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Simiscincus aurantiacus SADLIER & BAUER, 1997

IUCN Red List - Simiscincus aurantiacus - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymSimiscincus aurantiacus SADLIER & BAUER 1997
Simiscincus aurantiacus — BAUER & SADLIER 2000
Simiscincus aurantiacus — SADLIER et al. 2018 
DistributionS New Caledonia

Type locality: Mount Koghis (500 m elevation), New Caledonia (22° 10’ S, 166° 30’ E).  
Reproductionoviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: AMS R144356, Australian Museum 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS (genus and species): Simiscincus is diagnosed as a member of the Eugongylus group of skinks as defined by Greer (1979): the parietals meet behind the interparietal; the parietal is bordered along its posterior edge by an upper secondary temporal and transversely enlarged nuchal scale; medial preanal scales more or less subequal in size to and overlapped by more lateral preanals; and the scales on the dorsal surface of fourth toe are in a single row throughout the length of the digit. Simiscincus can be distinguished from other genera in the Eugongylus group by the following unique combination of characters: depressed and elongate body form; supranasal present as a pre-nasal crease and postnasal suture; loreal single; lower eyelid with a semitransparent disk; ear opening lacking auricular lobules; paravertebral scales 99; premaxillary teeth 19; presacral vertebrae 29; atlantal arches fused to intercentrum. (Sadlier & Bauer 1997) 
CommentThis species is a member of the Eugongylus group of skinks, but is not readily assignable to any known genus. It has a number of derived characteristics that serve to distinguish it, the most notable of which is the highest number of premaxillary teeth of any scincid. Although its relationships cannot, at present, be established unambiguously, it appears to share affinities with another monotypic endemic New Caledonian genus, Graciliscincus.

Type species: Simiscincus aurantiacus SADLIER & BAUER 1997 is the type species of the genus Simiscincus SADLIER & BAUER 1997. 
EtymologyNamed after the New Latin adjective for orange and refers to the bright enamel orange ventral and lower lateral surfaces of this species. 
  • Bauer, A. M. & SADLIER, R. A. 2000. The herpetofauna of New Caledonia. Contributions to Herpetology, 17; Society for Study Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca, New York.
  • Sadlier R A. Bauer A M. 1997. A new genus and species of lizard (Reptilia: Scincidae) from New Caledonia, Southwest Pacific. Pacific Science 51 (1): 91-96.
  • Sadlier, Ross A.; Gerry Swan, Stéphane Astrongatt, Stephane McCoy and Aaron M. Bauer 2018. A Review of the Morphology, Biology, Distribution and Conservation Status of the New Caledonian Scincid Lizard Simiscincus aurantiacus (Reptilia: Scincidae). Records of the Australian Museum 70 (5): 435–446. - get paper here
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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