Paracontias minimus (MOCQUARD, 1906)
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Paracontias minimus?
|Higher Taxa||Scincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Synonym||Cryptoposcincus minimus MOCQUARD 1906|
Cryptoposcincus minimus — ANGEL 1942: 146
Cryptoscincus minimus — BRYGOO 1981: 684 (in error)
Cryptoscincus minimus — GLAW & VENCES 1994: 323 (in error)
Cryptoscincus minimus — SCHMITZ et al. 2005
Paracontias minimus — CROTTINI et al. 2009
|Distribution||N Madagascar (Antsiranana Province)|
Type locality: “Madagascar”
Localities in KÖHLER et al. 2010: (1) Baie de Sakalava, Forêt d’Orangea, 12°16′24″ S, 49°23′33″ E; (2) south-east of Ivovona, Forêt d’Orangea, 12°19′58″ S, 49°24′20″ E; and (3) Ampombofofo, Babaomby region, 12°05′53″ S, 49°19′ 49″ E.
|Types||Lectotype: MNHN-RA 1905.0270; Paralectotype: MNHN-RA 1905.0270A. Designation by Brygoo (1981);|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: A member of Paracontias according to the molecular phylogeny based on nuclear and mitochondrial genes by Crottini et al. (2009). Paracontias minimus differs from most sympatric limbless members of the genus by the number of scale rows around mid-body being 18 (vs. 16 in P. fasika n. sp., P. rothschildi; 20 in P. hafa Andreone & Greer, P. hildebrandti (Peters); 21 in P. tsararano Andreone & Greer; 22 in P. manify Andreone & Greer; 26 in P. brocchii Mocquard; 30 in P. holomelas (Günther)); only P. milloti Angel also exhibits 18 scale rows. However, all other Paracontias species have an eye opening and differ in head scalation, particularly in shape of rostral and position of nostril. For separation from P. fasika n. sp., see the diagnosis for the latter species below. Paracontias minimus differs from the only known limbless species of Amphiglossus Duméril & Bibron, A. stylus Andreone & Greer, mainly by the lower number of scale rows around mid-body (18 versus 20), large differences in head scalation, and by lack of indication of the former limb positions (minute clawless nubs present in A. stylus). Furthermore, the eye opening is absent in P. minimus (present in all known Amphiglossus species). From the limbless species of Pseudoacontias Barboza du Bocage (P. madagascariensis, P. unicolor, P. menamainty), P. minimus differs by the lack of an eye opening, fewer scales on head, distinctly smaller SVL, and lower number of scale rows around mid-body (32 in P. madagascariensis Bocage, 30 in P. unicolor Sakata & Hikida, 25 in P. menamainty Andreone & Greer). Sirenoscincus yamagishii Sakata & Hikida is similar in size and also has reduced eyes, but forelimbs are present. Colouration, size, lack of an eye opening and natural habits in P. minimus superficially resemble species of Voeltzkowia from western Madagascar. Among the known species of Voeltzkowia, only V. lineata (Mocquard), V. mira Boettger and V. rubrocaudata (Grandidier) are completely lacking limbs (rudimentary hindlimbs are present in the remaining species). These three species can share with C. minimus 18 scale rows around mid-body, but differ in head scalation, namely the presence of a nasal and supranasal scale (both absent in P. minimus) [from KÖHLER et al. 2010].|
|Comment||Eyeless, earless, limbless species!|
Only known from the two type specimens.
Type Species: Cryptoposcincus minimus is the type species of the genus Cryptoscincus minimus MOCQUARD 1894.
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