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Caledoniscincus pelletieri SADLIER, WHITAKER, WOOD & BAUER, 2014

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymCaledoniscincus pelletieri SADLIER, WHITAKER, WOOD & BAUER 2014 
DistributionNW New Caledonia

Type locality: Dôme de Tiébaghi (southwest end of plateau), Province Nord, New Caledonia 20°28'20"S 164°12'43"E.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: MNHN 2012.0225 (formerly AMS R.174984) (collected 23 November 2011, A.H. & V.A. Whitaker).
Paratypes. All Province Nord, New Caledonia: AMS R.174994 Dôme de Tiébaghi (southwest end of plateau) 20°28'30"S 164°12'47"E (collected 24 November 2011, A.H. & V.A. Whitaker); AMS R.177490 Dôme de Tiébaghi (northern end of plateau) 20°26'18"S 164°11'42"E (collected 2 November 2012, S. Astrongatt); AMS R.177491 Dôme de Tiébaghi (southern end of plateau) 20°28'26"S 164°13'44"E (collected 5 November 2012, S. Astrongatt). 
CommentCaledoniscincus pelletieri sp. nov., has a bold, white mid-lateral stripe on the body, a feature which distinguishes it from most other species of Caledoniscincus except the regionally sympatric Caledoniscincus haplorhinus (Günther) and Caledoniscincus austrocaledonicus (Bavay), and the recently described Caledoniscincus constellatus Sadlier, Whitaker, Wood & Bauer just to the south. The new species can be distinguished from these taxa in features of scalation and colouration, most notably in lacking an extension of the pale midlateral stripe between the ear and forelimbs and in having more lamellae on the underside of the fourth toe.

Genetics: The differences in morphology between C. pelletieri sp. nov. and the other members of the genus are complemented by a high level of genetic differentiation, further supporting its distinctiveness as an independent evolutionary lineage warranting recognition as a distinct species. The DNA sequence data for the ND2 mitochondrial gene identifies the new species as the sister to C. constellatus and these two taxa as the sister to all Caledoniscincus.

Abundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyThe species is named after Bernard Pelletier, formerly head of environment for Société le Nickel (SLN), Nouméa, in recognition of his exceptional support to herpetological surveys of mining areas commissioned by SLN and undertaken by Whitaker Consultants Limited (AHW). 
References
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - get paper here
  • SADLIER, ROSS A.; ANTHONY H. WHITAKER, PERRY L.WOOD, JR. & AARON M. BAUER 2014. A new species of lizard in the genus Caledoniscincus (Reptilia: Scincidae) from far northwest New Caledonia. Zootaxa 3795 (1): 045–060 - get paper here
 
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