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Emoia arnoensis BROWN & MARSHALL, 1953

IUCN Red List - Emoia arnoensis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesEmoia arnoensis nauru BROWN 1991
Emoia arnoensis arnoensis BROWN & MARSHALL 1953 
Common NamesE: Emo Skink 
SynonymEmoia arnoensis BROWN & MARSHALL 1953
Emoia arnoensis — GREER 1974: 20
Emoia arnoensis — ADLER, AUSTIN & DUDLEY 1995
Emoia arnoensis arnoensis — BUDEN 2008
Emoia arnoensis — RICHMOND et al. 2021

Emoia arnoensis nauru BROWN 1991
Emoia arnoensis nauru — SHEA 1999: 32
Emoia arnoensis nauru — BUDEN 2008 
DistributionPacific Ocean islands: Carolines, Marshalls, Nauru, Micronesia

Type locality: Arno Atoll, Marshall Islands

nauru: Nauru; Type locality: Nauru Island.  
TypesHolotype: USNM 132131
HOLOTYPE: AMS R109771 [nauru] 
DiagnosisDESCRIPTION. SVL 73.0-85.3 mm for 10 males and 73.9-82.6 mm for six females; snout moderately tapered, bluntly pointed, its length 36-40% of HL and 56-64% of HB; HB 58-64% HL and 13-15% of SVL; eye 58-68% of snout length and 36-43% of HB; rostral forming a somewhat rounded suture with frontonasal; supranasals triangular, in contact with anterior loreal; prefrontals not in contact; interparietal longer than broad, one pair of nuchals; anterior loreal longer than high, shorter than to nearly as long as posterior; seven or eight upper labials, sixth (rarely fifth) enlarged and below eye; usually seven or eight lower labials; dorsal scales smooth; midbody scale rows 3 6 4 0 (x̅ = 38.739; SD = 1.214; n = 23); dorsal rows 66-75 (x̅ = 70.8; SD = 2.536; n = 20); length of extended hindlimb 90-104% of axilla-groin distance and 43-50% of SVL; round lamellae under fourth toe 3542 (x̅ = 38.714; SD = 0.90; n = 21); under first toe 12-14. (Brown 1991)

COLOR (in life). Uniformly glossy black on dorsal and lateral surfaces; only slightly lighter on the ventral surface. (Microscopic examination shows the ligher shade to be due to a few scattered light flecks and the narrow lighter areas edging the ventral scales posteriorly.) (Brown 1991)

COLOR (in preservative). Color of dorsum fades to slate. (Brown 1991)

COMPARISONS. Emoia arnoensis and E. boettgeri have sometimes been confused, but they differ in color, number of fourth toe lamellae, length of limbs, and number of dorsal scale rows (means differ significantly, t = 5.225; df = 43; P < 0.001). They apparently compete to such an extent on small islands in some of the Marshall atolls that they cannot coexist on the same island (Brown and Marshall 1953), but on large islands with more varied habitats, such as Kusaie in the Carolines, both species occur. Emoia arnoensis has been confused with E. nigra of the samoensis group because of a superficial resemblance in color. Actually they differ subtly in color (more black-brown dorsally and a lighter venter for E. nigra),and in size at maturity (Tables 1 and 7). (Brown 1991) 
CommentDistribution: see map in Richmond et al. 2021: Fig. 2. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Adler,G.H.; Austin,C.C. & Dudley,R. 1995. Dispersal and speciation of skinks among archipelagos in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Evolutionary Ecology 9: 529-541 - get paper here
  • Brown W C 1991. Lizards of the genus Emoia (Scincidae) with observations on their evolution and biogeography. MEMOIRS OF THE CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES (No. 15) 1991: i-vi, 1-94 - get paper here
  • Brown, Walter C. & Marshall, Joe T. 1953. New scincoid lizards from the Marshall Islands, with notes on their distribution. Copeia 1953 (4): 201-207 - get paper here
  • Buden, D.W. 2008. The reptiles of Nauru. Pacific Science 62 (4):499 – 507 - get paper here
  • Buden, Donald W. & Danko Taboroši 2016. Reptiles of the Federated States of Micronesia. Island Research and Education Initiative, 311 pp. - get paper here
  • Greer, A.E. 1974. The generic relationships of the scincid lizard genus Leiolopisma and its relatives. Australian Journal of Zoology 31: 1-67. - get paper here
  • Richmond, J. Q., Wostl, E., Reed, R. N., & Fisher, R. N. 2021. Range eclipse leads to tenuous survival of a rare lizard species on a barrier atoll. Oryx, 1-10 - get paper here
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