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Lerista apoda STORR, 1976

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Dampier Land Limbless Slider 
SynonymLerista apoda STORR 1976: 255
Lerista apoda — COGGER 1983: 171
Gavisus apoda — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1984
Lerista apoda — COGGER 2000: 513
Wondjinia apoda — WELLS 2012: 156
Lerista apoda — WILSON & SWAN 2010 
DistributionAustralia (Western Australia)

Type locality: Cygnet Bay, 16° 26’ S, 123° 01’ E, W. A.  
TypesHolotype: WAM R52163 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Very slender Lerista with no trace of legs (including forelimb groove); eye very small and located under a transparent scale; snout flat, sharp and pro- truding well beyond mouth; tail much shorter than body and terminating abruptly and obtusely (as in Typhlopidae). (Storr 1976)

Description: Snout-vent length (mm): holotype 70.5, paratype 77. Length of tail (% 8VL): holotype 56, paratype 20.
Nasals very large, forming a moderately long suture. No prefrontals. Frontonasal and frontal much wider than long. Frontoparietals and inter- parietal fused into a large triangular shield. Parietals long and narrow, in short contact. No nuchals. Two apically pointed scales between frontal and ocular. One loreal (the only scale between nasal and ocular). One postocular. Temporals 3, upper secondary a little larger than primary, lower secondary much the smallest. Upper labials 4. Ear aperture minute (as in all Lerista). Midbody scale rows 16.
Upper surface whitish with a few faint brown blotches on head and four series of faint brown dots along back and tail. Lateral and lower surfaces dark brown, obscurely spotted with still darker brown, except for whitish under snout, lips, chin, throat and preanal scales, and for anterior half of tail (which is whitish, sparsely spotted with brown). (Storr 1976) 
CommentType Species: Lerista apoda Storr, 1976 is the type species of the genus Wondjinia WELLS 2012: 146. WELLS 2012: 146 erected the genus for Wondjinia apoda (Storr, 1976). Unfortunately WELLS did not provide a phylogenetic analysis of the genera into which he broke up Lerista, hence we leave the current genus Lerista intact for the time being.

Limb morphology: 0 digits, 0 toes (limbless). This is only one of 5 species of Lerista with no external trace of limbs (along with L. ameles.

Species group: wilkinsi. 
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Couper, P., Covacevich, J., Amey, A. & Baker, A. 2006. The genera of skinks (Family Scincidae) of Australia and its island territories: diversity, distribution and identification. in: Merrick, J.R., Archer, M., Hickey, G.M. & Lee, M.S.Y. (eds.). Evolution and Zoogeography of Australasian Vertebrates. Australian Scientific Publishing, Sydney, pp. 367-384
  • Greer A E; McDonald K R; Lawrie B C 1983. Three new species of Lerista (Scincidae) from northern Queensland with a diagnosis of the wilkinsi species group. Journal of Herpetology 17 (2): 247-255 - get paper here
  • Skinner, Adam; Michael S Y Lee and Mark N Hutchinson 2008. Rapid and repeated limb loss in a clade of scincid lizards. [Lerista]. BMC Evolutionary Biology 8:310 - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M. 1976. Revisionary notes on the Lerista (Lacertilia: Scincidae) of Western Australia. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 4: 241-256 - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M., Smith, L. A. & Johnstone, R. E. 1981. Lizards of Western Australia. I. Skinks. Perth: University of Western Australia Press and Western Australian Museum, 200 pp.
  • Storr, G. M.; L. A. Smith, and R. E. Johnstone 1999. Lizards of Western Australia. I. Skinks. Revised Edition. Western Australian Museum
  • Wells R W; Wellington C R 1984. A synopsis of the class Reptilia in Australia. Australian Journal of Herpetology 1 (3-4): 73-129 [31 Dec 1983 on cover]
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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