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Ctenotus brevipes STORR, 1981

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Short-footed Ctenotus 
SynonymCtenotus essingtonii brevipes STORR 1981: 130
Minervascincus brevipes — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985: 34
Ctenotus brevipes — HORNER 2007
Ctenotus brevipes — WILSON & SWAN 2010 
DistributionAustralia (Queensland)

Type locality: Blackbull, Queensland, Australia, 17°48’S, 141°44’E [HORNER 2007]

Venture Creek, 62 km E of Croyden, in 18° 13’ S, 142'49’ E, Qld [according to other sources, COGGER 1983 ?].  
TypesHolotype: QM J39469 (formerly AM R63611), unsexed, 3 July 1977, collected by A. and P. Greer (see Shea and Sadlier 1999, for type locality correction). ParaTypes (4 specimens) – Queensland: AM R63334, Croydon, 18°12’S, 142°15’e; aMr26904, Hann river, Kennedy road, 15°11’S, 143°51’e; aMr63610, Blackbull, 17°48’S, 141°44’e; aMr70939, Muldiva, 17°21’S, 144°35’E. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: a moderately small Ctenotus (SVl to 60 mm) distinguished from congeners by having three of four supraoculars in contact with frontal, two presuboculars, frontoparietals paired, laterally compressed toes with smooth or callose subdigital lamellae, prominent pale midlateral stripe, broad dorsal zone of ground colour, vertebral stripe absent or con ined to nape, dark laterodorsal stripe obscure or absent, 24 midbody scale rows, lateral pattern of longitudinal stripes, dark upper lateral zone usually unspotted [from HORNER 2007].

Description (n = 15): “Snout-vent length (mm): 43-52 (N 14, mean 48.0). Length of appendages (% SVL): foreleg 21-26 (N 14, mean 22.7), hindleg 36-44 (N 14, mean 39.8), tail 193-211 (N 8, mean 201.4).
Nasals usually narrowly separated, occasionally in short contact. Prefrontals separated (usually widely, occasionally narrowly). Supraoculars 4, first 3 in contact with frontal; second much wider than first and third. Supraciliaries 7-10 (mostly 8, N 13, mean 8.2), third to penultimate much smaller than others. Upper ciliaries 7-11 (N 15, mean 8.5). Second loreal 1.3-1.9 (N 14, mean 1.65) times as wide as high. Presuboculars 2. Upper labials 7 (N 13) or 6 (1). Ear lobules absent, unless a small slat-like preauricular scale partly covering upper anterior sector of aperture is construed as a lobule. Nuchals 3-5 (N 15, mean 3.7). Midbody scale rows 21-26 (N 15, mean 24.7). Toes slightly compressed; 17-21 (N 15, mean 18.8) lamellae under fourth, each with a narrow to moderately wide callus.

Coloration: Upper surface brown, tinged with olive on head, red on tail and sometimes yellow on back. Usually no dorsal pattern, but one specimen (27285) has a white-edged, narrow, blackish-brown vertebral stripe on nape. Narrow but conspicuous white dorsolateral stripe from orbit to tail (on which it is suffused with reddish-brown), edged above by narrow, sharply defined, blackish-brown laterodorsal stripe. Blackish-brown upper lateral zone, continuing forward through orbit as a loreal stripe to nasal, and back on to tail (on which it becomes reddish-brown with dark edges). White midlateral stripe extending forward above ear aperture and below eye to bottom of first loreal, and back on to tail, where it is suffused with pink. Blackish-brown lower lateral stripe extending forward to lips. Some indication of a dark brown ventrolateral stripe in front of and behind arm. Lips pale brown, longitudinally striped with dark brown.” (Storr 1981)
CommentLimb morphology: 5 digits, 5 toes (Singhal et al. 2018, Cogger 2014) 
EtymologyNamed after its short [Latin: brevis] feet [Latin: pes]. 
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • 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
  • Horner, P. 2007. Ctenotus quirinus sp. nov. (Reptilia: Sauria: Scincidae) – a new species of skink from the Northern Territory, with the recognition of C. brevipes Storr, 1981 and C. essingtonii (Gray, 1842) as distinct species. The Beagle 23: 119-130 - 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
  • Storr G M 1981. Ten new Ctenotus (Lacertilia: Scincidae) from Australia. Rec. West. Austr. Mus. 9 (2): 125-146 - 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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