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Emoia impar (WERNER, 1898)

IUCN Red List - Emoia impar - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Dark-Bellied Copper-Striped Skink, Azure-tailed Skink 
SynonymLygosoma (Emoa) impar WERNER 1898: 553
Lygosoma cyanurum var. schauinslandi WERNER 1901
Mabuya deserticola DUNN 1936
Emoia impar — GREER 1974: 20
Emoia impar — ADLER, AUSTIN & DUDLEY 1995
Emoia impar — ZUG 2012 
DistributionCommon and widely distributed in the Pacific from the Bismarcks through the Solomons and Vanuatu eastward to and including Polynesia; Micronesia (e.g. Mortlock Islands, Chuuk), Toga, Loh Islands; Cook Islands (Roratonga),
Fiji Islands (incl. Rotuma), Western Samoa, Tonga,
Guam (one specimen only, G. Rodda, pers. comm., 13 March 2016), Palau

USA (introduced to Hawaii fide McKeown)

Type locality: “Neu Britannia” [Bismark Archipelago, Papua New Guinea]; neotype locality designated by Ineich and Zug, 1991): Mioko Island, Bismarck Archipelago, Papua New Guinea.  
TypesSyntypes: ZISP 9144, ZMB 14661, 14662; Neotype: NMW 9965:1 (m.), invalidly designated by Ineich & Zug 1991. The discovery of a portion of the original type series by Bauer et al. (2003) invalidates the neotype designation.
Holotype: USNM 13826 [Mabuya deserticola] 
CommentAbsent from Rotuma Island and mainland New Guinea. McKeown (1996) blieves that Emoia impar was present on Hawaii before the arrival of Europeans.

Conservation: extinct on Hawaii (Fisher & Ineich 2012).

Similar species: Ineich 2011 considers only two distinct morphotypes from Vanuatu from what was previously called E. cyanura, the brown tailed morph that he (provisionally) calls E. cyanura and the blue tailed morph that he (provisionally) calls E. impar. Both E. impar and E. caeruleocauda have shiny blue tails. E. impar does not display the middorsal fusion of dorsolateral dark stripes into a y shape on the middle of tail base seen in E. caeruleocauda (see Fig. 252 in Ineich 2011).

