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Carlia triacantha (MITCHELL, 1953)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Desert Rainbow-skink 
SynonymLeiolopisma triacantha MITCHELL 1953: 88
Leiolopisma triacantha — KLUGE 1963
Carlia triacantha — COGGER 1983: 140
Carlia monsolgaensis WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985: 24 (nom. nud.)
Carlia mysteria WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985: 24 (nom. nud.)
Carlia triacantha — COGGER 2000: 401
Carlia triacantha — DOLMAN & HUGALL 2008
Carlia triacantha — AFONSO-SILVA et al. 2017: 16 
DistributionAustralia (Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia)

Type locality: Adelaide River, N. T. (−13.183, 131.1)  
TypesHolotype: SAMA R2697 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Species morphologically distinguished from congeners by having three strong keels in scales, prefrontals more often in contact or very narrowly separated and usually six supraciliaries. Although more work is still needed to find unambiguously diagnostic traits between this species and C. isostricantha sp. nov., C. triacantha are mostly smaller (mean 36.55 mm vs. 40.07 mm), with shorter relative head length (mean 7.24 mm vs. 8.25 mm) and fewer ear lobules (usually 6 vs. 9, Fig. 5B). Geographically diagnosis from C. isostricantha sp. nov., possible in the centre of Australia, particularly Pilbara and Macdonald ranges region (AFONSO-SILVA et al. 2017: 16).

Diagnosis (triacantha). Midbody scales in 30 or 32 longitudinal rows, each dorsal scale being strongly tricarinate and of characteristic form (see fig, 3). Ear opening without obvious lobules; approximately two-thirds the horizontal diameter of the palpebral disk. This species appears to be most nearly allied to pectoralis, differing in the nature of the dorsal scales and in possessing a median prefrontal suture (from Mitchell 1953: 88).

Diagnosis (mysteria): Storr, (1974) provides morphological and distributional data. This species is believed confined to Sir Graham Moore Is., Western Australia, and its closest relative, Carlia triacantha is thought confined to the northern sector of the Northern Territory. Cogger, (1983) provides morphological and distributional data on Carlia triacantha. 
CommentSynonymy: following INGRAM & COVACEVICH 1989. 
  • Afonso Silva, A. C. 2018. Evolutionary history of sympatric Rainbow skinks from the Australian Monsoonal Tropics. PhD Thesis, University of Lisbon, Portugal
  • Afonso Silva, A. C., Bragg, J. G., Potter, S., Fernandes, C., Coelho, M. M. and Moritz, C. 2017. Tropical specialist versus climate generalist: diversification and demographic history of sister species of Carlia skinks from northwestern Australia. Mol Ecol.; doi:10.1111/mec.14185 - get paper here
  • 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
  • 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
  • D'Amore, Domenic Corvasce; David Meadows, Simon Clulow, Jeremiah Sean Doody, David Rhind, Colin McHenry 2018. Increasing dietary breadth through allometry: bite forces in sympatric Australian skinks. Herpetology Notes 11: 179-187 - 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
  • Greer, A. E. 1976. Notes on the systematics of the genus Carlia (Lacertilia: Scincidae). II. Carlia peroni (Dumeril and Bibron 1839). Herpetologica 32: 371-377 - get paper here
  • Kluge, A.G. 1963. Notes on the Herpetofauna of Western Australia. Western Australian Naturalist 8 (6): 144-147 - get paper here
  • Mitchell, F. J. 1953. A brief revision of the four-fingered members of the genus Leiolopisma (Lacertilia). Rec. South Austral. Mus. 11: 75-90 - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M. 1974. The genus Carlia (Lacertilia: Scincidae) in Western Australia and Northern Territory. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 3: 151-165 - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M., Smith, L. A. & Johnstone, R. E. 1981. Lizards of Western Australia. I. Skinks. Perth: University of Western Australia Press and Western Australian Museum, 200 pp.
  • Storr, G. M.; L. A. Smith, and R. E. Johnstone 1999. Lizards of Western Australia. I. Skinks. Revised Edition. Western Australian Museum
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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