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Scelotes bipes (LINNAEUS, 1766)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesSilvery Dwarf Burrowing Skink, Common Burrowing Skink 
SynonymAnguis bipes LINNAEUS 1766: 390
Bipes anguineus MERREM 1820 (fide GREER 1970)
Scelotes Linnaei — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 785
Scelotes bipes — GRAY [1845: 123]
Scelotes Linnaei — GRAVENHORST 1851: 376
Scelotes bipes — BOULENGER 1887: 414
Scelotes bipes — LOVERIDGE 1936: 74
Scelotes bipes — WHITING et al. 2003 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa (W Cape, from Mossel Bay to near Saldanha Bay)

Type locality: “Indiis”  
Reproductionviviparous 
TypesHolotype: NRM 139 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Skull characters: Palatine bones meeting or closely apposed on midline; palatal rami of pterygoids separated medially and diverging posteriorly; pterygoid teeth absent. Postorbital bone present, but small to minute, or absent;
supratemporal arch weak, fenestra obliterated by apposition of bones of arch with
parietal bone; 11 to 23 maxillary teeth, but only uluguruensis with 22 to 23 maxillary teeth, all other species with 11 to 19 teeth. External characters: Interparietal large, touching supraocular scales; external ear opening present or absent; a pair of supranasals meeting behind rostral (fused only in some bipes); digital formula 5-5 to 0-0 (see Table 1 in GREER 1970). 
CommentThis species lost its forelimb entirely and retains only two digits on the hind limb.

Type species: Bipes anguineus MERREM 1820 is the type species of the genus Scelotes FITZINGER 1826. 
Etymology 
References
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • Bauer, A.M., Whiting, A.S., and Sadlier, R.A. 2003. A new species of Scelotes, from near Cape Town, Western Cape Province, South Africa. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 54:231-237. - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron. 1839. Erpétologie Générale on Histoire Naturelle Complète des Reptiles. Vol.5. Roret/Fain et Thunot, Paris, 871 pp. - get paper here
  • Gasc J P; Renous S 1980. Les reliefs microscopiques de l'epiderme des squamates (reptiles) et le mode de locomotion. COMPTES RENDUS DU CONGRES NATIONAL DES SOCIETES SAVANTES PARIS SECTION DES SCIENCES 105 (3): 23-33
  • Gravenhorst, J. L. C. 1851. Über die im Zoologischen Museum der Universität Breslau Befindlichen Wirtelschleichen (Pseudosaura), Krüppelfüssler (Brachypoda), und einige andere, Denselben verwandte Reptilien aus den Zünften der Schleichen und Dickzüngler [Euprepes striolatus]. Acta Acad. Caes. Leop. Carol. Nat. Cur. 23 (1): 291-394 [1847] - get paper here
  • Greer, Allen E. 1970. The systematics and evolution of the Subsaharan Africa, Seychelles, and Mauritius Scincine Scincid lizards. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 140 (1): 1-24 - get paper here
  • Heideman, Neil J.L.; Daniel G. Mulcahy, Jack W. Sites, Martin G.J. Hendricks, Savel R. Daniels 2011. Cryptic diversity and morphological convergence in threatened species of fossorial skinks in the genus Scelotes (Squamata: Scincidae) from the Western Cape Coast of South Africa: Implications for species boundaries, digit reduction and conservation. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 61 (3): 823-833 - get paper here
  • Linné, C. von [= Linnaeus, C.] 1766. Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio duodecima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm, Holmiae. 1-532 pp. - get paper here
  • Werner,F. 1910. Reptilia et Amphibia. In Schultze, L., Zoologische und anthropologische Ergebnisse einer Forschungsreise im westlichen und zentralen Südafrika. Band IV, Systematik und Tiergeographie Vertebrata B. Denkschr. Med.-Nat. Wiss. GeselI. Jena 16: 279-370 [1910] - get paper here
  • Whiting, A.S.; Aaron M. Bauer and Jack W. Sites, Jr. 2003. Phylogenetic relationships and limb loss in sub-Saharan African scincine lizards (Squamata: Scincidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 29 (3): 582-598 - get paper here
 
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