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Capitellum parvicruzae HEDGES & CONN, 2012

IUCN Red List - Capitellum parvicruzae - Critically Endangered, CR

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Mabuyinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesLesser Saint Croix Skink 
SynonymCapitellum parvicruzae HEDGES & CONN 2012: 67 
DistributionVirgin Islands (St. Croix)

Type locality: St. Croix  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: ZMUC-R 99, an adult female from St. Croix (no specific locality), U. S. Virgin Islands, collected by "Mr. Eggers" and accessioned on 10 July 1875. Only known from the holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Capitellum parvicruzae sp. nov. is characterized by (1) maximum SVL in males, not available; (2) maximum SVL in females, 68.1 mm (only known specimen); (3) snout width, 3.04% SVL; (4) head length, 16.3% SVL; (5) head width, 13.0% SVL; (6) ear length, 1.38% SVL; (7) toe-IV length, 10.4% SVL; (8) prefrontals, two; (9) supraoculars, four; (10) supraciliaries, six; (11) frontoparietals, two; (12) supralabial below the eye, 6–7; (13) nuchal rows, one; (14) dorsals, 63; (15) ventrals, 63; (16) dorsals + ventrals, 126; (17) midbody scale rows, 30; (18) finger-IV lamellae, 11; (19) toe-IV lamellae, 15; (20) finger-IV + toe-IV lamellae, 26; (21) supranasal contact, Y; (22) prefrontal contact, N; (23) supraocular-1/frontal contact, N; (24) parietal contact, N; (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. parvicruzae sp. nov. differs from the other two species (C. mariagalantae sp. nov. and C. metallicum) in having six (versus five) supraciliaries, a larger number of total digital lamellae (190 versus 167–169), separation of the parietals (versus contact), a wider snout (3.04% SVL versus 2.41–2.55% SVL), a longer head (16.3% SVL versus 15.5–15.8% SVL), and a wider head (13.0% SVL versus 11.5–12.3% SVL). Comparison of pattern differences is made difficult by the poor condition of the specimens of C. mariagalantae sp. nov. and C. metallicum (pattern information for C. mariagalantae sp. nov. is based primarily on developing fetuses and that for C. metallicum is based on the original description and figures because the lectotype has faded). Nonetheless, C. parvicruzae sp. nov. also appears to differ in pattern from the other two species in having narrow pale dorsolateral stripes present in the first third of the body, ending just beyond the forelimb insertion (versus wider pale dorsolateral stripes that extend more than two-thirds of body in C. mariagalantae sp. nov., and no pale dorsolateral stripes in C. metallicum; Fig. 19). Additionally, C. parvicruzae sp. nov. differs from C. metallicum in having a higher number of supralabial scales (supralabial six below the eye versus supralabial five below the eye in C. metallicum), and supranasal contact (versus no contact).
Capitellum parvicruzae sp. nov. is the only member of the Genus Capitellum in the northern Caribbean, including the Bahamas and Greater Antilles. Thus it differs from all other species of skinks in that region, including the Virgin Islands, in generic-level characters. The combination of small hands and feet, a short head, six supraciliaries, a single row of nuchals, and absence of dark dorsolateral stripes will distinguish it from other skinks in the region [HEDGES & CONN 2012]
 
CommentConservation: Critically Endangered and possibly extinct (CR A2ace)(Adkins-Giese et al. 2014).

Abundance: only known from the type specimen (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyThe Latin species name (parvicruzae) is a feminine genitive singular noun referring to the smaller size of this species (parvus, small) compared with the other species on St. Croix, Spondylurus magnacruzae sp. nov., and to its distribution. The island was named "Santa Cruz" by Christopher Columbus in 1493 and later renamed Saint Croix by the French. 
References
  • Adkins-Giese, C.L., Curry, T., Platenberg, R. 2014. PETITION TO LIST NINE SPECIES OF CARIBBEAN SKINKS AS ENDANGERED UNDER THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT. CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY, 61 pp. - 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
 
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