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Scelotes limpopoensis FITZSIMONS, 1930

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesScelotes limpopoensis albiventris JACOBSEN 1987
Scelotes limpopoensis limpopoensis FITZSIMONS 1930 
Common NamesE: Limpopo Dwarf Burrowing Skink
albiventris: White-Bellied Dwarf Burrowing Skink 
SynonymScelotes limpopoensis FITZSIMONS 1930: 35
Scelotes limpopoensis — AUERBACH 1987: 103
Scelotes limpopoensis limpopoensis — BATES et al. 2014: 277

Scelotes limpopoensis albiventris JACOBSEN 1987
Scelotes limpopoensis albiventris — BATES et al. 2014: 277 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa (Limpopo River valley, N Transvaal), S Zimbabwe, Botswana

albiventris: N Transvaal.

Type locality: Messina, Northern Transvaal.  
TypesHolotype: DNMNH (= TM) 13183
Holotype: DNMNH (= TM) 37977, collector N. H. G. Jacobsen, 18 March 1970, [albiventris] 
DiagnosisDESCRIPTION. Snout obtuse, projecting only slightly beyond labial margin; eye eye moderate; lower eyelid with an undivided transparent disc; ear-opening small, but plainly visible externally; supra-nasals meeting in middle line, separated from first labial by a small post-nasal; fronto-nasal roughly heptagonal, much broader than long, in wide contact with frontal; frontal more or less bell-shaped, anterior edge straight and posterior convex, almost as broad as long, and just slightly eas than twice 385 long as fronto-nasal; four supraoculars, first by far the largest: five supra-ciliaries; interparietal large, much broader than long. slightly shorter, but considerably broader than frontal; parietals narrow and band-like, meeting in middle line behind interparietal, in contact with last supra-ocular; adjacent to parietals are two temporals, the inferior in contact with last labial; seven upper labials, fourth entering orbit, not longer than second and third together. 'Twenty scales round middle of body. Fore limb tridactyle, very small and rudimentary, 3 quarter as long as its distance from the snout; hind limb about three times as long as fore limb, tetradactyle, first digit minute, progressing in size to the fourth which is by far the longest, all digits clawed; tail slightly shorter than head and body. (FITZSIMONS 1930)

Colour. (Spirit specimen.) Dorsally sepia, scales with darker centres; a wide, well-defined lateral band, light buff in colour, runs from snout through supra-oculars, and down body, fading out over posterior half of tail; rostral with a large, light-coloured spot, just anterior to confluence of lateral bands; flanks darker than dorsal surface, scales more intensely infuscated. Ventrally scales lightly infuscated, more heavily under tail; chin whitish. (FITZSIMONS 1930) 
CommentLimb morphology: Forelimb with 3 digits but very small and rudimentary, hindlimb with 4 toes. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality.

S. l. albiventris was named after the immaculate ventrum of the new subspecies which is characteristic, as opposed to the speckled ventrum of the nominate subspecies. 
  • Auerbach, R.D. 1987. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Botswana. Mokwepa Consultants, Botswana, 295 pp.
  • 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.
  • Broadley, D. G., G. V. Haagner and A. J. L. Lambris. 1997. Geographic distribution. Scelotes limpopoensis limpopoensis. African Herp News (26):32-33. - get paper here
  • CONRADIE, W., ENGELBRECHT, H., HERREL, A., MEASEY, G.J., NIELSEN, S.V., V ANHOOYDONCK, B., & TOLLEY, K.A. 2011. Reptile survey of Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve, Limpopo Province - South Africa. African Herp News (55): 6-12 - get paper here
  • FitzSimons, V. F. 1930. Descriptions of new South African Reptilia and Batrachia, with distribution records of allied species in the Transvaal Museum collection. Annals Transvaal Mus. 14: 20-48. - get paper here
  • Jacobsen,N.H.G. 1987. A new subspecies of Scelotes limpopoensis FITZSIMONS 1930 (Sauria: Scincidae), with notes on the distribution of the genus Scelotes in the Transvaal. Annals Transvaal Mus. 34: 371-376 - get paper here
  • Kirchhof, S., M. Krämer, J. Linden & K. Richter 2010. The reptile species assemblage of the Soutpansberg (Limpopo Province, South Africa) and its characteristics. Salamandra 46 (3): 147-166 - get paper here
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