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Lerista timida (DE VIS, 1888)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Dwarf Three-toed Slider 
SynonymAblepharus timidus DE VIS 1888: 824
Ablepharus rhodonoides LUCAS & FROST 1896: 281
Cryptoblepharus rhodonoides — FRY 1914: 189
Lygosoma (Rhodona) goerlingi AHL 1935
Lygosoma (Rhodona) goerlingi — GLAUERT 1960
Ablepharus rhodonoides — GLAUERT 1960: 119
Lerista timidus — GREER 1967
Miculia goerlingi — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985: 34
Miculia timida — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985: 34
Miculia rhodonoides — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985: 34
Lerista rhodonoides — SMITH & ADAMS 2007
Lerista timida — MICHAEL et al. 2011
Lokisaurus rhodonoides — WELLS 2012: 276
Lerista timida — WILSON & SWAN 2010: 296
Lokisaurus timidus — WELLS 2012: 280
Lerista timida — KAY et al. 2013 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, S Northern Territory, Queensland, east into South Australia, NW Victoria and New South Wales, mideast interior of Western Australia)

Type locality: Charleville, QLD.

goerlingi: Type locality: Wurarga, Marloo Stn, W.A.

rhodonoides: Type locality: Mildura, Victoria.  
TypesLectotype: QM J3601, designated by Wells & Wellington (1985)
Syntypes: AMS (AM) R4156, other syntype presumed lost, from Mildura, Vic.; WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985 designated this specimen as lectotype [rhodonoides]
Holotype: ZMB 35352 (not found), from Wurarga, Marloo Station, W. A. [goerlingi] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Lerista rhodonoides is distinguished from L. clara, L. haroldi, L. jacksoni, L. kingi, L. micra, L. muelleri, L. nevinae, L. occulta, L. rolfei and L. verhmens by having fused frontoparietals. Distinguished from L. allochira and L. amicorum which also have fused frontoparietals as follows: from L. allochira by having three fingers (two in L. allochira) and from L. amicorum by always having 20 midbody scales (22 midbody scales in a third of L. amicorum specimens).

L. goerlingi has the following unique combination of character states for Lerista: fingers two, toes three, frontoparietals fused, supraoculars four, supraciliaries five, midbody scale rows 20. In addition, while it was not explicitly noted by Ahl, the placement of the species in the subgenus Rhodona rather than the genus A b/epharus implies the presence of a moveable lower eyelid. In most respects, the description of coloration and scalation given by Ahl is similar to L. muelleri. However, two fingers, four supraoculars and a presumably moveable lower eyelid are characters not known for L. muelleri [...] The reduction to two fingers described by Ahl appears to be due to injury: the right forelimb is largely missing (represented by a healed-over humeral stump), while on the left forelimb are two digits of equal length (comparable to the axial and lateral digits of L. muelleri), bordered medially by a scarcely distinct tubercle. The palm of the manus is extended medially to support this tubercle. (Storr 1971; Greer 1987, Shea 1991).

