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Nangura spinosa COVACEVICH, COUPER & JAMES, 1993

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Nangur (Spiny) Skink 
SynonymNangura spinosa COVACEVICH, COUPER & JAMES 1993
Nangura spinosa — COGGER 2000: 764
Nangura spinosa — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Concinnia spinosa — SKINNER et al. 2013 
DistributionAustralia (SE Queensland)

Type locality: Nangur State Forest (SF74), 26°07', 151°58') SEQ.  
TypesHolotype: QM J55424 female, C. James & M. Fletcher, 5 June 1992. PARATYPES: QMJ56029
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus Nangura): Head scales rugose. Most other dorsal and lateral scales keeled, and not, or only just overlapping. Keels on the tail are most pronounced, almost pyramidal. Dorsal keels form longitudinal lines. Axillal and inguinal scales bead-like to granular. Ventral scales weakly carinate. Iris very dark, almost as dark as the pupil which is black. Rostral in broad contact with the frontonasal, which thus separates the nasals widely. Prefrontals large, moderately spaced. Frontal elongate, almost 1.5 times as long as broad. Fronto-parietals in broad contact, and in contact with supraoculars 2, 3 and 4. Interparietal elongate, almost rectangular, about twice as long as broad, and about as long as the parietals. Parietals widely separated by the interparietal and bordered by two temporals. Supraoculars 4. Supraciliaries 5-7. Suboculars in a distinct row, in contact with supralabials and granules of the lower eyelid. Lower eyelid scaly, without a disc. Loreal scales 2, the posterior one the larger. Ear opening large, about three times as long as wide; vertical, lacking lobules, and with a superficial tympanum. Medial pairs of preanal scales greatly enlarged. Dorsal scales of the fourth toe paired basally. Palatine bones in broad medial contact. Palatal rami of the pterygoid bones narrowly separated. Ectopterygoid bones contacting both the palatines and the pterygoids (Fig. 2a). No postorbital. Supratemporal fossae present. Eight conical teeth on the premaxilla. Pterygoid without teeth. Meckel's groove open (Fig. 3). Karyotype 2n=28. Hemipenis smooth, bilobed.

DIAGNOSIS (species): N. spinosa is distinguished from other members of the Sphenomorphus group (except some Eulamprus spp., all of which lack keels)by the state of the parietal shields (parietals not in contact behind the interparietal vs parietals in contact behind the interparietal). It is distinguished from G. queenslandiae, the species to which it bears most resemblance, by midbody scale count (28- 30 vs 32-36, Cogger 1992); and by karyotype 2n (28 vs 30);degree of caudal keeling (very pronounced vs not pronounced); degree of lateral scale overlap(some vs none); supratemporal fossae (present vs absent); contact between ectopterygoid, palatine and pterygoid bones (ectopterygoid contacting both vs contacting only the pterygoid, Fig 2a,b); and size (max SVL 95.10 mm vs 90.80 mm). As Nangura and Gnypetoscincus are monotypic, the characters which separate them generically also separate them at the species level. (The latter was redefined by Ingram, 1985, following separation of the Australian 'Tropidophorus' queenslandiae from Southeast Asian Tropidophorus spp., as Gnypetoscincus queenslandiae, Wells and Wellington, 1985). 
CommentHABITAT: Semi-evergreen vine thicket on dark, basaltic soils.

Type species: Nangura spinosa COVACEVICH, COUPER & JAMES 1993 is the type species of the genus Nangura COVACEVICH, COUPER & JAMES 1993.

Limb morphology: 5 digits, 5 toes (Singhal et al. 2018, Brandley et al 2008)

Morphology: Hutchinson et al. 2021 present a table of morphological character states across 20 Australian sphenomorphine skinks, including this genus. 
EtymologyNamed after Latin “Spinosa”, referring to the spiny scales of the species.

The genus Nangura has been named after the type locality. 
  • 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.
  • Couper, P., Covacevich, J., Amey, A. & Baker, A. 2006. The genera of skinks (Family Scincidae) of Australia and its island territories: diversity, distribution and identification. in: Merrick, J.R., Archer, M., Hickey, G.M. & Lee, M.S.Y. (eds.). Evolution and Zoogeography of Australasian Vertebrates. Australian Scientific Publishing, Sydney, pp. 367-384
  • Covacevich J A; Couper P J; James C 1993. A new skink, Nangura spinosa gen. et sp. nov, from a dry rainforest of southeastern Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 34 (1): 159-167 - get paper here
  • Hannah, D; Agnew, G; Hamley, B; Hogan, L 1997. New information on the narrowly-restricted skink Nangura spinosa. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 42 (1): 90. - get paper here
  • Hutchinson, M. N., Couper, P., Amey, A., & Wilmer, J. W. 2021. Diversity and Systematics of Limbless Skinks (Anomalopus) from Eastern Australia and the Skeletal Changes that Accompany the Substrate Swimming Body Form. Journal of Herpetology 55 (4): 361-384 - get paper here
  • Reeder, T.W. 2003. A phylogeny of the Australian Sphenomorphus group (Scincidae: Squamata) and the phylogenetic placement of the crocodile skinks (Tribolonotus): Bayesian approaches to assessing congruence and obtaining confidence in maximum likelihood inferred relatio Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 27: 384–397 - get paper here
  • Singhal, Sonal; Huateng Huang, Maggie R. Grundler, María R. Marchán-Rivadeneira, Iris Holmes, Pascal O. Title, Stephen C. Donnellan, and Daniel L. Rabosky 2018. Does Population Structure Predict the Rate of Speciation? A Comparative Test across Australia’s Most Diverse Vertebrate Radiation. The American Naturalist - get paper here
  • Skinner, Adam; Mark N. Hutchinson, Michael S.Y. Lee 2013. Phylogeny and Divergence Times of Australian Sphenomorphus Group Skinks (Scincidae, Squamata). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 69 (3): 906–918 - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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