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Egernia cunninghami (GRAY, 1832)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Egerniinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common NamesE: Cunningham's Spiny-tailed Skink, Cunningham's Skink 
SynonymTiliqua cunninghami GRAY 1832
Egernia krefftii PETERS 1871: 30
Egernia lohmanni WERNER 1917: 32
Egernia cunninghami — COGGER 1983: 155
Egernia cunninghami — COGGER 2000: 457
Egernia cunninghami — DOUGHTY et al. 2011
Egernia cunninhamii — WHILE et al. 2015 (in error) 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria), elevation above 1000 m.

Type locality: Western Australia [in error], eastern Australia in lat. 29° S.  
ReproductionViviparous. This is one of the few reptile species in which monogamy has been observed (Chapple 2003). 
TypesHolotype: BMNH xv.85a
Holotype: ZMB 341, from Sydney, N. S. W. [Egernia krefftii]
Holotype: unknown [Egernia lohmanni] 
DiagnosisA genus of medium to large Egernia group skinks; usually dorsoventrally compressed, but with a more stout habitus in E. kingii and E. rugosa; MBSR 24–46; dorsal scales smooth, striated, multi-keeled and/or with long spine; postnarial groove (if present) on nasal scale in contact with first supralabial; parietals separated by interparietal; subocular scale row incomplete; eyes relatively small; eyelid colour similar to neighbouring scales [from Gardner et al. 2008].

Description: A genus of Egernia Group skinks, medium sized to large lizards [adult snout–vent length (SVL) 100–240 mm]; body squarish in the two larger species (kingii and rugosa) but head and body more or less dorsoventrally compressed in most; midbody scales in 24–46 rows, dorsals varying between species, from smooth, to striate to multi-keeled to spinose; nasal scale with postnarial groove running to the first supralabial; subocular scale row incomplete; eyes relatively small, the eyelids similarly coloured to the adjacent scales. 
CommentSynonymy after COGGER 1983.

Type species: Tiliqua cunninghami GRAY 1832 is the type species of the genus Egernia GRAY 1838.

Definition (genus): The clade comprising Egernia cunninghami Gray, 1838, and all species that share a more recent common ancestor with Egernia cunninghami than with Tiliqua scincoides, Liopholis whitii, Lissolepis luctuosa or Bellatorias major. 
EtymologyNamed after Allan Cunningham (1791-1839), a British explorer and botanist. He is buried in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. See Beolens et al. 2011: 60 for more details. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp.
  • 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
  • Doughty, Paul; Luke Kealley, and Stephen C. Donnellan 2011. Revision of the Pygmy Spiny-tailed Skinks (Egernia depressa species-group) from Western Australia, with descriptions of three new species. Rec. West. Austr. Mus. 26: 115–137 - get paper here
  • Fricke, M. 2002. Egernia cunninghami (GRAY 1832) - erfahrungen mit der Haltung und Nachzucht des Stachelskinks. Elaphe 10 (4): 24-28
  • Gardner, M. G., Hugall, A. F., Donnellan, S. C., Hutchinson, M. N., and Foster, R. 2008. Molecular systematics of social skinks: phylogeny and taxonomy of the Egernia group (Reptilia: Scincidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 154 (4): 781-794 - get paper here
  • Gardner, M.G., Pearson, S.K., Johnston, G.R., and Schwarz, M.P. 2015. Group living in squamate reptiles: a review of evidence for stable aggregations. Biol. Rev.
  • Gray, J.E. 1832. Three new animals brought from New Holland by Mr Cunningham. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1832: 39-40
  • Greenbaum, E. 2000. Herpetofaunal observations in disparate habitats in south Sustralia, New South Wales, and queensland, Australia. Herpetological Bulletin (72): 6-16 - get paper here
  • Kay, G.M.; D. Michael; M. Crane; S. Okada; C. MacGregor; D. Florance; D. Trengove; L. McBurney; D. Blair; D.B. Lindenmayer. 2013. A list of reptiles and amphibians from Box Gum Grassy Woodlands in south-eastern Australia. Check List 9 (3):476-481 - get paper here
  • Michael, D.R.; D.B. Lindenmayer; M. Crane; C. MacGregor; R. Montague-Drake; L. McBurney. 2011. Reptilia, Murray catchment, New South Wales, southeastern Australia. Check List 7 (1):25-29 - get paper here
  • Mitchell, F. J. 1950. The scincid genera Egernia and Tiliqua (Lacertilia). Rec. South Austral. Mus. 9: 275-308 - get paper here
  • Niekisch, M. 1980. Terraristische Beobachtungen zur Biologie von Egernia cunninghami (Reptilia: Sauria: Scincidae). Salamandra 16 (3): 162-176 - get paper here
  • Niekisch, Manfred 1975. Pflege und Nachzucht von Egernia cunninghami (Sauria, Scincidae). Salamandra 11 (3-4): 130-135 - get paper here
  • Ofori BY, Stow AJ, Baumgartner JB, Beaumont LJ 2017. Combining dispersal, landscape connectivity and habitat suitability to assess climate-induced changes in the distribution of Cunningham’s skink, Egernia cunninghami. PLoS One 12 (9): e0184193 - get paper here
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1871. Über neue Eidechsen (Egernia krefftii, Euprepes (Riopa) punctatolineatus). Monatsber. königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin. 1871 (Februar): 30-32 - get paper here
  • Schade, W. 1980. Die erfolgreiche Zucht und Haltung von Egernia cunninghami (Stachelskink). Sauria 2 (1): 15-16 - get paper here
  • Schäfer, C. 1999. Egernia cunninghami (GRAY, 1832). Sauria 21 (3) Suppl.: 471-474 - get paper here
  • Schäfer, C. & Grossmann, W. 2004. Cunninghams Stachelskink, Egernia cunninghami. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 64 pp. - get paper here
  • Werner, F. 1917. Über einige neue Reptilien und einen neuen Frosch des Zoologischen Museums in Hamburg. Mitt. Zool. Mus. Hamburg, 2. Beiheft zum Jahrbuch der Hamburgischen Wissenschaftlichen Anstalten 34: 31-36. - get paper here
  • While, Geoffrey M.;, David G. Chapple, Michael G. Gardner, Tobias Uller, and Martin J. Whiting 2015. Egernia lizards. Current Biology 25 (14): R593–R595, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.02.070 - 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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