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Oligosoma aeneum (GIRARD, 1858)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesCopper Skink 
SynonymCyclodina aenea GIRARD 1858: 196
Tiliqua ornata — GRAY 1843: 202
Hinulia ornata — GRAY 1845: 77
Hinulia ornate — GRAY 1845: 7
Mocoa smithi — GRAY 1845: 82 (in part)
Hombronia undosa GIRARD 1857: 196
Eulamprus ornatus — FITZINGER 1861: 403
Lampropholis smithii — FITZINGER 1861:403
Lampropholis (Mocoa) smithi (Gray) —HOCHSTETTER 1863:429 (in part)
Euprepes smithii — STEINDACHNER 1869:47 (in part)
Mocoa zealandica — GÜNTHER 1875:13 (in part)
Lygosoma smithii — BOULENGER 1887:274 (in part)
Lygosoma aeneum — BOULENGER 1887: 275
Lygosoma micans WERNER 1895: 21
Liolepisma aeneum — LUCAS & FROST 1897: 265
Liolepisma smithii — LUCAS & FROST 1897: 265 (part.)
Lygosoma (Leiolopisma) aeneum — SMITH 1937: 223
Lygosoma moco DUMÉRIL & BIBRON — HARD 1954: 145
Leiolopisma aeneum — MCCANN 1955
Sphenomorphus pseudornatus MCCANN 1955 (part)
Leiolopisma aeneum — GREER 1974: 16
Cyclodina aenea — HARDY 1977
Leiolopisma aeneum — HENLE 1981
Cyclodina aenea — HICKSON et al. 2000
Oligosoma aenea — CHAPPLE et al. 2009
Oligosoma aeneum — PATTERSON et al. 2013 
DistributionNew Zealand (North Island)

Type locality: Te Papa, Blue Mountains, Hutt Valley, Wellington [neotype].  
Reproductionviviparous. Litter size ranges between one and four. 
TypesNeotype: NMNZ RE1816 (National Museum of New Zealand), S193, designated by Hardy (1977).
Holotype: USNM 5627 [Hombronia undosa]
Holotype: NMW 16651 [micans] 
CommentSynonymy: see PATTERSON et al. 2013 for a more detailed synonymy. This species has been confused with O. aeneum and therefore the name ornatum (and variations have been used for aeneum as well. This species has also been confused with Oligosoma smithi (GRAY 1845). In fact, Hardy (1977) recognized that one of the syntypes of Mocoa smithii Gray 1845 was in fact typical of C. aenea (Chapple et al. 2008).

Type Species: Cyclodina aenea GIRARD 1857 is the type species of the genus Cyclodina GIRARD 1857. Note that four names (Cyclodina, Oligosoma, Lygosomella, and Hombronia), all contained in the same publication (Girard, 1857), are simultaneously the oldest available for this single genus, although only Cyclodina and Oligosoma have been subsequently used for part of it. A diagnosis of Cyclodina can be found in HARDY 1977: 230.

McCann (1955) restricted the name C. aenea to populations south of the 38° latitude, which lies approximately 300 km south of the Bay of Islands, and placing populations north of the 38° latitude in the new species Sphenomorphus pseudornatus. Hardy (1977) subsequently synonymized S. pseudornatus under C. aenea and resurrected Cyclodina ornata from synonymy. Lygosomella and Hombronia have been previously treated as junior synonyms of Oligosoma (by Patterson and Daugherty, 1995).

Diagnosis.—Cyclodina aenea can be distinguished from most other Cyclodina by its small body size and low midbody scale count of 26–32 rows, compared with Cyclodina macgregori (37– 45; Hardy, 1977), Cyclodina alani (36–44; Hardy, 1977), Cyclodina whitakeri (34–38; Hardy, 1977), C. townsi (38–44; Chapple et al., 2008) and C. oliveri (34–42; Chapple et al., in press). It can be distinguished from C. ornata by body size and color pattern, in particular the lack of a ‘‘teardrop’’ under the eye. Unlike C. hardyi, it has a continuous row of subocular scales (Fig. 3 in CHAPPLE et al. 2008). It can be separated from C. levidensa by a combination of higher scale counts and more heavily built body and limbs (Fig. 2D in CHAPPLE et al. 2008). 
EtymologyNamed after its color: Latin “aenea/-us” = bronze, copper, or ore. 
References
  • Chapple, D.G.; Patterson, G.B.; Bell, T.; Daugherty, C.H. 2008. Taxonomic Revision of the New Zealand Copper Skink (Cyclodina aenea: Squamata: Scincidae) Species Complex, with Descriptions of Two New Species. Journal of Herpetology 42 (3): 437–452 - get paper here
  • Chapple, D.G.; Patterson, G.B.; Gleeson, D.M.; Daugherty, C.H. & Ritchie, P.A. 2008. Taxonomic revision of the marbled skink (Cyclodina oliveri, Reptilia: Scincidae) species complex, with a description of a new species. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 35: 129-146
  • Chapple, David G.; Peter A. Ritchie, Charles H. Daugherty 2009. Origin, diversification, and systematics of the New Zealand skink fauna (Reptilia: Scincidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 52 (2): 470-487 - get paper here
  • Girard, C. 1858. Descriptions of some new Reptiles, collected by the US. Exploring Expedition under the command of Capt. Charles Wilkes, U.S.N. Fourth Part. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci Philadelphia 1857: 195-199 - get paper here
  • Hardy, G. 1977. The New Zealand Scincidae: a taxonomic study. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 4: 221-325 - get paper here
  • Henle, K. 1981. Die Herpetofauna Neuseelands, Teil 3: Einheimische Skinke. Herpetofauna 3 (14): 14-18 - get paper here
  • HICKSON, Robert E.; KERRYN E. SLACK AND PETER LOCKHART 2000. Phylogeny recapitulates geography, or why New Zealand has so many species of skinks. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 70: 415–433 - get paper here
  • Hitchmough, Rodney A.; Geoffrey B. Patterson, and David G. Chapple 2016. Putting a Name to Diversity: Taxonomy of the New Zealand Lizard Fauna in: Chapple, D.G. (ed). New Zealand Lizards. Springer, pp. 87-108 - get paper here
  • PATTERSON, GEOFF B.; ROD A. HITCHMOUGH & DAVID G. CHAPPLE 2013. Taxonomic revision of the ornate skink (Oligosoma ornatum; Reptilia: Scincidae) species complex from northern New Zealand. Zootaxa 3736 (1): 054–068 - get paper here
  • Smith,M.A. 1937. A review of the genus Lygosoma (Scincidae: Reptilia) and its allies. Records of the Indian Museum 39 (3): 213-234
  • unknown author 2011. Case 3510: Proposed conservation of the Cyclodina aenea Girard, 1857 (currently Oligosoma aeneum) (Reptilis, Squama- ta, Scincidae). BZN 67:307–313; modified to conserve Tiliqua ornatum Gray, 1843 (currently Oligosoma ornatum) as well. Bull. Zool. Nomenclature 68: 144.
 
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