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Paracontias tsararano ANDREONE & GREER, 2002

IUCN Red List - Paracontias tsararano - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymParacontias tsararano ANDREONE & GREER 2002
Paracontias tsararano — SCHMITZ et al. 2005 
DistributionNE Madagascar

Type locality: collected at Tsararano Forest, Campsite 1 (Antsarahan'ny Tsararano), 14°54.4'S, 49°41.2'E, elevation 710 m.  
TypesHolotype: MRSN R 1787 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A species of the endemic Malagasy genus Paracontias as conceived by Brygoo (1980b) but differing from the other species in the genus in the following combination of characters: frontal bell-shaped (vs hourglass-shaped); supraoculars three (vs four); nuchals 1/1 (vs >= 1/1); nasal enclosed posteriorly by rostral (vs between rostral and first supralabial), and members of anterior pair of chin scales separated (vs in contact) (Andreone et al. 2002).

Comparison with similar species: Paracontias tsararano is similar to three other species in the genus in having a bell-shaped frontal and the members of the anterior pair of chin scales separated: P. brocchi, P. manify and P. rothschildi. Paracontias tsararano differs from P. brocchi and P. rothschildi in having the nasal scale entirely surrounded by the rostral instead of between rostral and first supralabial. It differs further from P. brocchi in having longitudinal scale rows at mid-body 21 instead of 26, presacral vertebrae 57 instead of 63±64 (Brygoo, 1980b), and cervical vertebrae seven instead of eight. It differs further from P. rothschildi in having total nuchals 2 instead of >= 2 (4), and presacral vertebrae 57 instead of 46 (Brygoo, 1980b). It differs from P. manify in having supraoculars three instead of four, pretemporal in contact with parietals instead of separated, and third pair of chin scales entire instead of divided (Andreone et al. 2002). 
CommentThe specific name `tsararano' is a compound Malagasy word meaning `good water' and is used here as a noun in apposition (`the one from the good water').
Tsararano is also the name of the river and forest where the holotype was collected. The phonetic rendition is: sara-”ra”rno (accented syllables in quotes).

Limb morphology: Limbless; no ear openings visible.

Abundance: only known from the type specimen (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality (Tsararano Forest). 
  • Andreone, F. & Greer, A.E. 2002. Malagasy scincid lizards: descriptions of nine new species, with notes on the morphology, reproduction and taxonomy of some previously described species (Reptilia, Squamata: Scincidae). Journal of Zoology 258, 139-181 - get paper here
  • Köhler, J.; Vieites, D.R.; Glaw, F.; Kaffenberger, N. & Vences, M. 2009. A further new species of limbless skink, genus Paracontias, from eastern Madagascar. African Journal of Herpetology 58 (2): 98-105 - get paper here
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - get paper here
  • Schmitz, A.; M.C. Brandley; P. Mausfeld; M. Vences; F. Glaw; R.A. Nussbaum and T.W. Reeder 2005. Opening the black box: phylogenetics and morphological evolution of the Malagasy fossorial lizards of the subfamily “Scincinae”. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 34: 118–133 (published online 2004) - get paper here
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