Plestiodon latiscutatus HALLOWELL, 1861
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Plestiodon latiscutatus?
|Higher Taxa||Scincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||Far Eastern Skink, Japanese Five-lined Skink|
|Synonym||Plestiodon latiscutatus HALLOWELL 1861: 496|
Eumeces latiscutatus — STEJNEGER 1907: 195
Eumeces latiscutatus okadae STEJNEGER 1907: 200 (fide MOTOKAWA & HIKIDA 2003)
Eumeces latiscutatus — TAYLOR 1936: 276
Eumeces okadae — TAYLOR 1936: 272
Eumeces okadae — HIKIDA 1979
Eumeces latiscutatus — BAUER et al. 1995: 60
Eumeces latiscutatus — GRIFFITH, NGO & MURPHY 2000
Eumeces okadae — GRIFFITH, NGO & MURPHY 2000
Eumeces latiscutatus — SZCZERBAK 2003
Plestiodon latiscutatus — SCHMITZ et al. 2004
Plestiodon okadae — SCHMITZ et al. 2004
Eumeces latiscutatus — GORIS & MAEDA 2004
Plestiodon latiscutatus — OKAMOTO & HIKIDA 2012
|Distribution||Japan (Izu peninsula, Hatsushima Island, and most of the Izu Islands)|
Type locality: Japan; Shimoda, the Izu Peninsula (fide OKAMOTO & HIKIDA 2012).
okadae: Japan (Shimoda); (STEJNEGER’s okadae was found on Miyakeshima, Idzu Seven Islands); Type locality: Miyake island, Shizuoka.
|Reproduction||viviparous. There are also reports about oviparity in this species (as okadae).|
|Types||Holotype: USNM (fide TAYLOR 1936: 27, but not listed by Cochran 1961).|
Holotype: USNM 23891 [Eumeces laticaudatus okadae]
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. A moderate-sized Plestiodon (ca. 60–90 mm SVL for adults) similar to P. finitimus. This species differs from P. barbouri in usually having 24–30 MSRs. The Izu Peninsular population of this species differs from P. finitimus and P. japonicus in usually having a large postnasal contacting with the posterior loreal (Fig. 2B), or sometimes lacking a postnasal (Fig. 2C), and having a slightly smaller number of MSRs (24 and 26 in similar frequencies, range, 22–26). The Izu Insular populations, except that of Izuoshima Island, differ from P. finitimus and P. japonicus in lacking the bifurcating pattern of the dorsal yellowish stripe on the juvenile head. The insular populations differ from P. finitimus and P. japonicus in having a larger number of MSRs (usually 28 or 30), with geographic variation (from OKAMOTO & HIKIDA 2012).|
|Comment||Similar species: P. japonicus, P. finitimus.|
Synonymy: partly after OKAMOTO & HIKIDA 2012.
Synonymy: MOTOKAWA & HIKIDA (2003) showed that specimens of E. marginatus from Tokara Island have been previously identified as E. latiscutatus. These authors also suggest to separate populations from Izu Island should be treated as distinct species, that okadae is a junior synonym of latiscutatus, and that Eumeces (Pleistodon) quinquelineatus var. Japonicus PETERS 1864, previously considered as a synonym of Plestiodon latiscutatus, should be revalidated for populations of the main island (except Izu peninsula). Okamoto et al. 2006 consider latiscutatus and japonicus as different species because of their genetic differences, even though they are morphologically very similar, if not undistinguishable. HIKIDA 1978 is listed as author of okadae in FRANK & RAMUS 1995.
Distribution: see maps in Okamoto et al. 2006 and OKAMOTO & HIKIDA 2012. Has also been reported from Kunashir Island, Kuril Islands (Russia), but these may be erroneous reports.
Ecology: The tails of this species are vivid blue in areas where weasels or snakes are common, but have high ultraviolet reflectance only in areas high in snakes. Weasels can see blue wavelengths, but, unlike snakes, cannot detect UV light, suggesting that the lizards have evolved to draw the attention of specific local predator species away from their bodies and towards their disposable tails. Brown tails were found in the area where keen- eyed predatory birds make camouflage a better strategy (Kuriyama et al. 2016).
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