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Scincella nigrofasciata NEANG, CHAN & POYARKOV, 2018

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymScincella nigrofasciata NEANG, CHAN & POYARKOV 2018 
DistributionCambodia

Type locality: 12° 19’ 12.3’’ N, 107° 04’ 20.8’’ E , 508 m a.s.l in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, O’Raing District, Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: CBC 02546, adult female, collected by Thy Neang on 25 September 2016. Paratypes: CBC 02545, adult male, CBC02840, adult female, and CBC02841–42, two subadults, collected by Thy Neang at the same date and locality as given for the holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: The new species was assigned to the genus Scincella Mittleman, 1950 as it shows morphometric and meristic characters matching the diagnosis for this genus. Scincella nigrofasciata sp. nov. can be diagnosed from other congeners by the following combination of morphological attributes: (1) slender and medium-sized, SVL 40.0–52.6 mm; (2) tail relatively long, TaL/SVL (1.25–1.94); (3) FIL/SVL 0.20–0.22; (4) HIL/SVL 0.30–0.33; (5) forelimbs and hind limbs either slightly overlapping (0.4–2.2 mm) or slightly separated (1.9–2.3 mm) when adpressed to body toward each other; (6) infralabials 6; (7) supraciliaries 7–8; (8) prefrontals in broad contact; (9) primary temporals 2; (10) nuchal scales weakly enlarged; (11) external ear opening without lobules; (12) dorsal scales smooth: MBSR 32–33, PRVSR 69–74, VS 65–69, DBR 8; (13) SDLT4 15–17; (14) coloration pattern with dorsum dark brown/greyish-brown in life with 5–7 regular discontinuous dorsal dark stripes (formed by series of dark dots or elongated black spots), including paravertebral stripes, wide black dorsolateral stripes, 2–3 scale rows in width, starting from posterior corner of eye and continuing to lateral side of tail, extending 52%–86% of total tail length; and (15) hemipenis bifurcating about 63% of its total length to base.

