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Egernia cygnitos DOUGHTY, KEALLEY & DONNELLAN, 2011

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Egerniinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesWestern Pilbara Spiny-tailed Skink 
SynonymEgernia cygnitos DOUGHTY, KEALLEY & DONNELLAN 2011 
DistributionAustralia (Western Australia)

Type locality: Australia: Western Australia, Myaree Pool, 20°51’S, 116°36’E.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: WAM R114257 (female). Collected by M. Peterson and G. Shea on 8 July 1992. 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS: A member of the E. depressa species-group, with a relatively small and flattened head, relatively short limbs, short and stout dorsal spines that project upwards, nasals in point to broad contact, divided nasal scale, few supraciliaries (3–4), posterior border of parietal and neighbouring head scales raised and with a row of moderately developed spines, ear opening small with lobules projecting from anterior border, 30–34 MBSR, subdigital lamellae on fourth fingers 10–13, toes 12–15, slightly round scales on palmar and plantar surfaces, tail narrow with relatively short stout spines that curve slightly forwards and projecting posteriorly at approximately 45°. Colouration a rich reddish-brown with dark brown to black irregular transverse bars (not edged with white) on posterior portion of body that usually extend to level of arms.
 
CommentHABITAT: Observed to frequent rock crevices or large rock slabs among rocky outcrops. One specimen was recorded as occurring on a ‘detrital slope’ with Triodia. 
Etymologycygnitos (Greek) means resembling the red dwarf star 61 Cygni in the constellation Cygnus (over 11 light years from Earth), in reference to the reddish colouration of this species relative to the eastern Pilbara species. Used as a noun in apposition. 
References
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp.
  • 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
 
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