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Lygosoma tabonorum HEITZ, DIESMOS, FREITAS, ELLSWORTH & GRISMER, 2016

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Lygosominae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Palawan Supple Skink 
SynonymLygosoma tabonorum HEITZ, DIESMOS, FREITAS, ELLSWORTH & GRISMER 2016
Lygosoma quadrupes — GAULKE 1999
Lygosoma quadrupes — LINKEM et al. 2010: 76
Lygosoma tabonorum — FREITAS et al. 2019 
DistributionPhilippines (Palawan, Cuyo island)

Type locality: secondary growth forest, Santa Lucia Penal Colony, Barangay Santa Lucia, Municipality of Puerto Princesa, Palawan Province, Palawan Island, Philippines (9.7432698N, 118.6653068E, elevation 6 m above sea level; in all cases, datum 1⁄4 WGS84  
Reproductionoviparous (predicted) 
TypesHolotype: PNM 9820, adult male; Field no. ACD 7395; Figs. 3–5) collected on 10 November 2011 at 1100; Fig. 2), by ACD, E. Jose, and J.V. Bienen.
Paratypes (paratopotypes): One adult male (PNM 9821) and two juveniles (PNM 9822, 9823) collected on 10 November 2011 by ACD, E. Jose, and J.V. Bienen. Other paratypes in PNM, CAS, MCZ, CAS-SUR, 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Lygosoma tabonorum can be distinguished from congeners by the following combination of morpho- logical characters: (1) body size small (SVL 1⁄4 60.0–79.0 mm); (2) limbs short (,5 mm); (3) SL 6 or 7; (4) IFL 5 or 6; (5) SC 5 or 6; (6) SO 4; (7) MBSRC 25 or 26; (8) AGSRC 83– 90; (9) PVSRC 106–111; (10) prefrontal contact absent; and (11) single, enlarged, fused frontoparietal (Tables 1 and 2 in Heitz et al. 2016).