Comparisons: The morphological characters distinguishing the new species from its Southeast Asian congeners are summarized in Table 4. Morphological comparisons of Scincella species found in Cambodia are given in Table 5. Scincella nigrofasciata sp. nov. can be diagnosed from S. apraefrontalis Nguyen, Nguyen, Böhme and Ziegler, 2010 of Vietnam by its longer SVL (40.0–52.6 vs. 36.1 mm), greater number of IL (6 vs. 5), DBR (8 vs. 4), MBSR (32–33 vs. 18), PRVSR (69–74 vs. 52), and VS (65–69 vs. 50), and prefrontals in broad contact (vs. prefrontals absent); from S. monticola (Schmidt, 1925) of Vietnam and China by having a longer SVL (40.0–52.6 vs. 31.8 mm), two primary temporals (vs. one), fewer EnLN (0–1 vs. 3–4), and greater number of DBR (8 vs. 4), MBSR (32 vs. 22–26), PRVSR (69–74 vs. 52–59), VS (65–69 vs. 52–58), and SDLT4 (15–17 vs. 10–13); and from S. punctatolineata (Boulenger, 1893) of Thailand and Myanmar by longer SVL (40.0–52.6 mm for three adults and single subadult specimen, SVL 50.2–52.6 mm for three adults vs. 37.6–40.2 mm), greater number of MBSR (32–33 vs. 22–28), two primary temporals (vs. one), and greater number SDLT4 (15–17 vs. 13–15). Scincella nigrofasciata sp. nov. can be distinguished from S. darevskii Nguyen, Ananjeva, Orlov, Rybaltovsky and Böhme, 2010 of Vietnam by having a much shorter SVL (40.0–52.6 vs. 88.6 mm), fewer supraoculars (2–4 vs. 5), two primary temporals (vs.one), and greater number of DBR (8 vs. 6), MBSR (32–33 vs. 28), and PRVSR (69–74 vs. 62); from S. doriae (Boulenger, 1887a) of Myanmar and China by having a shorter SVL (40.0–52.6 vs. 58.6 mm), fewer EnLN (0–1 vs. 3–5), slightly fewer VS (65–69 vs. 70–79), 5–7 discontinuous regular dark dorsal stripes (vs. dorsum caramel brown with small brown spots), and distinct wide black dorsolateral stripes (vs. dark brown dorsolateral stripes broken up by whitish spots); from S. rara Darevsky & Orlov, 1997 of central Vietnam by having fewer EnLN (0–1 vs. 3), greater number of MBSR (32–33 vs. 24) and PRVSR (69–74 vs. 53), and single row of basal subdigital pads (vs. double row of basal subdigital pads); from S. victoriana (Shreve, 1940) of Myanmar by having a shorter SVL (40.0–52.6 vs. 57.5 mm), fewer EnLN (0–1 vs. 3), smooth dorsal scales (vs. keeled), and a greater number of PRVSR (69–74 vs. 50–54) and VS (65–69 vs. 53–56). The new species can be distinguished from S. ochracea (Bourret, 1937) of Vietnam and Laos by its longer SVL in males (50.2 mm, n=1 vs. 34.2–45.4 mm, n=6), lack of lobules around external ear opening (vs. 2–4 lobules), dark brown dorsum with 5–7 discontinuous regular dark dorsal stripes (vs. silver-grey with a dark vertebral stripe), and distinct wide black dorsolateral stripes (vs. dark brown flanks broken up by light spots).
Among the Cambodian species, Scincella nigrofasciata sp. nov. can be distinguished from S. melanosticta (Boulenger, 1887b) of Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam by its comparatively shorter forelimbs (FIL/SVL 0.20–0.22 vs. 0.23–0.27), comparatively shorter hind limbs (HIL/SVL 0.30–0.33 vs. 0.35–0.37), adpressed limbs overlapping 0.4–2.2 mm in males and subadult specimens and separated by a 1.9–2.3 mm gap in adult females (vs. adpressed limbs widely overlapping 4.5–8.2 mm), two primary temporals (vs. one), fewer DBR (8 vs. 10), and 5–7 discontinuous regular dark dorsal stripes (vs. dark brown dorsum with dark dense spots without obvious striped pattern). The new species can be distinguished from S. rupicola by its comparatively shorter hind limbs (HIL/SVL 0.30–0.33 vs. 0.36–0.40), adpressed limbs overlapping 0.4–2.2 mm in male and subadult specimens and separated by a 1.9–2.3 mm gap in adult females (vs. adpressed limbs overlapping 3.5–7.2 mm), fewer SDLT4 (15–17 vs. 18–21), fully everted hemipenis bifurcating at 63% of total hemipenis length, n=1, Figure 5E (vs. 69%–77%, n=3, Figure 5F), comparatively more slender fingers and toes (Figure 5A vs. Figure 5B), 5–7 discontinuous regular dark dorsal stripes, Figure 4, Figure 7D–F (vs. dark blotches on dorsum in females and uniform reddish brown pattern without dark markings in males in S. rupicola; Figure 6A–B, Figure 7B–C).
In both morphometric and meristic characters Scincella nigrofasciata sp. nov. is most similar to S. reevesii and S. rufocaudata. However, the new species can be distinguished from S. reevesii by slightly shorter forelimbs (FIL/SVL 0.20–0.22 vs. 0.24–0.30), generally shorter hind limbs (HIL/SVL 0.30–0.33 vs. 0.34–0.43), comparatively shorter forearms (FoL/SVL 0.14–0.16 vs. 0.17–0.19, Table 5), adpressed limbs overlapping 0.4–2.2 mm in males and subadult specimens and separated by a distance of 1.9–2.3 mm in females (vs. overlapping 3.9–6.5 mm in both sexes), 5–7 dark discontinuous regular dark dorsal stripes (vs. irregular dark vertebral line and dark dorsal spots), wide distinct black dorsolateral stripes, continuing to lateral sides of tail, Figure 4 (vs. dark dorsolateral stripes less distinct and broken up by light spots and only extending to tail base in both sexes, Figure 6E, D), comparatively more slender fingers and toes (Figure 5A vs. Figure 5C), and dark brown palmar surfaces of hands and lower surface of fingers and toes, Figure 5A (vs. light grey palmar surfaces of hands, fingers and toes, Figure 5C).
Scincella nigrofasciata sp. nov. can be distinguished from S. rufocaudata by prefrontals in broad contact (vs. prefrontals separated), comparatively shorter hind limbs, (HIL/SVL 0.30–0.33 vs. 0.37), fewer IL (6 vs. 7), fewer DBR (8 vs. 10, Tables 4, 5, 6), 5–7 discontinuous regular dark dorsal stripes (vs. 1–3 dark stripes with spots, Figure 8), and distinct wide black dorsolateral stripes continuing along tail (vs. black stripes broken, ending at tail base, Figure 4) (Table 5). 
CommentHabitat: semi-deciduous lowland forests at elevations. The holotype female , paratype male, and subadult were spotted moving near rotten logs, female was moving along the ground on the forest floor, and subadult was found under a rotten log. 
EtymologyNamed after the Latin words “niger” for “black” and “fascia” for “band”, in reference to the wide black dorsolateral stripes typical for this species. 
References
  • Kwet, A. 2019. Liste der im Jahr 2018 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Elaphe 2019 (3): 52-72
  • Neang, Thy; Somaly Chan, Nikolay A. Poyarkov, Jr.. 2018. A new species of smooth skink (Squamata: Scincidae: Scincella) from Cambodia. Zoological Research, DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.008 - get paper here
 
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