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Sigaloseps ruficauda SADLIER & BAUER, 1999

IUCN Red List - Sigaloseps ruficauda - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymSigaloseps ruficauda SADLIER & BAUER 1999
Sigaloseps ruficauda — SADLIER et al. 2014 
DistributionS New Caledonia (summits of Mt. Ouin, elevation 1100 m asl, and Mt. Mou, 1120-1150 m asl, in southern New Caledonia).

Type locality: Mt. Mou, New Caledonia (22° 03’ 45” S, 166° 20’ 39” E) 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.
 
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: AMS R146482 
CommentDiagnosis: The following features of coloration and scalation in combination will distinguish Sigaloseps ruficauda from all other species of Sigaloseps (except S. ferrugicauda n. sp.): moderately large adult size, maximum SVL for females 47 mm; subocular upper labial usually in contact with the lower eyelid; paravertebral scale rows 53-60; 4th toe lamellae scales 21-28; underside of body and tail yellow without obvious brown or black markings; dorsal and lateral surface of tail bright orange. Sigaloseps ruficauda is very similar in morphology to Sigaloseps ferrugicauda n. sp. with no obvious differences in scalation and only subtle differences in intensity of tail coloration and dark markings on the upper surfaces of the tail. As such, recognition of these taxa as each comprising a distinct evolutionary lineage draws heavily on the high level of genetic differentiation between them.
The suite of diagnostic characters identified above will allow Sigaloseps ruficauda to be distinguished from each of its congeners as follows:
- from Sigaloseps deplanchei s. s by its larger adult size (maximum SVL 56 vs 46 mm) and longer tail (150% vs 100%), more paravertebral scales (53-60 vs 46-56), and bolder overall color to the tail (bright reddish vs usually brown to dull orange).
- from Sigaloseps conditus n. sp. by its larger adult size (maximum SVL 56 vs 46 mm) and longer tail (150% vs ~100%), more paravertebral scales (53-60 vs 48-52), in having the subocular upper labial usually in contact with the lower eyelid (vs usually separated from the lower eyelid by a well developed row of subocular scales), and bolder overall color to the tail (bright reddish vs brown to dull orange).
- from Sigaloseps pisinnus n. sp. by its much larger adult size (maximum SVL 56 vs 38 mm), longer tail (150% vs 126%), in having significantly more midbody scale rows (26-28 vs 22-24); significantly more paravertebral scales (53-60 vs 48-55); and bolder overall color to the tail (bright reddish vs bold reddish-brown) with the underside to the tail relatively unmarked (vs spotted with small brown blotches).
- from Sigaloseps ferrugicauda n. sp. by its bolder overall color to the tail (bright reddish vs dull russet brown) and lack of dark markings on the upper surfaces of the tail (vs dark markings variably present).
- from Sigaloseps balios n. sp. by its larger adult size (maximum SVL 56 vs 46 mm), longer tail (150% vs 128%), paler ventral coloration (moderate yellow vs bold enamel yellow), and paler tail color (bright reddish vs nearly black). 
EtymologyNamed after the Latin “rufus” = red, and “cauda” = tail, alluding to the bright reddish colour of the tail in both sexes of this species. 
References
  • Bauer, A. M. & SADLIER, R. A. (eds.) 2000. The herpetofauna of New Caledonia. Contributions to Herpetology, 17; Society for Study Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca, New York.
  • 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.
  • Sadlier,R.A. & Bauer,A.M. 1999. The scincid lizard genus Sigaloseps (Reptilia: Scincidae) from New Caledonia in the Southwest Pacific: description of a new species and review of the biology, distribution and morphology of Sigaloseps deplanchei (Bavay). Rec. Austral. Mus. 51 (1): 83-91 - get paper here
 
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