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Lobulia lobulus (LOVERIDGE, 1945)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Elegant Lobulia 
SynonymLygosoma (Leiolopisma) elegantoides lobulus LOVERIDGE 1945: 49
Lygosoma lobulus — KRAUS 2020
Lobulia lobulus — SLAVENKO et al. 2021 
DistributionPapua New Guinea (Mount Wilhelm, Madang Division)

Type locality: Papua New Guinea; Type locality: 7500-8000 feet on Mount Wilhelm, Bismarck Range, Madang Division, New Guinea [lobulus]  
Reproductionovovivparous (with a single examined litter size of 3, fide Slavenko et al. 2021). 
TypesHolotype: MCZ 47067, adult male; Paratypes: MCZ R-47068-82 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (preliminary): Based on information provided in Loveridge (1945) and photographs of the holotype available from MCZ (Fig. 6), it differs from L. elegans in having 34–36 midbody scale rows (vs. 30–32 in L. elegans), posterior loreal square or slightly higher than long (vs. longer than high in L. elegans), dorsal rows of dark-brown spots joined to form two mid-dorsal stripes (vs. dorsal spots distinct and not arrayed in stripes in L. elegans), white lateral stripe present (vs. absent in L. elegans), and paired dark-brown dorsal spots on the tail (vs. single row in L. elegans) (Kraus 2020).

Diagnosis: A medium-sized species of Lobulia (adult SVL 42.5–55.8 mm), characterized by the unique combination of frontoparietals unfused; supraorbital ridges usually not pronounced; nuchals 1–3 pairs; paravertebral scales 54–61; mid-body scale rows 32–40; 4th digit on front foot longer than 3rd; subdigital lamellae 19–24 under 4th toe; single supradigital scales 3–4 on 4th toe; mid-dorsum with two rows of large dark brown spots on an olive green background typically joined to
form two irregularly-shaped dark brown mid-dorsal stripes; top of tail base with two rows of large dark brown spots; fragmented white dorsolateral stripes present, extending from parietals to base of tail; flanks dark brown with light spots; unbroken white lateral stripes present, extending from occiput to hindlimbs; ventral coloration light blue on chin, occasionally speckled with dark brown spots, lemon-yellow on abdomen and base of tail in life, uniform light blue in preservative; thighs and precloacal region lack brown spotting; ventral surfaces of tail occasionally speckled with light brown spots; palmar and plantar surfaces lemon-yellow in life, light brown in preservative (Slavenko et al. 2021).

Comparisons: Lobulia lobulus differs from Lo. brongersmai in having unfused (vs. fused) frontoparietals. It differs from Lo. elegans in having white dorsolateral stripes and lateral stripes (vs. absent), and in having higher counts of midbody scale rows (32–40 vs. 30–32) and paravertebral scales (54–61 vs. 52–54) (Slavenko et al. 2021). 
CommentSynonymy: previously considered as a synonym of L. elegans, but resurrected by Kraus 2020. 
  • KRAUS, FRED 2020. A new species of Lobulia (Squamata: Scincidae) from Papua New Guinea. Zootaxa 4779 (2): 201–214 - get paper here
  • Loveridge, Arthur 1945. New scincid lizards of the genera Tropidophorus and Lygosoma from New Guinea. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 58: 47-52 - get paper here
  • Slavenko, Alex, Karin Tamar, Oliver J. S. Tallowin, Fred Kraus, Allen Allison, Salvador Carranza & Shai Meiri. 2021. Revision of the montane New Guinean skink genus Lobulia (Squamata: Scincidae), with the description of four new genera and nine new species. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 195 (1): 220–278 - get paper here
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