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Caledoniscincus notialis SADLIER, SMITH, BAUER & WOOD, 2013

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymCaledoniscincus notialis SADLIER, SMITH, BAUER & WOOD in SADLIER et al. 2013 
DistributionNew Caledonia

Type locality: New Caledonia, Province Sud, Plaine des Lacs, Route de La Wajana 22°16'35"S, 166°58'38"E. Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
 
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: MNHN 2011.0277 (formerly AMS R.166147 M) (22 December 2003, R. Sadlier & G. Shea).
Paratypes. All from sites within the Province Sud of New Caledonia: AMS R.148029–30 Mt. Ouin (south face) 22°01'33"S 166°28'32"E (26 September 1995, R. Sadlier & G. Shea); AMS R.148087 Mt. Koghis 22°10'S 166°30'E (30 September 1995, R. Sadlier & G. Shea); AMS R.148059 Plain des Lacs, Kwa Neie 22°18'55"S 166°54'47"E (28 September 1995, R. Sadlier & G. Shea); R152631–32 Riviére Bleue, track to Vue Panoramique vicinity Pont Germain 22°5'44"S 166°40'7"E (21 May 1998, R. Sadlier & A. Bauer); AMS R.161897 Monts Kwa Né Mwa, 7km W crossing of Riviére des Pirogues (Rte.1) 22°12'22"S 166°40'43"E (23 February 2002, R. Sadlier); AMS R.161915, AMS R.161924 Le Bois de Sud 22°10'22"S 166°45'53"E (23 February 2002, R. Sadlier); AMS R.164219–20 Pic du Pin 22°14'20"S 166°50'7"E (13 December 2004, R. Sadlier & G. Shea); AMS R.164266 Pic du Pin 22°14'53"S 166°49'45"E (14 December 2004, R. Sadlier & G. Shea); AMS R.164273 Pic du Pin 22°14'20"S 166°50'7"E (14 December 2004, R. Sadlier & G. Shea); AMS R.164328 Pic du Grand Kaori 22°17'5"S 166°53'42"E (16 December 2004, R. Sadlier & G. Shea); AMS R.164343 Forêt Nord 22°19'5"S 166°55'18"E (17 December 2004, R. Sadlier & G. Shea); AMS R.165766–67 Plaine des Lacs, Route de la Mine 22°16'52"S 166°57'13"E (24 December 2003, R. Sadlier & G. Shea); AMS R.165771 Plaine des Lacs, Route de la Mine 22°17'47"S 166°57'33"E (23 December 2003, R. Sadlier & G. Shea); AMS R.165776–77, AMS R.165796 Mt. Ouin 22°01'33"S 166°28'32"E (26 December 2003, R. Sadlier & G. Shea); AMS R.165809 Mt. Ouin 22°01’S 166°28'E (26 December 2003, R. Sadlier & G. Shea); AMS R.165933 Mt. Dzumac 22°01'56"S 166°28'21"E (20 September 2002, R. Sadlier & A. Bauer); AMS R.166028–29, AMS R.166031–33, AMS R.166036 Plaine des Lacs, Route de la Goro/Route de la Mine Intersection 22°18'17"S 166°57'39"E (12 December 2003, R. Sadlier & G. Shea); AMS R.166059–64 Pic du Grand Kaori 22°17'05"S, 166°53'42"E (13 December 2003, R. Sadlier & G. Shea); AMS R.166157 Plaine des Lacs, Route de la Wajana 22°17'4"S 166°58'57"E (22 December 2003, R. Sadlier & G. Shea); AMS R.166189–90, AMS R.166192 Plaine des Lacs, Route de la Wajana 22°17'35"S 166°59'33"E (24 December 2003, R. Sadlier & G. Shea); AMS R.167417–18 2.7km SE Ka Yé Wagwé, Plaine des Lacs 22°13'17"S 166°54'25"E (7 February 2007, R. Sadlier & A. Whitaker); AMS R.167425 3.5km SSE Ka Yé Wagwé, Plaine des Lacs 22°14'22"S 166°53'48"E (8 February 2007, R. Sadlier & A. Whitaker); AMS R.167465–66 Forêt Cachée, Creek Pernod, Plaine des Lacs 22°11'50"S 166°47'13"E (16 February 2007, R. Sadlier & A. Whitaker); AMS R.171400, AMS R.171401–03 Ni River Valley 21°53'01"S 166°32'14"E (11 November 2008, R. Sadlier); AMS R.171427, AMS R.171428–30 Pourina River Valley 22°1'39"S 166°43'37"E (13 November 2008, R. Sadlier); AMS R.172609–10, AMS R.172613–14, AMS R.172617–18, AMS R.172622 Mt. Humboldt (1349–1415m) 22°52'S 166°24'E (13–17 October 2009, R. Sadlier & C. Beatson). 
CommentDiagnosis. Caledoniscincus notialis sp. nov. differs from all other species of Caledoniscincus (except Caledoniscincus atropunctatus) in several features of coloration: both sexes lack an obvious dark mid-rostral marking (versus a dark marking forming a medial streak extending from the base of the rostral scale in all other Caledoniscincus). Both sexes lack obvious orange or yellow ventral coloration (versus prominent ventral coloration in males and to a lesser degree females in most other Caledoniscincus—see Sadlier et al. 1999). Adult males have a dorsal pattern that primarily features only individual pale markings on a dark background to the body scales (for descriptions and illustrations of patterns in other Caledoniscincus species (see Sadlier et al. 1999; Bauer & Sadlier 2000).
Adult male Caledoniscincus notialis sp. nov. can be distinguished from adult male C. atropunctatus in having a dorsal pattern in which the pale markings when present on the individual scales in adult males (usually one in every three scales, occasionally all) consist of several fine white flecks positioned along the long axis of the keels versus a pattern in which the pale markings are present on each individual scale and consist of a single large pale spot on the poster-medial edge of each scale and pale border to the antero-lateral edge either side of each scale (Fig. 2). Juvenile and adult female C. notialis sp. nov. are not readily distinguished from juvenile and adult female C. atropunctatus in coloration and pattern.
The two species showed a highly significant level of difference (t < 0.005) in mean scalation of the digits, but in nearly all cases there is extensive overlap in ranges of values, limiting the use of these characters as unequivocal markers for diagnosing individuals to either species. In southern Grand Terre, where the two species are present, differences in the number of scales on the upper and lower surfaces of the fourth toe may assist with determination of some juvenile and adult female specimens, with Caledoniscincus atropunctatus from the region having a tendency toward a lower range of dorsal toe scales (11–15 versus 13–17) and lamellae (24–31 versus 28–36) for the fourth toe than C. notialis sp. nov.
Differences in the number of postsacral vertebrae between Caledoniscincus notialis sp. nov. and C. atropunctatus (49 versus 51–52) indicate C. notialis sp. nov. could have fewer vertebrae in the tail. However, earlier studies (Sadlier et al. 1999) showed a range of between 2 to 5 postsacral vertebrae within a species, and the utility of this character in diagnosing C. notialis sp. nov. from C. atropunctatus is at this time limited until further sampling is undertaken. 
EtymologyThe species epithet notialis is taken from the Greek notos for southern and is in reference to the distribution of the species in the south of the Grand Terre. 
References
  • SADLIER, ROSS A.; AARON M. BAUER, PERRY Jr. L. WOOD, SARAH A. SMITH, TODD R. JACKMAN 2013. A new species of lizard in the genus Caledoniscincus (Reptilia: Scincidae) from southern New Caledonia and a review of Caledoniscincus atropunctatus (Roux). Zootaxa 3694 (6): 501–524 - get paper here
 
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