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Plestiodon japonicus (PETERS, 1864)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesJapanese: Nihon-Tokage 
SynonymEumeces (Pleistodon) quinquelineatus var. Japonicus PETERS 1864: 57
Eumeces japonicus — GORIS & MAEDA 2004
Plestiodon japonicus — HONDA et al. 2008
Plestiodon japonicus — OKAMOTO & HIKIDA 2012
Plestiodon japonicus — OKAMOTO et al. 2021 
DistributionN Ryukyus (Osumi group), W Japan (Kyushu, Shikoku, western Honshu, and several adjacent islets);

Introduced to Hachijojima Island (Izu Islands)

Type locality: Nagasaki, Japan. Also given as Yokohama, Japan.  
Reproductionoviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: ZMB 4485 (fide TAYLOR 1936: 28) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A moderate-sized Plestiodon (ca. 60–90 mm SVL for adults) similar to P. finitimus. This species differs from P. barbouri in having 24–28 MSRs, from insular populations of P. latiscutatus in having a bifurcating lateral white line pattern on juvenile heads, and from the Izu Peninsular population of P. latiscutatus in usually having a small postnasal and large anterior loreal contacting the supralabial (Fig. 2A). This species differs from P. finitimus, except for the Mt. Hakkoda population, in usually having prefrontals contacting each other, and from the Mt. Hakkoda population of P. finitimus in frequently having 26 MSRs, and in usually having two postlabials (Fig. 4B in OKAMOTO & HIKIDA 2012).
CommentDistribution: see map in OKAMOTO & HIKIDA 2012 and KURITA & HIKIDA 2014: 188. Previously also reported from E Russia (coastal region). 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • 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
  • Goris, R.C. & Maeda, N. 2004. Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Japan. Krieger, Malabar, 285 pp.
  • Hikida, Tsutomu 2006. A replacement of the scientific name for Japanese skinks of the genus Eumeces. Bulletin of the Herpetological Society of Japan 2006(2):139-145. - get paper here
  • Honda, M.; Okamoto, T.; Hikida, T. & Ota, H. 2008. Molecular Phylogeography of the Endemic Five-lined Skink ( Plestiodon marginatus) ( Reptilia: Scincidae) of the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan, with Special Reference to the Relationship of a Northern Tokara Population. Pacific Science 62 (3): 351 – 362 - get paper here
  • Kurita, Kazuki and Tsutomu Hikida 2014. Divergence and Long-Distance Overseas Dispersals of Island Populations of the Ryukyu Five-Lined Skink, Plestiodon Marginatus (Scincidae: Squamata), in the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan, as Revealed by Mitochondrial DNA Phylogeography. Zoological Science 31, No. 4: 187-194. - get paper here
  • Murali, Gopal; Ullasa Kodandaramaiah 2016. Deceived by stripes: conspicuous patterning on vital anterior body parts can redirect predatory strikes to expendable posterior organs. R. Soc. open sci. 3: 160057 - get paper here
  • Okamoto, T. & Hikida, T. 2009. Three genetic lineages of the Japanese skink Plestiodon japonicus (Scincidae, Squamata) and the genetic composition of their contact zones. J Zool Syst Evol Res. 47(2): 181–188 - get paper here
  • Okamoto, T., Tsukamoto, S., Kuro-o, M., Kuriyama, T., & Motokawa, M. 2021. Complex Historical Biogeography of the Eastern Japanese Skink, Plestiodon finitimus (Scincidae, Squamata), Revealed by Geographic Variation in Molecular and Morphological Characters. Zoological Science, 38 (2): 148-161 - get paper here
  • Okamoto, Taku 2016. Historical Biogeography of the Terrestrial Reptiles of Japan: A Comparative Analysis of Geographic Ranges and Molecular Phylogenies. Species Diversity of Animals in Japan, pp 135-163; DOI<br />10.1007/978-4-431-56432-4_5 - get paper here
  • OKAMOTO, TAKU & TSUTOMU HIKIDA 2012. A new cryptic species allied to Plestiodon japonicus (Peters, 1864) (Squamata: Scincidae) from eastern Japan, and diagnoses of the new species and two parapatric congeners based on morphology and DNA barcode. Zootaxa 3436: 1–23 - get paper here
  • Okamoto, Taku; Motokawa, Junko; Toda, Mamoru; Hikida, Tsutomu 2006. Parapatric distribution of the lizards Plestiodon (formerly Eumeces) latiscutatus and P. japonicus (Reptilia: Scincidae) around the Izu Peninsula, central Japan, and its biogeographic implications. Zoological Science 23:419– 425 - get paper here
  • Okamoto, Taku; Takeo Kuriyama, Koshiro Eto, Masami Hasegawa 2021. A Preliminary Study of the Morphological and Ecological Characteristics of Plestiodon japonicus (Scincidae, Squamata) on the Danjo Islands, Western Japan. Current Herpetology 40 (2), 182-189, (25 August 2021) - get paper here
  • Peters,W.C.H. 1864. Die Eidechsenfamilie der Scincoiden, insbesondere über die Schneider'schen, Wiegmann'schen und neue Arten des zoologischen Museums. Monatsber. K. Akad. Wiss. Berlin, 1864: 44-58 - get paper here
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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