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Nessia gansi BATUWITA & EDIRISINGHE, 2017

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymNessia gansi BATUWITA & EDIRISINGHE 2017 
DistributionSri Lanka

Type locality: Mount Rumaswala, near Galle, 06°01’N, 80°14’E, ~10 m (elevation).  
TypesHolotype: NMSL (= WHT) 7585 (adult male) Paratypes: NMSL (= WHT) 2018, (1 male), 62.0 mm SVL, Panagula, 06°02’N, 80°23’E, 60 m; NMSL (= WHT) 2329 (1 sub-adult female), 42.0 mm SVL, Richmond Hill, Galle, 06o03’N, 80°12’E; 15 m; NMSL NMSL (= WHT) 7649 (1 female), 67.0 mm SVL, Imaduwa, 06°02’N, 80°23’E, 60 m; NMSL (= WHT) 7650 (1 male) 68.0 mm SVL, Kanneliya Forest Reserve, Udugama, 06°25’N, 80°27’E, 150 m; NMSL NMSL (= WHT) 7651, (1 male), 64.0 mm SVL, same location data as above; NMSL (= WHT) 7652, (1 male), 65.0 mm SVL, Ambalangoda, 06°02’N, 80°23’E, 20 m. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Nessia gansi sp. n. differs from all other congeners except N. burtonii, by the combination of the following characters: presence of four limbs (vs. no limbs in N. deraniyagalae, N. hikanala and N. layardi; in having two hind-limbs in N. bipes, N. sarasinorum); three digits in each forelimb and hind-limb (vs. no digits in each forelimb and hind-limb in N. monodactyla, two digits in each forelimb and hind-limb in N. didactyla); interparietal broader than frontal (vs. interparietal narrower than frontal in N. sarasinorum). It distinguishes from Nessia burtonii by having five (vs. six) supraciliaries; one (vs. two) pretemporal/s; two (vs. one) primary temporal/s; three (vs. four) infralabials; 93-105 (vs. 110-124) paravertebral scale rows; 103-114 (vs. 117-121) ventral scales; two (vs. three) subdigital lamellae under each digit of menus; mental as wide as postmental (vs. mental wider than postmental), and nostrils visible when viewed ventrally (vs. not visible). Nessia gansi sp. n. is distinguished from Chalcidoseps thwaitesii (Günther) by having three digits in each forelimb and in hind-limb (vs. four digits in each forelimb and hind-limb), first pair of chin shields separated medially by a single scale (vs. in contact medially) and interparietal broader than frontal (vs. interparietal narrower than frontal). 
CommentSynonymy: the species was found in the National Museum Sri Lanka but previously confused with Nessia burtonii. 
EtymologyNamed in honour of Carl Gans (September 7, 1923-November 30, 2009), American herpetologist. 
  • Adler, K. 2010. Carl Gans (1923–2009) and the Integrative Biology of Reptiles. Herpetological Review 41 (2): 142-150 - get paper here
  • BATUWITA, Sudesh; Udeni EDIRISINGHE 2017. Nessia gansi: a Second Three-toed Snake-Skink (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) from Sri Lanka with the Designation of a Neotype for Nessia burtonii Gray. Travaux du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle «Grigore Antipa» 60 (1): 377–388; DOI: 10.1515/travmu-2017-0001 - get paper here
  • BAUER, AARON M. 2010. Reminiscences of Carl Gans. Herpetological Review 41 (2): 147-148 - get paper here
  • BELL, CHRISTOPHER J. 2010. Carl Gans: The Austin Years 1997–2009. Herpetological Review 41 (2): 148-150 - get paper here
  • NORTHCUTT, R. GLENN 2010. Carl Gans: The Ann Arbor Years. Herpetological Review 41 (2): 147 - get paper here
  • ROSENBERG, HERB 2010. Carl Gans: The Buffalo Years of 1961–1967. Herpetological Review 41 (2): 144-147 - get paper here
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