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Melanoseps pygmaeus BROADLEY, 2006

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Pygmy limbless skink 
SynonymMelanoseps pygmaeus BROADLEY in BROADLEY, WHITING & BAUER 2006
Melanoseps ater — TORNIER 1896 (part)
Melanoseps ater — LOVERIDGE 1933: 326 (part)
Melanoseps ater var. longicauda —TORNIER 1900 (part)
Melanoseps pygmaeus — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 173 
DistributionTanzania (Muheza District), Kenya (P. Malonza, pers. comm., 23 June 2021)

Type locality: Kambai Forest Reserve (04°59’ S: 38°41’ E), Muheza District, Tanga Region, Tanzania at 580 m elevation.  
TypesHolotype: NMZB 14846 (KMH 12751), adult female 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A dwarfed form with 18-20 midbody scale rows like M. rondoensis, distinguished from the latter by its higher number of ventrals (125-141 vs 113-128) and subcaudals (44 vs 37-43) [from BROADLEY et al. 2006]. 
EtymologyNamed pygmaeus (L. = pygmy) for its small size (maximum snout-vent length probably less than 100 mm) compared with the M. ater group (max. SVL210 mm) and M. loveridgei (max. SVL135 mm). 
  • Broadley, Donald G., Alison S. Whiting and Aaron M. Bauer 2006. A revision of the East African species of Melanoseps Boulenger (Sauria: Scincidae: Feylininae). African Journal of Herpetology 55 (2):95-112. - get paper here
  • Loveridge,A. 1933. Reports on the scientific Results of an Expedition to the Southwestem Highlands of Tanganyika Territory. VII. Herpetology. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 74: 197-415 - get paper here
  • Malonza, Patrick K.; David M. Mulwa, Joash O. Nyamache, Georgina Jones 2017. Biogeography of the Shimba Hills ecosystem herpetofauna in Kenya. Zoological Research 38(5): 1-11 - get paper here
  • Spawls, Steve; Kim Howell, Harald Hinkel, Michele Menegon 2018. Field Guide to East African Reptiles. Bloomsbury, 624 pp. - get paper here
  • Tornier, G. 1900. Neue Liste der Crocodile, Schildkröten und Eidechsen Deutsch-Ost-Afrikas. Zool. Jahrb. Syst. 13: 579-618 - get paper here
  • Tornier,G. 1897. Die Kriechthiere Deutsch-Ostafrikas. Beiträge zur Systematik und Descendenzlehre. D. Reimer, Berlin, 164 pp. - get paper here
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