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Carlia leucotaenia (BLEEKER, 1860)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymHeteropus leucotaenia BLEEKER 1860: 38
Heteropus Schlegelii PETERS 1864: 57
Carlia schlegelii — BAUER et al. 1995: 64
Carlia leucotaenia — ZUG 2004 
DistributionIndonesia (Moluccas: Seram, Ambon, and probably adjacent islands)

Type locality: “Paulohi”; neotype locality: Piru Bay, Seram (Ceram)

schlegelii: Type locality: “Timor” and “Amboina” [=Ambon]; restricted to Ambon by lectotype designation (ZUG 2004).  
TypesNeotype: USNM 204786; Holotype: originally BMNH (lost, fide Zug, 2004), purchased by P. Bleeker (leucotaenia)
Syntypes: ZMB 4951 (2 specimen), 4981 (2 specimen) [schlegelii] 
DiagnosisDescription. A moderately small Carlia ranging in adult size from 39 to 54 mm SVL (females 39.0–51.5; males 43.2–53.3) with HeadL 20–26%, TrunkL 44–54%, and HndlL 42–54% of SVL, and 68–133% PalpbD of EarD. Populations sexually dimorphic in several of the following traits: SVL, HeadL, PalpbD, EarD, TrunkL, HndlL, HeadL/SVL, PalpbD/EarD, TrunkL/SVL, TrunkL/HndlL, and Dorsal. Head and nuchal scales smooth; interparietal rarely absent; 4 Supoc, 6–9 Supcil, 7–12 Eyeld, 7 (rarely 6 or 8) Suplab, 5th (rarely 4th or 6th) BlwEye, and 6 (rarely 5) Inflab on each side. Ear opening oblong vertical to oblique with 2–5 AuricN, usually bluntly pointed, on anterior and dorsal margin. Trunk scales smooth to weakly tricarinate dorsally and laterally: 45–50 Dorsal, 28–34 Midbody. Subdigital lamellae undivided, smooth: 18–24 3FingL, 26–32 4ToeL.
Juvenile dorsum uniform brown occasionally with some black flecks, distinct dorsoand midlateral white stripes enclosing darker brown lateral band; venter cream to ivory. Adults dimorphic with females and smaller mature males retaining lateral striping and banding (Fig. 24), faded in larger (older) males with black flecks forming dark lines on dorsum and dark lateral band only evident on neck, and much reduced lateral striping in some females; venter cream to ivory (Zug 2004: 62)

Comparison to related species. Carlia leucotaenia populations differ from those of the larger bodied C. beccarii, C. eothen and C. luctuosa, and the moderate sized C. aenigma, C. aramia, C. fusca, C. mysi and C. pulla, by adult females averaging 44 to 48 mm SVL; females and males are on the average equal-sized. C. leucotaenia populations share: an average of 31 to 32 Midbody with all other fusca complex species except C. luctuosa; an average of 21 3FingL with all except C. beccarii; and an average of 28 to 29 4ToeL with all except C. beccarii, C. longipes, and C. luctuosa. Unlike C. aenigma, C. ailanpalai, C. aramia, C. babarensis, C. beccarii, C. diguliensis, C. eothen, C. leucotaenia, C. longipes, C. luctuosa, C. mysi and C. pulla, C. leucotaenia has well-developed dorsolateral and midlateral light stripes. Adult C. leucotaenia females retain a faded dorsolateral stripe on head and anterior neck and lose the midlateral stripe, sharing this adult female coloration with some individuals of C. fusca, C. eothen, C. longipes, and C. mysi. Adult C. leucotaenia 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: 63). 
EtymologyHeteropus Schlegelii was named after Hermann Schlegel (1804-1884), German herpetologist. H. leucotaenia was named after the white (Greek “leukos”) dorsalateral and mid-lateral stripes (Greek “tainia” = ribbon). 
  • Bauer, A.M.; Günther,R. & Klipfel,M. 1995. The herpetological contributions of Wilhelm C.H. Peters (1815-1883). SSAR Facsimile Reprints in Herpetology, 714 pp.
  • Bleeker, P. 1860. Over de reptilïen-fauna van van [sic] Ceram. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 22: 35–38. - get paper here
  • 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
  • Peters,W.C.H. 1864. Die Eidechsenfamilie der Scincoiden, insbesondere über die Schneider'schen, Wiegmann'schen und neue Arten des zoologischen Museums. Monatsber. K. Akad. Wiss. Berlin, 1864: 44-58 - get paper here
  • 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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