Ophiomorus raithmai ANDERSON & LEVITON, 1966
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|Higher Taxa||Scincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||E: Eastern sand swimmer|
|Synonym||Ophiomorus raithmai ANDERSON & LEVITON 1966: 519|
Sphenocephalus tridactylus STOLICZKA 1872 (part.)
Ophiomorus tridactylus — BOULENGER 1887 (part.)
Ophiomorus raithmai — MERTENS 1970
Ophiomorus raithmai — DAS 1996: 47
Ophiomorus raithmai — SINDACO & JEREMČENKO 2008
|Distribution||NW India (Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab), SE Pakistan|
Type locality: Pakistan: Karachi District, Ghizri.
|Types||Holotype: CAS 99834; Paratypes: ZISP 17870 (ex CAS 99837), “Pakistan, Karachi District, Ghizri”. Leg.: J. A. Anderson, 24.III.1965; CAS 99835-99836, 99838, 99840-99846 and MCZ 84027 with the same locality data; AMNH 82205 from “Pakistan: Karachi District: Karachi, east edge of city, near Hill Park”; AMNH 86876 from “Pakistan: Karachi District: Karachi, Jinnah Hospital”; AMNH 86877-86879 from “Pakistan: Karachi District: Ghizri, near Clifton”; AMNH 86880 from “Pakistan: Karachi District: Malir Cantonment North”; AMNH 85843 from “ Pakistan: Dadu District: Canyon of Sari River, 23 miles northeast of Malir; AMNH 85844 from “Pakistan: Sanghar District: 0.5 miles west of Burra”; AMNH 85845-85848 from “Pakistan: Las Bela District: Sonmiani Beach” and BM 19188.8.131.52–19184.108.40.206 from “Pakistan: Sind” (Anderson & Leviton 1966).|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. Snout cuneiform, with sharp angular labial edge; supranasals usually narrowly in contact, partly separated from one another by the apex of the rostral; prefrontals in contact with the upper labials; frontonasal broader than long; parietal not in contact with anterior temporal (posterior temporal intervenes); postocular scale much larger than posterior suboculars. Twenty-two scales round the middle of the body. A distinct ventrolateral edge from snout to groin. Fingers three; toes three. Usually four to six scales on third (longest) toe (ANDERSON & LEVITON 1966).|
Color: In life the dorsal surfaces are pale brown, many specimens being suffused with yellow ochre. This ochre color is most intense at the upper center of each scale, in the region in which the dark brown spots occur. Cream or pale brown above in preservative, each of the eight or 10 dorsal and dorsolateral longitudinal scale rows having a dark brown line composed of discrete dots extending from the nape to the level of the hind limbs, re ducing to six or eight lines on the tail. Dorsal surface of hind limbs with brown dots. A dark brown line from nostril through eye, across temporal region. Dark brown markings on the median head shields. Immaculate cream or tan below (ANDERSON & LEVITON 1966).
|Comment||Distribution: There has been some confusion about the distribution of this species in India, as various authors have included in the fauna of India but others haven’t. Indraneil Das thinks that the Nushki, Baluchistan specimens are a new species (to be named after Steve Anderson), restricting tridactylus to Afghanistan, and applying raithmai to the population in eastern Pakistan and western India (DAS, pers. comm.). Apparently there is no raithmai in India (I. Das, pers. comm. via Shai Meiri, 5 Sep 2014).|
If only O.raithmai is considered to be occurring from India, then the locality records for this species in India (including those reported for O.tridactylus) are Ganganagar, Raisingnagar, Suratgarh, Sadulpur, Churu, Jhunjhunu, Pilani, Ratangarh, Sikar, Lunkaransar, Bikaner, Munabau, Sundra, Kolayat, Bap, Phalodi, Pokran, Mohangarh, Nagaur, Ramgarh, Jaisalmer, Devikot, Hindumal Kot, Osian and Jodhpur in Barmer, Jodhpur and Nagaur districts of Rajasthan (Biswas &Sanyal. 1977); Cutch (Vyas 1998); 'Punjab' (Sharma 2002) [from Dilip Venugopal 2008, pers. comm.].
|Etymology||named after the words “raith mai”, meaning sand-fish, which Sindhi and some neighboring Baluchi people use for the species.|
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