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Lygosoma punctata (GMELIN, 1799)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Lygosominae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common NamesE: Common Dotted Garden Skink, Common snake skink, Punctate supple skink
G: Gefleckter Schlankskink 
SynonymScincus punctatus GMELIN 1799: 197
Seps scincoides CUVIER 1829
Eumeces punctatus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 634 (?)
Eumeces punctatus — GRAVENHORST 1851: 359 (?)
Riopa punctata — GRAY 1845: 96
Riopa hardwickii GRAY 1845
Mabuya elegans GRAY 1845: 95
Lygosoma punctatum — BOULENGER 1887: 310
Lygosoma (Riopa) punctata — DERANIYAGALA 1931
Riopa punctata — SMITH 1935: 318
Riopa punctata — TAYLOR 1953
Riopa punctata — SWAN & LEVITON 1962: 112
Lygosoma punctatus — DAS 1996: 46
Lygosoma punctatum — ZIEGLER et al. 2007
Lygosoma punctatum — NGUYEN et al. 2009
Lygosoma punctata — GEISSLER et al. 2012
Lygosoma punctata — VYAS 2017
Riopa punctata — FREITAS et al. 2019 
DistributionIndia (from W Bengal through most of India, incl. Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Mizoram), Nepal, Vietnam, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka

Type locality: unknown (Sang et al. 2009)  
TypesLectotype: Iconotype: the specimen (lost) illustrated in Seba (1735), left side of Fig. 9, Plate 2 (designation by Bauer, 2003). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus Riopa): Riopa can be identified by the following combination of characters: (1) body size small to medium (SVL 35–96 mm); (2) trunk moderately elongate (AGD 55–75% SVL); (3) digits short to long (FinIIILam 5–11, ToeIVLam 6–16); (4) MBSRC 19–30; (5) PVSRC 70–115; (6) lower eyelid scaly or with a transparent disc; (7) supranasal scales in contact medially, occasionally barely touching; (8) prefrontals not in contact medially; (9) frontoparietal single or paired; (10) parietals in contact behind interparietal; (11) enlarged nuchal scales usually present, occasionally absent; and (12) palatine bones with posteriomedially projecting processes, pterygoids emarginated along posterior edge or occasionally rounded [from Freitas et al.2019] 
CommentSynonyms partly after SMITH 1935. Note that BOULENGER 1887 also included Lacerta punctata LINNAEUS 1758 in his synonymy of Lygosoma punctata which is apparently a synonym of Trachylepis homalocephala.

Description: “...Individuals are secretive and their presence was usually made known by the flash of the bright red tail. The red is present on the tails of all young and half grown specimens, but tends to become completely obsolete in adult animals. [...] In the young tha tail, save in the basal region, is unspotted and of a uniformshade of red. As they grow older, the caudal scales develop small spots (even those on the ventral surface) and gradually the red (sometimes pink) colouration disappears. In the young black spots are contiguous forming continuous lines. On the head the dots are carried forward to the snout but later tend to form a more or less symmetrical pattern on the head scales.” (from TAYLOR 1950).

Type species: Scincus punctatus GMELIN 1799 is the type species of the genus Riopa GRAY 1839. For diagnostic features see MITTLEMAN 1952: 8 and Freitas et al. 2019.

Synonymy: Riopa has been synonymized with Lygosoma by GREER (1977).

Diagnosis (Riopa): some authors such as MANTHEY & GROSSMANN (1997) distinguished Riopa from Lygosoma by the presence of supranasals. Mittleman (1952) differentiated the genus Mochlus from Lygosoma in having a well defined ear opening and from Riopa in lacking a transparent disc in the lower eyelid.

Reduced limbs.

