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Lankascincus taprobanensis (KELAART, 1854)

IUCN Red List - Lankascincus taprobanensis - Near Threatened, NT

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Ristellidae), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common NamesCeylon Tree Skink 
SynonymEumeces taprobanensis KELAART 1854: 21
Eumeces (?) taprobanensis KELAART 1854: 407
Lygosoma taprobanense — BOULENGER 1887: 319
Lygosoma punctatolineatum BOULENGER 1907 (not BOULENGER 1893)
Lygosoma striatopunctatum AHL 1925: 20 (nom. subst. pro L. punctatolineatum)
Lygosoma (Sphenomorphus) taprobanensis — DERANIYAGALA 1931
Lygosoma (Sphenomorphus) punctatolineatus — DERANIYAGALA 1931: 169
Lygosoma taprobanense — SMITH 1935: 287
Lygosoma striatopunctatum — SMITH 1935: 288
Lygosoma (Sphenomorphus) taprobanense — SMITH 1937: 220
Lygosoma (Sphenomorphus) striatopunctatum — SMITH 1937: 220
Sphenomorphus striatopunctulatus — MITTLEMAN 1952: 30
Sphenomorphus taprobanense — TAYLOR 1953
Lankascincus taprobanensis — GREER 1991
Lankascincus taprobanensis — AUSTIN et al. 2004
Sphenomorphus striatopunctatus — ZIESMANN et al. 2007 
DistributionSri Lanka

Type locality: Nuwara Eliya (= Newera Ellia), Ceylon  
TypesSyntype: BMNH 1946.8.26.11 (formerly, collected by R. Webb, purchased Dr Kelaart. It is not clear how many specimens were used for the description of the species, but there is some suggestion from the measurements provided that more than one specimen was used. The fate of any other syntypes is unknown. 
CommentSynonymy: Synonymous to Lankascincus taprobanensis fide GREER (1991). Valid species fide DAS (pers. comm.). Lygosoma punctatolineatum BOULENGER 1907 is preoccupied by Lygosoma punctatolineatum BOULENGER 1893.

Distribution: This species occurs at high altitudes on Sri Lanka.

Prehensile tail.

This species does not seem to be mentioned by Taylor 1936 in his Eumeces monography. 
  • Ahl, E. 1925. Herpetologische Notizen. Zool. Anz. 65 (1/2): 18-20
  • Austin, C.C.; Das, I. & De Silva, A. 2004. Higher-level molecular phylogenetic relationships of the endemic genus Lankascincus from Sri Lanka based on nuclear DNA sequences. Lyriocephalus 5 (1-2): 11-22 [special issue] - get paper here
  • Batuwita, Sudesh and Rohan Pethiyagoda 2007. Description of new species of Sri Lankan Litter Skink (Squamata: Scincidae: Lankascincus). Ceylon Journal of Science (Bio. Sci.) 36(2):80-87
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1887. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) III. Lacertidae, Gerrhosauridae, Scincidae, Anelytropsidae, Dibamidae, Chamaeleontidae. London: 575pp. - 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
  • Boulenger,G.A. 1907. Description of a new lizard of the genus Lygosoma from Ceylon. Spolia Zeylanica 4 (16): 173
  • de Silva, Anslem 1998. Lankascincus taprobanensis (Kelaart, 1854) a skink with a prehensile tail. Lyriocephalus 3 (2): 26-27 [1997]
  • Deraniyagala,P.E.P. 1931. Some Ceylon Lizards. Ceylon J. Sci. B, 16: 139-180
  • Greer A E 1991. Lankascincus, a new genus of scincid lizards from Sri Lanka, with descriptions of three new species. Journal of Herpetology 25 (1): 59-64 - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1864. The Reptiles of British India. London (Taylor & Francis), xxvii + 452 pp. - get paper here
  • Janzen, Peter and Malaka Bopage 2011. The herpetofauna of a small and unprotected patch of tropical rainforest in Morningside, Sri Lanka. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 5 (2): 1-13 - get paper here
  • Kelaart, E.E 1854. Prodromus Faunae Zeylanicae Clarke, Romer & Co, Ceylon/London, 23 pp.[1852?]
  • Kelaart, EDWARD FRED 1854. Descriptions of new Ceylon reptiles. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (2)13: 407-408 - get paper here
  • Mittleman, M.B. 1952. A generic synopsis of the Lizards of the Subfamily Lygosominae. Smithson. misc. Collns, 117: 1-35. - 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.
  • Smith,M.A. 1937. A review of the genus Lygosoma (Scincidae: Reptilia) and its allies. Records of the Indian Museum 39 (3): 213-234
  • Somaweera, R. & Somaweera, N. 2009. Lizards of Sri Lanka: a colour guide with field keys. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 304 pp.
  • Taylor, E.H. 1953. A review of the lizards of Ceylon. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 35 (12): 1525-1585 - get paper here
  • Wickramasinghe, L.J. MENDIS; Rodrigo, R.; Dayawansa, N. & Jayantha, U.L.D. 2007. Two new species of Lankascincus (Squamata: Scincidae) from Sripada Sanctuary (Peak Wilderness), in Sri Lanka. Zootaxa 1612: 1–24 - get paper here
  • Ziesmann, S.; Klaas, P.& Janzen, P. 2007. Von Skinken und anderen Echsen [Sri Lankas]. Draco 7 (30): 18-23 - get paper here
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