Brachymeles tridactylus BROWN, 1956
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|Higher Taxa||Scincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||E: Three-fingered Short-legged Skink|
|Synonym||Brachymeles tridactylus BROWN 1956|
Brachymeles tridactylus — BROWN & ALCALA 1980: 27
Brachymeles tridactylus — GAULKE 2001: 9
Brachymeles tridactylus — SILER et al. 2009
|Distribution||Philippines (Negros, Panay, Carabao, Boracay, Inampulugan, West-Visayas)|
Type locality: Mayaposi area, southcentral Negros Island; “1 to 3 kilometers northwest of Mayaposi spring, about 20 kilometers west of Bais,’’ Negros Oriental Province, Negros Island, Philippines, fide Davis et al. 2014.
|Types||Holotype: CAS-SUR 18354|
|Diagnosis||DEFINITION. A moderate-sized, slender species of Brachymeles, 68 to 80 mm. in snout-vent length for 30 mature specimens; breadth of head about equal to diameter of body; ratio of head-breadth to snout-vent length about 0.065 to 0.080 for 20 specimens; limbs much reduced, length of hind limb about 4 to 6 percent of snout-vent length for 20 specimens; three short digits present on both fore and hind limbs; frontal large: supranasals, prefrontals and frontoparietals not in contact; no postnasal; two frenals; four supraoculars; usually one pair of nuchals: 22 to 24 midbody scale rows and 93 to 10.3 (mean 96.9 for 21 specimens) mid-dorsal scale rows between parietals and base of tail (table 1); venter brownish in color, scarcely lighter than the dorsum [BROWN & RABOR 1967: 528]|
Diagnosis. Brachymeles tridactylus can be distinguished from congeners by the following combination of characters: 1) body size small (SVL 59.9–82.3 mm); 2) limbs tridactyl; 3) limb length short; 4) supralabials six or seven; 5) infralabials six or seven; 6) supraciliaries five; 7) supraoculars four; 8) midbody scale rows 22–24; 9) axilla–groin scale rows 72–79; 10) paravertebral scale rows 90–98; 11) pineal eye spot present; 12) prefrontals not contacting on midline; 13) frontoparietals not contacting on midline; 14) mental/first infralabial fusion absent; 15) postnasals absent; 16) enlarged chin shields in three pairs; 17) nuchal scales enlarged; 18) auricular opening absent; 19) presacral vertebrae 47; and 20) uniform body color (Tables 3, 4; Appendix II).
Characters distinguishing B. tridactylus from all nonpentadactyl, limbed species of Brachymeles are summarized in Tables 3 and 4. Brachymeles tridactylus most closely resembles B. libayani, B. muntingkamay, and B. paeforum, the only other tridactyl species. However, B. tridactylus differs from these three taxa by having five supraciliaries (vs. six [B. libayani, B. muntingkamay, B. paeforum]) and four supraoculars (vs. five [B. libayani, B. muntingkamay, B. paeforum]; Table 4); from B. libayani by having six or seven infralabials (vs. five); from B. libayani and B. paeforum by having frontoparietals separate (vs. in medial contact) and by the absence of fusion of the mental and first infralabial (vs. presence; Table 4); and from B. muntingkamay by having 47 presacral vertebrae (vs. 42, 44), 72–79 axilla–groin scale rows (vs. 65–70), 90–98 paravertebral scale rows (vs. 85– 90), prefrontals separate (vs. in medial contact), enlarged nuchals present (vs. absent), and by the absence of longitudinal rows of dark spots around the body (vs. present; Table 4). Brachymeles tridactylus can be distinguished from all limbless species of Brachymeles by having limbs and from all pentadactyl species of Brachymeles by having tridactyl limbs [Davis et al. 2014].
|Comment||Limb 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.
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