Scelotes montispectus BAUER, WHITING & SADLIER, 2003
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|Higher Taxa||Scincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||E: Bloubergstrand Dwarf Burrowing Skink|
|Synonym||Scelotes montispectus BAUER, WHITING & SADLIER 2003|
Scelotes montispectus — BATES et al. 2014: 278
|Distribution||South Africa (near Cape Town)|
Type locality: Approximately 4.6 km north of Grootbaai, Bloubergstrand on Melkbos Rd, 33°45’02’’S, 18°26’34’’E
|Types||Holotype: CAS 223934, California Academy of Sciences|
|Diagnosis||DIAGNOSIS. Avery large Scelotes (134mm SVL) with a robust body, wedge-shaped snout, no forelimbs, and reduced, didactyl hindlimbs. Scales in 22 rows around midbody. Dorsal color buff with faint dark markings on dorsal 7 scale rows; a dark mask from nostril through eye to nuchal scales. The combination of no external forelimbs and didactyl hindlimbs otherwise characterizes only S. bidigittatus, S. kasneri, S. bipes, S. sexlineatus, S. guentheri, and S. brevipes. The number of midbody scale rows further distinguishes the new species from all of these congeners except S. bidigittatus (20–22 scale rows) and S. kasneri (22 rows). It differs from the former in its much larger size (134 mm vs 83 mm max SVL), higher number of subdigital lamellae (5 beneath the longest digit in S. montispectus vs 2–3 in S. bidigittatus), and non-scaly lower eyelid. The new species is nearly identical in scalation to S. kasneri but differs from it in the absence of dark stripes on the body, chin shields in contact behind the postmental, shorter limbs (7.7% SVLvs 9.1% SVL), and in having a lower number of subdigital lamellae (5 vs 7).|
|Etymology||The specific epithet is derived from the Latin, montis, meaning mountain, and spectus, behold, in reference to the type locality, which offers some of the finest views of Table Mountain.|
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