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Oligosoma townsi (CHAPPLE, PATTERSON, GLEESON, DAUGHERTY & RITCHIE, 2008)

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Oligosoma townsi »

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesTowns’ skink 
SynonymCyclodina townsi CHAPPLE, PATTERSON, GLEESON, DAUGHERTY & RITCHIE 2008
Cyclodina oliveri HARDY 1977 (part.)
Leiolopisma oliveri — ROBB 1980 (part.)
Cyclodina oliveri — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985 (part.)
Leiolopisma oliveri — ROBB 1986 (part.)
Oligosoma townsi — CHAPPLE et al. 2009 
DistributionNew Zealand, Makohinau Island, Hen and Chicken Islands, Little Barrier Island, Great Barrier Island)

Type locality: Pupuha Island, Hen anc Dhicken Islands (35° 53’ S, 174° 42’ E) Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
 
Reproductionviviparous 
TypesHolotype: NMNZ RE 5037 
CommentDIAGNOSIS: Cyclodina townsi can be distinguished from other Cyclodina species through a combination of characters. Cyclodina townsi has a prominent teardrop marking under the eye, and 2:38 midbody scale rows, which separates it from C. aenea, C. aenea "Te Paki" and C. aenea "Poor Knights Islands". The presence of an unbroken subocular scale row also separates C. townsi from C. aenea"Poor Knights Islands". The genetic results indicate that C. townsi is closely related to C. whitakeri. Cyclodina townsi and C. whitakeri can be distinguished through several morphological characters, but predominantly coloration and scale counts. There is minimal overlap in C. townsi and C. whitakeri in midbody scale counts (and in ventral scale counts to a lesser degree), with C. townsi having a higher range for both indices. Cyclodina townsi lacks the yellow and orange coloration ofmany C. whitakeri specimens (Hardy 1977). Cyclodina whitakeri generally has dark blotches on the ventral surface, whereas it is often unmarked in C. townsi. Cyclodina whitakeri has a longer tail (TL/ SVL: 1.32; Hardy 1977) compared to C. townsi (TL/SVL: 1.09). The midbody scale count of C. townsi (38--44) does not overlap with C. ornata (28-37; Hardy 1977). Colour pattern distinguishes C. townsi from C. macgregori and C. alani, with the C. alani also having a more robust body form and greater maximum SVL. 
Etymologynamed after David Towns of the New Zealand Department of Conservation, “whose pioneering research has provided a valuable contribution to our knowledge of the distribution, ecology and biology of New Zealand skinks”. 
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
  • Hardy, G. 1977. The New Zealand Scincidae: a taxonomic study. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 4: 221-325 - 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
  • Robb,J. 1980. New Zealand Amphibians and Reptiles in Colour. Collins, Auckland, 128 pp.
  • Robb,J. 1986. New Zealand Amphibians and Reptiles in Colour, Revised Edition. Collins, Auckland
  • Wells, R. W. and Wellington, C. R. 1985. A synopsis of the Amphibia and Reptilia of Australia. Australian Journal of Herpetology, Supplementary Series, (1):62-64.
 
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