Egernia cunninghami (GRAY, 1832)
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|Higher Taxa||Scincidae, Egerniinae (Tiliquini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||E: Cunningham's Spiny-tailed Skink, Cunningham's Skink|
|Synonym||Tiliqua cunninghami GRAY 1832: 40|
Egernia krefftii PETERS 1871: 30
Egernia lohmanni WERNER 1917: 32
Egernia cunninghami — COGGER 1983: 155
Egernia barnetti WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985
Egernia jossae WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985
Egernia kennersoni WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985
Egernia cunninghami — COGGER 2000: 457
Egernia cunninghami — DOUGHTY et al. 2011
Egernia cunninhamii — WHILE et al. 2015 (in error)
|Distribution||Australia (New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria), elevation above 1000 m.|
Type locality: Western Australia [in error], eastern Australia in lat. 29° S.
|Reproduction||Viviparous. This is one of the few reptile species in which monogamy has been observed (Chapple 2003).|
|Types||Holotype: BMNH xv.85a|
Holotype: ZMB 341, from Sydney, N. S. W. [Egernia krefftii]
Holotype: unknown [Egernia lohmanni]
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis (genus): Medium to very large skinks with strong pentadactyl limbs, lower eyelid moveable and without transparent disc, interparietal completely separating parietals, no supranasal, four supraoculars (first two in contact with frontal), normally two loreals, usually two presuboculars, normally three temporals (lower secondary usually largest, primary smallest), and prominent ear aperture bearing one or more large lobules. Distinguishable from Tiliqua by fragile tail (except in E. depressa and stokesii), unpigmented tongue, and absence of occipitals and large suboculars (when suboculars present in Egernia they are much smaller than presuboculars) (Storr 1978: 148).|
Diagnosis (genus): A 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 (Gardner et al. 2008: 790).
|Comment||Synonymy after COGGER 1983 and Shea & Sadlier 1999.|
Type species: Tiliqua cunninghami GRAY 1832 is the type species of the genus Egernia GRAY 1838. The genus is also the type genus of the family Egerniidae Hedges & Conn 2012 and of the tribus Tiliquini Gray 1845 (fide Shea 2021).
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. For a phylogenetic analysis including fossils see Thorn et al. 2021.
Morphology: Greer 1986 investigated the relative length of the anterior medial groove of the frontal bone in species of Egernia and Tiliqua as as a diagnostic character for being a member of Lygosominae vs. Scincinae.
Diet: herbivorous (Wilson & Lee 1974).
|Etymology||Named 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.|
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