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Flexiseps stylus (ANDREONE & GREER, 2002)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymAmphiglossus stylus ANDREONE & GREER 2002: 151
Amphiglossus stylus — SCHMITZ et al. 2005
Flexiseps stylus — ERENS et al. 2017
Amphiglossus stylus — LINDKEN et al. 2024 
DistributionNE Madagascar

Type locality: collected at Masoala Peninsula, Campsite 5 (Menamalona),
Antalaha Fivondronana, Antsiranana Faritany (Diégo Suarez Province), 15°22.87'S, 49°59.27'E, elevation 780 m.  
TypesHolotype: MRSN R1732 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Differs from all other Amphiglossus, and indeed all other non-lygosomine skinks, in having the front and rear limbs reduced to a minute, clawless nub and style, respectively. It is also the only skink to have in combination: the absence an external ear opening and both the front and rear limbs reduced to small clawless stubs (Andreone et al. 2002). 
CommentFlexiseps stylus has been “tentatively” assigned to Flexiseps by Erens et al. 2017

Abundance: only known from the type locality (Meiri et al. 2017). This is one of the species called 'lost' and 'rediscovered' by Lindken et al. 2024. 
EtymologyNamed after the Greek word for `column' or `pillar' (stylis) and calls attention to the species minute, clawless limbs. 
  • Andreone, F. & Greer, A.E. 2002. Malagasy scincid lizards: descriptions of nine new species, with notes on the morphology, reproduction and taxonomy of some previously described species (Reptilia, Squamata: Scincidae). Journal of Zoology 258, 139-181 - 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
  • Lindken T.; Anderson, C. V., Ariano-Sánchez, D., Barki, G., Biggs, C., Bowles, P., Chaitanya, R., Cronin, D. T., Jähnig, S. C., Jeschke, J. M., Kennerley, R. J., Lacher, T. E. Jr., Luedtke, J. A., Liu, C., Long, B., Mallon, D., Martin, G. M., Meiri, 2024. What factors influence the rediscovery of lost tetrapod species? Global Change Biology, 30: 1-18 - get paper here
  • 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
  • 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
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