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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common NamesKimberley islands rainbow-skink 
SynonymCarlia insularis AFONSO-SILVA, SANTOS, OGILVIE & MORITZ 2017 
DistributionAustralia (Western Australia: Bonaparte Archipelago, including Fenelon, Corneille, East Montalivet, West Montalivet, Don, Berthier, North Maret and South Maret islands)

Type locality: North Maret island, Western Australia, in −14.3983 124.97750  
TypesHolotype: WAM R158646. Specimen collected in 2004 by Richard How (Fig. S7A).
Paratypes. Fenelon Island: WAM R117708, WAM R117709, WAM R117710; Corneille Island: WAM R117967; West Montalivet Island: WAM R158562, WAM R158571; Don Island: WAM R158610; North Maret Island: WAM R158647 (Table S1, Figs. S8A, S8C). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Morphologically similar to C. johnstonei and distinguished from this species by the presence of mid-dorsal body scales with a mix of two or three keels (Fig. 5), whereas C. johnstonei always has two keels. As mentioned previously, it is also distinguished from C. johnstonei by longer body size, higher relative head depth, longer relative limb length, more sharp lobules in the ear aperture (mean values of 13 vs. 10; Fig. 5) and more lamellae under longest finger and toe (average 3 more). Prefrontal scales are either narrowly separated or in contact, while C. johnstonei often has more widely separated prefrontals. From a genetic perspective, four sites that change amino acids in the mtDNA ND4 sequence reliably distinguish Carlia johnstonei and Carlia insularis sp. nov. (Table 2). Geographically distinct from C. johnstonei in some of the most outer islands of the Bonaparte Archipelago (see below).

Comparison with congeners. Distinguished from remaining Australian Carlia species by a reduced upper preocular and well separated from posterior margin of second loreal scale (Hoskin & Couper, 2012); a distinct interparietal, usually seven supraciliaries, prefrontals usually separated; at least 34 mid-body scale rows, that are dorsally 6-sided, each scale with an angular free edge and strongly bicarinate, with the keels aligned to form continuous longitudinal lines; ear-opening surrounded by many small and pointed lobules (Cogger, 2014). It is endemic to Kimberley islands where C. johnstonei and C. isostriacantha sp. nov. also occur at a regional scale. See diagnosis to distinguish from C. johnstonei; and distinguishable from C. isostriacantha sp. nov. by the presence of two keeled-scales and usually seven supraciliaries instead of six. 
CommentHabitat: vine thicket and deciduous vine forest. 
EtymologyInsularis is derived from the Latin word insular, for island, since this species is restricted to islands. 
  • Afonso-Silva AC, Santos N, Ogilvie HA, Moritz C. 2017. Validation and description of two new north-western Australian Rainbow skinks with multispecies coalescent methods and morphology. PeerJ 5:e3724 - get paper here
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