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Parvoscincus agtorum LINKEM & BROWN, 2013

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymParvoscincus agtorum LINKEM & BROWN 2013
Sphenomorphus decipiens — BROWN & ALCALA 1980: 186 (part) 
DistributionPhilippines (Luzon: Aurora)

Type locality: Philippines, Luzon Island, Aurora Province, Municipality of San Luis, Barangay Lipimental, 15.65366° N, 121.50734° E, 540 m elevation.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: PNM 9782 (formerly KU 323310: RMB Field No. 10732); Female, collected 23 June, 2009 by C. D. Siler. 
CommentDiagnosis. Parvoscincus agtorum sp. nov. can be identified by the following combination of characters: (1) A small body size (SVL at maturity 44.9 mm); (2) MBSR = 39; (3) PV = 71; (4) dorsal scales non-striated without apical pits; (5) apical pits on forelimbs and hind limbs; (6) four enlarged supraoculars; (7) anterior and posterior loreals undivided laterally; (8) two preoculars; (9) and 17 Toe IV SDL.
Parvoscincus agtorum sp. nov. is sister to P. arvindiesmosi sp. nov., and closely related to P. jimmymcguirei, sp. nov., P. abstrusus sp. nov., and P. decipiens sensu stricto (Fig. 2). Parvoscincus agtorum sp. nov. can be distinguished from all these species by the lack of dorsal apical pits (vs. present); greater number of midbody scale rows (39 vs. < 37); presence of two preoculars (vs. three). P. agtorum sp. nov. can be further diagnosed from P. jimmymcguirei sp. nov. by the presence of two preoculars (vs. three preoculars); slightly larger body size (44.91 vs. < 44.12 mm); dorsal color of P. agtorum sp. nov. is much darker than P. jimmymcguirei sp. nov. and lacks the series of bright spots along the dorsal edge of the dorsolateral band. Parvoscincus agtorum sp. nov. has a bright white line from the eye to ear (absent in P. jimmymcguirei sp. nov.) and an incomplete gular collar (vs. speckled gular region)
Parvoscincus agtorum sp. nov. can be distinguished from P. arvindiesmosi sp. nov. by the presence of a broad snout (IND/RostL > 0.50 vs. < 0.49); larger body size (SVL 44.91 vs. < 43.14 mm); the presence of an incomplete gular collar and brown speckling on throat (vs. white throat); dorsal body color dark brown (vs. dorsal color light- tan with a broad dorsolateral band extending onto dorsum).
Parvoscincus agtorum sp. nov. can be distinguished from P. abstrusus sp. nov. by having a single anterior loreal (vs. laterally divided anterior loreal); the lack of dorsal apical pits (vs. apical pits weak to missing); higher number of paravertebral scales (71 vs. < 69); by having a cream throat with brown speckles and a brown incomplete gular collar (vs. throat black in males and white in females); by having a white line from eye to ear that becomes spots posterior to the ear (vs. presence of a white line from eye to forelimb); and by the presence of strong vertebral spots (vs. weak vertebral spots).
Parvoscincus agtorum sp. nov. can be distinguished from P. decipiens by being larger (SVL 44.91 vs. < 40.61 mm); having more paravertebral scales (71 vs. < 63); more midbody scale rows (39 vs. 32–34); the presence of forelimb apical pores (vs. weak or missing apical pores); by having a cream colored throat with brown speckling and a brown incomplete collar (vs. throat white with a few brown streaks); by having brown labials (vs. white labials); and by having a dark brown dorsum (vs. light brown dorsum).

Habitat. Found in leaf litter in secondary growth forest away from water. The one female specimen collected has two oviductal eggs. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet honors the Agta tribal group of Eastern Luzon that live in the Aurora region where this new species is found. These people are diminutive in stature, have an established cultural history of interaction with reptiles, including predation on humans by reticulated pythons (Broghammerus reticulatus; Headland & Greene 2011). The Agta people play a prominent role in helping to conserve the forests of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range and are increasingly threatened by mining and logging industries, which destructively extract resources from their ancestral tribal domains (van der Ploeg et al. 2011; Minter et al. 2012). 
References
  • LINKEM, CHARLES W.; RAFE M. BROWN 2013. Systematic revision of the Parvoscincus decipiens (Boulenger, 1894) complex of Philippine forest skinks (Squamata: Scincidae: Lygosominae) with descriptions of seven new species. Zootaxa 3700 (4): 501–533 - get paper here
 
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