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Capitellum mariagalantae HEDGES & CONN, 2012

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Mabuyinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common NamesMarie-Galante Skink 
SynonymCapitellum mariagalantae HEDGES & CONN 2012: 59
M[abuia] aenea — COPE 1862:186 (part)
Mabuya mabouia — BARBOUR 1930:105 (part)
Mabuya mabouia — BARBOUR 1935:129 (part)
Mabuya mabouya mabouya — DUNN 1936:544 (part)
Mabuya mabouia — BARBOUR 1937:147 (part)
Mabuya mabouya mabouya — SCHWARTZ & Thomas 1975:141 (part)
Mabuya mabouya mabouya — MACLEAN et al. 1977:39 (part)
Mabuya mabouya mabouya — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1988:150 (part)
Mabuya mabouya mabouya — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991:457 (part)
Mabuya bistriata — POWELL et al. 1996:82 (part)
Mabuya bistriata — MALHOTRA & THORPE 1999:87 (part)
Mabuya sloanii — MAYER & Lazell 2000:883 (part)
Mabuya mabouya — BREUIL 2002:267 (part)
Mabuya mabouya — MIRALLES 2005:49 (part)
Mabuya mabouya — HENDERSON & POWELL 2009:292 (part) 
DistributionMarie-Galante, Guadeloupe

Type locality: Marie-Galante, Guadeloupe  
TypesHolotype: ANSP 9413, an adult female from Marie-Galante, Guadeloupe, containing 6 fetuses. Initially in the MNHN but donated to the ANSP at some time prior to 1862. No other collection information is available, but it was possibly collected in the 1830s. Only known from the holotype and 6 fetuses in the holotype (now paratypes). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Capitellum mariagalantae sp. nov. is characterized by (1) maximum SVL in males, not available; (2) maximum SVL in females, 78.3 mm (only known specimen); (3) snout width, 2.55% SVL; (4) head length, 15.8% SVL; (5) head width, 12.3% SVL; (6) ear length, 2.12% SVL; (7) toe-IV length, 9.52% SVL; (8) prefrontals, two; (9) supraoculars, four; (10) supraciliaries, five; (11) frontoparietals, five; (12) supralabial below the eye, six (83%), seven (17%); (13) nuchal rows, one; (14) dorsals, 62; (15) ventrals, 63; (16) dorsals + ventrals, 125; (17) midbody scale rows, 30; (18) finger-IV lamellae, 10; (19) toe-IV lamellae, 14; (20) finger-IV + toe-IV lamellae, 24; (21) supranasal contact, Y (67%), N (33%); (22) prefrontal contact, N; (23) supraocular-1/frontal contact, N; (24) parietal contact, Y (point); (25) pale middorsal stripe, N; (26) dark dorsolateral stripe, N; (27) dark lateral stripe, Y; (28) pale lateral stripe, Y; and (29) palms and soles, dark (Tables 3–5).
Within the Genus Capitellum, C. mariagalantae sp. nov. differs from C. metallicum by having a higher number of supralabial scales (supralabial six or seven below the eye versus supralabial five below the eye in C. metallicum), a wider head (head width 12.3% SVL versus 11.5% SVL in C. metallicum), and three (versus two) lower preoculars. In pattern (Fig. 19A–B), C. mariagalantae sp. nov. is a more boldly patterned species than C. metallicum (pattern information for C. metallicum based on original description and figures because the lectotype has faded). It has pale and dark lateral and dark ventrolateral stripes that extend the full length of the body and onto the tail, whereas C. metallicum has only a dark lateral stripe in the anterior one-third of the body. Capitellum mariagalantae sp. nov. is more similar to C. parvicruzae sp. nov. in pattern (Fig. 19A, C), although comparison of pattern is difficult because of the poor state of preservation of the holotype of C. mariagalantae sp. nov. and relies mostly on traces of pattern in the fetuses. It can be seen that the two species share bold lateral dark and pale stripes, both of which run the length of the body and onto the tail. They also have pale dorsolateral stripes anteriorly. Other than these general similarities, it is not possible to make a detailed comparison of patterns in the two species. In scalation C. mariagalantae sp. nov. differs from C. parvicruzae sp. nov. in having five supraciliaries (versus six), parietal contact (versus no contact), a larger auricular opening (ear length 2.12% SVL versus 1.44% SVL), and 169 (versus 190) total digital lamellae.
Capitellum mariagalantae sp. nov. also differs from species in other genera inhabiting nearby islands in the Lesser Antilles (Tables 3–5). For example, from the species in the same island bank (genus Mabuya; see below), C. mariagalantae sp. nov. differs by having five supraciliaries (not four); four supraoculars (not 2–3); fewer finger-IV (10 versus 12–15), toe-IV (14 versus 16–21), and combined (24 versus 29–35) lamellae; and no supraocular-1/ frontal contact (versus contact present in Mabuya from Guadeloupe).
CommentConservation: Based on IUCN Redlist criteria (IUCN 2011), we consider the conservation status of Capitellum mariagalantae sp. nov. to be Critically Endangered and possibly extinct (CR A2ace).

Synonymy: The validity of this species has been challenged by Miralles et al. 2017 who considered it as indistinguishable from and thus as a synonym of M. desiradae. This in turn has been challenged by Hedges et al. 2019.

Abundance: only known from the type specimen (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyThe species name (mariagalantae) is a feminine genitive singular noun referring to the distribution of the species on the island of Marie-Galante. The island was named for Santa Maria Galanda, the flagship of Christopher Columbus, who discovered the island in 1493. 
  • Hedges SB, Lorvelec O, Barré N, Vidal N, Pavis C. 2019. On the taxonomic recognition of skinks from the Guadeloupe Archipelago (Squamata Mabuyidae, Mabuya). Caribbean Herpetology 64:1–7 - get paper here
  • Hedges, S.B. & Conn, C.E. 2012. A new skink fauna from Caribbean islands (Squamata, Mabuyidae, Mabuyinae). Zootaxa 3288: 1–244 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Miralles A, Gomes R, Angin B, Ibene B 2017. Étude systématique des scinques Mabuya de l’archipel guadloupéen (Squamata, Scincidae). Bulletin de la Société Herpétologique de France, 163, 67–84
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