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Emoia beryllion KRAUS, 2018

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common Names 
SynonymEmoia beryllion KRAUS 2018 
DistributionPapua New Guinea (Milne Bay Province: Rossel Island)

Type locality: Cheme, 11.32168° S, 154.24388° E, elevation 5 m above sea level (a.s.l.), Rossel Island, Louisiade Islands, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea  
TypesHolotype: BPBM 19993 (field tag FK 10091), collected by F. Kraus, 4 May 2004. Paratypes (n = 7). Papua New Guinea: Milne Bay Province: Rossel Island: same locality as holotype (BPBM 19994, 19997); NE slope Mt. Rossel, 11.33128S, 154.22588E, 155 m a.s.l. (BPBM 19995–19996); Damunu, 11.35128S, 154.01198E (BPBM 19992); Jinjo, 11.31638S, 154.23168E (AMNH 76740); unspecified locality (BMNH 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A moderately sized species of Emoia, adult SVL 50–58 mm. with a relatively long (SnL/SVL = 0.070–0.082, x ̄ = 0.077), narrow (SnW/SnL = 0.90–1.05, x ̄ = 0.98), and shallow (SnH/SnL = 0.41–0.48, x ̄ = 0.45) snout; 15–19 dorsal scales and 71–83 lamellae on the fourth toe; 26–28 mid-body scale rows; 45– 54 paravertebral scales; dorsum with emerald-green vertebral and dorsolateral stripes in life, the scales in these stripes margined in black; black paravertebral stripes having offset margins, giving them a serrated or zigzag appearance; black lateral stripe wide (2.5–4, x ̄ = 3.1 scales in width); black stripe between eye and forearm wide and with sharply demarcated margin below; venter greenish yellow in life; and iris blue green in life.
Emoia beryllion is a member of the E. cyanogaster group (Brown, 1991), which can be distinguished from all other species groups in Emoia by having the unique combination of a high count of thinned lamellae under the digits and an elongated anterior loreal. The highly contrasting green-and-black-striped dorsal pattern of E. beryllion (Figs. 1A, 2A) is unique within the genus, and so serves to distinguish the new species from all other members of the E. cyanogaster group (Fig. 2B–F) as well. Emoia beryllion further differs from other members of the E. cyanogaster group as follows: from E. cyanogaster, E. longicauda, and E. sorex in having the interparietal fused with frontoparietals (vs. distinct in the other species); from E. sorex in its greater number of T4 lamellae (71–83 vs. 41–48 in E. sorex) and lesser number of mid-body scale rows (26–28 vs. 28–36 in E. sorex); and from E. cyanogaster and E. longicauda in its smaller size (SVL = 50–58 mm vs. 62–92 mm in E. cyanogaster and 65–100 mm in E. longicauda).
The striped dorsal pattern makes E. beryllion superficially most similar to E. tetrataenia, and it was included in that species by Brown (1991). Hence, a more detailed comparison between these two species is warranted. Emoia beryllion differs from E. tetrataenia in its longer, shallower, and narrower snout (SnL/ SVL = 0.070–0.082, x ̄ = 0.077 vs. 0.065–0.078, x ̄ = 0.072 in E. tetrataenia; SnH/SnL = 0.41–0.48, x ̄ = 0.45 vs. 0.42–0.55, x ̄ = 0.49 in E. tetrataenia; SnW/SnL = 0.90–1.05, x ̄ = 0.98 vs. 0.98–1.11, x ̄ = 1.03 in E. tetrataenia); dorsum with emerald-green ground color in life (vs. tan in E. tetrataenia, Fig. 2B), the scales of which are edged in black (vs. without black edges in E. tetrataenia, Fig. 2B); black paravertebral stripes with offset margins, giving a serrated appearance (vs. with brown stripes having largely smoothly continuous margins in E. tetrataenia, Fig. 2B); dark dorsolateral stripe black and wide (2.5–4, x ̄ = 3.1 scales in width vs. brown and 0.5–2, x ̄ = 1.1 scales in width in E. tetrataenia); stripe between eye and forearm black, wide, and sharply demarcated below (vs. stripe brown, narrow, often discontinuous, and fading into ventrolateral field in E. tetrataenia, Fig. 2B); venter yellower in life (vs. greener in E. tetrataenia); and iris blue green in life (vs. tan in E. tetrataenia, Fig. 2B). 
CommentHabitat: All animals were found in open areas in gardens and villages; one animal perched on trunk of a shrub <1 m above ground. The species is presumably arboreal or semiarboreal, not the least because all other Papuan members of this species group are. 
EtymologyThe name is a diminutive Greek noun in apposition meaning ‘‘little beryl’’ and is in reference to the distinctive green coloration of this lovely species. 
  • 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
  • Kraus, Fred 2018. A New Species of Emoia (Squamata: Scincidae) from Papua New Guinea. Journal of Herpetology 52 (4): 431-437 - get paper here
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