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Chalcides pulchellus MOCQUARD, 1906

IUCN Red List - Chalcides pulchellus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Mocquard's Cylindrical Skink 
SynonymChalcides pulchellus MOCQUARD 1906: 466
Chalcides pulchellus — MONARD 1940: 170
Chalcides pulchellus — BRYGOO 1985: 88
Chalcides pulchellus — GREENBAUM et al. 2006
Chalcides thierryi pulchellus 
DistributionSW Burkina Faso (= Upper Volta)

Type locality: “Soudan français, région du Lobi” (BRYGOO 1985: 88.  
TypesHolotype: MNHN-RA 1906.0150 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Chalcides pulchellus is a relatively large, pentadactyl species with extensively expanded vertebral scales, 22-24 scale rows at midbody, relatively long tail, and a dorsal ground colour of brown or bronze-brown with
transverse rows of dark brown spots (lacking white borders on the tail) across the flanks, dorsum, and tail. Chalcides pulchellus is readily distinguished from its sub-Saharan conspecifics. Chalcides pulchellus is distinguished from C. thierryi by 22-24 scale rows at midbody (20-22 in C. thierryi), 79-86 vertebrals (85-91 in C. thierryi), 13-17 subdigital lamellae under Toe IV (9-13 in C. thierryi), five phalanges in Toe IV (four in C. thierryi), 37-42 presacral vertebrae (41-44 in C. thierryi), a brown or bronze-brown ground colour (tan or brown in C. thierryi), and brown spots that always lack white borders on the tail (brown spots that usually have white borders on the tail in C. thierryi). Chalcides pulchellus is distinguished from C. armitagei by pentadactyl limbs (tridactyl in C. armitagei), six supralabials (five in C. armitagei), six infralabials (four in C. armitagei), one postnasal (absent in C. armitagei), 79-86 ventrals (94-96 in C. armitagei), and 37-42 presacral vertebrae (50-51 in C. armitagei) (Caputo et al. 1995). Chalcides pulchellus is distinguished from C. ocellatus and C. ragazzii by extensively expanded vertebrals (unexpanded or weakly expanded in C. ocellatus and C. ragazzii), uniform dorsal colour pattern (longitudinal stripes in C. ocellatus and C. ragazzii), and lack of white ocelli (extensive white ocelli in C. ocellatus and C. ragazzii). Chalcides pulchellus is distinguished from C. bottegi by a uniform dorsal colour pattern (stripes in C. bottegi) and lack of white ocelli (extensive white ocelli in C. bottegi). (Greenbaum 2005) 
CommentSynonymy: GUIBÉ 1954 considers this species as a synonym of Chalcides bottegi. 
EtymologyNamed after Latin “pulchellus” = pretty. 
  • Brygoo, E.R. 1985. Les types des scincidés (Reptiles, Sauriens) du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, catalogue critique. Bull. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. (4e sér.) 7 (sect. A 3), suppl.: 1-126
  • Greenbaum, E.; Campbell, A.C. & Raxworthy, C.J. 2006. A revision of sub-saharan Chalcides (Squamata: Scincidae) with redescriptions of two East African species. Herpetologica 62 (1): 71-89 - get paper here
  • Mocquard, F. 1906. Description de quelques espéces nouvelles de Reptiles. Bull. Mus. nat. Hist. nat., Paris 7: 464-466. - get paper here
  • Monard, ALBERT 1940. Résultats de la mission du Dr. Monard en Guinée Portugaise 1937 – 1938. Arq. Mus. Bocage, Lisbon 11: 147-182
  • Trape, J.F.; Trape, S. & Chirio, L. 2012. Lézards, crocodiles et tortues d'Afrique occidentale et du Sahara. IRD Orstom, 503 pp. - get paper here
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