Synonymy: partly after Ineich & Zug 1991. 
  • 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
  • BARABANOV, ANDREI & KONSTANTIN MILTO 2017. An annotated type catalogue of the anguid, dibamid, scincid and varanid lizards in the Department of Herpetology, Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia (Reptilia: Sauria: Anguidae, Dibamidae, Scincidae and Varanida Zootaxa 4244 (1): 065–078 - get paper here
  • Bruna, Emilio M.; Fisher, Robert N.; Case, Ted J. 1996. New evidence of habitat segregation between two cryptic species of Pacific skinks (Emoia cyanura and E. impar). Copeia 1996 (4): 998-1005 - get paper here
  • Bruna, Emilio M.; Fisher, Robert N.;Case, Ted J. 1996. Morphological and genetic evolution appear decoupled in Pacific skinks (Squamata: Scincidae: Emoia). Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 263: 681-688 - get paper here
  • Buden, Donald W. 2007. Reptiles of Satawan Atoll and the Mortlock Islands, Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia. Pacific Science 61 (3): 407-414 - get paper here
  • Buden, Donald W. 2015. Reptiles of Lukunor Atoll, Mortlock Islands, Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia. Pacific Science 69 (1):117–124 doi:10.2984/69.1.9 - 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
  • Buden, Donald W.; Danko Taboroši, Maria Kottermair, Andrea Jalandoni & Matthew Martin 2020. Reptiles of the Northern Marshall Islands. Pacific Science 74 (2): 189-209 - get paper here
  • Crombie, Ronald I. and Gregory K. Pregill 1999. A Checklist of the Herpetofauna of the Palau Islands (Republic of Belau), Oceania. Herpetological Monographs 13: 29-80 - get paper here
  • Fisher, R. & Ineich, I. 2012. Cryptic extinction of a common Pacific lizard Emoia impar (Squamata, Scincidae) from the Hawaiian Islands. Oryx 46 (2): 187-195 - get paper here
  • Gemel, R.; G. Gassner & S. Schweiger 2019. Katalog der Typen der Herpetologischen Sammlung des Naturhistorischen Museums Wien – 2018. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 121: 33–248
  • Gill B J. 1993. The Land Reptiles of Western Samoa. Journal of the Royal Society Of New Zealand 23 (2): 79-89. - 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
  • Guillaume, Claude-P.;Ineich, Ivan;Boissinot, Stéphane 1994. Allozyme evidence for specific status of the two French Polynesian skink species in the genus Emoia (Reptilia: Lacertilia). Copeia 1994 (4): 1042-1047 - get paper here
  • Ineich I. ZUG G R. 1991. Nomenclatural status of Emoia cyanura (Lacertilia scincidae) populations in the central pacific. Copeia 1991 (4): 1132-1136 - get paper here
  • Ineich, I. 2009. The terrestrial herpetofauna of Torres and Banks Groups (northern Vanuatu), with report of a new species for Vanuatu. Zootaxa 2198: 1-15 - get paper here
  • Ineich, I. 2011. Amphibians and reptiles. In: Bouchet P., Le Guyader H. & PascaL O. (eds), The Natural History of Santo. pp. 187-236. MNhN, Paris; Ird, Marseille; PNI, Paris. 572 pp. (Patrimoines naturels; 70). - get paper here
  • Ineich, I. 2016. Reptiles terrestres et marins des îles Marquises:des espèces communes mais des populations isolées. In:Biodiversité Terrestre et Marine des Îles Marquises, PolynésieFrançaise; Galzin, R., Duron, S.-D., Meyer, J.-Y.,Eds. Paris, France, Société Française d’Ichtyologie, pp. 365–390. - get paper here
  • Kaiser, Hinrich; Kaitlin J Rickerl, Melinda M Hull, Morgan M Lewis, Mitzia J Zambada 2020. Herpetological Update from Arno Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands. Herpetology Notes 13: 699-712 - get paper here
  • Klein, E. R., Harris, R. B., Fisher, R. N. and Reeder, T. W. 2016. Biogeographical history and coalescent species delimitation of Pacific island skinks (Squamata: Scincidae: Emoia cyanura species group). Journal of Biogeography.doi: 10.1111/jbi.12772 - get paper here
  • MAUTZ, WILLIAM J. 2021. The Azure-tailed Skink, Emoia impar, Remains Extant on Hawai‘i Island, USA. Herpetological Review 52 (4): xx–xx. - get paper here
  • McCoy, M. 2006. Reptiles of the Solomon Islands. Pensoft Series Faunistica 57, 212 pp.
  • McCoy, M. 2015. A Field Guide to the Reptiles of the Solomon Islands. Michael McCoy, Kuranda - get paper here
  • Mckeown, Sean 1996. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians in the Hawaiian Islands. Diamond Head Publishing, Inc., Los Osos, CA,
  • Morley, Craig G.; and Linton Winder 2015. Vulnerability of Skinks to Predation by Introduced Mongoose in the Fiji Islands. Pacific Science 69(3):313-317 - get paper here
  • Morrison, C. 2003. A Field Guide to the Herpetofauna of Fiji. Suva, Fiji: Institute of Applied Sciences, University of the South Pacific, 121 pp.
  • Schwaner T D. Ineich I. 1998. Emoia cyanura and E. impar (Lacertilia, Scincidae) are partially syntopic in American Samoa. Copeia 1998 (1): 247-249 - get paper here
  • Werner,F. 1898. Vorläufige Mitteilung über die von Herrn Prof. F. Dahl im Bismarck-Archipel gesammelten Reptilien und Batrachier. Zool. Anz. 21 : 552-556 - get paper here
  • Zug, G. R., I. Ineich, G. Pregill, and A. M. Hamilton. 2012. Lizards of Tonga and a description of a new Tongan treeskink (Squamata: Scincidae: Emoia samoensis Group). Pacific Science 66(2):225-237 - get paper here
  • Zug, G.R. 2012. A new species of treeskink (Squamata: Scincidae: Emoia samoensis species group) from Rotuma, south-central Pacific. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 125(1):74-84 - get paper here
  • ZUG, GEORGE R.; ALISON M. HAMILTON & CHRISTOPHER C. AUSTIN 2011. A new Emoia samoensis group lizard (Squamata: Scincidae) from the Cook Islands, South-central Pacific. Zootaxa 2765: 47–57 - get paper here
  • Zug,G. R. 1991. The lizards of Fiji: Natural history and systematics. Bishop Mus. Bull. Zool. 2: 1-136
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