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Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus (COCTEAU, 1836)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Péron’s snake-eyed skink, Callose-palmed Shinning-skink 
SynonymScincus plagiocephalus COCTEAU 1836 (part.)
Scincus plagyocephalus COCTEAU 1836 (in error)
Ablepharus peronii DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 813 (part.)
Cryptoblepharus burtonii MACLEAY 1877 (lapsus pro Scincus boutonii)
Ablepharus boutoni punctatus STERNFELD 1918
Ablepharus boutonii plagiocephalus — MERTENS 1931: 116
Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus — GREER 1974: 21
Cryptoblepharus carnabyi STORR 1976
Cryptoblepharus carnabyi — COGGER 1983: 141
Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus — COGGER 1983: 142
Cryptoblepharus carnabyi — COGGER 2000: 404
Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus — COGGER 2000: 406
Cryptoblepharus carnabyi — COUPER et al. 2006
Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus — WILSON & SWAN 2010 
DistributionAustralia (mid and southern regions of Western Australia, extending from north of Port Hedland, south to about Geraldton and inland to about Kalgoolie).

Storr et al. (1983) record it (as C. carnabyi) from the Houtman Abrolhos island group, off Geraldton.

Type locality: Shark Bay, W. A.; restricted erroneously to Swan River, Western Australia by STORR 1961.

carnabyi: Australia (Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia); Type locality: 11 km WSW of Youanmi, in 28° 37’ S, 118'43’ E, W. A.  
TypesLectotype: MNHN-RA 7150, from Shark Bay, W. A. (paralectotypes from Tasmania (in error), Tahiti, Hawaiian Ils. and Puña Is., Ecuador), designated by Cogger 1983.
Syntypes: BMNH 1946.8.19.73-74, from Australia, (W. A. fide Boulenger 1887) [Tiliqua buchananii].
Syntypes: MNHN-RA 7150 (Shark Bay), MNHP 3088 (Tas.), from Tas. (in error) and Shark Bay, W. A.; for extralimital syntypes see Guibé (1954) [Ablepharus peronii].
Syntypes: BMNH, from North Australian Exped. [Ablepharus boutonii metallicus]
Lectotype: SMF 15683, from Hermannsburg, N. T. (as West Central Australia), designated by Mertens (1967) [Ablepharus boutoni australis] - 2 specimens in bottle one of which appears to be the type.
Lectotype: SMF 15685, from Yalgoo, W. A. ('West-Australien" in original description), designation by Mertens (1967) [Ablepharus boutoni punctatus]
Holotype: WAM R21182 [carnabyi] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A medium sized (40–44 mm SVL), short- legged, shallow-headed, arboreal Cryptoblepharus, distinguished from Australian congeners by combination of modal values of five supraciliary scales, 24 midbody scale rows, 50 paravertebral scales and 9 palmar scales; mean values of 33.6 mm snout-vent length, body length 49.1% of snout-vent length, lead length 21.5% of snoutvent length, head depth 39.5% of head length and forelimb length 33.9% of snout-vent length; pale, acute plantar scales; moderately keeled fourth toe subdigital lamellae, and wide pale dorsolateral stripes.
CommentSynonymy mainly after COGGER 1983. Mertens (1931: 116) also provides a synonymy (he also lists metallicus as a valid subspecies).
According to Mertens (1931) the type series of Scincus plagiocephalus Cocteau is composite, containing representatives of Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus and the extra-limital Cryptoblepharus poeciliopleurus. Therefore it has been necessary to designate as lectotype the MNHP syntype from Shark Bay, W. A. Because the syntypes are extant (Guibé 1954), the action of Storr (1961) in restricting the type locality to Swan River, W. A. is inappropriate. Shea & Sadlier 1999 list C. carnabyi as valid species and C. hawkeswoodi as synonym of carnabyi. Tiliqua buchananii GRAY 1838, Ablepharus boutoni australis STERNFELD 1918, Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus ruber BÖRNER & SCHÜTTLER 1981, and Ablepharus boutonii metallicus BOULENGER 1887 have been removed from the synonymy of C. plagiocephalus by HORNER 2007. HORNER 2007 also synonymized Cryptoblepharus carnabyi STORR 1976 with C. plagiocephalus.

Distribution: not in NSW; what was plagiocephalus and carnabyi in NSW are now considered to be other species (australis and pannosus (fide Swan et al. 2017, Field Guide NSW, G. Shea, pers. comm., 5 March 2021).

Sympatry. Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus occurs in sympatry with C. buchananii from lineage 1 on Dirk Hartog Island, Shark Bay (Maryan 1996), Greenough, and in the Exmouth (Storr and Hanlon 1980) and Geraldton regions (Storr et al. 1983). 
  • 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
  • Cocteau, J. T. 1836. Études sur les Scincoides. Paris - 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
  • Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron. 1839. Erpétologie Générale on Histoire Naturelle Complète des Reptiles. Vol. 5. Roret/Fain et Thunot, Paris, 871 pp. - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1838. Catalogue of the slender-tongued saurians, with descriptions of many new genera and species. Part 1. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (1) 1: 274-283 - get paper here
  • Greer, A.E. 1974. The generic relationships of the scincid lizard genus Leiolopisma and its relatives. Australian Journal of Zoology 31: 1-67. - get paper here
  • Greer, A.E. 1983. On the adaptive significance of the reptilian spectacle: the evidence from scincid, teiid, and lacertid lizards. in A.G.J. Rhodin and K. Miyata (eds), Advances in Herpetology and Evolutionary Biology. Mus. Comp. Zool., Massachusetts; 725 pp. [pp. 213-221.] - get paper here
  • Guibé, J. 1954. Catalogue des Types de Lézards du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle Naturelle. Paris, Imprimerie Nationale, 119 pp.
  • Horner, P. 2007. Systematics of the snake-eyed skinks, Cryptoblepharus Wiegmann (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) - an Australian based review. The Beagle Supplement 3: 21-198
  • How, RA, Cowan, MA, Teale, RJ, Schmitt, LH. 2020. Environmental correlates of reptile variation on the Houtman Abrolhos archipelago, eastern Indian Ocean. J Biogeogr. 47: 2017– 2028 - get paper here
  • Macleay, W. 1877. The lizards of the Chevert Expedition. Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 2: 60-69; 97-104 - get paper here
  • Maryan, B., Browne-Cooper, R. and Bush, B. 2002. Herpetofauna Survey of the Maralla Road Bushland. Western Australian Naturalist 23: 197-205 - get paper here
  • Mertens, R. 1967. Die herpetologische Sektion des Natur-Museums und Forschungs-Institutes Senckenberg in Frankfurt am Main nebst einem Verzeichnis ihrer Typen. Senckenbergiana Biologica 48: 1-106 - get paper here
  • Mertens,R. 1931. Ablepharus boutonii (DESJARDIN) und seine geographische Variation. Zool. Jahrb. Syst. 61: 63-210
  • Sternfeld, R. 1918. Zur Tiergeographie Papuasiens und der pazifischen Inselwelt. Abh. senckenb. naturf. Ges. (Frankfurt) 36: 375-436 [missing from BHL in 2023]
  • 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., 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
  • Waite, E. R. 1929. The Reptiles and Amphibians of South Australia. Adelaide: Harrison Weir, 270 pp.
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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