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Plestiodon gilberti (VAN DENBURGH, 1896)

IUCN Red List - Plestiodon gilberti - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesPlestiodon gilberti cancellosus (RODGERS & FITCH 1947)
Plestiodon gilberti gilberti (VAN DENBURGH 1896)
Plestiodon gilberti placerensis (RODGERS 1944)
Plestiodon gilberti rubricaudatus (TAYLOR 1936) 
Common Namesarizonensis: Arizona Skink
cancellosus: Variegated Skink
gilberti: Greater Brown Skink
placerensis: Northern Brown Skink
rubricaudatus: Western Redtail Skink
S: Lincer de Gilbert 
SynonymEumeces gilberti VAN DENBURGH 1896: 350
Eumeces gilberti — TAYLOR 1936: 438
Eumeces gilberti — STEBBINS 1985: 149
Eumeces gilberti — LINER 1994
Eumeces gilberti — GRIFFITH, NGO & MURPHY 2000
Plestiodon gilberti — SCHMITZ et al. 2004

Plestiodon gilberti cancellosus (RODGERS & FITCH 1947)
Plestiodon gilberti cancellosus — COLLINS & TAGGART 2009

Plestiodon gilberti gilberti (VAN DENBURGH 1896)
Plestiodon gilberti gilberti — COLLINS & TAGGART 2009

Plestiodon gilberti placerensis (RODGERS 1944)
Eumeces gilberti placerensis RODGERS 1944
Plestiodon gilberti placerensis — COLLINS & TAGGART 2009

Plestiodon gilberti rubricaudatus (TAYLOR 1936: 446)
Eumeces gilberti rubricaudatus TAYLOR 1935
Eumeces gilberti arizonensis LOWE & SHANNON 1954
Eumeces gilberti rubricaudatus — BANTA 1962
Eumeces gilberti rubricaudatus — BRADLEY & DEACON 1966
Plestiodon gilberti rubricaudatus — COLLINS & TAGGART 2009
Plestiodon gilberti arizonensis — COLLINS & TAGGART 2009
Plestiodon gilberti rubricaudatus — CROTHER et al. 2012 
DistributionUSA (California, S Nevada, W Arizona),
Mexico (N Baja California)

arizonensis: isolated populations in Arizona,in the Bradshaw Mountains, Weaver Mountains, Santa Maria Mountains, Cerbat and Music Mountains. Type locality: USA: 5 mi SE Wickenburg, Maricopa County, Arizona.

