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Panaspis breviceps (PETERS, 1873)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Shorted-headed Snake-eyed Skink, Peters' Lidless Skink 
SynonymEuprepes (Mabuia) breviceps PETERS 1873: 604
Lygosoma breviceps – BOULENGER 1887: 300
Mabuia batesi BOULENGER 1900: 449
Lygosoma (Leiolopisma) buchneri WERNER 1909: 62
Lygosoma (Leiolopisma) auricillatum CHABANAUD 1909: 98
Lygosoma breviceps — MÜLLER 1910
Lygosoma breviceps — SCHMIDT 1919: 556
Emoia breviceps — LOVERIDGE 1936: 71
Riopa (Panaspis) breviceps — SMITH 1937: 229
Panaspis breviceps – MITTLEMAN 1952: 17-23
Riopa breviceps – MERTENS 1964: 220
Riopa breviceps – EISTENTRAUT 1973: 299
Panaspis breviceps – PERRET 1973
Panaspis breviceps — GREER 1974: 29
Panaspis (Panaspis) breviceps – PERRET 1975: 6
Leptosiaphos (Lacertaspis) breviceps — BROADLEY 1989
Leptosiaphos breviceps — BROADLEY 1998
Panaspis breviceps — PAUWELS et al. 2004
Leptosiaphos breviceps — BURGER et al. 2004
Panaspis aff. breviceps — CERÍACO et al. 2020 
DistributionEquatorial Guinea (Bioko = Fernando Po), Gabon, Cameroon, NW Angola, C Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), Central African Republic

Type locality: “Gabon” [and] “Cameruns”  
TypesSyntypes: ZMB 6303, 8017; possible additional syntypes are listed by Fuhn (1972) as BMNH 1902.11.12.9–11.
Holotype: SMNS 1141 [buchneri] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Panaspis aff. breviceps can be distinguished from other members of the genus occurring in Angola and surroundings region by having 1) presence of supranasals; 2) movable lower eyelids; 3) frontoparietals separated; 4) dorsum brown, with four very longitudinal stripes composed of white and black dots; 5) presence of a large lateral dark band on the flanks of females and juveniles; 6) 30 to 34 midbody scales rows (from Ceríaco et al. 2020: 89).

Description: Panaspis breviceps can be identified by a unique combination of the following diagnostic features (Schmidt 1919; Fuhn 1972; Perret 1973): robust body shape (‘mabuyiform’); snout-vent length 50–68 mm; laterally compressed tail (presumed aquatic adaptation; Perret 1973) 1.5× (1.3–1.7×) longer than the body; limbs well developed, overlapping widely when folded; toes and fingers short and stout; dorsal scales smooth; 31–38 scales around the midbody [original description (Peters 1873) gives 56–57 scales, in error, probably a mistyping for 36–37 (Boulenger 1906; Fuhn 1972)]; supranasals present; 5th supralabial below the eye; lower eyelid with a transparent disc; greenish to reddish brown background colour; dorsal pattern composed of dark brown dots arranged in two longitudinal rows, each dark dot followed by a light dot of a similar size; throat and chin with dark lines among scales; sexual dichromatism: males with dark blue-grey throat and sides of head and anterior parts of flanks with light mottling, females with lighter throat and a broad dark brown lateral band, bordered inferiorly by a white stripe, on each side of the body (Figure 1, Lokasola et al. 2021). 
CommentDistribution: For a map with localities in Equatorial Guinea see SÁNCHEZ-VIALAS et al. 2022. 
EtymologyNamed after Latin “brevis, -e” = short and “-ceps”, a short form of “caput” = head. 
  • Badjedjea, G., Akuboy, J. B., Colyn, M., & Pauwels, O. S. 2023. Reptile Fauna of Kungulu and Mbiye Islands, Upper Congo River: Current Knowledge and New Records. Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society, 58(1), 1-11 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1887. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) III. Lacertidae, Gerrhosauridae, Scincidae, Anelytropsidae, Dibamidae, Chamaeleontidae. London: 575 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger,G.A. 1900. A list of the batrachians and reptiles of the Gaboon (French Congo), with descriptions of new genera and species. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1900: 433-456 - get paper here
  • Broadley, D G 1989. A reappraisal of the genus Panaspis Cope, with the description of a new species of Leptosiaphos (Reptilia: Scincidae) from Tanzania. Arnoldia Zimbabwe 9 (32) 1989: 439-449
  • Carlino, P. & Pauwels, O.S.G. 2015. An Updated Reptile List of Ivindo National Park, the Herpetofaunal Hotspot of Gabon. Bull. Chicago Herp. Soc. 50(3): 25-39 - get paper here
  • CERÍACO, LUIS M. P.; MATTHEW P. HEINICKE, KELLY L. PARKER, MARIANA P. MARQUES, AARON M. BAUER 2020. A review of the African snake-eyed skinks (Scincidae: Panaspis) from Angola, with the description of a new species. Zootaxa 4747 (1): 77–112 - get paper here
  • Chabanaud,P. 1909. Bull. Mus. N. Hist. Nat. Paris, 23 (2): 98-100. - get paper here
  • Chirio, L. & Lebreton, M. 2007. Atlas des reptiles du Cameroun. MNHN, IRD, Paris 688 pp.
