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Flexiseps mandokava (RAXWORTHY & NUSSBAUM, 1993)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesMalagasy: Mandokava 
SynonymAmphiglossus mandokava RAXWORTHY & NUSSBAUM 1993: 327
Amphiglossus mandokava — GLAW & VENCES 1994: 315
Amphiglossus mandokava — SCHMITZ et al. 2005
Amphiglossus mandokava — MIRALLES et al. 2011
Flexiseps mandokava — ERENS et al. 2017 
DistributionMadagascar (Antsiranana: Montagne d’Ambre, 800-900m elevation; 12°30'S 49°10'E)

Type locality: south- western corner of the Manongarivo Special Reserve, 14°04' S, 48°18' E, 380 m altitude, Ambanja Fivondronana, Antsiranana (Diego Suarez) Province, Madagascar.  
Reproductionoviparous (phylogenetic imputation, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: UMMZ 192702, male (approaching maturity), collected 17 February 1988 by Christopher J. Raxworthy. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A medium-large Amphiglossus, 148 mm SVL with 38 longitudinal rows of scales around midbody, 103 scales between mental scale and anal scale, 44 presacral vertebrae, short limbs (forelimbs 17 mm total length, do not reach tympanum, when laid forwards), and 10 lamellae under fourth toe of hindfoot. Only three other species of Amphiglossus are known to have such a high number of scale rows (36 or greater): A. astrolabi, A. reticulatus, and A. waterloti: and all have much longer forelimbs (that reach the tympanum) and far fewer (37-38) presacral vertebrae (Brygoo, 1981a). In all of these, the nostril is positioned centrally above the first upper labial (Brygoo, 1980a,b) which places it further back and higher on the head. The nostril of A. mandokava is positioned above the suture of the rostral and the first upper labial, which is the condition of all other species of Amphiglossus. The only other species known to reach a SVL > 130mm and have > 100 ventral scales between the mental and anal scale is Amphiglossus ardouini. However Amphiglossus ardouini has far fewer (32-33) scale rows, the forelimbs are longer, and there are 15-20 lamellae under the fourth toe of the hindfoot (Brygoo, 1983). All other species of Amphiglossus have <35 scale rows, <93 scales between the mental and anal scale, and a maximum SVL of 117 mm (RAXWORTHY & NUSSBAUM 1993: 328). 
Etymology“Mandokava” is the Malagasy name for Amphiglossus mandokava, but is also used for A. waterloti and A. astrolabi by the local Tsimihety people. 
  • Crottini, Angelica; Janina Dordel, Jörn Köhler, Frank Glaw, Andreas Schmitz, Miguel Vences 2009. A multilocus phylogeny of Malagasy scincid lizards elucidates the relationships of the fossorial genera Androngo and Cryptoscincus. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 53 (1): 345-350 - get paper here
  • D’Cruze, N.; Köhler, J.; Franzen, M & Glaw, F. 2008. A conservation assessment of the amphibians and reptiles of the Forêt d’Ambre Special Reserve, north Madagascar. MADAGASCAR CONSERVATION & DEVELOPMENT 3 (1): 44-54 - get paper here
  • Erens, Jesse; Aurélien Miralles, Frank Glaw, Lars Chatrou, Miguel Vences 2016. Extended molecular phylogenetics and revised systematics of Malagasy scincine lizards. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution - get paper here
  • Glaw ,F. & Vences, M. 1994. A Fieldguide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Vences & Glaw Verlag, Köln (ISBN 3-929449-01-3)
  • MIRALLES, AURÉLIEN, ACHILLE P. RASELIMANANA, DOMOINA RAKOTOMALALA, MIGUEL VENCES & DAVID R. VIEITES 2011. A new large and colorful skink of the genus Amphiglossus from Madagascar revealed by morphology and multilocus molecular study. Zootaxa 2918: 47–67 - get paper here
  • Raxworthy C J. NUSSBAUM R A. 1993. Four new species of Amphiglossus from Madagascar (Squamata: Scincidae). Herpetologica 49 (3): 326-341. - get paper here
  • Schmitz, A.; M.C. Brandley; P. Mausfeld; M. Vences; F. Glaw; R.A. Nussbaum and T.W. Reeder 2005. Opening the black box: phylogenetics and morphological evolution of the Malagasy fossorial lizards of the subfamily “Scincinae”. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 34: 118–133 (published online 2004) - get paper here
  • Whiting, A.S.; Jack W. Sites, Jr. & Aaron M. Bauer 2004. Molecular phylogenetics of Malagasy skinks (Squamata: Scincidae). African Journal of Herpetology 53(2): 135-146 - get paper here
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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