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Lygisaurus macfarlani (GÜNTHER, 1877)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Translucent Litter-skink 
SynonymCarlia macfarlani GÜNTHER 1877: 413
Lygisaurus macfarlani — COGGER 2000: 540
Carlia macfarlani — STUART -FOX et al. 2002
Lygisaurus macfarlani — DOLMAN & HUGALL 2008 
DistributionAustralia (Queensland), SW Papua New Guinea

Type locality: Islands of Torres Straits, Qld. INGRAM & COVACEVICH 1988 restricted the type locality to the Darnley/Murray Island group.  
Reproductionoviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesLectotype: BMNH 1946.8.16.49, designated by INGRAM & COVACEVICH 1988. Syntypes originally BMNH 1946. 8. 16. 49-51 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A relatively small species of Carlia distinguished from other Papuan Carlia by the following combination of characters: scales smooth; size small (maximum SVL 39.6 mm); supralabials usually six; supraciliaries usually eight or nine; fewer than 10 supradigital scales on fourth toe, 17–26 lamellae under fourth toe (mean 5 21.5 6 0.12); 23–29 scale rows around midbody (mean 5 25.6 6 0.16); 38–47 paravertebral scales (mean 5 42.1 6 0.17); usually 3–7 distinct, sharply triangular ear lobules around margin of ear opening (Fig. 1B); dorsal and lateral surfaces uniformly pale brown or pale brown with series of dark brown stripes aligned in centers of scales, these stripes usually most conspicuous laterally; single dark brown spots typically present in centers of some or all ventral scales; temporals pale brown spotted with dark brown; and plates of dorsal scales translucent with dark brown posterior margins.
Carlia macfarlani differs from species in the C. bicarinata complex and C. fusca complex in its smooth scales, small size, and only 8–9 supradigital scales on the fourth toe.
Carlia macfarlani differs from C. novaeguineae in usually having a greater number of, and much better developed, ear lobules; a greater number of midbody scale rows (mean 5 25.6 6 0.16 in C. macfarlani vs. 23.6 6 0.27 in C. novaeguineae); a greater number of paravertebral scales (mean 5 42.1 6 0.17 in C. macfarlani vs. 37.3 6 0.31 in C. novaeguineae); in usually having dorsal and (especially) lateral color pattern of dark longitudinal stripes or rows of spots (although some specimens can be unpatterned); and in having rows of dark brown spots on the abdominal scales, at least posteriorly.
Carlia macfarlani differs from the other Australian species of the C. novaeguineae complex as follows: from C. foliorum and C. timlowi in having a moveable lower eyelid (vs. eyelid fused to form a spectacle); from C. abscondita, C. laeve, C. malleolus, C. rococo, C. sesbrauna, C. tanneri, and C. zuma in usually having six (vs. seven) supralabials; and from C. aerata in having eight (vs. seven) supraciliaries and a round (vs. horizontally elongate) ear opening (Kraus 2007: 415). 
CommentINGRAM & COVACEVICH 1988 removed Lygisaurus from synonymy with Carlia.

Carlia novaeguineae has been synonymized with L. macfarlani but more recently considered as a valid species (Kraus 2007, Dolman & Hugall 2008). 
EtymologyNamed after Rev. Samuel Macfarlane (1837-1911) a missionary who was originally a railway mechanic. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - 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
  • Günther, A. 1877. Descriptions of three new species of lizards from Islands of Torres Straits. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (4) 19: 413—415 - get paper here
  • Ingram G; Covacevich J 1988. Revision of the genus Lygisaurus de Vis (Scincidae: Reptilia) in Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 25 (2): 335-354 - get paper here
  • Kraus, F. 2007. Taxonomic partitioning within Papuan members of the Carlia novaeguineae complex (Squamata: Scincidae). Journal of Herpetology 41: 410–423 - get paper here
  • Meyer, A.B. 1874. Eine Mittheilung von Hern. Dr. Adolf Berhard Meyer über die von ihm auf Neu-Guinea und den Inseln Jobi, Mysore und Mafoor im Jahre 1873 gesammelten Amphibien. Monatsber. K. Preuss. Akad. Wiss. Berlin 1874: 128-140 [also published as a separate print with pages 1-17 with a different title in which “Hern. Dr. Adolf Berhard Meyer über die von ihm” is replaced by “mir”] - get paper here
  • Stuart-Fox, Devi M., Andrew F. Hugall, and Craig Moritz 2002. A molecular phylogeny of rainbow skinks (Scincidae: Carlia): taxonomic and biogeographic implications. Australian Journal of Zoology 50: 39–51 - get paper here
  • Whiting, A.S.; Aaron M. Bauer and Jack W. Sites, Jr. 2003. Phylogenetic relationships and limb loss in sub-Saharan African scincine lizards (Squamata: Scincidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 29 (3): 582-598 - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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