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Papuascincus morokanus (PARKER, 1936)

IUCN Red List - Papuascincus morokanus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymLeiolopisma morokanum PARKER 1936: 87
Lygosoma (Leiolopisma) morokanum — SMITH 1937: 225
Lygosoma (Leiolopisma) stanleyanum morokanum — LOVERIDGE 1948: 359
Lobulia morokana — GREER 1974: 9
Papuascincus morokanus — ALLISON & GREER 1986
Papuascincus morokanus — SLAVENKO et al. 2020
Papuascincus morokanus — SLAVENKO et al. 2021 
DistributionPapua New Guinea

Type locality: Moroka  
Reproductionoviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.8.6.93 (formerly, Moroka, British New Guinea, collected Dr L. Loria. 
DiagnosisDescription: Distance between the end of the snout and the fore-limb contained 1.4 times in the distance between axilla and groin. Snout moderately pointed. Lower eyelid with a transparent disc. Nostril in a divided nasal; no supranasal; fronto-nasal once and a third as broad as long, forming a straight suture with the rostral and touching the frontal at a point; frontal longer than its distance from the tip of the snout, a little shorter than the frontoparietal and interparietal together and in contact with the first two supraoculars; four supra-oculars and six or seven supraciliaries; frontoparietala fused; interparietal distinct; parietals forming a suture behind the latter; three pairs of enlarged nuchals. Four lower labials anterior to the subocular. Tympanum oval, as large as the palpebral disc and with three projecting lobules on Its anterior border. Scales smooth in twenty-eight series at the middle of the body, the the median dorsal series largest; a pair of enlarged pre-anals. Tip of fourth toe reaching the wrist when the limbs are adpressed; digits compressed distally, the fourth longest on each limb; twenty-three or twenty-four lamellre beneath the fourth toe. (Parker 1936: 87)

Coloration: Bronze-green above, with a lighter mid-dorsal band edged with brown, from the nape to the base of the tail : a narrow, light, dorso-Iateral line, edged above by an incomplete brown line, from the supraciliary edge to the base of the tail; flanks below this line brown with lighter coppery flecks and spots, becoming more numerous towards the belly, so that at their lower border the flanks are whitish, with brown flecks and blotches. Lower surface white, with a few indistinct brown dots on the chin and beneath the tail. (Parker 1936: 88) 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Allison A; Greer A E 1986. Egg shells with pustulate surface structures: basis for a new genus of New Guinea skinks (Lacertilia: Scincidae). Journal of Herpetology 20 (1): 116-119 - get paper here
  • Parker, H.W. 1936. A collection of reptiles and amphibians from the mountains of British New Guinea. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (10) 17: 66-93 - get paper here
  • Slavenko, A., Tamar, K., Tallowin, O. J. S., Allison, A., Kraus, F., Carranza, S. and Meiri, S. 2020. Cryptic diversity and non-adaptive radiation of montane New Guinea skinks (Papuascincus; Scincidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 146: 146: 106749 - 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
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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