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Emoia tuitarere ZUG, HAMILTON & AUSTIN, 2011

IUCN Red List - Emoia tuitarere - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymEmoia tuitarere ZUG, HAMILTON & AUSTIN 2011 
DistributionCook Islands (Rarotonga)

Type locality: Cook Islands, Rarotonga, ca. 7 km. [by road] WSW of Avarua [estim. 21°12’30”S 159°46’32”W].  
TypesHolotype: USNM 533712, adult male, collected by George R. Zug and Patricia B. Zug, 19 March 1999. Paratypes: AIM, SDNHM, USNM 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Emoia tuitarere is a member of the Emoia samoensis species group and differs from other group members by a combination of traits. E. tuitarere averages (mean 82 mm, range 72–93 mm SVL) smaller than the E. trossula type-series (90 mm, 87–101 mm; Table 2), E. ‘trossula’ Tonga (94 mm, 82–101 mm), E. samoensis (98 mm, 92–109 mm), E. sanfordi (103 mm, 97–109 mm), E. erronan (85 mm, 69–101 mm), and E. nigra (~100 mm, 85–114 mm), and larger than E. concolor (~72 mm, 57–86 mm), E. flavigularis (67 mm, 59–73 mm), E. loyaltien- sis (~68 mm, 66–68 mm), E. mokosariniveikau (~55 mm), E. nigromarginata (63 mm, 55–68 mm), E. parkeri (47 mm, 40–52 mm), and E. tongana (62 mm, 56–75 mm). E. tuitarere has fewer dorsal scales [Dorsal] (65, 62–69) than E. aneityumensis (78, 74–80) and E. ‘trossula’ Rotuma (71, 65–77), and more than E. nigromarginata (58, 57–61), E. parkeri (56, 52–60), and E. sanfordi (58, 56–61). E. tuitarere has fewer 4th toe lamellae [4ToeLm] (49, 47–51) than E. sanfordi (66, 67–71) and more 4ToeLm than E. aneityumensis (35, 33–38), E. nigromarginata (37, 35–42), and E. parkeri (35, 33–40) [from ZUG et al. 2011]. 
CommentAbundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyThe specific name derives from the Cook Island Maori tuitarere for wanderer, pilgrim, stranger, alien, and is proposed in reference to the putative recent arrival of this species on Rarotonga. It is proposed as a noun in apposition. 
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - 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, G.R. 2013. Reptiles and Amphibians of the Pacific Islands. University of California Press, Berkeley, 306 pp. - 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
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