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Cryptoblepharus buchananii (GRAY, 1839)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Buchanan's Snake-eyed Skink 
SynonymTiliqua buchananii GRAY 1839: 291
Ablepharus peronii var. peronii — BOULENGER 1887: 347
Ablepharus boutoni punctatus STERNFELD 1918: 424
Ablepharus boutoni plagiocephalus – MERTENS 1931: 116
Ablepharus boutoni plagiocephalus – STORR 1961: 176
Ablepharus boutoni plagiocephalus – WORRELL 1963: 34
Ablepharus boutoni plagiocephalus – MERTENS 1964: 107
Ablepharus boutonii metallicus — LOVERIDGE 1934: 375
Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus – STORR 1976: 56
Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus – STORR & HANLON 1980: 431
Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus – STORR et al. 1999
Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus – WILSON & SWAN 2003
Cryptoblepharus buchananii — HORNER 2007 
DistributionAustralia (C/S Western Australia, from the Pilbara region to much of southern Western Australia)

Type locality: ““New Holland” [= W. Australia fide BOULENGER 1887]  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.8.19.73-74, W. Australia; BMNH 1946.8.19.74
Lectotype: SMF 15685 [punctatus] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A large (45–50 mm SVL), short-legged, shallow-headed, arboreal Cryptoblepharus, distinguished from Australian congeners by combination of usually having: six supraciliary scales; 24 mid-body scale rows; 52 paravertebral scales; 19 smooth subdigital lamellae under the fourth toe; hindlimb length 41.1% of SVL; head depth 42.3% of head length; tail length 136% of SVL; rounded, usually callused plantar scales; greyish, longitudinally aligned body pattern and being arboreal.

Original description: “[Scales smooth] Ears shallow, overlapped by 2 or 3 whitish superficial scales; scales smooth, olive, black lined; above black and olive varied; back with a broad black-edged silvery streak on each side; limbs, tail, and sides olive and black dotted, beneath silvery.” (Gray 1838) 
CommentSimilar species: C. plagiocephalus

Gray diagnosed the taxon as, “Ears shallow, overlapped by 2 or 3 whitish superficial scales; scales smooth, olive, black lined; above black and olive varied; back with a broad black-edged silvery streak on each side; limbs, tail, and sides olive and black dotted, beneath silvery”.

Sympatry. Cryptoblepharus buchananii occurs in sympatry with C. australis from lineage 1 and C. plagiocephalus and C. ustulatus sp. nov. from lineage 2. Sympatric with C. australis at Comet Vale; C. plagiocephalus at Greenough, and C. ustulatus sp. nov. at Dolphin Island and Weeli Wooli Spring.

Habitat: Typically arboreal, museum records of the species note its occurrence in open woodland and urban environments.

Etymology: no etymology was given by Gray 1839. 
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1887. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) III. Lacertidae, Gerrhosauridae, Scincidae, Anelytropsidae, Dibamidae, Chamaeleontidae. London: 575 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1839. Catalogue of the slender-tongued saurians, with descriptions of many new genera and species. Part 2. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 2 (10): 287-293 - get paper here
  • Horner, P. 2007. Systematics of the snake-eyed skinks, Cryptoblepharus Wiegmann (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) - an Australian based review. The Beagle Supplement 3: 21-198
  • Loveridge, A. 1934. Australian reptiles in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 77: 243-383 - get paper here
  • Mertens, R. 1964. Weitere Mitteilingen uber die Rassen von Ablepharus boutonii. III. Zoologischer Anzeiger 173: 100–110
  • Mertens,R. 1931. Ablepharus boutonii (DESJARDIN) und seine geographische Variation. Zool. Jahrb. Syst. 61: 63-210
  • Pianka, E. R. and C. A. Harp. 2011. Notes on the natural history of Buchanan’s snake-eyed skink Cryptoblepharus buchananii in arid Western Australia. Western Australian Naturalist 28: 43-49 - get paper here
  • Prendergast, K.A. & Bateman, P.W. 2017. Cryptoblepharus buchananii (Fence Skink) Bee hotels as resources. Herpetological Review 48 (4): 845-846 - get paper here
  • Sternfeld, R. 1918. Zur Tiergeographie Papuasiens und der pazifischen Inselwelt. Abh. senckenb. naturf. Ges. (Frankfurt) 36: 375-436 - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M. 1961. Ablepharus boutonii clarus, a new skink from the Esperance District, Western Australia. Western Australian Naturalist 7: 176-178 - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M. 1976. The genus Cryptoblepharus (Lacertilia: Scincidae) in Western Australia. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 4: 53-63 - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M.; L. A. Smith, and R. E. Johnstone 1999. Lizards of Western Australia. I. Skinks. Revised Edition. Western Australian Museum
  • Storr, G.M. and Hanlon, T.M.S. 1980. Herpetofauna of the Exmouth region, Western Australia. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 8 (3): 423–439 - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
  • Wilson,S. & Swan, G. 2003. A complete guide to the Reptiles of Australia. Princeton University Press, 480 pp. [review in Sauria 26 (3): 32]
  • Worrell, E. 1963. Reptiles of Australia. Angus & Robertson (Sydney), xv + 207 pp
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