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Proscelotes aenea (BARBOUR & LOVERIDGE, 1928)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Mozambique sand skink, Montane Skink 
SynonymScelotes aeneus BARBOUR & LOVERIDGE 1928
Scelotes aeneus — MARX 1958: 471
Scelotes aeneus — LOVERIDGE 1960
Scelotes aeneus — GUNDY & WURST 1976
Proscelotes aenea — RUSSEL & BAUER in GANS et al. 2008
Proscelotes aenea — PURULEIA et al. 2023 

Type locality: “Lumbo, Mozambique, Portuguese East Africa”  
TypesHolotype: MCZ 18355 
DiagnosisDescription. Snout subcuneiform, projecting very slightly beyond the opening lower jaw; eye moderate; lower eyelid with five semi-opaque scales; ear horizontal; supranasals forming a median suture; the nostril pierced in an indentation of the rostral, bordered above by the supranasal, behind by a nasal reduced to a very inconspicuous narrow ring, and below between by the first labial, being placed above and a little to the front of the suture first labial and rostral; frontal twice as long as the frontonasal, much longer than broad; no prefrontals; four supraoculars, second largest (first rarely as large); six supraciliaries; two praeoculars; one postocular; no frontoparietal; interparietal as broad as long, its anterior edge considerably narrower than the frontal, into which its obtusely angular edge fits; six upper labials, the fifth (fourth in some paratypes) entering the orbit. Twenty-two scales around the body. Limbs pentadactyle, weak, widely separated when adpressed; the fore limb, if stretched forward, covers only half its distance from the ear; digits stumpy, the third and fourth toes about three times the length of the others. Tail a little shorter than the length from snout to vent. (The tails of all the paratypes are regenerated.) (Barbour & Loveridge 1928) 
CommentAbundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017) until rediscovered by Puruleia et al. 2023. 
EtymologyNamed after its color: Latin “aenea/-us” = bronze, copper, or ore. 
  • Barbour, Thomas & Loveridge, Arthur 1928. New skinks of the genus Scelotes from Mozambique and Madagascar. Proc. New England Zoological Club 10: 63-65
  • Gans, C., A. S. Gaunt, K. Adler (eds.) 2008. Biology of the Reptilia, Volume 21, Morphology I: The Skull and Appendicular Locomotor Apparatus of Lepidosauria. SSAR, 792 pp. - get paper here
  • Gundy, G.C. & Wurst, G.Z. 1976. The occurrence of parietal eyes in recent Lacertilia (Reptilia). Journal of Herpetology 10: 113-121 - get paper here
  • Loveridge, A. 1960. Status of new vertebrates described or collected by LOVERIDGE. Journal of The East Africa Natural History Society 23 (7): 250-280 - get paper here
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - get paper here
  • Puruleia, A., Nanvonamuquitxo, C., Ernesto, M. et al. 2023. Rediscovery of the lost skink Proscelotes aenea and implications for conservation. Sci Rep 13, 11261 (2023) - get paper here
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