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Sigaloseps pisinnus SADLIER, SHEA, WHITAKER, BAUER & WOOD, 2014

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymSigaloseps pisinnus SADLIER, SHEA, WHITAKER, BAUER & WOOD in SADLIER et al. 2014 
DistributionNew Caledonia Type locality: Pic Ningua 21°44’20”S 166°09’17”E, New Caledonia  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: MNHN 2011.0285 (formerly AMS R.171254) (collected R. Sadlier & G. Shea, 3 Oct. 2008). Paratypes: AMS R.171249-53, AMS R.171255 same location as holotype (collected R. Sadlier & G. Shea, 3 Oct. 2008); AMS R.172555, AMS R.172576 Mine Galliéni Mt Vulcain, Ton- touta Valley 21°54’21”S 166°20’59”E (collected A.H. Whitaker & M. Lettink, 12 Sep. 2009); AMS R.172512-13 Uwëcïa, Haut Nakéty, 8 km E Nakéty 21°33’06”S 166°07’14”E (collected A.H. & V.A. Whitaker, 26 June 2009); AMS R.172503-07, AMS R.172514 Chetoré Kwédé, Haut Nakéty, 8 km E Nakéty 21°33’13”S 166°06’31”E (collected A.H. & V.A. Whitaker, 25 June 2009). 
CommentDiagnosis: The following features of coloration and scalation in combination will distinguish Sigaloseps pisinnus n. sp. all other species of Sigaloseps: small adult size, maximum SVL for males and females ~38 mm; subocular upper labial contacting the lower eyelid; paravertebral scale rows 48-55; 4th toe lamellae scales 20-25; underside of body pale yellow and with obvious brown markings along the ventro-lateral surface; dorsal and lateral surface of tail dull to bright orange, the underside with regular dull brown markings (spots) to each scale. This suite of characters readily distinguishes Sigaloseps pisinnus n. sp. from its congeners as follows: - from Sigaloseps deplanchei s.s. by its smaller adult size (maximum SVL 38.5 vs 46 mm) and longer tail (126 vs ~100% %); in having significantly fewer midbody scale rows (22-24 vs 24-30, t71 = -11.334 P=0.000); significantly fewer 4th toe lamellae scales (20-25 vs 22-29, t71 = -7.260 P=0.000); a brighter overall color to the tail (bright orange vs usually brown to dull orange), and with the underside to the tail spotted with small brown blotches (vs relatively unmarked). - from Sigaloseps conditus n. sp. by its smaller adult size (maximum SVL 38.5 vs 46 mm) and longer tail (126 vs ~100%) in having the subocular upper labial contacting the lower eyelid (vs subocular upper labial usually separated from the lower eyelid by a well developed row of subocular scales); a brighter overall color to the tail (bright orange vs usually brown to dull orange), and with the underside to the tail spotted with small brown blotches (vs relatively unmarked). - from Sigaloseps ruficauda by its smaller adult size (maximum SVL 38.5 vs 56 mm) and shorter tail (126% vs ~150%); in having significantly fewer midbody scale rows (22-24 vs 26-28); significantly fewer paravertebral scales (48-55 vs 53-60, t71 = -11.334 P=0.000); and with the underside to the tail spotted with small brown blotches (vs relatively unmarked in adults). - from Sigaloseps ferrugicauda n. sp. by its smaller adult size (maximum SVL 38.5 vs 60 mm); in having significantly fewer midbody scale rows (22-24 vs 26-28, t71 = -11.334 P=0.000); significantly fewer paravertebral scales (48-55 vs 53-56, t71 = -11.334 P=0.000); and with the underside to the tail spotted with small brown blotches (vs relatively unmarked in adults). - from Sigaloseps balios n. sp. by its smaller adult size (maximum SVL 38.5 vs 50 mm), in having significantly fewer midbody scale rows (22-24 vs 26-28); significantly fewer paravertebral scales (48-55 vs 53-56); paler yellow ventral coloration (moderate yellow vs bold enamel yellow), and paler tail color (orange vs nearly black). Sigaloseps pisinnus n. sp. is most similar in morphology to Sigaloseps deplanchei s.s. and Sigaloseps conditus n. sp. in that it shares a similar dorsal and lateral color pattern, but is readily distinguished from these two species by its smaller size and longer tail with small brown blotches on the underside. The morphological differentiation between Sigaloseps pisinnus n. sp. and the other recognized species in the genus in combination with a high level of genetic differentiation clearly identifies it as an evolutionary lineage warranting recognition as a distinct species. 
EtymologyThe species epithet comes from the Latin pisinnus for small or little, and alludes to the species diminutive size relative to other species of Sigaloseps. 
References
  • SADLIER, Ross A.; Aaron M. BAUER, Perry L. WOOD Jr., Sarah A. SMITH, Anthony H. WHITAKER, Hervé JOURDAN & Todd JACKMAN 2014. Localized endemism in the southern ultramafic bio-region of New Caledonia as evidenced by the lizards in the genus Sigaloseps (Reptilia: Scincidae), with descriptions of four new species. Memoires du Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, 206: 79-113.
 
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