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Brachyseps gastrostictus (O'SHAUGHNESSY, 1879)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: O'Shaughnessy's Madagascar Skink 
SynonymGongylus gastrostictus O'SHAUGHNESSY 1879: 301
Gongylus macrocercus GÜNTHER 1882: 263
Sepsina macrocerca — BOULENGER 1887: 419
Sepsina gastrosticta — BOULENGER 1887: 418
Scelotes gastrostictus — ANGEL 1942: 135
Scelotes macrocercus — ANGEL 1942: 136
Gongylus gastrostictus — BRYGOO 1984
Amphiglossus gastrostictus — GLAW & VENCES 1994: 318
Amphiglossus macrocercus — GLAW & VENCES 1994: 318
Amphiglossus macrocercus — ANDREONE & GREER 2002
Amphiglossus gastrostictus — ANDREONE & GREER 2002
Amphiglossus gastrostictus — SCHMITZ et al. 2005
Amphiglossus macrocercus — SCHMITZ et al. 2005
Amphiglossus macrocercus — MIRALLES et al. 2011
Brachyseps gastrostictus — ERENS et al. 2016 

Type locality: Madagascar

macrocercus: Madagascar (elevation up to more than 2000 m). Type locality: Eastern Betsileo  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.8.21.24 (formerly, purchased E. Higgins.
Lectotype: BMNH 1946.8.14.45, collected by Rev. W.D. Cowan. Designation by Brygoo (1984) [macrocercus] 
DiagnosisDescription: “All the head-shields exactly as in G. ocellatus, with the exception of one additional supraorbital. Lower eyelid scaly, not transparent; ear large. Scales ev everywhere rounded, smooth, smaller on the sides; in 32 longitudinal series; 70 transverse series between the mentals and the vent. Limbs short, the fore limb, when laid forward, reaching to the anterior margin of the ear: a postaxillary groove not well developed; toes as in G. ocellatus.” (O’Shaughnessy 1879).

Coloration: “Uniform brown above. Sides densely variegated with blackish, passing into series of dots on all the scales of the ventral surface, the ground-colour of which is whitish; chin blotched; infralabials bordered with blackish.” (O’Shaughnessy 1879)

Further details: Comparison of three specimens with the holotype (BMNH 1946.8.21.24) from `Madagascar' indicates that they are very similar, differing primarily in their larger size (SVL = 97±104 mm vs 78 mm, respectively) and for MRSN R1705.1-2, in their generally darker colour. The holotype and these three specimens share three distinctive features: a diffuse distribution of the dark brown colour on the flanks, a slightly squarish body in cross section and a dark parietal peritoneum. In most other Amphiglossus the pattern is much more uniform and the body is rounded (also squarish in A. splendidus) (Andreone & Greer 2002). 
CommentSynonymy: Amphiglossus (Brachyseps) gastrostictus is probably a synonym of Brachyseps macrocercus (Erens et al. 2016, electronic supplement). The genus Mesomycterus COPE 1892 is a synonym of Brachyseps, but since the former has not been used in the literature it qualifies as nomen oblitum.

Type species: Gongylus macrocercus GÜNTHER 1882: 263 is the type species of the genus Brachyseps ERENS et al. 2017.

NCBI taxonID: 249440 [macrocercus] 
  • Andreone F., Randrianirina J., Jenkins P.D. & Aprea G. 2000. Species diversity of Amphibia, Reptilia and Lipotyphla (Mammalia) at Ambolokopatrika, a rainforest between the Anjanaharibe-Sud and Marojejy massifs, NE Madagascar. Biodiversity and Conservation 9: 1587–1622 - get paper here
  • Andreone, F. & Greer, A.E. 2002. Malagasy scincid lizards: descriptions of nine new species, with notes on the morphology, reproduction and taxonomy of some previously described species (Reptilia, Squamata: Scincidae). Journal of Zoology 258, 139-181 - get paper here
  • Angel, F. 1942. Les Lézards de Madagascar. Mem. Acad. Malagache, Tananarive XXXVI: 193 pp.
  • Barbour, Thomas 1918. Vertebrata from Madagascar. 2. Amphibia and Reptilia. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 61 (14): 479-489. - get paper here
  • Belluardo, F., Muñoz-Pajares, A. J., Miralles, A., Silvestro, D., Cocca, W., Ratsoavina, F. M., ... & Crottini, A. 2022. Slow and steady wins the race: Diversification rate is independent from body size and lifestyle in Malagasy skinks (Squamata: Scincidae: Scincinae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 107635 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1887. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) III. Lacertidae, Gerrhosauridae, Scincidae, Anelytropsidae, Dibamidae, Chamaeleontidae. London: 575 pp. - get paper here
  • Brygoo,E.R. 1984. Systématique des lézards scincides de la région malgache. XII. Le groupe d'espèces Gongylus melanurus GÜNTHER 1877, G. gastrostictus O'SHAUGHNESSY 1879, et G. macrocercus GÜNTHER 1892. Bull. Mus. natl. Hist. nat. Paris, 4th ser., Sect. A., 6 (1): 131-148
  • Crottini, Angelica; Janina Dordel, Jörn Köhler, Frank Glaw, Andreas Schmitz, Miguel Vences 2009. A multilocus phylogeny of Malagasy scincid lizards elucidates the relationships of the fossorial genera Androngo and Cryptoscincus. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 53 (1): 345-350 - get paper here
  • Erens, Jesse; Aurélien Miralles, Frank Glaw, Lars Chatrou, Miguel Vences 2016. Extended molecular phylogenetics and revised systematics of Malagasy scincine lizards. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution - get paper here
  • Glaw ,F. & Vences, M. 1994. A Fieldguide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Vences & Glaw Verlag, Köln (ISBN 3-929449-01-3)
  • Günther,A. 1882. Ninth contribution to the knowledge of the fauna of Madagascar. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (5) 9: 262-266 - get paper here
  • Meyer, Jochen 2014. Haltung und Nachzucht des madagassischen Waldskinks Amphiglossus macorcercus. Terraria-Elaphe 2014 (4): 68-72 - get paper here
  • MIRALLES, AURÉLIEN, ACHILLE P. RASELIMANANA, DOMOINA RAKOTOMALALA, MIGUEL VENCES & DAVID R. VIEITES 2011. A new large and colorful skink of the genus Amphiglossus from Madagascar revealed by morphology and multilocus molecular study. Zootaxa 2918: 47–67 - get paper here
  • O’Shaughnessy,A.W.E. 1879. Description of new species of lizards in the collection of the British Museum. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (5) 4: 295-303 - get paper here
  • Schmitz, A.; M.C. Brandley; P. Mausfeld; M. Vences; F. Glaw; R.A. Nussbaum and T.W. Reeder 2005. Opening the black box: phylogenetics and morphological evolution of the Malagasy fossorial lizards of the subfamily “Scincinae”. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 34: 118–133 (published online 2004) - get paper here
  • Whiting, A.S.; Jack W. Sites, Jr. & Aaron M. Bauer 2004. Molecular phylogenetics of Malagasy skinks (Squamata: Scincidae). African Journal of Herpetology 53(2): 135-146 - get paper here
  • Wiens, J.J.; Brandley, M.C.; Reeder, T.W. 2006. Why does a trait evolve multiple times within a clade? Repeated evolution of snakelike body form in squamate reptiles. Evolution 60 (1): 123-141. - get paper here
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