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Carlia decora HOSKIN & COUPER, 2012

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Elegant Rainbow Skink 
SynonymCarlia decora HOSKIN & COUPER 2012 
DistributionAustralia (NE Queensland)

Type locality: Alligator Ck, Mt Elliot, Bowling Green Bay National Park (19°26'07"S, 146°56'48"E, 50 m elevation), north-east Queensland  
Reproductionoviparous (phylogenetic imputation, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: QM J90875, female, C. J. Hoskin, 6 October 2011. Paratypes. J42498-500 Townsville Common (19°16'S, 146°49'E); QMJ90878-79 Riverside Gardens, Townsville (19°19'14"S, 146°44'30"E); J48391 Townsville, James Cook University Campus (19°20'S, 146°46'E); QMJ90876-77 Alligator Ck, Mt Elliot (19°25'54"S, 146°56'37"E); J86515 Deadman's Creek, Proserpine (20°30' 14"S, 148°33'23"E); J86516 Deadman's Ck, Proserpine (20°30'15"S, 148°33'22"E); J86449 Deadman's Creek, Proserpine (20°30'6"S, 148°33' 21"E); J63912 Cathu SF, Horse Ck (20°48' 51"S, 148°34'11"E); J74809 Brampton Is (20°49'S, 149°17'E); J74805 Cape Hillsborough NP (20°54'30"S, 149°00'30"E); J74807, J74812 Cape Hillsborough NP (20°55'30"S, 149°02' 30"E); J53395 Boulder Ck, campsite, via Mt Charlton (21°01'S, 148°43'E); J81405 East Point, Mackay (21°09'S, 149°13'E). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A moderate-sized Carlia (max SVL 49 mm) that can be distinguished from all its congeners by a combined suite of characters. Interparietal scale free. Dorsal scales tricarinate and hexagonally-shaped. Palpebral disc large. Ear aperture vertically elliptic (usually angled back) with a single large, rounded lobule on the anterior margin (Fig. 8A). Supraciliaries usually five. Prefrontals usually moderately separated (Fig. 9A). Upper preocular usually well developed and contacting posterior edge of 2nd loreal scale (if not contacting loreal, then broadly triangular in shape) (Figs. 10A–C). Breeding male with a pale blue throat and distinct orange upper lateral stripe that extends from forelimb to hindlimb; sometimes a less distinct orange lower lateral stripe is also present; black speckling present on neck and jawline but usually no, or limited, black-edging to scales on throat (Figs 1A, 2A, 4A, 5A). Adult female with a distinct, black-edged, white mid-lateral stripe that always extends to the groin (Figs 1B, 6A, 7A). Both sexes with an immaculate white or cream ventral surface.
CommentSimilar species: C. vivax de Vis 1884, members of the C. pectoralis group (C. pectoralis, C. rubigo sp. nov. and C. inconnexa), and female C. jarnoldae Covacevich & Ingram 1975. 
EtymologyFrom the Latin decora (feminine), meaning ‘beautiful'. In recognition of the beautiful form and colour pattern of this species. The species epithet is treated as a noun in apposition. 
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • HOSKIN, CONRAD J. & PATRICK J. COUPER 2012. Description of two new Carlia species (Reptilia: Scincidae) from north-east Australia, elevation of Carlia pectoralis inconnexa Ingram & Covacevich 1989 to full species status, and redescription of Carlia pectoralis (de Vis 1884). Zootaxa 3546: 1–28 - get paper here
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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