Comparisons. Lygosoma tabonorum is phenotypically most similar to L. quadrupes sensu Linnaeus (1766), but it can be distinguished by having fewer AGSR (83–90 vs. 99– 101) and PVSR (106–111 vs. 117–119), and fewer SC (5 or 6 vs. 7). Among other species of Lygosoma recognized to occur in Southeast Asia (L. albopuncata, L. angeli, L. anguinum, L. bampfyldei, L. boehmei, L. bowringii, L. corpulentum, L. frontoparietale, L. haroldyoungi, L. herberti, L. isodactylum, L. koratense, L. lineolatum, L. opisthorhodum, L. popae, L. punctata, and L. veunsaiensis), L. tabonorum differs on the basis of overall body size, relative limb lengths and a number of scale pattern characteristics (Tables 1 and 2).
On the basis of body morphology, L. tabonorum can be distinguished from L. albopunctata, L. anguinum, L. frontoparietale, L. lineolatum, L. popae, and L. veunaiensis by having a larger SVL (60.0–79.0 mm vs. 35.0–47.0 mm [L. albopunctata], 35.0–58.0 mm [L. anguinum], 36.0–43.0 mm [L. frontoparietale], 44.0–55.0 mm [L. lineolatum], 46.0–57.0 mm [L. popae], 33.6 mm [L. veunaiensis]) and longer TL (55.0–72.0 mm vs. 33.0–37.0 mm [L. albopunctata], 40.0– 55.0 mm [L. anguinum], 47.0–54.0 mm [L. frontoparietale], 34.0–45.0 mm [L. lineolatum], 35.0–42.0 mm [L. popae], 40.1 mm [L. veunaiensis]); from L. boehmei, L. corpulentum, and L. koratense by having a smaller SVL (60.0–79.0 mm vs. 86.0 mm [L. boehmei], 97.8–168.0 mm [L. corpulentum], 101.0–106.0 mm [L. koratense]) and shorter TL (55.0–72.0 mm vs. 91.0 mm [L. boehmei], 97.6–159.8 mm [L. corpulentum], 93.0–95.0 mm [L. koratense]); from L. bampfyldei, L. haroldyoungii, L. isodactylum, L. opistho- rhodum, and L. punctata by having a smaller SVL (60.0–79.0 mm vs. 142.1 mm [L. bampfyldei], 114.8–148.0 mm [L. haroldyoungi], 82.5–117.0 mm [L. isodactylum], 93.0 mm [L. opisthorhodum], 85.0 mm [L. punctata]); and from L. herberti by having a slimmer body profile (AGD 1⁄4 45.0–63.0 mm vs. 33.0–37.0 mm; MBW 1⁄4 3.8–6.1 mm vs. 8.6–9.4 mm).
On the basis of limb morphology, the new species can be distinguished from L. albopunctata, L. boehmei, L. corpu- lentum, L. frontoparietale, L. haroldyoungi, L. herberti, L. isodactylum, L. koratense, and L. veunaiensis by having shorter relative FLL (FLL/SVL 1⁄4 3.3–4.6% vs. 8.1–23.7% [L. albopunctata], 17.1% [L. boehmei], 12.7–22.7% [L. corpulentum], 8.4–9.9% [L. frontoparietale], 10.6–18.8% [L. haroldyoungi], 10.6–11.5% [L. herberti], 10.6–18.8% [L. isodactylum], 22.6–24.8% [L. koratense], 18.5% [L. veunaiensis]) and shorter relative HLL (HLL/SVL 1⁄4 5.1– 6.8% vs. 9.9–16.7% [L. albopunctata], 22.1% [L. boehmei], 9.8–19.6% [L. corpulentum], 15.3–15.5% [L. frontoparie- tale], 9.8–13.9% [L. haroldyoungi], 12.5–16.6% [L. herberti], 9.8–13.9% [L. isodactylum], 14.2–15.8% [L. koratense], 12.8% [L. veunaiensis]); and from L. lineolatum and L. popae by having shorter relative HLL (HLL/SVL 1⁄4 5.1– 6.8% vs. 7.9–10.9% [L. lineolatum], 7.6–8.8% [L. popae]).
Lygosoma tabonorum differs from L. boehmei, L. corpulentum, L. haroldyoungi, L. isodactylum, and L. koratense by having shorter HL (4.1–5.6 mm vs. 12.3 mm [L. boehmei], 16.9–30.3 mm [L. corpulentum], 15.2–18.1 mm [L. haroldyoungi], 11.7–14.0 mm [L. isodactylum], 18.0–19.0 mm [L. koratense]) and shorter HW (3.9–7.8 mm vs. 10.5 mm [L. boehmei], 12.0–21.8 mm [L. corpulentum], 9.5–12.0 mm [L. haroldyoungi], 7.7–9.0 mm [L. isodacty- lum], 13.0 mm [L. koratense]); and from L. angeli and L. herberti by having a shorter HL (4.1–5.6 mm vs. 9.4–12.1 mm [L. angeli], 6.8–8.8 mm [L. herberti]).
On the basis of scale patterns and counts, L. tabonorum differs from L. albopunctata and L. lineolatum by having more MBSR (25 or 26 vs. 14 [L. albopunctata], 22–24 [L. lineolatum]), AGSR (83–90 vs. 37–49 [L. albopunctata], 57– 72 [L. lineolatum]), and PVSR (106–111 vs. 59–71 [L. albopunctata], 78–93 [L. lineolatum]); from L. frontopar- ietale by having fewer MBSR (25 or 26 vs. 28 or 29), more AGSR (83–90 vs. 40 or 41), and more PVSR (106–111 vs. 60); from L. bohemei, L. corpulentum, L. isodactylum, and L. koratense by having fewer MBSR (25 or 26 vs. 32 [L. bohemei], 36–40 [L. corpulentum], 30–34 [L. isodactylum], 32–34 [L. koratense]) and more PVSR (106–111 vs. 66 [L. bohemei], 78–86 [L. corpulentum], 88–98 [L. isodactylum], 63 [L. koratense]); from L. anguinum, L. bowringii, L. herberti, and L. popae by having more AGSR (83–90 vs. 69– 76 [L. anguinum], 21–46 [L. bowringii], 37 [L. herberti], 68– 72 [L. popae]) and PVSR (106–111 vs. 90–99 [L. anguinum], 51–71 [L. bowringii], 54–58 [L. herberti], 90–96 [L. popae]); from L. angeli by having fewer MBSR (25 or 26 vs. 30); from L. popae by having more AGSR (83–90 vs. 68–72) and PVSR (106–111 vs. 90–96); from L. veunaiensis by having more MBSR (25 or 26 vs. 22) and PVSR (106–111 vs. 51); and from L. punctata by having more PVSR (106–111 vs. 62–76).
The new species further differs from L. albopunctata, L. boehmei, L. bowringii, L. corpulentum, L. frontoparietale, L. herberti, and L. koratense by having fewer F3lam (5 or 6 vs. 8–10 [L. albopunctata], 8–10 [L. boehmei], 7–12 [L. bowringii], 9 or 10 [L. frontoparietale], 11 or 12 [L. herberti], 9 [L. koratense]) and T4lam (6 or 7 vs. 13–16 [L. albopunctata], 14 [L. boehmei], 10–17 [L. bowringii], 13–15 [L. frontoparietale], 15 [L. herberti], 13 or 14 [L. koratense]); and from L. anguinum, L. corpulentum, L. popae, L. punctata, and L. veunaiensis by having fewer T4lam (6 or 7 vs. 8 [L. anguinum], 11–15 [L. corpulentum], 8 or 9 [L. popae], 11–14 [L. punctata], 9 [L. veunaiensis]).
Lygosoma tabonorum can be distinguished from L. boehmei and L. koratense by having fewer IFL (5 or 6 vs. 7 [L. boehmei and L. koratense]); from L. haroldyoungi and L. isodactylum by having fewer SC (5 or 6 vs. 7 [L. haroldyoungi and L. isodactylum]); from L. koratense by having fewer SL (6 or 7 vs. 8); from L. veunaiensis by having a greater number of SL (6 or 7 vs. 5); from L. lineolatum by having fewer SC (5 or 6 vs. 7 or 8); from L. albopunctata by the presence of a single, enlarged, fused FP (vs. distinct pair or lack of frontoparietals); and from L. frontoparietale by the presence of contact medially between enlarged, first chin shield pair (vs. no contact). 
CommentHabitat: common in decaying logs and root networks around trees in forest fragments.

