Phaeoscincus taomensis WHITAKER, SMITH & BAUER, 2014
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Phaeoscincus taomensis?
|Higher Taxa||Scincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Synonym||Phoboscincus taomensis WHITAKER, SMITH & BAUER in SADLIER et al. 2014|
|Distribution||New Caledonia (Mt Taom)|
Type locality: New Caledonia, Mt Taom, Massif d’Ouazangou-Taom, 20°47’04.8”S 164°34’42.3”E (elevation 1020 m.)
|Types||Holotype: MNHN 2003.1005 (formerly AMS R.161182) collected by A.H. & V.A. Whitaker, 12 June 2002.|
|Comment||Diagnosis: Phaeoscincus taomensis n. sp. can be distinguished from the only other member of the genus, Phaeoscincus ouinensis n. sp., in having two (vs single) lower secondary temporal scales, and significantly more lamellae beneath fourth finger (mean = 15 vs 12), scales on top of fourth toe (mean = 14.0 vs 11.5) and lamellae beneath fourth toe (mean = 29.5 vs 21.5).|
Type species: Phaeoscincus taomensis is the type species of the genus Phaeoscincus SADLIER, SMITH & BAUER 2014.
Diagnosis (genus): Phaeoscincus is a member of the Eugongylus group of skinks as defined by Greer (1979), it can be distin- guished from all genera in that group by the following combination of character states for body proportions, scalation and osteology (apomorphic character states with the concept of the Eugongylus group of skinks denoted by an asterisk* - polarities defined in Sadlier 2010).
Comparisons: Phaeoscincus taomensis n. sp. most closely resembles subadult male and adult female Caledoniscincus atropunctatus from the north-western region ultramafic ranges. It is readily distinguished from this species by differences in head scalation in having divided (vs fused) frontoparietal scales and two (vs single) lower secondary temporals.
Habitat: Mt Taom is located in the northwest of the island close to the coast about 40 km north of the town of Koné. The mountain is covered with maquis shrubland and has small patches of closed forest on the slopes and at the summit. The holotype was collected in high-elevation maquis shrubland with a thick groundcover of the fern Gleichenia sp. on a broken lateritic cuirasse surface.
|Etymology||The name for the genus is derived from the Greek phaios brown and skinkos for skink, meaning ‘brown skink’ which describes the overall ‘non-descript’ appearance of the members of the genus.|
The epithet is a noun in apposition in reference to the type locality, Mt Taom.
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