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Egernia epsisolus DOUGHTY, KEALLEY & DONNELLAN, 2011

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Egerniinae (Tiliquini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Eastern Pilbara Spiny-tailed Skink 
SynonymEgernia epsisolus DOUGHTY, KEALLEY & DONNELLAN 2011 
DistributionAustralia (Western Australia: Chichester IBRA subregion of the Pilbara region)

Type locality: Australia: Western Australia, 15 km E Mt Francisco, 21°24’05”S, 118°42’22”E  
Reproductionviviparous (phylogenetic imputation, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: WAM R132848 (female), Collected by P.C. Withers and G.G. Thompson on 22 June 1998. 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS: A member of the E. depressa species-group, with a relatively small and flattened head, relatively short limbs, short triangular dorsal spines that project upwards, nasals in point contact, nasal scale incompletely divided (grooved below nare; ungrooved dorsally), posterior border of parietal and neighbouring head scales raised and with a row of moderately developed spines, few supraciliaries (3–5), ear opening small with scales projecting from anterior border, 30–34 MBSR, subdigital lamellae on fourth fingers 9–13, toes 11–14, slightly rounded scales on palmar and plantar surfaces, tail moderately thin with relatively short stout spines that curve slightly forward and projecting posteriorly at approximately 45°. Colouration a pale yellowy-brown with dark brown to black irregular transverse bars edged with white on tail and posterior half of body. 
CommentHABITAT: Collection records indicate E. epsisolus most often occur on exfoliating granite outcrops, with a mixture of Triodia species present.

DISTRIBUTION: Replaced in the Chichester Range near the Fortescue River by E. cygnitos. Also a single outlying record from 80 km south of Telfer in the Little Sandy Desert. 
EtymologyNamed after epsisolus (Greek) meaning resembling the yellow dwarf star Epsilon Eridani in the constellation Eridani (10.4 light years from Earth), in reference to the more yellowy colouration of this species relative to the western Pilbara species. Used as a noun in apposition. 
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • 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
  • Zappalorti, R.T. 2012. Into the barrens. HerpNation 2.5 (8): 26-38 - get paper here
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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