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Emoia mokolahi ZUG, INEICH, PREGILL & HAMILTON, 2012

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common Names 
SynonymEmoia mokolahi ZUG, INEICH, PREGILL & HAMILTON 2012 
DistributionTonga Islands (Vava‘u)

Type locality: Kingdom of Tonga, Vava‘u group, Vava‘u (Island), approximately 1 km W of Neiafu (∼18° 39′ S, 173° 59′ W), south side of Mt. Talau. Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
TypesHolotype: USNM 333684, adult female, collected by George R. Zug, 10 November 1993.
Paratypes: All specimens from the King- dom of Tonga. IAM, USNM, AMNH, AMS, CAS, SDSH, FMNH 
CommentDiagnosis. Emoia mokolahi is a member of the Emoia samoensis species group and the samoensis subgroup (Zug et al. 2011). Emoia mokolahi differs from other subgroup mem- bers by a combination of traits. Emoia moko- lahi females average (mean 96 mm, range 86–105 mm SVL) larger than E. tuitarere fe- males (81 mm, 72–93 mm) (Table 2) and the E. trossula type-series females (90 mm, 87–101 mm), and smaller than Samoan E. samoensis females (97 mm, 86–109 mm) and Vanuatuan E. sanfordi females (103 mm, 97–109 mm). In female scalation, E. mokolahi averages more dorsal scales [Dorsal] (65, 62–69) than E. san- fordi (58, 56–61) and Samoan E. samoensis (63, 62 – 66); E. mokolahi has fewer 4th-finger la- mellae [4FingLm] (34, 32–36) than E. sanfordi (47, 43–51) and E. tuitarere (37, 36–40) and fewer 4th-toe lamellae [4ToeLm] than E. san- fordi (66, 57–71) and E. tuitarere (49, 47–51). 
EtymologyThe specific name derives from two Tongan words, lahi (adjective) for big and moko (noun) for lizard, hence mokolahi (following Tongan word order) refers to this taxon being the largest extant skink in the Tongan Islands. It is proposed as a noun in apposition. 
  • 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
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