Scelotes guentheri BOULENGER, 1887
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Scelotes guentheri?
|Higher Taxa||Scincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||E: Günther's Dwarf BurrowingSkink|
E: Bourquin’s Dwarf Burrowing Skink [bourquini]
|Synonym||Scelotes 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
Scelotes bourquini BROADLEY 1994
Scelotes guentheri — RAW 1973: 11 (not BOULENGER)
Scelotes guentheri — BRANCH 1988: 122 (not BOULENGER)
Scelotes bourquini — BATES et al. 2014: 272
|Distribution||Republic of South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal [KZN] Midlands)|
Type locality: Port Natal (= Durban), in error, and probably the port of shipment, not the place of collection. The actual locality is somewhere in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands (fide L. Raw, pers. comm., 28 Dec 2022)
bourquini: South Africa (Durban), KwaZulu-Natal; Type locality: Dargle, KwaZulu-Natal.
|Types||Holotype: BMNH 188.8.131.52|
Holotype: NMZB UM 8284 [bourquini]
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: Broadley 1994: 251|
Diagnosis: S. bourquini “differs from S. guentheri in the absence of a postnasal” (Broadley 1994: 252).
The S. guentheri holotype only differs from S. bourquini in that single doubtful character (postnasal present) and such aberrations, while not too common, are known from a number of S. African reptiles (Raw 2021, and Raw, pers. comm., 28 Dec 2022)
|Comment||Synonymy: Raw 2021 synonymized S. bourquini with S. guentheri. While we consider this decision as preliminary, we follow Raw, given the fact that guentheri was described from a single specimen and may be extinct (or considered as a subspecies). It is currently impossible to verify the status of guentheri. The 3 South African members of the Skink Specialist Group (IUCN SSG) agree with this position (although they tend to keep bourquini for the time being) (Dave Chapple via Shai Meiri, pers. comm., 31 May 2021).|
Type species: Scelotes guentheri Boulenger 1887 is the type species of the genus Podoclonium COPE 1892, a synonym of Scelotes, fide Shea 2021.
Group: Belongs to the S. inornatus group.
Conservation: Described from a single specimen and most likely extinct (Bates et al. 2014, Bauer et al. 2018).
Limb morphology: This species lost its forelimb entirely and minute hind limb buds (L. Raw, pers. comm., 28 Dec 2022).
Abundance: S. guentheri is only known from the type specimen (Meiri et al. 2017), as long as S. bourqini is considered a separate species.
|Etymology||Named after Albert Günther (1830-1914), German-born zoologist at the British Museum.|
S. bourquini was named after Dr. Ortwin "Orty" Bourquin (b. 1942), a South African biologist, naturalist, and herpetologist who worked for the Natal Parks Board for 30 years.