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Marmorosphax kaala SADLIER, SMITH, BAUER & WHITAKER, 2009

IUCN Red List - Marmorosphax kaala - Critically Endangered, CR

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymMarmorosphax kaala SADLIER, SMITH, BAUER & WHITAKER 2009 
DistributionNew Caledonia (Mt. Kaala), elevation 400-600 m.

Type locality: Mt. Kaala, (station 255), 20°38’48”S, 164°23’23”E.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: MNHN 1987.1508 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS. Marmorosphax kaala n. sp. can be distinguished from other members of the genus by the following combination of characters: dorsal scale rows 69; fourth toe lamellae 31-35; dorsal surface with dark markings along the paravertebral axis at the joining edge of scale rows three and four (sometimes restricted to the nape); lateral surface with pale markings aligned to form a broken mid-lateral stripe; underside of head with bold dark blotches on the throat. Marmorosphax kaala n. sp. most closely resembles Marmorosphax tricolor and M. taom n. sp. in colouration and scalation. The presence of dark markings along the paravertebral axis and the alignment of pale markings along the lateral surface to form a broken mid-lateral stripe distinguishes Marmorosphax kaala n. sp. from Marmorosphax taom n. sp. and Marmorosphax tricolor, both of which lack dark markings aligned along the dorsal surface and tend to have the pale markings on the side of the body scattered over the mid- to lower lateral surface. Scalation characters readily distinguish Marmorosphax kaala n. sp. from Marmorosphax boulinda n. sp. and Marmorosphax montana, both of which have more scales under the toes (see Table 1). The presence of pale markings aligned along the lateral surface to form a broken mid-lateral stripe further distinguishes Marmorosphax kaala n. sp. from Marmorosphax boulinda n. sp. and Marmorosphax montana, both of which have the pale markings on the lateral surface scattered or more transversely aligned. 
CommentAbundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyETYMOLOGY. — The epithet is a noun in apposition in reference to the type locality, Mt. Kaala. 
References
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - get paper here
  • Sadlier R. A., Smith, S.A.; Bauer A. M. & Whitaker A. H. 2009. Three new species of skink in the genus Marmorosphax Sadlier (Squamata: Scincidae) from New Caledonia. in Grandcolas, P. (ed.), Zoologia Neocaledonica 7. Biodiversity studies in New Caledonia. Mémoires du Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle 198: 373-390
 
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