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Sphenomorphus apalpebratus DATTA-ROY, DAS, BAUER, LYNGDOH-TRON & KARANTH, 2013

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymSphenomorphus apalpebratus DATTA-ROY, DAS, BAUER, LYNGDOH-TRON & KARANTH 2013 
DistributionNE India (Meghalaya)

Type locality: Mawphlang (25.44563329°N, 91.7428503°E, alt. 1,815 m asl; datum WGS 84), East Khasi Hills District, Meghalaya State, north-east India  
Reproductionoviparous (phylogenetic imputation, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: CES 10/830 (adult, female). 17 October 2010 (Aniruddha Datta-Roy, Ishan Agarwal, Ronald K. Lyngdoh Tron, N. P. I. Das and Tarun Khichi, collectors). Paratypes. CES 10/ 831–CES 10/833 (unsexed juveniles). Collection data as for holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: We allocate the lizard specimens collected from Mawphlang to the genus Sphenomorphus for showing the following characters: parietals meet behind interparietals; median preanals overlap outer preanals; and iris as dark as pupil, considered apomorphies of the Sphenomorphus group (Greer 1979), in addition to the absence of supranasals; five digits on fore- and hindlimbs, limbs well developed, and body elongated, but non-vermiform. Further, the new species can be differentiated from congeners from India and mainland south-east Asia in showing the following characters: inner preanals overlapping the outer ones, small body size (SVL to 42.0 mm); midbody scale rows 27–28; longitudinal scale rows between parietals and base of tail 62–64; subdigital lamellae of toe IV 8– 9; supraoculars five; supralabials 5–6; infralabials 4–5; subcaudals 92; and dorsum golden brown, except at dorsal margin of lateral line, which is lighter, with four faintly spotted lines, two along each side of vertebral row of scales, extending to tail base.

Comparisons: for detailed comparisons with other species see DATTA-ROY et al. 2013. 
CommentAbundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyLatin for lacking eyelids, a distinctive morphological character in the new species. 
  • DATTA-ROY, ANIRUDDHA; INDRANEIL DAS,, AARON M. BAUER, RONALD K. LYNGDOH TRON & PRAVEEN KARANTH 2013. Lizard Wears Shades. A Spectacled Sphenomorphus (Squamata: Scincidae), from the Sacred Forests of Mawphlang, Meghalaya, North-east India. Zootaxa 3701 (2): 257–276 - get paper here
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - 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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