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Nannoscincus rankini SADLIER, 1987

IUCN Red List - Nannoscincus rankini - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Rankin's Elf Skink 
SynonymNannoscincus rankini SADLIER 1987: 62
Nannoscincus rankini — ADLER, AUSTIN & DUDLEY 1995
Nannoscincus rankini — BAUER & SADLIER 2000
Nannoscincus rankini — SADLIER et al. 2014 
DistributionNew Caledonia (Mont Aoupinié, elevations > 900 m).

Type locality: summit of Mt Aoupinié (1086 m elevation), New Caledonia, 21° 11’ S, 165° 16’ E.  
Reproductionoviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: AMS (AM) R77736, adult male 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Nannoscincus rankini can be distinguished from all other members of the genus by the following combination of characters: frontoparietals fused; loreal Single; left oviduct lost in females; lower eyelid with a semi-translucent window; ear opening minute; body scales with 3-4 fine, longitudinal, striations; adult body colour relatively uniform; ear opening positioned two scales posterior to lower secondary temporal; presacral vertebrae 29-30; phalangeal formula for pes (Sadlier et al. 2002: 241).

DESCRIPTION. Based on five specimens (four adults and one subadult). Measurements are given for four adults only. Scalation and osteology for all specimens unless otherwise stated.
Measurements: maximum SVL 41 mm; distance from axilla to groin 61.0-63.5% of SVL (=61.9); distance from forelimb to snout 32.4-35.9% of SVL ( = 34.0); hindlimb length 19.2-24.3% of SVL ( = 22.1).
Scalation: prefrontals present, very small and widely separated; supraciliaries 7 (50%) or 8 (40%), rarely 6; ear opening positioned two scales posterior to lower secondary temporal; body scales with 3-4 fine striations, midbody scale rows 22-24 (=22.8, sd. =1.09); paravertebral scales 49-53 (=51, sd. =1.41); scales on top of fourth finger 4; lamellae beneath fourth finger 5-6 ( =5.4, sd. =0.55); scales on top of fourth toe 6-7 (=6.3, sd. =0.45); lamellae beneath fourth toe 13-17 ( = 14.5, sd. = 1.58).
Osteology: presacral vertebrae 29-30 ( = 29.6, sd. = 0.55); phalangeal formula for both manus and pes
Colouration: dorsal and lateral colour mid to dark brown with numerous small, scattered, pale spots on head, and faint dark markings along dorsolateral and vertebral axis. Dark dorsolateral markings poorly defined, extending from back of eye to level of hindlimbs, breaking up and becoming ill defined along tail. Ventral surface pale with scattered brown markings at ventrolateral edge, and irregular brown markings to throat.
Subadult colouration (Single specimen) markedly two-toned, with a light dorsal and darker lateral surface. Dorsal surface mid brown with dark vertebral markings forming a faint but continuous line from nape to base of tail. Lateral surface dark brown, unmarked. Dorsal and lateral surfaces defined by a dark (notably darker than lateral colour) dorsolateral stripe (inflected over tympanic region) (Sadlier et al. 2002: 241). 
CommentConservation: Rare.

Distribution: see map in SADLIER et al. 2014: 54. 
EtymologyNamed for the late Peter Rankin, a friend of Ross Sadlier. Rankin died in January 1979 while collecting reptiles with Sadlier in New Caledonia. 
  • Adler,G.H.; Austin,C.C. & Dudley,R. 1995. Dispersal and speciation of skinks among archipelagos in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Evolutionary Ecology 9: 529-541 - get paper here
  • Bauer, A. M. & SADLIER, R. A. 2000. The herpetofauna of New Caledonia. Contributions to Herpetology, 17; Society for Study Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca, New York.
  • Bauer, A.M. & Sadlier,R.A. 1993. Systematics, biogeography and conservation of the lizards of New Caledonia. Biodiv. Lett. 1: 107-122 - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Sadlier R A 1987. A review of the scincid lizards of New Caledonia. Rec. Austral. Mus. 39(1) 1987: 1-66 [1986] - get paper here
  • Sadlier, R. A., A. M. BAUER & A. H. WHITAKER 2002. The scincid lizard genus Nannoscincus from New Caledonia in Southwest Pacific: a review of the morphology and distribution of species in the Nannoscincus mariei species group, including the description of three new species from Province Nord. Zoologica Neocaledonica 5. Systématic et endemisme en Nouvellee-Calédonie. pp 233-255. J. Naut & P. Grandcolas (Eds). Memoires du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Vol. 187 , Paris
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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