Bubuan Island, Tapiantana Group, Sulu Province.  
TypesHolotype: MTD; probably not extant (BROWN & RABOR 1967) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Brachymeles suluensis can be distinguished from congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) body size medium (SVL 71.9 mm); (2) limbs pentadactyl; (3) limb length moderate; (4) Finger-III lamellae five; (5) Toe-IV lamellae eight; (6) supralabials six; (7) infralabials six; (8) supraciliaries six; (9) supraoculars five; (10) midbody scale rows 24; (11) axilla–groin scale rows 48; (12) paravertebral scale rows 69; (13) pineal eyespot present; (14) supranasals separate; (15) prefrontals separate; (16) frontoparietals separate; (17) first pair of enlarged chin shields in contact; (18) postnasal/supranasal fusion absent; (19) enlarged chin shields in three pairs; (20) nuchal scales undifferentiated; (21) fourth and fifth supralabial below eye; (22) auricular opening present; and (23) presacral vertebrae 31 (Tables 3, 4) (SILER et al. 2012). Note that this diagnosis is based on 1 specimen (female). 
CommentSynonymy: after SILER et al. 2012.

Pentadactyl species.

Distribution: see map in SILER et al. 2012.

Sympatry: On Basilan Island, B. suluensis is found in sympatry with B. schadenbergi. Other sympatric scincid species observed on Basilan Island include Emoia atrocostata, Eutropis multicarinata, E. rudis, E. multi- fasciata, Lamprolepis smaragdina, Lipinia quadrivittata, Pinoyscincus jagori, Spheno- morphus fasciatus, S. variegatus, Tropido- phorus misaminus, Tytthoscincus atrigularis.

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. 
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Taylor, Edward H. 1918. Reptiles of Sulu Archipelago. Philippine Journal of Science 13 (5d): 233-267 - get paper here
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