  • Chirio, Laurent and Ivan Ineich 2006. Biogeography of the reptiles of the Central African Republic. African Journal of Herpetology 55(1):23-59. - get paper here
  • Eisentraut, M. 1973. Die Wirbeltierefauna von Fernando Poo und Westkamerun. Bonner Zool. Monogr. (3) 428 pp. - get paper here
  • Gonwouo, Nono LeGrand; Tchassem Fonkwa Arnaud Marius, Doherty-Bone Thomas, Rödel Mark-Oliver 2021. Amphibian and reptiles of a proposed iron ore mining concession in southern Cameroon. Herpetology Notes 14: 1051-1065
  • Greer, A.E. 1974. The generic relationships of the scincid lizard genus Leiolopisma and its relatives. Australian Journal of Zoology 31: 1-67. - get paper here
  • Lokasola, Albert L; Cédric Botshuna Lotana, Guy-Crispin Gembu Tungaluna, Benjamin Dudu Akaibe, Miloslav Jirků & Václav Gvoždík 2021. New Distributional Data and Genetic Variation of Panaspis breviceps (Squamata: Scincidae) Indicate a Biogeographic Connection across the Congo Basin. African Zoology 56(4): 312–318. - get paper here
  • Loveridge, A. 1936. African reptiles and amphibians in the Field Museum of Natural History. Zool. Ser. Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Chicago, 22 (1): 1-122 - get paper here
  • Marques, Mariana P.; Luis M. P. Ceríaco , David C. Blackburn , and Aaron M. Bauer 2018. Diversity and Distribution of the Amphibians and Terrestrial Reptiles of Angola -- Atlas of Historical and Bibliographic Records (1840–2017). Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (Ser. 4) 65: 1-501 (Supplement II)
  • Mertens,R. 1965. Die Reptilien von Fernando Po. Bonner Zoologische Beiträge 15: 211-238 [1964] - get paper here
  • Mittleman, M.B. 1952. A generic synopsis of the Lizards of the Subfamily Lygosominae. Smithson. misc. Collns, 117: 1-35. - get paper here
  • Pauwels, O.S.G. & Vande Weghe, J.P. 2008. Les reptiles du Gabon. Smithsonian Institution, Washington: 272 pp. - get paper here
  • Pauwels, O.S.G.; David, P. 2008. Miscellanea Herpetologica Gabonica I. Hamadryad 32 (1): 13 – 18 - get paper here
  • Pauwels, O.S.G.; Kamdem Toham, A. & Chimsunchart, C. 2002. Recherches sur l’herpétofaune du Massif du Chaillu, Gabon. Bull. Inst. Roy. Sci. Nat. Belgique (Biologie) 72: 47-57 - get paper here
  • Pauwels, O.S.G.; William R. Branch and Marius Burger 2004. REPTILES OF LOANGO NATIONAL PARK, OGOOUÉ-MARITIME PROVINCE, SOUTH-WESTERN GABON. Hamadryad 29 (1): 115 – 127 - get paper here
  • Perret,J. L. 1975. La différentiation dans le genre Panaspis COPE (Reptilia, Scincidae). Bull. Soc. neuchâtel. Sci. Nat., 98: 5-16
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1873. Über eine neue Schildkrötenart, Cinosternon effeldtii und einige andere neue oder weniger bekannte Amphibien. Monatsber. königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin. 1873 (October): 603-618 - get paper here
  • Portik DM, Jongsma GFM, Kouete MT, Scheinberg LA, Freiermuth B, Tapondjou WP, Blackburn DC. 2016. A survey of amphibians and reptiles in the foothills of Mount Kupe, Cameroon. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 10(2) [Special Section]: 37–67 (e131)
  • SÁNCHEZ-VIALAS, A., CALVO-REVUELTA, M. & DE LA RIVA, I. 2022. Synopsis of the terrestrial Reptiles of Equatorial Guinea. Zootaxa 5202 (1): 1-197 - get paper here
  • Schlüter, A. & Hallermann, J. 1997. The Type Specimens in the Herpetological Collection of the Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde in Stuttgart. Stuttgarter Beitr. Naturk. Ser. A (553): 1-15 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, Karl Patterson 1919. Contributions to the Herpetology of the Belgian Congo based on the Collection of the American Congo Expedition, 1909-1915. Part I: turtles, crocodiles, lizards, and chamaeleons. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 39 (2): 385-624 - get paper here
  • Scott Jr., N.J. 1982. The herpetofauna of forest litter plots from Cameroon, Africa. In: Scott, N.J. (ed.) Herpetological communities [an SSAR symposium]. US Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildl. Res. Rep. 13: 145-150
  • Smith, M.A. 1937. A review of the genus Lygosoma (Scincidae: Reptilia) and its allies. Records of the Indian Museum 39 (3): 213-234
  • Trape, J.F.; Trape, S. & Chirio, L. 2012. Lézards, crocodiles et tortues d'Afrique occidentale et du Sahara. IRD Orstom, 503 pp. - get paper here
  • Werner,F. 1909. Beschreibung neuer Reptilien aus dem Kgl. Naturalienkabinett in Stuttgart. Jahreshefte Ver. vaterl. Naturk. Württ. 65: 55-63 - get paper here
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