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Scolecoseps broadleyi VERBURGT, VERBURGT & BRANCH, 2018

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymScolecoseps broadleyi VERBURGT, VERBURGT & BRANCH 2018 
DistributionNE Mozambique (Cabo Delgado Province)

Type locality: near Maganja, Palma District, Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique (10°50’08.2” S, 40°33’25.4” E).  
TypesHolotype: NMZB 17985, unsexed adult, collected by L. Verburgt on 9 December 2011. Paratypes: NMZB, PEM, six individuals, comprising three adults and three juveniles, all collected by L. Verburgt within 30 km of the holotype location, in the Palma District of Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique, between 9 December 2011 and 22 February 2014 (Table 1): NMZB 17986, same details as holotype; NMZB 17987, from near Palma, Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique (10°49’36.2” S, 40°32’43.6” E), collected on 11 December 2011; PEM R22697, same details as holotype, but collected 24 August 2013; PEM R22698, collected near Quionga, 20 km north of Palma (10°35’55.4” S, 40°29’40.8” E) on 4 December 2013; PEM R22699, collected 15 km inland from Olumbe, 20 km S of Palma (10°59’23.8” S, 40° 25’13.8” E) on 21 February 2014; and PEM R22696, collected 10 km inland from Olumbe, 20 km south of Palma (11°00’15.6” S, 40°21’47.5” E) on 22 February 2014. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis—The new species is most similar in colouration and body measurements to S. boulengeri, but differs from that species by possessing a single supraciliary and four small suboculars (all absent in S. boulengeri; Loveridge 1920). It differs from S. litipoensis in having the anterior supraciliary fused with the anterior supraocular, and having rows of dark spots on the dorsum (two supraciliaries and a uniformly black dorsum in S. litipoensis; Broadley 1995). From both of these species it differs in having a relatively smaller mental, with its posterior border not corresponding with the suture between the rostral and first labial (Fig. 2).
It differs from the type of S. acontias in not having the frontal fused with the interparietal (Witte & Laurent 1943). The juvenile skink from Kilwa (MCZ 52483) that Loveridge (1955) assigned to S. acontias has 18 midbody scale rows, 120 ventrals, 49 subcaudals, two supra- oculars, two supraciliaries and two supralabials anterior to the subocular, with 12 brown dorsal stripes. The new species differs from this specimen and all other congeners by also possessing a higher number of subcaudal scales (58–61 compared with 49–57). 
CommentHabitat: sandy soils with weak soil development in coastal woodland 
EtymologyNamed in honour of Donald George Broadley (1932-2016) in recognition of his numerous contributions to African herpetology. Don assisted greatly with the description of this new species. 
  • CONRADIE, WERNER; WILLIAM R. BRANCH, & GILLIAN WATSON 2019. Type specimens in the Port Elizabeth Museum, South Africa, including the historically important Albany Museum collection. Part 2: Reptiles (Squamata). Zootaxa 4576 (1): 001–045 - get paper here
  • Verburgt, Luke; Ursula K. Verburgt & William R. Branch 2018. A new species of Scolecoseps (Reptilia: Scincidae) from coastal north-eastern Mozambique. African Journal of Herpetology 67 (1): 86-98 - get paper here
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