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Lissolepis luctuosa (PETERS, 1866)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Egerniinae (Tiliquini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Western Mourning Skink, Western Glossy Swamp Skink 
SynonymCyclodus (Omolepida) luctuosus PETERS 1866: 90
Egernia lauta DE VIS 1888
Egernia luctuosa — COGGER 1983
Tiliqua luctuosa — GLAUERT 1960: 69
Egernia luctuosa — STORR 1978: 174
Egernia luctuosa — COGGER 2000: 465
Egernia luctuosa — COUPER et al. 2006: 380
Lissolepis luctuosus — GARDNER et al. 2008 
DistributionAustralia (Western Australia)

Type locality: “King George (Südwestaustralien).  
TypesHolotype: ZMB 5380 
DiagnosisDefinition (genus Lissolepis): The clade comprising Lissolepis luctuosa (Peters, 1866), and all organisms or species that share a more recent common ancestor with Lissolepis luctuosa than with Tiliqua scincoides, Egernia cunninghami, Liopholis whitii or Bellatorias major (Gardner et al. 2008: 791).

Description (genus Lissolepis): A genus of Egernia Group skinks; medium-sized lizards (adult SVL 100–130 mm); head and body squarish in cross-section; dorsal scales smooth, in 20–28 rows; nasal scale with a long (coventryi) to short (luctuosa) postnarial groove; complete subocular scale row; eyes relatively small, the eyelids similarly coloured to the adjacent scales (Gardner et al. 2008: 791).

Description (species): “This small species, the largest specimen recorded measures 13.5 inches, differs from all other Western Australian Tiliquas in its bright coloration and from the Egernias, which it closely resembles in appearance, by its typical tiliquan dentition. The scales are smooth and number from 24 to 26 round the middle of the body. The adpressed limbs meet or slightly overlap and the fore limb is as long as the distance from the tip of the snout to the centre of the ear, and from 24 to 21 times in the distance between the axilla and the groin. The tail is round, tapering and longer than the head and body. The colouring is variable and varied. Dark blotches or pale markings may form a vertebral band outside which is a contrast ing area. This is followed by a lateral band which, if black, carries numerous small white spots, and if pale has an abundance of dark markings. The under surface is immaculate. An Albany specimen measures 285 mm. (11.25 in.), head and body, 100; tail, 185.” (Glauert 1969) 
CommentSynonymy after COGGER 1983.

Type Species: Cyclodus (Omolepida) luctuosus PETERS 1866 is the type species of the genus Lissolepis PETERS 1872. 
EtymologyNamed probably after the Latin adjective “luctuosus” = sorrowful or mournful, for unknown reasons. 
  • 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
  • Gardner, M. G., Hugall, A. F., Donnellan, S. C., Hutchinson, M. N., and Foster, R. 2008. Molecular systematics of social skinks: phylogeny and taxonomy of the Egernia group (Reptilia: Scincidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 154 (4): 781-794 - get paper here
  • Glauert, L. 1960. Herpetological miscellanea. XII. The family Scincidae in Western Australia. Pt. 1. The genera Tiliqua, Trachysaurus and Egernia. Western Australian Naturalist 7 (3): 67-77 - get paper here
  • Peters. WILHELM C. H. 1866. Mittheilung über neue Amphibien (Amphibolurus, Lygosoma, Cyclodus, Masticophis, Crotaphopeltis) und Fische (Diagramma, Hapalogenys) des Kgl. Zoologischen Museums. Monatsber. Königl. Preuss. Akad. Wissensch. Berlin, 1866: 86-96. - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M.; L. A. Smith, and R. E. Johnstone 1999. Lizards of Western Australia. I. Skinks. Revised Edition. Western Australian Museum
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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