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Menetia amaura STORR, 1978

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Common Dwarf Skink 
SynonymMenetia amaura STORR 1978
Menetia amaura — COGGER 2000: 542
Menetia amaura — COGGER 2014: 654
Menetia amaura — CHAPPLE et al. 2021 
DistributionAustralia (Western Australia)

Type locality: False Entrance Well, Carrarang Station, 26° 23’ S, 113° 19’ E, W. A.  
Reproductionparthenogenetic, 1-3 eggs per clutch. 
TypesHolotype: WAM R54724 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A dark Menetia with only one supraciliary. Further distinguishable from M. greyii by 5 (rather than 4) small scales in outer arc between largest supraciliary and penultimate labial, lack of ear aperture, and absence of lateral stripes, and from M. surda by single presubocular (rather than 2), longer first supraocular, and no enlarged upper circumocular granule. Diagnosis based on the holotype only (Storr 1978: 317). 
CommentDiet: primarily thysanura (silverfish), small spiders, and true bugs.

Limb morphology: 4 fingers, 5 toes

Synonymy: after Glenn Shea, pers. comm. 4 Sep 2014. M. amaura has been considered a synonym of M. greyii by Aplin & Smith (1991) and its status seems to remain unclear. However, we follow Chapple et al. 2021 in recognizing amaura.

Status (amaura). The status of amaura has been unclear for many years and most recent authors have treated it as synonym of M. greyii. “Recent genetic studies of the genus Menetia have revealed extensive genetic diversity within a M. greyii ‘complex’ [...]. These studies also suggest the enigmatic holotype of Menetia amaura Storr, collected at False Entrance Well, Shark Bay, is very likely an aberrant specimen of a locally abundant and geographically widespread member of the M. greyii ‘complex’. Because the paralectotypes of M. greyii Gray were probably collected in the vicinity of Perth (Aplin et al. submitted), there is a good possibility that amaura is strictly synonymous with true greyii. Further molecular and taxonomic work is underway to resolve these issues.” (Aplin et al. 2001, Aplin et al. cited as submitted; Adams, Donnellan and Aplin unpublished; P. Doughty, pers. comm. 2 Apr 2014). 
  • Adams, M.; Foster, R.; Hutchinson, M.N.; Hutchinson, R.G.; Donnellan, S.C. 2003. The Australian scincid lizard Menetia greyii: an new instance of widespread vertebrate parthenogenesis. Evolution Int J Org Evolution 57 (11): 2619-2627 - get paper here
  • Aplin, K.P. and L.A. Smith 2001. Checklist of the frogs and reptiles of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement No. 63: 51–74 - get paper here
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  • Bush, B. 1981. Reptiles of the Kalgoorlie-Esperance Region. B. Bush, Perth, 46 pp - get paper here
  • Chapple, David G; Roll, Uri; Böhm, Monika; Aguilar, Rocío Amey, Andrew P Austin, Chris C Baling, Marleen Barley, Anthony J Bates, Michael F Bauer, Aaron M Blackburn, Daniel G Bowles, Phil Brown, Rafe M Chandramouli, S R Chirio, Laurent Cogger, Hal Co 2021. Conservation Status of the World’s Skinks (Scincidae): Taxonomic and Geographic Patterns in Extinction Risk. Biological Conservation 257: 109101 - get paper here
  • CHIACCHIO, MICHELE; ANNEGRET GRIMM-SEYFARTH<br />KLAUS HENLE<br /> AND JEAN-BAPTISTE MIHOUB 2020. Water availability as a major climatic driver of taxonomic and functional diversity in a desert reptile community. Ecosphere 11(7):e03190. 10.1002/ecs2.3190 - 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.
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  • Maryan, B., Browne-Cooper, R. and Bush, B. 2002. Herpetofauna Survey of the Maralla Road Bushland. Western Australian Naturalist 23: 197-205 - get paper here
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  • Smyth, M. & Smith, M. J. 1974. Aspects of the natural history of three Australian skinks, Morethia boulengeri, Menetia greyii and Lerista bougainvillii. Journal of Herpetology 8 (3): 329-336 - get paper here
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