The holotype (Figure 1) has the following combination of character states: nasals enlarged, in moderate contact; prefrontals present, broadly separated; frontoparietals fused into a single shield; interparietal distinct; parietal eyespot present, just caudal to centre of interparietal; parietals in broad contact behind interparietal; nuchals two / three [four pairs vide Ahl]; supraoculars three, first two contacting frontal, first smallest; supraciliaries six; first supraciliary short, tall, contacting prefrontal and first supraocular, narrowly separated from frontal; second supraciliary small, bordering first supraocular; third supraciliary subequal to first, strongly projecting between first and second supraoculars; fourth supraciliary subequal to first, strongly projecting between second and third supraoculars; fifth supraciliary low, bordering third supraocular; sixth supraciliary subequal to first, moderately projecting between third supraocular and frontoparietal; loreals two, first larger; presuboculars two; postsuboculars two; eye ablepharine; primary temporal single, moderate; secondary temporals two, upper much the larger, overlapped by lower; ear small, slightly larger than nostril; supralabials six, fourth below centre of eye; infralabials six, first two contacting postmental; three pairs of transversely enlarged chin shields, first pair contacting medially, second pair separated
by one scale, third pair separated by three scales.
Midbody scales 20; paravertebral scales (from caudal edge of parietals to level of hind edge of thigh) 78; toes three; subdigital lamellae of longest toe 15/16 [13 vide Ahl]; supradigital scales of same toe 11.
Snout-vent length 43mm; tail length 38mm; [total length 80mm vide Ahl]; hindlimb length 10mm.
Coloration in preservative: grey-brown dorsally, more brown on tail. Dark streaks centrally on paravertebral scales aligned to form a pair of narrow dark paravertebral stripes from nape to tail base, more diffusely onto tail. A dark brown upper lateral stripe from eye, over ear, to tail base, more diffusely onto tail, formed by dark lateral edge of third and dorsal edge of fourth scale rows from midline. Flanks yellow cranially, grey with fine brown flecks caudally. Venter yellow with fine brown flecks over vent and on tail. (Shea 1991) 
CommentSynonymy: Storr 1971 synonymised A. timidus, (along with A. rhodonoides) with L. muelleri. Storr (1971) and Cogger et al. (1983) tentatively placed L. goerlingi in the synonymy of L. muelleri (Fischer, 1881). The latter decision was confirmed by Shea 1991. Hutchinson 2008 emphasized the almost identical descriptions of L. Lerista rhodonoides and L. timida and synonymized the two. The only possibly distinguishing character would be the slightly longer limbs of Lerista rhodonoides vs. L. timida (forelimb and hidnlimb 4.5 and 9.5 vs. 3.5 and 7.5 mm).

Type Species: Ablepharus timidus De Vis (1888) is the type species of the genus Lokisaurus WELLS 2012: 267 which was erected for the species L. amicorum, rhodonoides, and timidus. 
  • Ahl, E. 1935. Beschreibung einer neuen Eidechse aus Westaustralien. Zool. Anz. 112: 204-205
  • Fry, D. B. 1914. On a collection of reptiles and batrachians from Western Australia. Rec. West. Austral. Mus. 1:174-210 - get paper here
  • Glauert, L. 1960. Herpetological miscellanea. XII. The family Scincidae in Western Australia. Pt. 3. The genus Ablepharus. Western Australian Naturalist 7: 115-122 - get paper here
  • Glauert, L. 1960. Herpetological miscellanea. XII. The family Scincidae in Western Australia. Pt. 2. The genus Lygosoma. Western Australian Naturalist 7 (4): 81-99 - get paper here
  • Greer, Allen E. 1967. A new generic arrangement for some Australian scincid lizards. Breviora (267): 1-19 - get paper here
  • Kay, G.M.; D. Michael; M. Crane; S. Okada; C. MacGregor; D. Florance; D. Trengove; L. McBurney; D. Blair; D.B. Lindenmayer. 2013. A list of reptiles and amphibians from Box Gum Grassy Woodlands in south-eastern Australia. Check List 9 (3):476-481 - get paper here
  • Lucas, A. H. S. & Frost, C. 1896. Description of a new species of Ablepharus from Victoria, with critical notes on two other Australian lizards. Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 21: 281-283 - get paper here
  • Michael, D.R.; D.B. Lindenmayer; M. Crane; C. MacGregor; R. Montague-Drake; L. McBurney. 2011. Reptilia, Murray catchment, New South Wales, southeastern Australia. Check List 7 (1):25-29 - get paper here
  • Shea G M. 1991. The identity of Lygosoma (Rhodona) goerlingi Ahl, 1935 (Squamata: Scincidae). Rec. West. Austr. Mus. 15 (1): 303-306. - get paper here
  • Smith, LA; Adams, M 2007. Revision of the Lerista muelleri species-group (Lacertilia: Scincidae) in Western Australia, with a redescription of L. muelleri (Fischer, 1881) and the description of nine new species. Rec. West. Austr. Mus. 23 (4): 309-358 - get paper here
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 pp.
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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