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Liburnascincus coensis (MITCHELL, 1953)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Coen Rainbow-skink 
SynonymLeiolopisma coense MITCHELL 1953
Carlia coensis — COGGER 1983: 138
Carlia coensis — INGRAM & COVACEVICH 1989
Carlia coensis — COGGER 2000: 392
Carlia coensis — COUPER et al. 2006
Liburnascincus coensis — DOLMAN & HUGALL 2008
Liburnascincus coensis — COGGER 2014: 633 
DistributionAustralia (Queensland)

Type locality: Coen, N Qld.  
TypesHolotype: MCZ 37171 
DiagnosisDefinition (genus Liburnascincus): The clade comprising Liburnascincus coensis, Wells and Wellington, 1984, and all organisms or species that share a more recent common ancestor with Liburnascincus coensis than with Carlia munda or Lygisaurus foliorum.

Description (genus Liburnascincus): A genus of the Carlia group of skinks, maximum adult SVL ranging from 56 to 68 mm, body robust to dorsoventrally flattened, limbs long and sprawling, usually 7 supralabials, dorsal body scales weakly to strongly keeled, sexes similar in colour and pattern, males without bright colours, usually 13 premaxillary teeth (Ingram and Covacevich, 1989).

Diagnosis (genus): “Liburnascincusis characterised by the following: Parietal shields contact posterior to a distinct interparietal; dorsal scales four-sided with a smooth curve to the posterior edge; ear opening round or vertically elliptic, about equal in size to palpebral disk; each dorsal with longitudinal rows of low, rounded tubercles; ear lobules pointed (scirtetis) or rounded (coensis). This genus of moderate-sized tetradactyl, saxacoline skinks is confined to Cape York Peninsula, Queensland. Closely allied to Carlia.” (WELLS & WELLINGTON 1984: 98) 
CommentType species: Leiolopisma coense MITCHELL 1953 is the type species of the genus Liburnascincus Wells and Wellington, 1984.

Phylogeny: Bragg et al. 2018 presented a phylogeny of the genera Lygisaurus, Liburnascincus, and Carlia.

Distribution: see map in HOSKIN & COUPER 2015 (Fig. 1). 
  • Bragg, J. G., Potter, S., Afonso Silva, A. C., Hoskin, C. J., Bai, B. Y. H., & Moritz, C. 2018. Phylogenomics of a rapid radiation: the Australian rainbow skinks. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 18(1), 15 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Dolman, Gaynor & Andrew F. Hugall 2008. Combined mitochondrial and nuclear data enhance resolution of a rapid radiation of Australian rainbow skinks (Scincidae: Carlia). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 49 (3): 782-794 - get paper here
  • HOSKIN, CONRAD J. & PATRICK J. COUPER 2015. A new skink (Scincidae: Liburnascincus) from rocky habitat on Cape York, northeast Australia. Zootaxa 3994 (2): 222–234 - get paper here
  • Ingram G; Covacevich J 1989. Revision of the genus Carlia (Reptilia, Scincidae) in Australia with comments on Carlia bicarinata of New Guinea. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 27 (2): 443-490 - get paper here
  • Mitchell, F. J. 1953. A brief revision of the four-fingered members of the genus Leiolopisma (Lacertilia). Rec. South Austral. Mus. 11: 75-90 - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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