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Higher TaxaScincidae, Ristellinae (Ristellini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesSinhala: Merrillgé lak-hikanala
Tamil: Merrillavin arené
E: Merrill‟s Lanka-skink 
DistributionSri Lanka

Type locality: Enasalwatte Estate, Sinharaja Division (Army Camp Forest), Rakwana Hills, Matara District, Southern Province, Sri Lanka (06°23' N, 080°36' E, alt. 1,040 m elevation.  
TypesHolotype. NMSL 2011.01.01, Adult male, SVL 34.9 mm, collected by D.R. Vidanapathirana, N. Ranwella, and L.J.M. Wickramasinghe, on 25 November 2007.
Paratypes (n=3). Adult females, NMSL 2011.01.02, SVL 33.7 mm and DWC 2011.05.02, SVL 34.0 mm; adult male, DWC 2011.05.01, SVL 32.8 mm; same locality as holotype; collected by D.R. Vidanapathirana and L.J.M. Wickramasinghe, on 28 December 2007. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Lankascincus merrill sp. nov. is distinguished from its congeners by possessing the following combination of characters: maximum SVL 32.8–34.9 mm; prefrontals in contact; seven supralabials, the last one split; 24 mid-body scale rows; 46–48 paravertebrals; 50– 51 ventrals; 8–10 and 13–16 lamellae on fourth finger and fourth toe, respectively; and a conspicuous dark-brown band from snout to mid-tail, gradually fading posteriad (Wickramasinghe et al. 2020). 
CommentDistribution: for a map see Kanishka et al. 2020: 117 (Fig. 8). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a noun in apposition, honoring Mr. Merrill J. Fernando, founder of Dilmah and Dilmah Conservation, for his support of biodiversity conservation in Sri Lanka. 
  • Kanishka, A.S. et al. 2020. A new species of Lankascincus Greer, 1991 (Reptilia: Scincidae) with an overview of the L. gansi group. TAPROBANICA 9 (1): 103-119 - get paper here
  • Wickramasinghe, L. J. Mendis; Dulan Ranga Vidanapathirana & Nethu Wickramasinghe 2020. A NEW SPECIES OF Lankascincus GREER, 1991 (REPTILIA: SCINCIDAE) FROM THE RAKWANA HILLS OF SRI LANKA. TAPROBANICA 9 (1): 23–30, pls. 9–11 - get paper here
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