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Lipinia vassilievi »

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
DistributionVietnam (Kon Tum Province)

Type locality: montane forest in Chu Mom Ray NP, Kon Tum Province, Vietnam (N14.49583°, E107.71947°; 810 m a.s.l.)  
TypesHolotype: ZMMU R14604, adult male (Figure 15), collected by Dimitry F. Fedorenko and Anna B. Vassilieva on 30 March 2015. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Small (SVL to 39.4 mm) species of Lipinia, differentiated from congeners by the following combination of external traits: external ear opening present; lower eyelid bearing large transparent spectacle; 30 midbody scale rows; 56 middorsal scales between parietals and point above vent; 15/14 subdigital lamellae under finger IV; 21/19 lamellae under toe IV; prefrontals in broad contact; seven supralabials, seven infralabials; broad middorsal light stripe from snout tip to tail base; two paravertebral dark stripes from supraoculars toward tail, continuing on anterior part of tail; two distinct dorsolateral light stripes; lateral dark stripe from temporals to groin dissolving into row of irregular black spots; one lateral light stripe, separated from belly by row of large black spots between ear opening and groin.

Comparisons: The only specimen of Lipinia vassilievi sp. nov. we were able to examine morphologically was the holotype; the two other samples of this species from Ratanakiri Province of Cambodia included in the phylogenetic analyses were tissue samples (tail tips), the respective voucher specimens were not collected. Comparisons are based on original descriptions or descriptions provided in broader faunal and taxonomic publications (citations in the Materials and Methods section above). For distribution notes of each of the compared congeners, see the comparison section within the L. microcercus stat. nov. account above as well as Figure 1.
Morphological comparisons between the four members of the L. vittigera species complex from mainland Southeast Asia are summarized in Table 1. The members can be differentiated by the following opposing combination of traits: L. vittigera sensu stricto (Boulenger, 1894): PVDS with straight margins on both sides; flanks with dark and pale spots (LDS, LLS absent or indistinct); Lipinia trivittata sp. nov.: 20–26 subdigital lamellae under finger IV; PVDS with straight margins on both sides, not continuing on tail; LDS only present on anterior third of trunk; L. microcercus (Boettger, 1901) stat. nov.: MDLS narrow (one scale wide at midbody), PVDS with straight margins on both sides, continuing on tail; LDS continuous, present from temporal region to anterior parts of tail.
Further, those congeners bearing a middorsal light stripe can be distinguished from Lipinia vassilievi sp. nov. by the following opposing traits: L. albodorsalis: SVL to 54 mm; 22– 25 midbody scale rows; dorsum pale yellow with dark lateral stripe; L. infralineolata: SVL to 49 mm; 22 midbody scale rows; L. leptosoma: 7–10 lamellae under toe IV; L. longiceps: 24 midbody scale rows; snout strongly elongated; dorsum light brown with two dorsolateral stripes converging on tail base; tail golden yellow; L. macrotympanum: 21–23 midbody scale rows; prefrontals separated; hindlimbs and forelimbs not meeting when adpressed; L. miangensis: 24 midbody scale rows; back golden with two dark brown longitudinal stripes from snout to tail; L. nitens: SVL to 33.6 mm; external ear opening replaced by scaly dimple; back metallic green with pale yellow vertebral stripe; L. noctua: dorsum brown with light vertebral stripe, starting with wide and contrasting light spot on head; dark paravertebral stripes with irregular borders, often broken into row of irregular dark blotches; L. pulchella: 22–26 midbody scale rows; 24–31 lamellae under toe IV; only one light whitish stripe present on dorsum, from snout to tail tip, becoming yellowish from midbody toward tail; L. pulchra: dorsum black with five greenish light stripes; L. rabori: SVL to 51.0 mm in males and 54.8 mm in females; 22 midbody scale rows; L. relicta: SVL to 56 mm; 20 midbody scale rows; tail thick; light vertebral line present and labials each bearing small white spot; lateral dark stripe present from eye to insertion of hindlimbs; L. rouxi: dorsum brown, dark paravertebral stripes, with irregular borders, often broken into row of irregular dark blotches; L. septentrionalis: 24–26 midbody scale rows; one cream vertebral stripe, broadening toward tail; L. subvittata: SVL to 56 mm; dorsal longitudinal stripes extending to forearm region; 22 midbody scale rows; L. vulcania from the Philippines (Mindanao and Luzon Islands): 17 lamellae under toe IV; limbs not meeting when adpressed; dorsum brownish, scattered with dark brown spots; dark lateral stripe, scattered with whitish or yellowish spots.
The remaining congeners can be distinguished from Lipinia vassilievi sp. nov. by absence of light middorsal stripe: L. auriculata; L. cheesmanae; L. inexpectata; L. miotis; L. nototaenia; L. occidentalis; L. sekayuensis; L. semperi; L. surda; L. venemai; and L. zamboangensis. 
EtymologyThe name of the new species is a Latinized patronymic adjective in genitive plural, possessive form of the family name Vassiliev. This species is named in honor of Prof. Boris D. Vassiliev, a professor of herpetology from the Department of Vertebrate Zoology of Lomonosov Moscow State University for the last 50 years; he has nurtured and educated several generations of Russian herpetologists, including three co-authors of the present paper. In the last 30 years, he has participated in several expeditions to central and southern Vietnam. 
  • Poyarkov Jr., N. A., Geissler, P., Gorin, V. A., Dunayev, E. A., Hartmann, T., Suwannapoom, C. 2019. Counting stripes: revision of the Lipinia vittigera complex (Reptilia, Squamata, Scincidae) with description of two new species from Indochina. Zoological Research 40(5): 358-393 - get paper here
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