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Lerista fragilis (GÜNTHER, 1876)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Eastern Mulch-slider 
SynonymRhodona fragilis GÜNTHER 1876: 45
Rhodona fragile — SMITH 1937: 230
Lerista fragilis — GREER 1967
Lerista fragilis — COGGER 1983: 173
Lerista fragilis — COGGER 2000: 519
Krishna fragilis — WELLS 2012: 300
Lerista fragilis — WILSON & SWAN 2010 
DistributionAustralia (Queensland; Tasmania [fide SMITH 1937])

Type locality: Peak Downs, Qld.  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.8.18.68-69, (formerly,, purchased from Museum Godeffroy, ?SMF 15493. Lectotype designation by Wells & Wellington (1985) of BMNH 1946.8.18.54 is invalid, as this is not a syntype (the entry is a duplication of their lectotype designation for Lerista elegans). 
CommentType Species: Rhodona fragilis Günther 1876 is the type species of the genus Krishna WELLS 2012: 292. WELLS 2012: 47 erected this genus for the species K.
fragilis. 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. Rhodona fragilis Günther, 1876 is also the type species of the genus Tridentulus COPE 1892, a synonym of Lerista, fide Shea 2021.

Distribution: reports from New Guinea apparently in error (Allen Allison, pers. comm., 20 Feb 2017). Not in NSW, but close to the Qld-NSW border (G. Shea, pers. comm., 5 March 2021).

Limb morphology: 3 digits, 3 toes 
  • 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.
  • Cope, E.D. 1892. On degenerate types of scapular and pelvic arches in the Lacertilia. Journal of Morphology 7: 223–242 - get paper here
  • 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, Allen E. 1967. A new generic arrangement for some Australian scincid lizards. Breviora (267): 1-19 - get paper here
  • Greer,A.E. 1990. Limb reduction in the scincid lizard genus Lerista. 2. Variation in the bone complements of the front and rear limbs and the number of postsacral vertebrae. Journal of Herpetology 24 (2): 142-150 - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1876. Descriptions of new species of reptiles from Australia collected by Hr. Dämel for the Godeffroy Museum. Journal des Museum Godeffroy 5 (12):45-47 - get paper here
  • SHEA, GLENN M. 2021. The identity of twelve scincid generic names proposed by Cope in 1892 (Squamata: Scincidae). Zootaxa 5057 (4): 577–589 - 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
  • Smith, M.A. 1937. A review of the genus Lygosoma (Scincidae: Reptilia) and its allies. Records of the Indian Museum 39 (3): 213-234
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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