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Scelotes duttoni BROADLEY, 1990

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymScelotes duttoni BROADLEY 1990 
DistributionBazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique

Type locality: Ponta Chinhongue, Benguerua Island, Mozambique  
TypesHolotype: NMZB 10032 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Closely related to S. bidigittatus FitzSimons, but differing in its more elongated snout, shorter rostral, longer frontal, presence of a forelimb bud (absent in bidigittatus) and longer hind limb, with inner toe much longer than outer, with 6-7 subdigital lamellae (inner toe slightly longer than outer in bidigittatus, with 2-3 subdigital lamellae), also in having 18 scale rows at midbody (usually 20 in bidigittatus) and only 83-84 ventral scales between mental shield and cloaca (102-105 in two bidigittatus from Kruger National Park), tail slightly shorter than snout-vent length (slightly longer in bidigittatus). Colouration darker, almost black dorsally, with pale dorsolateral line bisecting scale row 2, counting from the vertebral line (pale dorsolateral stripes broad, covering lower half of scale row 2 and upper half of 3 in bidigittatus). 
CommentLimb morphology: This species lost its forelimb entirely and retains only two digits on the hind limb.

Group: Belongs to the didactyle S. bidigittatus group.

Abundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). This is one of the species called 'lost' and 'rediscovered' by Lindken et al. 2024. 
EtymologyThis species is named for Paul Dutton in recognition of his major contributions to our knowledge of the fauna and flora of the Bazaruto Archipelago. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Broadley D G 1990. The herpetofaunas of the islands off the coast of south Mocambique. Arnoldia Zimbabwe 9 (35): 469-493
  • Broadley, D. G. 1994. The genus Scelotes Fitzinger (Reptilia: Scincidae) in Mozambique, Swaziland and Natal, South Africa. Annals of the Natal Museum 35: 237-259.
  • Jacobsen, Niels H.G.; Errol W. Pietersen & Darren W. Pietersen 2010. A preliminary herpetological survey of the Vilanculos Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary on the San Sebastian Peninsula, Vilankulo, Mozambique. Herpetology Notes 3: 181-193
  • Lindken T.; Anderson, C. V., Ariano-Sánchez, D., Barki, G., Biggs, C., Bowles, P., Chaitanya, R., Cronin, D. T., Jähnig, S. C., Jeschke, J. M., Kennerley, R. J., Lacher, T. E. Jr., Luedtke, J. A., Liu, C., Long, B., Mallon, D., Martin, G. M., Meiri, 2024. What factors influence the rediscovery of lost tetrapod species? Global Change Biology, 30: 1-18 - 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
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