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Leptosiaphos koutoui INEICH, SCHMITZ, CHIRIO & LEBRETON, 2004

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymLeptosiaphos koutoui INEICH, SCHMITZ, CHIRIO & LEBRETON 2004
Leptosiaphos koutoui — JESUS et al. 2007 
DistributionCameroon (Adamaoua Massif, Central-Northern Province)

Type locality: Meiganga, Adamaoua Massif (06°31’N, 14°17’E) Central-Northern Province, Cameroon, 1040 m elevation. 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.
 
Reproductionoviparous. 
TypesHolotype: MNHN 2001.0697 
CommentDiagnosis.-A small (to 49 mm SVL) species of Leptosiaphos, distinguished from all other members of the genus by the following combination of characters: head relatively pointed; lower eyelid with a median, large translucent window; no supranasals; prefrontals widely separated by the frontonasal; frontoparietals in contact along a long suture, about as long as wide; parietals not separated by interparietal; one pair of nuchals; 22 scales around midbody; pentadactyl limbs, 14-15 subdigital lamellae below the fourth toe; dorsal coloration continuously reddishbrown to brownish-grey throughout; dorsal scales iridescent; a dark band (about one scale wide) from just before the eye to just before the forelimbs, diminishing after the shoulder but weakly visible to the anal region.

Leptosiaphos koutoui is similar to L. kilimensis in several characters. However it can be distinguished by the following combination of characters. There are major differences in coloration of the two species. All L. kilimensis present a brownred ground coloration, in contrast to the greybrown coloration in L. koutoui. Leptosiaphos koutoui also possess a large dark band from the anterior edge of the eye to the anterior extremities. From there it diminishes but continues to be visible, running to just above the posterior extremities, where it again increases in size. This larger band is ventro-laterally followed by four smaller, hatched, straight, regular bands on each side. On the back, between the two largest dark bands, there are more or less eight hatched bands each placed in the middle of a scale row. On both the anterior and posterior limbs there are further dark bands clearly visible on the fingers and toes, especially on the base of the members. The supralabials and the infralabials are nearly all covered by a large dark spot in L. kilimensis like in L. koutoui. Morphologically, the main differences are as follows: there are 22 scales around midbody in the new species, whereas L. kilimensis has 24; further, there are small but distinct differences in the number of scales both dorsally between the nuchal scales (NuC) and the cloacal region and ventrally between the postmentals to the cloacal region (PoC): L. kilimensis: NuC, N = 12, 60-68 (mean +/-SD = 63.25 +/- 2.59); PoC, N = 12, 56-63 (59.58 +/- 2.93); L. koutoui: NuC 63 (holotype) and 59 (paratype); PoC 64 (holotype) and 57 (paratype).

The head of L. koutoui is smooth without any elevated features (e.g., vaulted eyes) and never reddish-brown, whereas the eyes of L. kilimensis are clearly vaulted and the color of the head is reddish-brown (often visible even in preservative). As the new species is most similar to L. kilimensis, a final remark should be made as to the status of Lygosoma gromieri Angel, 1925. This species was described by Angel (1925) from the ''Tsavo District, British East Africa.'' It was later placed into the synonymy of L. kilimensis by Perret (1975). In his original description, Angel (1925) gave an erroneous measurement of SVL (40 mm) of his single specimen. Brygoo (1987) was the first to indicate this error. Additionally, the supranasals described by Angel (1925) in L. gromieri are an exceptional variant of the frontonasal. In that specimen the usually undivided frontonasal found in L. kilimensis is divided. 
References
  • Blackburn, D.G. 1993. STANDARDIZED CRITERIA FOR THE RECOGNITION OF REPRODUCTIVE MODES IN SQUAMATE REPTILES. Herpetologica 49 (1): 118-132 - get paper here
  • Chirio, L. & Lebreton, M. 2007. Atlas des reptiles du Cameroun. MNHN, IRD, Paris 688 pp.
  • Ineich, I., A. Schmitz, L. Chirio & M. LeBreton 2004. New species of Leptosiaphos (Scincidae) from Adamaoua Massif, Central-Northern Province, Cameroon. Journal of Herpetology 38 (4): 546-550 - get paper here
  • Jesus, José; D. James Harris and António Brehm 2007. Relationships of Afroablepharus Greer, 1974 skinks from the Gulf of Guinea islands based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA: Patterns of colonization and comments on taxonomy. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 45 (3): 904-914 - get paper here
 
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