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Carlia diguliensis (KOPSTEIN, 1926)

IUCN Red List - Carlia diguliensis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymLygosoma fuscum diguliensis KOPSTEIN 1926: 88
Lygosoma fuscum diguliense — TIEDEMANN et al. 1994
Carlia diguliensis — ZUG 2004 
DistributionPapua New Guinea (Digul River drainage and Kepulauan Aru, Irian Jaya).

Type locality: Asike am Oberlauf des Digulflusses, Süd-Neu-Guinea.  
TypesLectotype: RMNH 5509, designated by Zug (2004). 
DiagnosisDescription. A moderate-sized Carlia ranging in adult size from 45 to 54 mm SVL (females 45.2–54.1; males 47.5–54.4) with HeadL 21–25%, TrunkL 38–52%, and HndlL 45–61% of SVL, and 81–131% PalpbD of EarD. Some populations sexually dimorphic in one or more of the following traits: HeadL, PalpbD, EarD, HndlL, HeadL/SVL, HndlL/SVL, TrunkL/HndlL, and 3FingL. Head and nuchal scales smooth; interparietal uncommonly absent; 4 Supoc, 6–9 Supcil, 8–15 Eyeld, 7 (rarely 6 or 8) Suplab, 5th (rarely 4th or6th) BlwEye, and 6 (rarely 5 or 7) Inflab on each side. Ear opening oblong vertical to oblique with 1–5 AuricN, usually pointed, on anterior and dorsal margin. Trunk scales smooth to weakly tricarinate dorsally and laterally: 44–51 Dorsal, 30–36 Midbody. Subdigital lamellae undivided, smooth: 18–24 3FingL, 23–34 4ToeL.
Juvenile dorsum brown with light spots on trunk, dorsoand midlateral white stripes from eye to midneck thereafter faded (dorsolateral only) or series of white spots, dark brown lateral band from eye to inguen; venter cream to ivory. Adults with faded juvenile, and potentially with seasonal dimorphism (see Color Pattern. Adult section); venter cream to ivory (Zug 2004: 57)

Comparison to related species. Carlia diguliensis populations differ from those of the larger bodied C. beccarii, C. eothen and C. luctuosa, and the smaller bodied C. babarensis, C. leucotaenia and C. tutela by adult females averaging 48 to 52 mm SVL; females and males are on the average equal-sized. C. diguliensis populations share: an average of 32 to 34 Midbody with all other fusca complex species except C. luctuosa; an average of 20 to 22 3FingL with all except C. beccarii; and an average of 26 to 30 4ToeL with all except C. beccarii, C. longipes, and C. luctuosa. Unlike the juveniles of all fusca complex members except some C. pulla, juvenile C. diguliensis have a bright dorsolateral light stripe from eye to midneck, faded thereafter or continuing as a series of light spots on anterior trunk; and differing from juveniles of all complex members, C. diguliensis has a midlateral light stripe from eye to just beyond the ear, then as longitudinal series of widely spaced spots, occasionally as stripe to midtrunk then spots. Adult C. diguliensis females commonly and uniquely retain a faded juvenile pattern or lose the dorsolateral stripe with retention of a midlateral series of light spots on trunk; an adult unicolor coloration is shared with some adults of other complex members. Adult C. diguliensis have light chins, throats, and venters, differing from the dark underside of C. aenigma, C. luctuosa, and some populations of C. aramia and C. eothen (Zug 2004: 58)

See also description in Kopstein 1926: 88. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Dolman, Gaynor & Andrew F. Hugall 2008. Combined mitochondrial and nuclear data enhance resolution of a rapid radiation of Australian rainbow skinks (Scincidae: Carlia). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 49 (3): 782-794 - get paper here
  • Gemel, R.; G. Gassner & S. Schweiger 2019. Katalog der Typen der Herpetologischen Sammlung des Naturhistorischen Museums Wien – 2018. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 121: 33–248
  • Kopstein,P.F. 1926. Reptilien von den Molukken und den benachbarten Inseln. Zoologische Mededelingen 1: 71-112 - get paper here
  • Tiedemann,F.; Häupl,M. & Grillitsch,H. 1994. Katalog der Typen der herpetologischen Sammlung nach dem Stand vom 1. Jänner 1994. Teil II: Reptilia. Kat. wiss. Samml. Naturhist. Mus. Wien 10 (Vertebrata 4): 1-110
  • Zug,G. R. 2004. Systematics of the Carlia “fusca” lizards (Squamata: Scincidae) of New Guinea and Nearby Islands. Bishop Mus. Bull. Zool. 5: 1-83
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