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Kanakysaurus viviparus SADLIER & BAUER, SMITH & WHITAKER, 2004

IUCN Red List - Kanakysaurus viviparus - Endangered, EN

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common Names 
SynonymKanakysaurus viviparus SADLIER & BAUER, SMITH & WHITAKER 2004
Kanakysaurus viviparous [sic] — BAUER & JACKMAN 2006 
DistributionNew Caledonia (Rivière Néhoué and Doˆme de Tiébaghi just north of Koumac, and Île Art and Île Pott, in the Îles Belep)

Type locality: New Caledonia, Province Nord, Rivière Néhoué, 20°25’16’’S, 164°13’10’’E Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
TypesHolotype: MNHN 2003 
CommentType Species: Kanakysaurus viviparus SADLIER et al. 2004 is the type species of the genus Kanakysaurus viviparus SADLIER & BAUER, SMITH & WHITAKER 2004.

Modified diagnosis for the genus: supranasal scale or postnasal suture absent; subocular scale row complete; primary temporal scales usually two; lower secondary temporal scales usually two; parietal scales either failing to contact behind the interparietal ( K. viviparus) or usually in narrow contact (K. zebratus); lower eyelid with an obvious centrally located, semitransparent disk; ear lobules barely distinguishable from blunt conical scales around upper, lower, and posterior edges of ear opening; first and second pair of chinshields transversely enlarged, with the first pair in broad contact, members of the third pair divided such that five scales separate those members bordering the labials. Both species also share a live-bearing mode of reproduction [SADLIER et al. 2009].

Original diagnosis (genus and species): Kanakysaurus can be distinguished from all other genera in the Eugongylus group of Greer (1979) by the following combination of derived character states: supranasal scale or postnasal suture absent; subocular scale row complete; primary temporals two; lower secondary temporals usually two; parietals separated from contacting medially by interparietal scale; lower eyelid with an obvious, centrally located semitransparent disc; ear lobules barely distinguishable from blunt conical scales around upper, lower, and posterior edges of ear opening; live-bearing mode of reproduction. Kanakysaurus may be distinguished from all other New Caledonian lygosomine skink genera by the medial separation of the parietals by the interparietal. The presence of a complete subocular row of scales and divided frontoparietal scales will further distinguish Kanakysaurus from Phoboscincus, Geoscincus, Lacertoides, Tropidoscincus, Emoia, Simiscincus, Caledoniscincus, Cryptoblepharus, Sigaloseps (variable in Sigaloseps deplanchei), Graciliscincus, most Lioscincus, and most Nannoscincus. All Nannoscincus, including those with divided frontoparietals, have the subocular labial scales contacting the lower eyelid, and this along with their diminutive size and highly elongate bodies will distinguish them from Kanakysaurus. Similarly the only Lioscincus with divided frotoparietals (L. greeri and L. nigrofasciolatum) have the subocular labial scales contacting the lower eyelid. Only Marmorosphax, ''Lygosoma'' euryotis, and an undescribed Lioscincus from Mt. Kope´to have a row of scales below the eye that separate the lower eyelid from contacting the adjacent upper labial scales. The species of Marmorosphax are superficially most similar to Kanakysaurus, being similar in size, coloration, and overall body shape. These species are readily distinguished from Kanakysaurus by the condition of the frontoparietal scales (fused) and the parietal scales (meeting medially). The species of Marmorosphax are also characterized by the shape of the anterior loreal scale which is reduced to a semilunar scale failing to contact the labials. This scale is larger and contacts the upper labials in Kanakysaurus. 
EtymologyThe generic name is masculine and is derived from the name of New Caledonia in the indigenous Melanesian languages, ''Kanaky'' and the Latinized version of the Greek word sauros, meaning lizard.
The specific epithet is the Latin adjective viviparus meaning live-bearing, in reference to the reproductive mode of this species. 
  • Bauer, A.M. & Jackman, T. 2006. Phylogeny and microendemism of the New Caledonian lizard fauna. Herpetologica Bonnensis II: 9-13 - get paper here
  • Sadlier, R.A.; Smith, S.A.; Whitaker, A. & Bauer, A.M. 2009. A New Live-Bearing Species of Scincid Lizard ( Reptilia: Scincidae) from New Caledonia, Southwest Pacific. Pacific Science 63 (1):123 – 136 [2008]
  • SADLIER, ROSS A.;SARAH A. SMITH; AARON M. BAUER AND ANTHONY H. WHITAKER 2004. A New Genus and Species of Live-Bearing Scincid Lizard (Reptilia: Scincidae) from New Caledonia. Journal of Herpetology 38 (3): 320-330 - get paper here
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