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Scincella potanini (GÜNTHER, 1896)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common Names 
SynonymLygosoma potanini GÜNTHER 1896: 204
Scincella potanini MITTLEMAN 1952
Scincella potanini — GREER 1974: 7
Scincella potanini — WANG & ZHAO 1986
Scincella potanini — SHEA & GREER 2002
Scincella potanini — LINKEM et al. 2011 
DistributionChina (Kansu, Sichuan, Guizhou)

Type locality: “town of Ta-tsien-Iu” (= Kangding Co.), Sichuan Prov., China  
TypesHolotype: ZISP 8576 (considered “unlocated” by SHEA & GREER 2002), but not found in the ZISP collection in January 2017 fide Barabanov & Milto 2017. 
CommentSHEA & GREER 2002 could not locate the holotype of this species. 
Etymologynamed after the collector of the types, Mr. Potanin. Grigory Nikolayaevich Potanin (1835-1920) was a Russian explorer of Inner Asia. He served in a Cossack regiment in Siberia (1850s) and began support for Siberian separatism. He studied Physics in St Petersburg (1858-1861). He was arrested and imprisoned (1861) for participating in a student demonstration. Expelled from the University, on release, he returned to Siberia to work as a publisher. Arrested again (1867) for political activities he was sentenced to 3 years prison followed by 5 years hard labour. He led expeditions (1876-1877) to Mongolia and Northern China (1884-1886). He was a founder of Tomsk State University (1889). He supported the 1905 Revolution and was arrested. He was chairman of Siberia's short-lived Provisional Council (1917-1918). He wrote The Tangut-Tibetan Borderlands of China and Central Mongolia (1893). An asteroid is named after him [from Michal Watkins, pers. comm.]. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • 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. 1896. Report on the collections of reptiles, batrachians and fishes made by Messrs Potanin and Berezowski in the Chinese provinces Kansu and Sze-chuen. Ann. Mus. Zool. Acad. Sci. St. Petersbourg 1: 199-219 - get paper here
  • Linkem, Charles W.; Arvin C. Diesmos, Rafe M. Brown 2011. Molecular systematics of the Philippine forest skinks (Squamata: Scincidae: Sphenomorphus): testing morphological hypotheses of interspecific relationships. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 163: 1217–1243
  • Meng Yuan, Dao-Hong Li & Long Zhang 2009. Scincella potanini: A New Genus and a New Species Record to Guizhou. Sichuan Journal of Zoology 28 (3): 427-427 - get paper here
  • Mittleman, M.B. 1952. A generic synopsis of the Lizards of the Subfamily Lygosominae. Smithson. misc. Collns, 117: 1-35. - get paper here
  • Shea, Glenn M. and Allen E. Greer 2002. From Sphenomorphus to Lipinia: Generic reassignment of two poorly known New Guinea skinks. Journal of Herpetology 36 (2): 148-156 - get paper here
  • Wang, YUE-ZHAO 1986. Studies on Chinese species of Scincella (Scincidae, Sauria) [in Chinese]. Acta Herpetol. Sinica, Chengdu, [new ser.], 5 (4): 267-277 - get paper here
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