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Parvoscincus palaliensis LINKEM & BROWN, 2013

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymParvoscincus palaliensis LINKEM & BROWN 2013
Sphenomorphus decipiens — BROWN & ALCALA 1980: 186 (part) 
DistributionPhilippines (Luzon: between 1374–1450 m elevation on Mt. Palali)

Type locality: Luzon Island, Nueva Viscaya Province, Municipality of Quezon, Barangay Maddiangat, Mt. Palali, coordinates 16.439417° N, 121.223361° E, elevation 1374 m.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: PNM 9785 (formerly KU 308693, E. B. L. Rico Field No. 1158): Female: collected on 15 March 2007 by E. B. L. Rico.
Paratypes. KU 308651, KU 308690–92: Juveniles from same locality as holotype. 
CommentDiagnosis. Parvoscincus palaliensis sp. nov. can be identified by the following combination of characters: (1)
A small body size (SVL at maturity 39.28 mm); (2) MBSR = 32; (3) PV = 73; (4) dorsal scales non-striated without apical pits; (5) apical pits on hind limbs, none on forelimbs; (6) four enlarged supraoculars; (7) anterior loreal single; (8) three preoculars; (9) and 14 Toe IV SDL.
Parvoscincus palaliensis sp. nov. is most closely related to P. banahaoensis sp. nov. and P. aurorus sp. nov. (Fig. 2), and these three species are related to other high elevation Parvoscincus species (P. boyingi, P. laterimaculatus, P. igorotorum, P. beyeri, and P. hadros). Parvoscincus palaliensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from P. boyingi, P. laterimaculatus, P. igorotorum, P. beyeri, P. hadros by being smaller (SVL 39.28 vs. 42–86.7) and having fewer PV (< 88) than all species but P. laterimaculatus.
Parvoscincus palaliensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from P. banahaoensis sp. nov. by having more PV scales (73 vs. 62–66); by having brown flanks with white spots (vs. white flanks); dorsolateral band irregular dorsally with inverted hooks of dorsal color interrupting the dark brown band (vs. dorsolateral band bordered dorsally by straight light line).
Parvoscincus palaliensis sp. nov. and P. aurorus sp. nov. are most similar morphologically with overlapping scale counts (Tables 1, 2). Parvoscincus palaliensis has a slightly lower profile head (3.44 mm vs. 3.8–4.5 mm) and shorter head–forelimb length (13.4 vs. 14.3–16.45). Coloration is very similar, though the pattern of the dorsolateral band is different on the dorsal margin. Parvoscincus palaliensis sp. nov. has a dark brown dorsolateral band broken dorsally by inverted “hook” or “claw” shaped marks of the dorsal color (Fig. 5 M, N). Parvoscincus aurorus sp. nov. has a dark brown dorsolateral band broken up dorsally by half circles of dorsal coloration (Fig. 5 O, P in Linkem et al. 2013).

Habitat. The species appears to be a high elevation endemic to Mt. Palali. All specimens were found in primary montane forest in the leaf litter or near rotting logs. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is the Latin participle formation of the name of the type locality (Mt. Palali, Nueva Viscaya Province, Luzon Island). 
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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