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Plestiodon latiscutatus HALLOWELL, 1861

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Far Eastern Skink, Japanese Five-lined Skink 
SynonymPlestiodon 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 
DistributionJapan (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.  
Reproductionovovivparous. There are also reports about oviparity in this species (as okadae). 
TypesHolotype: USNM (fide TAYLOR 1936: 27, but not listed by Cochran 1961).
Holotype: USNM 23891 [Eumeces laticaudatus okadae] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: 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). 
CommentSimilar 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). 
  • Alexander, Donald R.;Diener, Richard A. 1958. A collection of amphibians and reptiles from Japan. Copeia 1958 (3): 218-219 - get paper here
  • Barbour, Thomas 1909. Notes on Amphibia and Reptilia from Eastern Asia. Proc. New England zool. Club 4: 53-78, 2 plates - get paper here
  • Bauer, A.M.; Günther,R. & Klipfel,M. 1995. The herpetological contributions of Wilhelm C.H. Peters (1815-1883). SSAR Facsimile Reprints in Herpetology, 714 pp.
  • Blackburn, D.G. 1993. STANDARDIZED CRITERIA FOR THE RECOGNITION OF REPRODUCTIVE MODES IN SQUAMATE REPTILES. Herpetologica 49 (1): 118-132 - 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
  • Goris, R.C. & Maeda, N. 2004. Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Japan. Krieger, Malabar, 285 pp.
  • 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
  • Hallowell, E. 1861. Report upon the Reptilia of the North Pacific Exploring Expedition, under command of Capt. John Rogers, U. S. N. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 12 [1860]: 480 - 510 - get paper here
  • Hasegawa, M. 1984. Biennial Reproduction in the Lizard Eumeces okadae on Miyake-Jima, Japan Herpetologica 40 (2): 194-199. - get paper here
  • Hasegawa, M. 1985. Effects of brooding on egg mortality in the lizard Eumeces okadae on Miyake-Jima, Izu Islands Copeia 1985 (2): 497-500. - get paper here
  • Hasegawa, M. 1990. Demography of an island population of the lizard, Eumeces okadae, on Miyake-Jim, Izu Islands. Researches on Population Ecology 32 (1): 119-133 - get paper here
  • Hasegawa, M. 1993. Demography, social structure, and sexual dimorphism of the lizard Eumeces okadae. Physiology and Ecology Japan 29: 248-263
  • Hasegawa, M. 1994. Insular Radiation in Life History of the Lizard Eumeces okadae in the Izu Islands, Japan Copeia 1994 (3): 732-747. - get paper here
  • Hikida T. & Ota H. 1997. Biogeography of reptiles in the subtropical East Asian Islands. Proc. Symposium Phylogeny, Biogeography Cons. Fauna Flora East Asian Region, pp. 11-28
  • Hikida, T. & Motokawa, J. 1999. Phylogeographical relationships of the skinks of the genus Eumeces (Reptilia; Scincidae) in East Asia. in: Ota, H. (ed.) Tropical Island Herpetofauna, pp. 231-247 - 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
  • Kato, J.; Ota, H.; Hikida, T. 1994. Biochemical systematics of the latiscutatus species group of the genus Eumeces (Scincidae, Reptilia) from east Asian Islands. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 22 (5): 491-500 - get paper here
  • Kato, Junko;Ota, Hidetoshi;Hikida, Tsutomu 1993. On the systematics of the latiscutatus species group of the genus Eumeces from East Asian islands; reconsideration from allozymes data. Japanese Journal of Herpetology 15 (2): 90 - get paper here
  • Kato, Junko;Ota, Hidetoshi;Hikida, Tsutomu 1994. Phylogenetic relationships of the latiscutatus species group of the genus Eumeces from East Asia with special reference to intraspecific genetic variation. Japanese Journal of Herpetology 15 (4): 142
  • Kuriyama, T., Morimoto, G., Miyaji, K. and Hasegawa, M. 2016. Cellular basis of anti-predator adaptation in a lizard with autotomizable blue tail against specific predators with different colour vision. Journal of Zoology, doi:10.1111/jzo.12361 - get paper here
  • Kuriyama, Takeo; Kazuyuki Miyaji, Masazumi Sugimoto, and Masami Hasegawa 2006. Ultrastructure of the Dermal Chromatophores in a Lizard (Scincidae: Plestiodon latiscutatus) with Conspicuous Body and Tail Coloration. Zoological Science 23(9): 793-799; <br />doi: - get paper here
  • Kuriyama, Takeo; Taku Okamoto, Kazuyuki Miyaji, and Masami Hasegawa 2016. Iridophore- and Xanthophore-Deficient Melanistic Color Variant of the Lizard Plestiodon latiscutatus. Herpetologica 72 (3): 189-195 - get paper here
  • Motokawa, Junko and Tsutomu Hikida 2003. Genetic variation and differentiation in the Japanese Five-line skink, Eumeces latiscutatus (Reptilia: Squamata). Zoological Science 20 (1): 97-106 - 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Stejneger, LEONHARD H. 1907. Herpetology of Japan and adjacent territory. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 58: xx, 1-577 - get paper here
  • Szczerbak, N.N. 2003. Guide to the Reptiles of the Eastern Palearctic. Krieger, Malabar, FL, 260 pp. - get paper here
  • 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
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