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Parvoscincus tikbalangi SILER, LINKEM, COBB, WATTERS, CUMMINGS, DIESMOS & BROWN, 2014

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesSierra Madres Aquatic Skink 
SynonymParvoscincus tikbalangi SILER, LINKEM, COBB, WATTERS, CUMMINGS, DIESMOS & BROWN 2014
Parvoscincus leucospilos — LINKEM et al. 2011 (part) 
DistributionPhilippines (Luzon)

Type locality: Sitio Apaya, Barangay Dibuluan, Municipality of San Mariano, Isabela Province, Luzon Island, Philippines (N: 17.029°; E: 122.1928°; WGS-84; 600 m in elevation  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. PNM 9795 (ACD Field No. 1989, formerly KU 327785), adult male, collected on 15 February 2005 by ACD.
Paratypes. KU 320522, 327786 collected on 5 February 2005 in Sitio Apaya, Barangay Dibuluan, Municipality of San Mariano, Isabela Province (same coordinates), by ACD. KU 327787–96 collected on 24–26 April 2005 in Barangay Del Pilar, Municipality of San Mariano, Isabela Province (N: 122.104°, E: 16.8592°), by ACD. 
CommentDiagnosis. Parvoscincus tikbalangi can be distinguished from congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) body size medium (SVL 41.5–54.7 mm); (2) Toe-IV lamellae 14–16; (3) supralabials seven; (4) infralabials seven; (5) midbody scale rows 28–32; (6) paravertebral scale rows 58–63; (7) prefrontals separated from first supraocular; (8) frontoparietals fused; (9) head pigmentation moderately mottled; (10) upper arm pigmentation present, patchy; (11) subcaudal pigmentation absent; (12) dorsal white spots faint; (13) dorsal white bands 9–12; (14) lateral body coloration present, tan; (15) tail dorsolaterally compressed; and (16) semi-aquatic (Tables 2, 3 in Siler et al. 2014).

Comparisons. Characters distinguishing Parvoscincus tikbalangi from all species of Parvoscincus are summarized in Tables 2 and 3 in Siler et al. 2014. Parvoscincus tikbalangi most closely resembles P. duwendorum, P. leucospilos, and P. manananggalae, but differs from P. duwendorum by having seven infralabials (vs. eight); from P. duwendorum and P. manananggalae by having Toe-IV lamellae 13–16 (vs. 12 [P. duwendorum], 17 [P. manananggalae]); from P. duwendorum by having a greater number of midbody scale rows (28–32 vs. 26) and fewer dorsal white bands (9–12 vs. 15); from P. leucospilos and P. manananggalae by having a tendency towards fewer midbody scale rows (28–32 vs. 30–34 [P. leucospilos], 32–33 [P. manananggalae]), fewer paravertebral scale rows (58–63 vs. 61–67 [P. leucospilos], 61–69 [P. manananggalae]), faint dorsal white spots (vs. large and well-defined), and by the presence of tan lateral coloration (vs. presence and bright reddish-orange [P. leucospilos], absence [P. manananggalae]); from P. leucospilos by having seven supralabials (vs. six or seven), moderate head pigmentation mottling (vs. heavy), the presence (vs. absence) of dark pigmentation on the upper arm surface; and from P. manananggalae by the absence (vs. presence) of dark subcaudal pigmentation. (Siler et al. 2014). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a patronym derivation of the name “Tikbalang,” a mythological part man, part horse mountain forest creature from Filipino folklore. Tikbalang is said to jump down from trees to dispatch its unsuspecting victims by decapitation. 
References
  • SILER, CAMERON D.; CHARLES W. LINKEM, KERRY COBB, JESSA L. WATTERS, SEAN T. CUMMINGS, ARVIN C. DIESMOS & RAFE M. BROWN 2014. Taxonomic revision of the semi-aquatic skink Parvoscincus leucospilos (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae), with description of three new species. Zootaxa 3847 (3): 388–412 - get paper here
 
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