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Eremiascincus phantasmus MECKE, DOUGHTY & DONNELLAN, 2013

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common NamesE: Ghost Skink
G: Südlicher Streifenskink, Gespenstskink 
SynonymEremiascincus phantasmus MECKE, DOUGHTY & DONNELLAN 2013
Sphenomorphus fasciolatus — STORR 1974: 69 (part.)
Eremiascincus fasciolatus — GREER 1979: 325 (part.)
Eremiascincus fasciolatus — COGGER 2000: 477 (part.) 
DistributionAustralia (NE South Australia, S Northern Territory, SW Queensland, W New South Wales)

Type locality: 5.5 km SE of Red Lake Yard, E side of Lake Hope Channel, SA (28°15'29''S, 139°12'29'' E.  
Reproductionoviparous (Mecke et al. 2016) 
TypesHolotype: SAMA R49358 (field number C97047) (Fig. 13), male; leg. M. Hutchinson. Paratypes (22 specimens): SAMA R49896 (F)—43.7 km east of Purni Bore, on the Rig Road, SA, 26°19'17''S, 136°31'53''E; R50047 (unsexed juvenile)—66.8 km E Purni Bore, Big RD, SA, 26°19'17''S, 136°31'53''E; R50888 (F)—29.1 km NNW Murda Hill, Simpson Desert Regional Reserve, SA, 26°42'09''S, 138°15'44''E; R51482 (M)—25.1 km NW Atna Hill, Simpson Desert CP, SA, 26°16'29''S, 137°19'37''E; R51436 (M)—1.1 km SSE Approdinna Attora Knolls, SA, 26°04'50''S, 137°36'43''E; R54137 (M)—37.1 km WNW of Muloorina Homestead, SA, 29°09'45''S, 137°32'01''E; R54255 (unsexed juvenile)—15.3 km WNW Kannakaninna Waterhole, Kalamurina, SA, 27°53'09''S, 137°49'13''E; R55437 (F)—17 km NW Karrathunka Waterhole, SA, 26°06'07''S, 139°08'45''E; R55447 (M)—12.4 km NW Karrathunka Waterhole, SA, 26°08'27''S, 139°09'54''E; R55507 (M)—30.2 km ESE Mulka Hill, SA, 28°26'51''S, 138°52'06''E; AMS R113164 (M)—25 km N of Poeppel Corner, Simpson Desert, NT, 25°46' S, 138°00'E; R155329 (M)—Sturt National Park, 1.8 km W (by road) along Whitecatch Gate Road, NSW, 29°06'51''S, 141°10'54''E; QM J41600 (F), J41602 (F)—Durrie Station, Glennie Well, QLD, 25°55'48''S, 139°55'49''E; J44070 (F)—Simpson Desert, QLD, 25°40'48''S, 138°31'48''E; 48473 (M)— Chookoo, 30 km WSW Jackson, QLD, 27°34'48''S, 141°54'00''E; J75056–57 (M), J75060 (M), J75067 (unsexed juvenile)—2 km W of Birdsville (behind Airstrip), QLD, 24°53'60''S, 139°18'00''E. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A medium to large-sized (snout-vent length up to 92.5 mm), slender narrow-banded Eremiascincus having 8–9 undivided supralabials (usually 8); 2 infralabials usually in broad contact with the postmental scale; 20–30 subdigital lamellae, at least basally in two rows and at least basally keeled; plantar scales 12–18, smooth; 28–33 scale rows at mid-body; head small, snout depressed, and ear opening small and circular; dorsum with keels posteriorly and tail often with strong ridges; coloration pattern usually comprises 29–39 perfectly transverse narrow, often very pale bands on the tail (type a, b); body without bands or with indication of light narrow bands (type a, b) dorsally or more frequently on sides of body, usually pale, without any indication of banding visible. 
CommentMorphology: digits: 5, toes: 5 (Singhal et al. 2018, Cogger 2014) 
EtymologyThe specific name ‘phantasmus’ is Latin for ‘ghost’ and used as a noun in apposition. It is the Latin translation for a vernacular name Worrell proposed in 1963. 
  • Couper, P., Covacevich, J., Amey, A. & Baker, A. 2006. The genera of skinks (Family Scincidae) of Australia and its island territories: diversity, distribution and identification. in: Merrick, J.R., Archer, M., Hickey, G.M. & Lee, M.S.Y. (eds.). Evolution and Zoogeography of Australasian Vertebrates. Australian Scientific Publishing, Sydney, pp. 367-384
  • Mecke, S., M. Kieckbusch, T. Graf, L. A. Beck, M. O’Shea & H. Kaiser 2016. First captive breeding of a night skink (Scincidae: Eremiascincus) from Timor-Leste, Lesser Sunda Islands, with remarks on the reproductive biology of the genus. Salamandra 52 (2): 178-188 - get paper here
  • Mecke, S; Dougherty, P. & Donnellan, S.C. 2009. A new species of Eremiascincus (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) from the Great Sandy Desert and Pilbara Coast, Western Australia and reassignment of eight species from Glaphyromorphus to Eremiascincus. Zootaxa 2246: 1-20 - get paper here
  • Singhal, Sonal; Huateng Huang, Maggie R. Grundler, María R. Marchán-Rivadeneira, Iris Holmes, Pascal O. Title, Stephen C. Donnellan, and Daniel L. Rabosky 2018. Does Population Structure Predict the Rate of Speciation? A Comparative Test across Australia’s Most Diverse Vertebrate Radiation The American Naturalist - get paper here
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