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Eumeces blythianus (ANDERSON, 1871)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymMabouia blythiana ANDERSON 1871: 186
Eumeces blythianus — BOULENGER 1887: 385
Eumeces blythianus — SMITH 1935: 340
Eumeces blythianus — TAYLOR 1936: 143
Eumeces schneideri blythianus — DAREVSKY 1981: 360
Novoeumeces blythianus — GRIFFITH, NGO & MURPHY 2000
Eumeces blythianus — KHAN 2002 (pes. comm.)
Eumeces schneideri blythianus — SCHMITZ et al. 2004 
DistributionIndia (Punjab), Pakistan, Afghanistan

Type locality: unknown (”purchased from a Bokhara merchant who stated that he obtained it at Amritzur”, fide Anderson 1871)  
TypesHolotype: ZSI 2384 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: “A member of the Schneiderü group, the dorsal region olive-brown, with three brown stripes. A well-defined dark brown stripe on the side, bordered below by a clearly defined, broad, yellowish line; limbs well-developed, overlapping when adpressed. One postmental; no postnasal; prefrontals in contact; 30 scale rows about the middle of the body; the two median dorsal rows greatly widened; frontoparietals forming a broad suture; interparietal large, not inclosed by the parietals; about 60 scales from parietals to above vent. (Character of anals unknown but presumably as in other members of the Schneider group, with median overlapping outer.)” (Taylor 1936)

Description: “(drawn from type description and data on a specimen in the British Museum of Natural History [No. 98, 7, 12, 1]). Rostral triangular, hexagonal, separated from the frontonasal by supranasals, which form a broad suture; frontonasal wider than long, separated from the loreal (touches loreal in type) ; prefrontals large, hexagonal, forming a broad median suture, and sutures with the frontal, first supraocular, first superciliary, both loreals and the supranasal; frontal large, much wider anteriorly than posteriorly, the anterior margin forming an obtuse angle; frontoparietals moderate, forming a strong median suture interparietal large, broad, very sharply truncate behind (wedge-shaped in type) ; parietals large, widely separated behind interparietal, the right segmented, forming an extra scale between parietal and upper secondary temporal; three pairs of nuchals, the anterior pair largest. Nasal divided, the anterior part triangular, posterior part subquadrangular; anterior loreal much higher than wide, higher than posterior, touching second and third labials; posterior loreal higher than long; two presuboculars, anterior largest seven or eight superciliaries, the anterior and posterior largest; primary temporal large; lower secondary temporal triangular, broadly in contact with primary; upper secondary relatively small; tertiary small, separated from nuchal and upper secondary temporal by a small scalc, and followed posteriorly by a rather large scale; eight upper labials, five anterior to the subocular, the first and fifth smallest, eighth largest, distinctly larger than seventh, separated from the auricular opening by numerous scales, its distance from car greater than its length. Six or seven lower labials; an undivided postmental, followed by three pairs of chinshields, the anterior pair in contact; postgenials rather short Thirty scale rows about body (in type), the two median much widened transversely, those following the nuchals likewise very wide and much wider than the adjoining second row; 59 or 60 scales in a row from parietals to above anus; two enlarged preanals, with smaller lateral scales; tail rounded, slightly laterally compressed, one and two thirds times as long as the body; a row of enlarged subcaudals. Ear large, surrounded by 21 scales; four well-developed auricular lobules; limbs well-developed; terminal lamellae not tightly bound about claws.” (Taylor 1936)

Color. "Olive-brown above; three dark brown longitudinal lines along the back, from the nape to the base of the tail. A broader dark-brown band from the eye over tympanum, along the side. A broad pale-yellowish band below it from below the eye, through one half of the tympanum along the sides to the groin. A palish dusky band from the angle of the mouth, over the shoulder, and along the side below the yellowish band. Upper surface and sides of tail pale, uniform brownish-olive. All the under parts yellowish."

Variation. With the extremely small number of specimens, little can be known about the amount of variation. Blanford (1872), speaking of a series of specimens which he identified as Eumeces pavimentatus Geoff., states: "T find 26 scales round the middle of the body in all specimens except one, which is from Pishin in Baluchistan, and has 28. this showing a tendency to a passage into the very closely allied Mabouia Blythiana Anderson." It appears that his opinion is based on the key characters of scale rows. I doubt greatly that the species are in reality more closely related than schneideri and algeriensis. Finn (1898) mentions "red spots" on his specimens.” (Taylor 1936) 
EtymologyNamed after Edward Blyth (1810-1873), Curator of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. 
  • Anderson, J. 1871. On two Saurian genera Eurylepis and Plocederma Blyth, with a description of a new species of Mabouia Fitzinger. Proc. Asiat. Soc. Bengal 1871: 180-190 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1887. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) III. Lacertidae, Gerrhosauridae, Scincidae, Anelytropsidae, Dibamidae, Chamaeleontidae. London: 575 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, George A. 1890. The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. Taylor & Francis, London, xviii, 541 pp. - get paper here
  • FAIZI, HIVA; NASRULLAH RASTEGAR-POUYANI, ESKANDAR RASTEGAR-POUYANI, ROMAN NAZAROV, NASTARAN HEIDARI, BAHMAN ZANGI, VALENTINA ORLOVA, NIKOLAI POYARKOV 2017. A new species of Eumeces Wiegmann 1834 (Sauria: Scincidae) from Iran. Zootaxa 4320 (2): 289–304 - get paper here
  • Finn, F. 1898. Notes on a specimen of the rare scincoid lizard Eumeces blythianus (Anderson) from the Afridi country, with exhibition of the type-specimens. Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal:189. - get paper here
  • Griffith, H., A. Ngo & R. W. Murphy 2000. A cladistic evaluation of the cosmopolitan genus Eumeces Wiegmann (Reptilia, Squamata, Scincidae). Russ. J. Herpetol. 7 (1): 1-16 - get paper here
  • Khan, M.S. 2003. CHECKLIST AND KEY TO THE LIZARDS OF PAKISTAN. Pakistan J. Zool. Suppl. Ser. (1): 1-25 - get paper here
  • Khan, Muhammad S; Khan, Muhammad R Z 1997. A new skink from the Thal Desert of Pakistan. Asiatic Herpetological Research 7: 61-67 - get paper here
  • Lambert, Helen; Gemma Carder and Neil D’Cruze 2019. Given the Cold Shoulder: A Review of the Scientific Literature for Evidence of Reptile Sentience. Animals 9: 821; doi:10.3390/ani9100821 - get paper here
  • Masroor, R. 2009. Description of a new species of Eumeces (Sauria: Scincidae) from Pakistan. Zootaxa 2161: 33–46 - get paper here
  • Schmitz, Andreas; Patrick Mausfeld and Dirk Embert 2004. Molecular studies on the genus Eumeces Wiegmann, 1834: phylogenetic relationships and taxonomic implications. Hamadryad 28 (1-2): 73 – 89 - get paper here
  • Smith, M.A. 1935. The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Reptiles and Amphibia, Vol. II. Sauria. Taylor and Francis, London, 440 pp.
  • Taylor, E. H. 1936. A taxonomic study of the cosmopolitan lizards of the genus Eumeces with an account of the distribution and relationship of its species. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 23 (14): 1-643 [1935] - get paper here
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