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Scelotes guentheri BOULENGER, 1887

IUCN Red List - Scelotes guentheri - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common NamesGünther's Dwarf BurrowingSkink 
SynonymScelotes guentheri BOULENGER 1887: 414
Herpetosaura inornata GÜNTHER 1873: 147 (part.)
Herpetosaura guentheri — WITTE & LAURENT 1943: 27
Scelotes guentheri — BROADLEY 1994
Scelotes guentheri — BATES et al. 2014: 275 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa (Natal between Howick and Nottingham Road)

Type locality:Port Natal (= Durban)  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 
CommentBelongs to the S. inornatus group.

Conservation: Described from a single specimen and most likely extinct (Bates et al. 2014).

Morphology: This species lost its forelimb entirely and retains only two digits on the hind limb.

Abundance: only known from the type specimen (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyNamed after Albert Günther (1830-1914), German-born zoologist at the British Museum. 
  • 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.
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1887. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) III. Lacertidae, Gerrhosauridae, Scincidae, Anelytropsidae, Dibamidae, Chamaeleontidae. London: 575pp. - get paper here
  • 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.
  • Günther, A. 1873. Notes on and descriptions of some lizards with rudimentary limbs, in the British Museum. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (4) 12: 145-148 - 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
  • Raw, L.R. 1973. Scelotes guentheri rediscovered?. J. Herp. Assoc. Africa 10: 11-12 - get paper here
  • Witte, G.F. & R. LAURENT 1943. Contribution à la systématique des formes dégradées de la famille des Scincidae apparentées au genre Scelotes Fitzinger. Mém. Mus. r. Hist. nat. Belg. (sér.2) 26: 44 pp.
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