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Mochlus simonettai (LANZA, 1979)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Lygosominae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common NamesSimonetta's Writhing Skink 
SynonymLygosoma simonettai LANZA 1979
Lygosoma simonettai — LANZA 1988: 423 
DistributionSomalia (Afgoi)

Type locality: about 6 km E of Afgoi (about 02°06'N, 45°11'E, SE Somalia)  
TypesHolotype: MZUF 22245, haf-grown female 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. An apparently medium-sized (body length of the larg- est c:f: 88 mm) Lygosoma (sensu G R E E R , 1977) with: lower eyelid with a large undivided disk; frontoparietals paired; supranasal completely separate from the nasal; supranasals meeting medially; pentadactyle limbs; head black, neck whitish to hazel, trunk and tail dorsally very dark, with close whitish dots in life (brown with dark and light dots in alcohol); tail a little shorter than head+body; 24 to, usually, 26; smooth scales round the body, midway between axilla and groin; 81-86 scales between the 1st pair of chin-shields and the precloacal shields. 
EtymologyNamed afer “my friend and Colleague Prof. Alberto M. Simonetta, a passionate student of Somali wildlife to whom the Zoological Museum of Florence is indebted for some of its finest material.” 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Lanza B 1979. Lygosoma simonettai, a new black-headed skink from Somalia (Reptilia Scinidae). Monitore Zoologico Italiano supplemento 12(4) 1979: 25-32
  • Lanza, B. 1990. Amphibians and reptiles of the Somali Democratic Republic: check list and biogeography. Biogeographia, 14: 407-465 [1988]
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