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Plestiodon laticeps (SCHNEIDER, 1801)

IUCN Red List - Plestiodon laticeps - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesBroadhead Skink 
SynonymScincus laticeps SCHNEIDER 1801: 189
Sclncus erythrocephalus GILLIAMS 1818: 461 (fide COOPER 1988)
Scincus bicolor HARLAN 1824
Scincus americanus HARLAN 1835: 138
Plestiodon laticeps — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 705
Eumeces laticeps — PETERS 1864: 49
Eumeces polygrammus COPE 1900: 637
Eumeces laticeps — TAYLOR 1932: 263
Eumeces laticeps — TAYLOR 1936: 212
Eumeces laticeps — KAHL et al. 1980: 175
Eumeces laticeps — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 130
Eumeces laticeps — GRIFFITH, NGO & MURPHY 2000
Eumeces laticeps — WHITING et al. 2003
Plestiodon laticeps — SCHMITZ et al. 2004
Eumeces laticeps — COOPER 2005
Eumeces laticeps — JENSEN et al. 2008: 315
Plestiodon laticeps — COLLINS & TAGGART 2009 
DistributionUSA (E Texas,E Oklahoma, S/C Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, S Illinois, S Indiana, Kansas, S Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, Tennessee, North Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, N Florida)

Type locality: unknown, restricted to Charleston, South Carolina by Schmidt (1953).  
Reproductionoviparous. 
TypesLectotype: ZFMK
Type: unlocated (fide TAYLOR 1936: 28); lost fide Cooper 1988 (formerly in the Museum of Göttingen, Germany)
Holotype: USNM 4156 [polygrammus]
Holotype: lost, fide Cooper 1988 [americanus]
Holotype: lost, fide Cooper 1988 [erythrocephalus] 
Diagnosis 
CommentSynonymy: mostly after Cooper 1988.

P. laticeps is sexually dimorphic and the color and pattern change from neonates to adults so that many names have been applied to this species.

Similar species: P. laticeps was long confused with P. fasciatus and P. inexpectatus. Distinguishing the three sibling species requires careful examination and comparison of specimens. The three species were frequently lumped in the literature before Taylor's (1932) re-establishmentof E. laticeps as a distinct species. Subsequent investigations have confirmed Taylor's separation of the forms (Davis, 1969; Murphy et al., 1983); the nomenclature has been stable for over half a century and is not now controversial. Taylor (1935) provides a detailed history of the many nomenclatural shifts within the taxon (Cooper 1988). 
EtymologyThe name laticeps, meaning "wide-headed" is compounded from the Greek kephale (= head), and the Latin latus (= wide). 
References
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  • Anderson, Paul 1950. The greater five-lined skink, Eumeces laticeps (Schneider), in Kansas. Herpetologica 6: 53 - get paper here
  • Bartlett, R. D. & Bartlett, P. 1999. A Field Guide to Texas Reptiles and Amphibians. Gulf Publishing Co., Houston, Texas, 331 pp.
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  • 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
  • Bufalino, Angelo 1996. Geographic Distribution. Eumeces laticeps. Herpetological Review 27 (2): 87 - 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.
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  • Connior, Matthew B., Kory Roberts and Idun Guenther. 2010. Geographic distribution: Plestiodon laticeps. Herpetological Review 41 (3): 378 - get paper here
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  • Cooper Jr, W E 1988. Eumeces laticeps (Schneider). Broad-headed skink. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles ( 445: 1-3 - get paper here
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  • Cooper, W. E., Jr. 1981. Two abnormal striping patterns in Eumeces laticeps. Herpetological Review 12 (4): 103 - get paper here
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  • Green, N.B., & Pauley, T.K. 1987. Amphibians and reptiles in West Virginia. Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, 241 pp.
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  • Liner, Ernest A. 1996. Geographic Distribution. Eumeces laticeps. Herpetological Review 27 (3): 152 - get paper here
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  • McCauley, R. H., Jr. 1939. Differences in the young of Eumeces fasciatus and Eumeces laticeps. Copeia 1939 (2): 93-95 - get paper here
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