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Scelotes inornatus (SMITH, 1849)

IUCN Red List - Scelotes inornatus - Endangered, EN

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Durban Dwarf Burrowing Skink, Legless Burrowing Skink 
SynonymLithophilus inornatus SMITH 1849: 12
Herpetosaura inornata — GÜNTHER 1873 (part.)
Scelotes inornatus — BOULENGER 1887: 415
Scelotes natalensis HEWITT 1921
Scelotes inornatus inornatus FITZSIMONS 1943: 199
Scelotes inornata — GREER 1970: 10
Scelotes brevipes — VISSER 1984: 72 (part.)
Scelotes inornatus — BROADLEY 1994: 253
Scelotes inornatus — BATES et al. 2014: 275 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa (coastal plain of N Natal), S Mozambique; only known from the vicinity of Durban (BAUER 2016).

Type locality: “arid regions in the interior of South Africa” (probably in error for Port Natal fide BROADLEY 1994).  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.8.21.20 (formerly, South Africa, presented Sir A. Smith.
Syntype: PEM R5310 (formerly NMP 0101) [natalensis] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Broadley 1994: 253. 
CommentGroup: Belongs to the S. inornatus group.

Limb morphology: This species lost its forelimbs and hind limbs. 
  • Armstrong, A. J., & Jordaan, P. R. 2023. A targeted survey for the Durban Dwarf Burrowing Skink Scelotes inornatus (Smith 1849) at Bluff Nature Reserve and Treasure Beach in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, with notes on sympatric herpetofauna. African Journal of Herpetology, 1-12 - get paper here
  • 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, Aaron M. 2016. On the taxonomic status of two enigmatic southern African fossorial skinks, Scelotes bicolor and S. schebeni. African Journal of Herpetology 65 (1): 33-38 | DOI: 10.1080/21564574.2016.1138149 - 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: 575 pp. - 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.
  • CONRADIE, WERNER; WILLIAM R. BRANCH, & GILLIAN WATSON 2019. Type specimens in the Port Elizabeth Museum, South Africa, including the historically important Albany Museum collection. Part 2: Reptiles (Squamata). Zootaxa 4576 (1): 001–045 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Hewitt, J. 1921. On some lizards and arachnids of Natal. Ann. Durban Museum 3: 3-11
  • Smith, A. 1849. Illustrations of the Zoology of South Africa. 3 (Reptiles). Smith, Elder, and Co., London [facsimile published by Winchester Press, Johannesburg, 1977] - get paper here
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