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Scincella lateralis (SAY, 1823)

IUCN Red List - Scincella lateralis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae, Sauria (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesGround Skink, Little Brown Skink 
SynonymScincus lateralis SAY 1823: 234
S.[cincus] unicolor HARLAN 1825: 156
Lygosoma lateralis — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 719
Mocoa lateralis — GÜNTHER 1885: 31
Leiolopisma laterale — LOENNBERG 1894
Leiolopisma laterale — JORDAN 1899: 324
Leiolopisma laterale — ALLEN 1932
Leiolopisma unicolor — BURT 1935
Scincella laterale — MITTLEMAN 1950: 19
Scincella lateralis — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 159
Scincella lateralis — GREER 1974: 7
Scincella lateralis — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 128
Scincella lateralis — LINER 1994
Scincella lateralis — WHITING et al. 2003 
DistributionUSA (Texas, Oklahoma, E Kansas, S Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, S Illinois, S Indiana, S Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey).
Mexico (Coahuila) Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
 
TypesHolotype: USNM 3152 
CommentThe taxonomy of Scincella lateralis has been confusing because of the similarity of North American and Asian forms and because of the resulting nomenclatural confusion. Therefore, the synonymy presented here has to be taken with caution.

Type species: Sincella lateralis is the type species of the genus Scincella MITTLEMAN 1950 (fide GREER 1974).

Diagnosis (genus): This genus is differentiated from other sphenomorphines by its small size, attenuate habitus, terrestrial behaviour, postorbital bone which is usually long and thin, and a transparent window in a moveable lower eyelid (Greer 1974). Note that the lower eyelid with a transparent or opaque window is found in several genera of Asiatic skinks: Asymblepharus, Leptoseps, Lipinia, Paralipinia, and Vietnascincus (Darevsky & Orlov 1994, 1997, Greer 1997, Eremchenko 2002, Shea & Greer 2002).

An important diagnostic character of the genus Scincella is the presence of a transparent or an opaque window on lower eyelid (Boulenger, 1887; Smith, 1935; Taylor, 1963; Greer, 1974; Ouboter, 1986). However, this feature is also found in several genera of Asiatic skinks: Asymblepharus, Leptoseps, Lipinia, Paralipinia, and Vietnascincus (Darevsky and Orlov, 1994, 1997; Greer, 1997; Eremchenko, 2002; Shea and Greer, 2002; Greer and Shea, 2003).

Description: Scincella can be diagnosed by the follow- ing combination of characters: (1) body size medium (SVL usually < 65 mm); (2) alpha palate (Greer, 1974) with nine premaxillary teeth; (3) long, thin postor- bital bone usually present; and (4) with a transparent window in a movable lower eyelid. Transparent window may be lacking in southern populations of Sp. cheerei [LINKEM, DIESMOS & BROWN 2011].

