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Panaspis tsavoensis KILUNDA, CONRADIE, WASONGA, JIN, PENG, MURPHY, MALONZA & CHE, 2019

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesTsavo Snake-eyed Skink 
SynonymPanaspis tsavoensis KILUNDA, CONRADIE, WASONGA, JIN, PENG, MURPHY, MALONZA & CHE 2019: 266
Ablepharus wahlbergii — BARBOUR & LOVERIDGE 1928: 163
Ablepharus wahlbergii — LOVERIDGE 1936: 72
Ablepharus wahlbergii — LOVERIDGE 1957: 219
Panaspis wahlbergii — BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991: 16
Panaspis wahlbergii — SPAWLS et al. 2002: 155
Afroablepharus wahlbergi — BRANCH 2005: 77
Panaspis wahlbergi — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 165 
DistributionKenya (Tsavo East National Park)

Type locality: Voi River near Voi Town, Tsavo East National Park, Taita-Taveta County (-3.36488°, 38.62143°; 524 m a.s.l.)  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. NMK-L3845 (Field No. KIZ030248), adult male collected on 21 August 2016 by Jacob M. Ngwava, Hesborn Ombati and Felista K. Kilunda (Fig 5 in Kilunda et al. 2019).
Paratypes (5 specimens). NMK-L3847 (Field No. KIZ030235), adult male collected on 5 September 2016 in Komboyo Area near Mtito Andei, Tsavo West National Park, Taita-Taveta County (-2.75396o, 38.11755o; 868 m a.s.l.) by Vincent Muchai, Hesborn Ombati & Felista K. Kilunda; NMK/L2368/1, adult female collected on 14 July 2000 Kisima rocky hills, Taita-Rukinga Ranch, Tsavo plains (-3.85326o, 38.87479o; 431 m a.s.l.) and NMK- L2368/2, adult male collected on 15th July at Taita Discovery Centre- Taita-Rukinga Ranch (-3.70549o, 38.77406o; 450 m a.s.l.) both by Craig Weatherby & Victor D. Wasonga; NMK-L3097, adult male collected on 7 December 2007 at Kitobo forest-Taveta (-3.44343o, 37.61852o; 732 m a.s.l.) by Patrick K. Malonza, Beryl A. Bwong and Joash O. Nyamache. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Panaspis tsavoensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from other members of the East Africa Panaspis wahlbergi-maculicollis group by the following combination of characteristics: 1) no white ventrolateral stripe (pres- ent in P. wahlbergi, P. massaiensis comb. nov. and P. megalurus); 2) fused frontoparietal (divided in P. megalurus); 3) smaller average size (29.1 mm SVL versus 33.2 mm SVL in P. maculicollis); 4) shorter tail about 1.1 times SVL (versus 1.2 times SVL in P. maculicollis). In addition, percentage genetic pair-wise difference from its nearest congener P. massaiensis comb. nov. is 5.87 % (see Table 2), from which it can be easily diagnosed with the absence of a white ventrolateral stripe, 24 versus 26 mid-body scale rows; shorter eye-tympanum distance and eye-snout distance (Table 4); high number of subdigital lamellae under the fourth finger (7–10 versus 5) and high number of supralabials in front of subcocular (6–7 versus 5). 
CommentHabitat: terrestrial diurnal species that lives within loose debris or holes, decomposing logs or grass stocks, under loose stones and similar micro-habitats. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet “tsavoensis” refers to the name of the type locality, Tsavo National Park. The name is in the masculine form. 
References
  • Barbour,T. & LOVERIDGE.A. 1928. A comparative study of the herpetological fauna of the Uluguru and Usambara mountains, Tanzania Territory with descriptions of new species. Mem. Mus. comp. Zool. Cambridge (Massachusetts), 50 (2): 85-265 - get paper here
  • Branch, W. R. 2005. A photographic guide to snakes, other reptiles and amphibians of East Africa. Struik Publishers, Cape Town, 144 pp
  • Broadley, D. G. & HOWELL, K. M. 1991. A check list of the reptiles of Tanzania, with synoptic keys. Syntarsus 1: 1—70
  • KILUNDA, FELISTA KASYOKA; WERNER CONRADIE, DOMNICK VICTOR WASONGA, JIE-QIONG JIN, MIN-SHENG PENG, ROBERT W. MURPHY, PATRICK KINYATTA MALONZA, JING CHE 2019. Revalidation and resurrection of Panaspis massaiensis (Angel, 1924) and the description of a new species of Panaspis Cope (Squamata: Scincidae) from south-eastern Kenya. Zootaxa 4706 (2): 255–274 - 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
  • Loveridge, A. 1957. Check list of the reptiles and amphibians of east Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Tanganyika, Zanzibar). Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 117 (2): 153-362 - get paper here
  • Spawls, S.; Howell, K.; Drewes, R.C. & Ashe, J. 2002. A field guide to the reptiles of East Africa. Academic Press, 543 pp. [reviews in HR 34: 396 and Afr. J. Herp. 51; 147] - get paper here
  • Spawls, Steve; Kim Howell, Harald Hinkel, Michele Menegon 2018. Field Guide to East African Reptiles. Bloomsbury, 624 pp. - get paper here
 
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