Behavior: Individuals of the species were observed during daytime surveys after rotting log microhabitats were overturned by raking efforts. Once disturbed, individuals would move quickly in a serpentine motion to burrow into loose organic material and soil substrate.

Sympatry: L. bowringii 
EtymologyNamed after the modern human (Homo sapiens) population that inhabited central Palawan Island, at the Municipality of Quezon, 24,000–22,000 yr before present (Fox 1970, 1978). Constituting the celebrated ‘‘Tabon Man,’’ Palawan human remains formerly were believed to represent the earliest documented evidence of human habitation in the archipel- ago. Although other northern Philippine localities are now recognized to possess the most ancient H. sapiens fossils, human paleontology and the search for ‘‘The first Filipino’’ had its inception in the Tabon Caves complex with the work of the National Museum of the Philippines in the late 1960s (Fox 1970, 1978). The specific epithet is masculine and plural, referring to the population of humans that inhabited the Tabon Caves complex. 
References
  • 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
  • Gaulke M. 1999. Die Herpetofauna von Calauit Island (Calamianes-Inseln, Provinz Palawan, Philippinen) (Amphibia et Reptilia). Faun. Abh. Staatl. Mus. Tierk. Dresden 21 (19)
  • 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
  • Heitz, Brendan B.; Arvin C. Diesmos, Elyse S. Freitas, Elyse D. Ellsworth, Lee L. Grismer, Anchalee Aowphol, Rafe M. Brown, and Cameron D. Siler 2016. A New Supple Skink, Genus Lygosoma (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae), from the Western Philippines Herpetologica, Vol. 72, No. 4, December 2016: 352-361. - get paper here
  • Linkem, C.W.; Diesmos, A.C.; Brown, R.M. 2010. A NEW SPECIES OF SCINCID LIZARD (GENUS SPHENOMORPHUS) FROM PALAWAN ISLAND, PHILIPPINES. Herpetologica 66 (1): 67–79 - get paper here
  • Siler, Cameron D.; Brendan B. Heitz, Drew R. Davis, Elyse S. Freitas, Anchalee Aowphol, Korkhwan Termprayoon and L. Lee Grismer 2018. New Supple Skink, Genus Lygosoma (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae), from Indochina and Redescription of Lygosoma quadrupes (Linnaeus, 1766). Journal of Herpetology 52 (3): 332-347. - get paper here
 
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