Reproduction: oviparous (fide Wikipedia). 
References
  • Allen, Morrow J. 1932. A survey of the Amphibians and reptiles of Harrison County, Mississippi American Museum Novitates (542): 1-20 - get paper here
  • Beane, Jeffrey C.;Somers, Ann Berry 1994. Scincella lateralis (ground skink). USA: North Carolina Herpetological Review 25 (1): 33 - get paper here
  • Bogosian, Victor; Eric C. Hellgren, and Raymond W. Moody 2012. Assemblages of Amphibians, Reptiles, and Mammals on an Urban Military Base in Oklahoma. The Southwestern Naturalist 57 (3): 277-284. - get paper here
  • Brooks, Garnett R. 1975. Scincella lateralis. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (169): 1-4 - get paper here
  • Burt, Charles E. 1935. Further records of the ecology and distribution of amphibians and reptiles in the middle west American Midland Naturalist 16 (3): 311-336 - get paper here
  • Butterfield, Brian P.;French, Daniel R.;Fears, Scott R.;Hargreaves, Michelle D.;Lewis, Angela J.;Rob 1997. Geographic Distribution. Scincella lateralis Herpetological Review 28 (2): 92 - get paper here
  • Chen, Szu-Lung; Tsutomu Hikida; Han, Sang-Hoon; Shim, Jae-Han; Oh, Hong-Shik & Hidetoshi Ota 2001. Taxonomic status of the Korean populations of the genus Scincella (Squamata: Scincidae). Journal of Herpetology 35 (1): 122-129 - get paper here
  • Collins, J.T. 2002. New records of Amphibians, Turtles, and Reptiles in Kansas for 2001. Journal of Kansas Herpetology 1: 10 - get paper here
  • Conant,R. & Collins,J.T. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern/Central North America, 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin (Boston/New York), xx + 450 p.
  • Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2012. Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, Seventh Edition. Herpetological Circular 39: 1-92
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  • Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron. 1839. Erpétologie Générale on Histoire Naturelle Complète des Reptiles. Vol.5. Roret/Fain et Thunot, Paris, 871 pp. - get paper here
  • Dundee, H.A., & Rossman, D.A. 1989. The amphibians and reptiles of Louisiana Louisiana St. Univ. Press, Baton Rouge 300 pp.
  • Edmund, Brian S. 1993. Scincella lateralis (Ground Skink). USA: Missouri Herpetological Review 24 (2): 67 - get paper here
  • Ezaz, T. et al. 2009. Sex Chromosome Evolution in Lizards: Independent Origins and Rapid Transitions. Cytogenet Genome Res 127: 249-260 - get paper here
  • García-Vázquez, Canseco-Márquez & Nieto-Montes de Oca, 2010. A New Species of Scincella (Squamata: Scincidae) from the Cuatro Ciénegas Basin, Coahuila, Mexico. Copeia 2010 (3): 373-381 - get paper here
  • Garcia-Vázquez, U. & Feria-Ortiz, M. 2006. Skinks of Mexico. Reptilia (GB) (49): 74-79 - get paper here
  • Green, N.B., & Pauley, T.K. 1987. Amphibians and reptiles in West Virginia Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, 241 pp.
  • Greer, A.E. 1974. The generic relationships of the scincid lizard genus Leiolopisma and its relatives. Australian Journal of Zoology 31: 1-67. - get paper here
  • Günther, A. C. L. G. 1885. Reptilia and Batrachia. Biologia Centrali-Américana. Taylor, & Francis, London, 326 pp. [published in parts from 1885-1902; reprint by the SSAR 1987] - get paper here
  • Harlan, R. 1825. Description of a variety of the Coluber fulvius, Linn. a new species of Scincus, and two new species of Salamandra. J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 5 (1):154-158 - get paper here
  • Jackson, Nathan D. & Christopher C. Austin 2009. THE COMBINED EFFECTS OF RIVERS AND REFUGIA GENERATE EXTREME CRYPTIC FRAGMENTATION WITHIN THE COMMON GROUND SKINK (SCINCELLA LATERALIS). Evolution 64 (2): 409-428 - get paper here
  • Jordan 1899. Manual of the vertebrates of the northern United States, 8th ed.
  • Lönnberg, Einar 1894. Notes on reptiles and batrachians collected in Florida in 1892 and 1893 Proc. US Natl. Mus. 17 (1003): 317-339 - get paper here
  • Luef, H. 2008. North Carolinas südliche Küstenebene - Ein Paradies für Reptilienfreunde. Reptilia (Münster) 13 (70): 38-49 - get paper here
  • McCallum, Malcolm L. and Chris T. McAllister. 2006. Scincella lateralis Aquatic behavior. Herpetological Review 37 (1): 92-93 - get paper here
  • Mitchell, J. C. & Reay, K.K. 1999. Atlas of amphibians and reptiles in Virginia. Specialty Publication 1, VA Dept of Game and Fisheries, 122 pp. - get paper here
  • Mitchell, J.C. 1994. The reptiles of Virginia. Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, ca. 350 pp.
  • Mittleman, M. B. 1950. The generic status of Scincus lateralis Say, 1823. Herpetologica 6 (2): 17-24 - get paper here
  • Palmer, W.M. & Braswell, A.L. 1995. Reptiles of North Carolina. Univ. North Carolina Press
  • QING, Ning; LIN, Hungdu; TONG, Ranran; ZHANG, Xiaoqi; LU, Wenhua; LAZELL, James 2013. Biogeographic and Phylogenetic Relationships of Some Scincella (Squamata: Scincidae) from China and North America Inferred from 12S rRNA Gene Sequences of Mitochondrial DNA. JOURNAL OF SOUTH CHINA NORMAL UNIVERSITY 45 (6): 129- - get paper here
  • Reeder, T.W. 2003. A phylogeny of the Australian Sphenomorphus group (Scincidae: Squamata) and the phylogenetic placement of the crocodile skinks (Tribolonotus): Bayesian approaches to assessing congruence and obtaining confidence in maximum likelihood inferred relatio Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 27: 384–397 - get paper here
  • Say, T. 1823. In James, E. Account of an expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains, performed in the years 1819, '20, by order of the Hon. J. C. Calhoun, Secretary of War, under the command of Major Stephen H. Long. Vol. 2. Philadelphia, H. C. Carey & I. Lea.
  • Skubowius, B. 2010. New Jersey – Mit „Fieldherpern“ und „Pineys“ auf der Suche nach der Nördlichen Kiefernnatter (Pituophis melanoleucus melanoleucus). Reptilia (Münster) 15 (84): 52-60 - get paper here
  • Smith, Hobart M.;Leonard, Arthur B. 1934. Distributional records of reptiles and amphibians in Oklahoma. American Midland Naturalist 15: 190-196 - get paper here
  • Smith,H.M. & Taylor,E.H. 1950. An annotated checklist and key to the reptiles of Mexico exclusive of the snakes. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 199: 1-253 - get paper here
  • Stejneger, LEONHARD H. 1907. Herpetology of Japan and adjacent territory. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 58: xx, 1-577 - get paper here
  • Sweetman, Adam;Taggart, Travis W.;Irwin, Kelly J. 1994. Scincella lateralis (ground skink). USA: Texas Herpetological Review 25 (2): 76 - get paper here
  • Vance, Thomas 1994. Scincella lateralis (ground skink). USA: Missouri Herpetological Review 25 (2): 76 - get paper here
  • Watson, Susan H. 2013. VHS Annual HerpBlitz at Mattaponi Wildlife Management Area, June 22-24, 2012. Catesbeiana 33(2): 37-47 - get paper here
  • Whiting, A.S.; Aaron M. Bauer and Jack W. Sites, Jr. 2003. Phylogenetic relationships and limb loss in sub-Saharan African scincine lizards (Squamata: Scincidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 29 (3): 582-598 - get paper here
  • Wilgers, D.J.; Horne, E.A.; Sandercock, B.K. & Volkmann, A.W. 2006. Effects of rangeland management on community dynamics of the herpetofauna of the Tall-grass Prairie [Flint Hills, Kansas/Oklahoma]. Herpetologica 62 (4): 378-388 - get paper here
 
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