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Leptosiaphos meleagris (BOULENGER, 1907)

IUCN Red List - Leptosiaphos meleagris - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Ruwenzori Four-toed Skink 
SynonymLygosoma meleagris BOULENGER 1907: 488
Lygosoma (Leptosiaphos) meleagris — SCHMIDT 1943
Panaspis meleagris — GREER 1974: 29
Leptosiaphos meleagris — BROADLEY 1998
Leptosiaphos meleagris — SPAWLS et al. 2002: 152
Leptosiaphos meleagris — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 161 
DistributionUganda, Rwanda, E Democratic Republic of the Congo (E Zaire), Burundi

Type locality: Mubuku Valley (elevation 7,000 feet), Mount Ruwenzori, Uganda.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.8.3.41 (formerly 1907.4.20.4) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): A group of small elongate skinks constituting a biological series with degenerative steps of evolution represented by various reductions in the size of the ear opening, the relative size of the limbs, and the number of digits; differing from the Australian Siaphos equate (the type of Siaphos Gray) in slenderness of body and tail, which are less muscular and less cylindrical, and in slenderness of digits, in which the subdigital lamellae are small and more numerous than the scales on the upper surface of the digit. SCHMIDT 1943 included 13 forms in the genus (search database for “Leptosiaphos SCHMIDT 1943” to see them). 
CommentSpecimens of this species from Musosa, on the Zambian border to Zaire midway between Lakes Tanganyika and Mweru, have been collected by H.J. Bredo in 1939 (Witte 1953). There are no other records from Shaba Province. Broadley (1998) stated that “it seems likely that these specimens werre mislabelled”.

Type species: Lygosoma meleagris BOULENGER 1907 is the type species of the genus Leptosiaphos SCHMIDT 1943. 
  • Blackburn, D.G. 1993. STANDARDIZED CRITERIA FOR THE RECOGNITION OF REPRODUCTIVE MODES IN SQUAMATE REPTILES. Herpetologica 49 (1): 118-132 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1907. Descriptions of new lizards in the British Museum. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (7) 19: 486-489. - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1998. The reptilian fauna of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa). In: Schmidt, K.P. and Noble, G.K., Contributions to the Herpetology of the Belgian Congo... [reprint of the 1919 and 1923 papers]. SSAR Facsimile reprints in Herpetology, 780 pp.
  • Greer, A.E. 1974. The generic relationships of the scincid lizard genus Leiolopisma and its relatives. Australian Journal of Zoology 31: 1-67. - get paper here
  • Parker, H. W. 1940. Undescribed anatomical structures and new species of reptiles and amphibians. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (11) 5: 257-274 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, K. P. 1943. Amphibians and reptiles from the Sudan. Field Mus. nat. Hist (ser. zool.) 24: 331- 338. - get paper here
  • Spawls, S.; Howell, K.; Drewes, R.C. & Ashe, J. 2002. A field guide to the reptiles of East Africa. Academic Press, 543 pp. [reviews in HR 34: 396 and Afr. J. Herp. 51; 147] - get paper here
  • Spawls, Steve; Kim Howell, Harald Hinkel, Michele Menegon 2018. Field Guide to East African Reptiles. Bloomsbury, 624 pp. - get paper here
  • Witte, G. F. de 1953. Reptiles. Exploration du Parc National de l'Upemba. Mission G. F. de Witte en collaboration avec W. Adam, A. Janssens, L. Van Meel et R. Verheyen (1946–1949). Institut des Parcs Nationaux du Congo Belge. Brussels, vol. 6, 322 pp. - get paper here
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