Lankascincus taprobanensis (KELAART, 1854)
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Lankascincus taprobanensis?
|Higher Taxa||Scincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Ristellidae), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||Ceylon Tree Skink|
Sinhala: Munindradasage lakhekanala [munindradasai]
Tamil: Munindradasavin arene [munindradasai]
E: Munindradasa’s Lanka skink [munindradasai]
|Synonym||Eumeces 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
Lankascincus munindradasai MENDIS WICKRAMASINGHE, RODRIGO, DAYAWANSA & JAYANTHA 2007
Sphenomorphus striatopunctatum — FELDMAN et al. 2015
Lankascincus taprobanensis — BATUWITA 2019
Type locality: Nuwara Eliya (= Newera Ellia), Ceylon
munindradasai: Sri Lanka; Type locality: Sripada Sanctuary (Adam’s peak), Nuwara Eliya District, Central Province. (N 06° 48’ 24.61, E 080° 30’ 41.19) Elevation 1825 m.
|Types||Syntype: BMNH 19126.96.36.199 (formerly 188.8.131.52), 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.|
Holotype: NMSL 20072101, adult male. 40.16 mm SVL. Coll. R. K. Rodirigo, D. Jayantha and L. J. M. Wickramasinghe. 07. 11. 2006 [munindradasai]
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. Distinguished from all other species of Lankascincus by the following combination of characters: prefrontals widely separated, frontal in broad contact with frontonasal (suture between frontonasal and frontal about half of/more than the length of posterior border of frontonasal); supralabials six; last supralabial subequal to the preceding supralabial; subdigital lamellae under the fourth digit of pes 9–13; adpressed limbs not overlapping (from Batuwita 2019: 215).|
Diagnosis (munindradasai): Lankascincus munindradasai sp. nov. is distinguished from known congeners by possessing the following combination of characters: A medium sized Lankascincus 35–40 mm SVL; Prefrontals widely separated; one loreal scale, the loreal is touching the prefrontal, frontonasal, nasal, 1st, 2nd supralabial scales, upper and lower preoculars; the loreal is larger than the longitudinal axis, the nasal is fused; 6 supralabials , the last supralabial scale is single and lager than the others, 4th at the mid orbit point; 28 smooth scale rows at mid body; 53 to 54 paravertebral scales; 56 to 58 scales between mental and vent; median preanals are enlarged, outer preanals overlap with inner; lamellae under the fourth fingers and toes 8 and 12 respectively, the lamellae formulae for both fingers and toes are 4>3>2>5>1 and 4>3>5>2>1.
Comparisons. Lankascincus fallax: two primary temporals and seven supralabials; L. megalops: last supralabial smaller than the preceding supralabial, seven supralabials, and prefrontals in broad contact; L. deignani: prefrontals in broad contact, seven supralabials, and 19–20 subdigital lamellae under fourth digit of pes; L. dorsicatenatus: last supralabial smaller than the preceding supralabial, seven supralabials, and prefrontals in broad contact; L. taylori: prefrontals in contact and seven supralabials; L. gansi: last supralabial smaller than the preceding supralabial, seven or eight supralabials, and prefrontals in broad contact; L. sripadensis: prefrontals in broad contact, seven supralabials, and 16–19 subdigital lamellae under fourth digit of pes; L. greeri: subocular pale spot, prefrontals in broad contact, seven supralabials, and 19–20 subdigital lamellae under fourth digit of pes (from Batuwita 2019: 218).
|Comment||Synonymy: fide Batuwita 2019. 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.
This species does not seem to be mentioned by Taylor 1936 in his Eumeces monography.
|Etymology||Lankascincus munindradasai was named after the late Dr. D. I. Amith Munindradasa, scientist who worked to the betterment of the country, although an electronic engineer by profession worked in various disciplines, a lover of nature, who was also involved in the discovery of five Cnemaspis species, and worked as a silent yet effective conservationist in the country.|