Distribution: possibly in Bhutan (Lenz 2012). 
  • Ansari NA. 2018. Enumeration of herpetofaunal assemblage of Surajpur Wetland, National Capital Region (India). Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 12(2) [General Section]: 90–97 (e161) - get paper here
  • Ardesana, R., B. Trivedi, R. Jadav, R. Jhala, P. Joshi, M. Bharad & J. Ardesana 2019. Lined Supple Skink: notes on Lygosoma lineata from Rajkot City, Gujarat, India. Zoo’s Print 34 (3): 15-18 - get paper here
  • Bauer, A.M. 2003. On the identity of Lacerta punctata Linnaeus, 1758, the type species of the genus Euprepis Wagler, 1830, and the generic assignment of Afro-Malagasy skinks. African Journal of Herpetology 52:1-7. - get paper here
  • Bhupathy, Subramanian & N. Sathishkumar 2013. Status of reptiles in Meghamalai and its environs, Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 5 (15): 4953-4961 - get paper here
  • Bobrov, V. V. 1995. Checklist and bibliography of lizards of Vietnam. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (105): - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1887. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) III. Lacertidae, Gerrhosauridae, Scincidae, Anelytropsidae, Dibamidae, Chamaeleontidae. London: 575pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, George A. 1890. The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. Taylor & Francis, London, xviii, 541 pp. - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron. 1839. Erpétologie Générale on Histoire Naturelle Complète des Reptiles. Vol.5. Roret/Fain et Thunot, Paris, 871 pp. - get paper here
  • FREITAS, ELYSE S.; ANIRUDDHA DATTA-ROY, PRAVEEN KARANTH, L. LEE GRISMER and CAMERON D. SILER 2019. Multilocus phylogeny and a new classification for African, Asian and Indian supple and writhing skinks (Scincidae: Lygosominae) Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2019, XX, 1–30. - get paper here
  • Ganesh, S. R.; M. Arumugam 2016. Species Richness of Montane Herpetofauna of Southern Eastern Ghats, India: A Historical Resume and a Descriptive Checklist Russ. J. Herpetol. 23 (1): 7-24
  • Ganesh, S.R.; A. Kalaimani, P. Karthik, N. Baskaran, R. Nagarajan & S.R.Chandramouli 2018. Herpetofauna of Southern Eastern Ghats, India – II From Western Ghats to Coromandel Coast Asian Journal of Conservation Biology, July 2018. Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 28-45
  • GEISSLER, PETER; TIMO HARTMANN & THY NEANG 2012. A new species of the genus Lygosoma Hardwicke & Gray, 1827 (Squamata: Scincidae) from northeastern Cambodia, with an updated identification key to the genus Lygosoma in mainland Southeast Asia. Zootaxa 3190: 56–68
  • Gravenhorst, J. L. C. 1851. Über die im Zoologischen Museum der Universität Breslau Befindlichen Wirtelschleichen (Pseudosaura), Krüppelfüssler (Brachypoda), und einige andere, Denselben verwandte Reptilien aus den Zünften der Schleichen und Dickzüngler [Euprepes striolatus]. Acta Acad. Caes. Leop. Carol. Nat. Cur. 23 (1): 291-394 [1847] - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1845. Catalogue of the specimens of lizards in the collection of the British Museum. Trustees of die British Museum/Edward Newman, London: xxvii + 289 pp. - get paper here
  • GRISMER, L. LEE; EVAN S. H. QUAH, ZAHARIL DUZULKAFLY & PAUL YAMBUN 2018. On the taxonomy of Lygosoma bampfyldei Bartlett, 1895 (Squamata: Scincidae) with descriptions of new species from Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia and the resurrection of Lygosoma schneideri Werner, 1900. Zootaxa 4438 (3): 528–550 - get paper here
  • Karunarathna, Suranjan D. M. S. and A. A. Thasun Amarasinghe 2011. A PRELIMINARY SURVEY OF THE REPTILE FAUNA IN NILGALA FOREST AND ITS VICINITY, MONARAGALA DISTRICT, SRI LANKA. Taprobanica 3 (02): 69-76
  • Kästle , W., Rai, K. & Schleich, H.H. 2013. FIELD GUIDE to Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal. ARCO-Nepal e.V., 625 pp. - get paper here
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  • Lenz, Norbert 2012. Von Schmetterlingen und Donnerdrachen - Natur und Kultur in Bhutan. Karlsruher Naturhefte 4, Naturkundemuseum Karlsruhe, 124 pp.
  • Manhas, Amit; Rajni Raina, and Ashwani Wanganeo 2018. Reptilian diversity of the Bhopal Region in the State of Madhya Pradesh in central India. IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians 25 (2): 104–114 - get paper here
  • Mittleman, M.B. 1952. A generic synopsis of the Lizards of the Subfamily Lygosominae. Smithson. misc. Collns, 117: 1-35. - get paper here
  • Murthy, T.S.N. 2010. The reptile fauna of India. B.R. Publishing, New Delhi, 332 pp.
  • Nguyen, S.V., Ho, C.T. and Nguyen, T.Q. 2009. Herpetofauna of Vietnam. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 768 pp.
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  • Pandharikar S. D.; Joshi P. S. & V. T. Tantarpale 2015. DIVERSITY OF SAURIAN FAUNA FROM JALGAON (JAMOD) TERRITORY, BULDHANA DISTRICT (M.S.), INDIA. Reviews Of Progress 3 (25): 1-4 - get paper here
  • Patel, Harshil; and Raju Vyas 2019. Reptiles of Gujarat, India: Updated Checklist, Distribution, and Conservation Status. Herpetology Notes 12: 765-777 - get paper here
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  • Patel, Harshil; Vaibhav Naik, and Shantilal K. Tank 2016. Death-feigning behavior in two species of Lygosoma (Squamata: Scincidae) from India Phyllomedusa 15 (2): 191-194 - get paper here
  • Prasad, Vishal Kumar; Anjali Verma & Ghazala Shahabuddin 2018. An annotated checklist of the herpetofauna of the Rashtrapati Bhawan Estates, New Delhi, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa| 10(2): 11295–11302 - get paper here
  • Saikia, U.; Sharma, D.K. & Sharma, R.M. 2007. Checklist of the Reptilian fauna of Himachal Pradesh, India. Reptile Rap (8): 6-9 - get paper here
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  • Swan, L.W., & Leviton, A.E. 1962. The herpetology of Nepal: a history, check list, and zoogeographical analysis of the herpetofauna. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 32 (6) (4.s.): 103-147. - get paper here
  • Taylor, E.H. 1953. A review of the lizards of Ceylon. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 35 (12): 1525-1585 - get paper here
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  • Tsetan, Chime & R. Ramanibai 2011. Reptilian fauna of agricultural landscapes of Chembarambakkam Lake, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Reptile Rap (13): 2-8 - get paper here
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  • VYAS, R. 2017. Fortpflanzungsdaten für den Gepunkteten Laubskink, Lygosoma punctatum (Gmelin, 1799) Sauria 39 (2): 76-78 - get paper here
  • VYAS, R. 2018. Reproduction data on the Spotted Supple Skink, Lygosoma punctatum (Gmelin, 1799) Sauria 40 (4): 76 - 78 - get paper here
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  • Whitaker, A.H. 1985. Hoplodactylus kahutarae n. sp. (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from the Seaward Kaikoura Range, Marlborough, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 11: 259-270 (1984)
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