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Carlia rhomboidalis (PETERS, 1869)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Blue-throated Rainbow-skink 
SynonymHeteropus rhomboidalis PETERS 1869: 446
Lygosoma (Leiolopisma) rhomboidale — SMITH 1937: 225
Leiolopisma rhomboidale (PETERS) — BARBOUR 1912: 187
Leiolopisma rhomboidalis — WILHOFT 1961
Carlia rhomboidalis — COGGER 1983
Carlia rhomboidalis — COGGER 2000: 396
Carlia rhomboidalis — DOLMAN & HUGALL 2008 
DistributionAustralia (Queensland)

Type locality: “Port Mackay in N.O. Australien” [Queensland].  
TypesLectotype: ZMB 6509a (designated by INGRAM & COVACEVICH 1989). An earlier designation of BMNH 1946.8.16.57 by Wells &Wellington (1985) is likely to be invalid, as there is no evidence that this was one of the specimens used by Peters to describe the species. BMNH 1946.8.16.57 was obtained from the Godeffroy Museum, which independently sold off duplicate specimens to other collections. It is likely that some of the duplicates went to Berlin, where Peters described the species, and others went to London, without being seen by Peters (Bauer et al. 2003, Glenn Shea, pers. comm., Feb 2019). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Carlia rubrigularis and C. rhomboidalis can be distinguished from all other Carlia in having the interparietal scale fused with the frontoparietal (Ingram & Covacevich 1989; Hoskin & Couper 2012). Carlia rubrigularis was split from C. rhomboidalis in 1989 on the basis of colouration, particularly of breeding males (Ingram & Covacevich 1989). In C. rhomboidalis the labials and underside of the head are blue and the throat is red (Fig. 1A), whereas in C. rubrigularis the entire lower surfaces of the head (termed here the ‘chin’) and throat are red (Fig. 1B). This colour difference in breeding males was deemed probably sufficient to confer breeding isolation should the species come into contact (Ingram & Covacevich 1989). Indeed, lab-tests of female choice have detected prezygotic isolation between these two species (Dolman 2008). Ingram & Covacevich (1989) concluded that the two species were morphologically indistinguishable other than for chin colour; however, Dolman (2008) also found subtle differences in relative limb length and head width (Hoskin 2014). 
CommentSynonymy: Leiolopisma rhomboidale is probably synonymous to Carlia rhomboidalis. However, the former is listed by Barbour (1912: 187) to occur on “Papua New Guinea (Dutch)”, so Barbour’s rhomboidale may also represent a different species.

Illustration in Schmida (2000).

Distribution: see map in Singhal et al. 2018. 
  • Barbour, Thomas 1912. A Contribution to the Zoögeography of the East Indian Islands. Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy 44 (1): 1-203 - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Couper, P., Covacevich, J., Amey, A. & Baker, A. 2006. The genera of skinks (Family Scincidae) of Australia and its island territories: diversity, distribution and identification. in: Merrick, J.R., Archer, M., Hickey, G.M. & Lee, M.S.Y. (eds.). Evolution and Zoogeography of Australasian Vertebrates. Australian Scientific Publishing, Sydney, pp. 367-384
  • 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
  • DONNELLAN, S.C.; P.J. COUPER, K. M. SAINT & L. WHEATON 2009. Systematics of the Carlia ‘fusca’ complex (Reptilia: Scincidae) from northern Australia. Zootaxa 2227: 1-31 - get paper here
  • Goldberg, S. R. and Bursey, C. R. 2020. Carlia rhomboidalis (blue-throated rainbow-skink). Endoparasites. Herpetological Review 51: 123 - get paper here
  • HOSKIN, CONRAD J. 2014. A new skink (Scincidae: Carlia) from the rainforest uplands of Cape Melville, north-east Australia. Zootaxa 3869 (3): 224–236 - get paper here
  • Ingram G; Covacevich J 1989. Revision of the genus Carlia (Reptilia, Scincidae) in Australia with comments on Carlia bicarinata of New Guinea. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 27 (2): 443-490 - get paper here
  • Peters,W.C.H. 1869. Über neue Gattungen und neue oder weniger bekannte Arten von Amphibien (Eremias, Dicrodon, Euprepes, Lygosoma, Typhlops, Eryx, Rhynchonyx, Elapomorphus, Achalinus, Coronella, Dromicus, Xenopholis, Anoplodipsas, Spilotes, Tropidonotus). Monatsber. k. preuss. Akad. Wiss. Berlin, 1869: 432-447 - get paper here
  • Schmida, G. 2000. Exkursionen bei Mackay und Proserpine. DATZ 53 (9): 8-12
  • Singhal, Sonal; Conrad J Hoskin, Patrick Couper, Sally Potter, Craig Moritz 2018. A framework for resolving cryptic species: a case study from the lizards of the Australian Wet Tropics. Systematic Biology, syy026 - get paper here
  • Singhal, Sonal; Huateng Huang, Maggie R. Grundler, María R. Marchán-Rivadeneira, Iris Holmes, Pascal O. Title, Stephen C. Donnellan, and Daniel L. Rabosky 2018. Does Population Structure Predict the Rate of Speciation? A Comparative Test across Australia’s Most Diverse Vertebrate Radiation. The American Naturalist - get paper here
  • Wilhoft, D.C. 1961. Temperature responses in two tropical Australian skinks Herpetologica 17 (2): 109-113. - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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