rubricaudatus: USA (S California), Mexico (NW Baja California, North Coronado Island). Type locality: Tehachapi Mountains, California.  
TypesHolotype: CAS 4139
Holotype: Shannon collection 3218; INHS (= UIMNH) 67063; R. Abbuhl; July 8, 1953. [arizonensis]
Holotype: MVZ 24058, adult male [placerensis]
Holotype: CAS 39002 [rubricaudatus]
Holotype: MVZ 24034 (originally 3348), collected by H. S. Fitch, May 4,1937 [cancellosus] 
DiagnosisDEFINITION AND Diagnosis:A relatively large skink, adults average 87 mm snout-vent length (SVL), range 63-113 mm, and hatchlings 32 mm. Juveniles are striped, generally with pairs of light-colored dorsolateral lines extending from the rostral scale to the tail. Juvenile background color varies, but is generally dark brown and the tail a shade of blue or pink. Striping fades with maturity; in all subspecies except arizonensis, adults lose all stripes. Adult ground color may be brown, olive-brown, grayish brown, bluish gray, greenish gray or olive, with varying amounts of dark pigment superimposed. Adults may also develop orange or red coloration on their heads, especially during the breeding season. Complete or nearly complete loss of juvenile striping at 60-70 mm SVL, and adult size more than 75 mm SVL most consistently distinguish E. gilberti from E. skiltonianus in areas of sympatry. Eumeces skil· tonianus also has scattered black melanophores clustered in groups or singly, superimposed on the ground color of the back, and usually 7 supralabials (83% with at least one side with 7 supralabials or less). Eumeces gilberti usually has 8 supralabials on both sides. (Bruce 1985) 
CommentSynonymy: partly after RICHMOND & REEDER 2002 who also synonymized arizonensis with rubricaudatus. 
EtymologyNamed after Dr. Charles H. Gilbert (1859-1928), American herpetologist. 
  • Banta, B.H. 1962. Notes on the Distribution of the Western Red-Tailed Skink, Eumeces gilberti rubricaudatus Taylor, in Southern Nevada Herpetologica 18 (2): 129-130. - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Blackburn, D.G. 1993. STANDARDIZED CRITERIA FOR THE RECOGNITION OF REPRODUCTIVE MODES IN SQUAMATE REPTILES. Herpetologica 49 (1): 118-132 - get paper here
  • Boone, James L.;Sowell, Chris L. 1999. Geographic distribution. Eumeces gilberti rubricaudatus. Herpetological Review 30 (1): 52 - get paper here
  • Bradley, W. Glen and James E. Deacon 1966. Amphibian and Reptile Records for Southern Nevada. Southwestern Naturalist 11 (1): 132-134 - get paper here
  • BRANDLEY, MATTHEW C.; OTA, HIDETOSHI; HIKIDA, TSUTOMU; NIETO MONTES DE OCA, ADRIAN; FERIA-ORTIZ, MANUEL; GUO, XIANGUANG; WANG, YUEZHAO 2012. The phylogenetic systematics of blue-tailed skinks (Plestiodon) and the family Scincidae. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 165 (1): 163-189 - get paper here
  • BUCK, M 2020. Geographic Distribution: Plestiodon gilberti (Gilbert’s Skink). USA: California: Kern Co. Herpetological Review 51: 542.
  • Clark, Howard O., Jr. and Susan I. Hagen. 2013. Plestiodon gilberti (Gilbert's skink) predation. Herpetological Review 44 (4): 681 - get paper here
  • Collins, J.T. and T. W. Taggart 2009. Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, Sixth Edition. Center for North American Herpetology, 48 pp.
  • Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2012. Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, Seventh Edition. Herpetological Circular 39: 1-92
  • de Queiroz, A. & K. de Queiroz 1987. Prey Handling Behavior of Eumeces gilberti with Comments on Headfirst Ingestion in Squamates Journal of Herpetology 21 (1): 57-63. - get paper here
  • Detwiler, Henry D. and James C. Rorabaugh. 2015. Plestiodon gilberti (Gilbert's skink) male combat. Herpetological Review 46 (1): 94 - get paper here
  • Goldberg, S.R. 2009. Reproductive Cycle of Gilbert's Skink, Plestiodon gilberti (Squamata: Scincidae) from California Bull. Maryland Herpetol. Soc., 45(2): 28-32. - get paper here
  • Griffith, H., A. Ngo & R. W. Murphy 2000. A cladistic evaluation of the cosmopolitan genus Eumeces Wiegmann (Reptilia, Squamata, Scincidae). Russ. J. Herpetol. 7 (1): 1-16 - get paper here
  • Hall, Derek B.; Kevin T. Shoemaker, and Paul D. Greger 2019. Western Red-tailed Skink (Plestiodon gilberti rubricaudatus) Distribution and Habitat Use in Southern Nevada, USA. Herp. Conserv. Biology 14 (2): - get paper here
  • Hubbs, Brian and Brian Hinds. 2015. Geographic Distribution: Plestiodon gilberti (Gilbert skink). Herpetological Review 46 (4): 570-571 - get paper here
  • Jones K B 1985. Eumeces gilberti van Denburgh. Gilbert's skink. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles ( 372: 1-3 - get paper here
  • Jones, K.B.; Abbas, D.R. & Bergstedt, T. 1981. Herpetological records from Central and Northeastern Arizona. Herpetological Review 12 (1): 16 - get paper here
  • Jones, L.L. & Lovich, R.E. 2009. Lizards of the American Southwest. A photographic field guide. Rio Nuevo Publishers, Tucson, AZ, 568 pp. [review in Reptilia 86: 84] - get paper here
  • Lowe, C.H. and Shannon, F.A. 1954. A new lizards (Genus Eumeces) from Arizona. Herpetologica 10: 185-187 - get paper here
  • Richmond & Reeder 2002. Evidence for Parallel Ecological Speciation in Scincid Lizards of the Eumeces skiltonianus Species Group (Squamata: Scincidae). Evolution 56: 1498–1513 - get paper here
  • Richmond, J.Q. 2006. Evolutionary basis of parallelism in North American scincid lizards. EVOLUTI ON & DEVELOPMENT 8 (6): 477–490 - get paper here
  • Rodgers 1944. A New Skink from the Sierra Nevada of California. Copeia 1944 (2): 101-104 - get paper here
  • Rodgers, Thomas L.; Fitch, Henry S. 1947. Variation in the skinks (Reptilia: Lacertilia) of the skiltonianus group. Univ. California Publ. Zool. 48 (4): 169-220
  • Rodríguez-Robles, Javier A., Good, David A., Wake, David B. 2003. Brief History of Herpetology in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, with a List of Type Specimens of Recent Amphibians and Reptiles. UC Publications in Zoology, 119 pp. - get paper here
  • Schmitz, Andreas; Patrick Mausfeld and Dirk Embert 2004. Molecular studies on the genus Eumeces Wiegmann, 1834: phylogenetic relationships and taxonomic implications. Hamadryad 28 (1-2): 73 – 89 - get paper here
  • SHERBROOKE, WADE C. & CASEY MOSS. 2021. PLESTIODON GILBERTI (Gilbert’s Skink). PREDATION. Herpetological Review 52 (2): 412. - get paper here
  • Stebbins,R.C. 1985. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston
  • Taylor, E. H. 1936. A taxonomic study of the cosmopolitan lizards of the genus Eumeces with an account of the distribution and relationship of its species. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 23 (14): 1-643 [1935] - get paper here
  • Taylor, E. H. 1943. Mexican lizards of the genus Eumeces, with comments on the recent literature on the genus. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 29 (5): 269-300 - get paper here
  • Van Denburgh, John 1896. A list of some reptiles from Southeastern Arizona, with a description of a new species of Cnemidophorus. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (2) 6: 338-349 - get paper here
  • Vitt, L. J. 1974. Geographic distribution of Eumeces gilberti arizonensis (Arizona skink). Herpetological Review 5 (3): 69-70 - get paper here
  • Vitt, Laurie J.; Justin D. Congdon, Nancy A. Dickson 1977. Adaptive Strategies and Energetics of Tail Autonomy in Lizards. Ecology 58 (2): 326-337 - get paper here
  • Werning, Heiko 2012. Die Reptilien und Amphibien des Südwestens. Draco 13 (50): 18-60 - get paper here
  • Williams, S; 2019. Plestiodon gilberti (Gilbert’s Skink) Predation. Herpetological Review 50 (1): 144 - get paper here
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