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Ctenotus monticola STORR, 1981

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Atherton Ctenotus 
SynonymCtenotus monticola STORR 1981: 132
Minervascincus monticola — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985: 35
Ctenotus hypatia INGRAM & CZECHURA 1990 (fide COUPER & PIANKA 1997)
Ctenotus monticola — COGGER 2000: 435
Ctenotus monticola — WILSON & SWAN 2010 
DistributionAustralia (Queensland)

Type locality: 11 km W of Mareeba, in 17° 02’ S, 145° 20’ E, Qld.  
TypesHolotype: QM J39468 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: “A moderately small Ctenotus with coloration as in C. leonhardii group, e.g. vertebral stripe narrow and upper lateral zone enclosing rows of pale dots, but having only 7 upper labials, shorter limbs, and fewer and more widely callose subdigital lamellae.” (Storr 1981)

Description (N = 5): “Snout-vent length (mm): 52-61 (N 5, mean 56.4). Length of appendages (% SVL): foreleg 22-25 (N 5, mean 23.2), hindleg 39-45 (N 5, mean 42.8), tail 211-220 (N 2). Nasals separated (usually narrowly). Prefrontals separated. Supraoculars 4, first 3 in contact with frontal. Supraciliaries 7 or 8 (N 5, mean 7.8), fourth to penultimate considerably smaller than others. Upper ciliaries 9-11 (N 5, mean 9.6). Second loreal 1.2-1.6 (N 5, mean 1.36) times as wide as high. Presuboculars 2 (3 on one side of one specimen). Upper labials 7. Ear lobules 2-4 (N 5, mean 2.4) obtuse or subacute, first usually largest. Nuchals 3-5 (N 5, mean 4.3). Midbody scale rows 24-28 (N 5, mean 25.6). Toes compressed; 17-19 lamellae (N 5, mean 17.9) under fourth, each with a narrow to moderately wide callus.” (Storr 1981)

Coloration: “Upper surface brownish, tinged with olive on back and red on tail. Narrow blackish vertebral stripe from nape to proximal fifth of tail, narrowly and indistinctly edged with white. Occasionally some indication of a narrow dark dorsal stripe. Narrow white dorsolateral stripe from orbit to level of vent, narrowly to moderately widely edged above with blackish (laterodorsal stripe). Blackish or dark brown upper lateral zone enclosing 1-3 longitudinal series of brownish-white dots which tend to align vertically. Narrow white midlateral stripe from below eye to level of vent. Lower lateral zone dark brown irregularly spotted with brownish-white. Upper lips barred with dark brown.” (Storr 1981) 
CommentLimb morphology: 5 digits, 5 toes (Singhal et al. 2018, Cogger 2014) 
EtymologyThe species name, ‘monticola’, is Latin for ‘inhabitant of the mountains’ (Latin “colere” = inhabiting). 
  • 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. J. and E. R. Pianka. 1997. Synonymy of Ctenotus monticola Storr, 1981 and Ctenotus hypatia Ingram and Czechura, 1990. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 42: 12 [Reprinted in Chondro. Journal of the Cape York Herpetological Society, 1998: 48-49] - get paper here
  • Couper, P. J.; Amey, A. P.; Kutt, A. S. 2002. A new species of Ctenotus (Scincidae) from central Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 48(1):85-92 - 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
  • Ingram G J; Czechura G V 1990. Four new species of striped skinks from Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 29 (3): 407-410 - 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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