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Sphenomorphus cryptotis DAREVSKY, ORLOV & CUC, 2004

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymSphenomorphus cryptotis DAREVSKY, ORLOV & CUC 2004
Sphenomorphus cryptotis — BARABANOV & MILTO 2017 
DistributionN Vietnam (Quang Ning Province, Quy Chang district, Nghe An Province; Son La, Thanh Hoa), China (Guangxi)

Type locality: Yen Tu mountain ridge, Uong Bi,Quang Ning Province  
TypesHolotype: ZISP 22904, adult female; Paratypes: ZISP 22905, adult female, same locality data as for holotype. Leg.: T. C. Ho and N. L. Orlov, 09.XI.2003.—ZISP 22906-22908, three adult males,“Khe Cam river near Chan Nga village, Quy Chan district, Nghe An province, Vietnam, 800–1000 m a.s.l., 19°37' N, 105°14' E”. Leg.: N. L. Orlov, S. A. Ryabov and T. C. Ho, 27.03.2003. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A slender medium sized Sphenomorphus without external ear opening and slightly recessed auricular depression; auricular lobules absent; 6 supraoculars; 10 – 12 supraciliaries; 7 supralabial; 36 – 39 scale rows; nuchals present; 16 – 21 lamellae beneath fourth toe; limbs moderate (do not, or only just overlap when adpressed); a pair of enlarged preanals; tail long, compressed laterally.

Morphological characters (determination after Darevsky et al. 2004).

Size: Female: SVL 68.2 mm; TaL 116.8 mm. For further measurements and proportions see Table 1. (from Pham et al. 2015)

Head longer than wide; rostral wider than high; supranasals absent; prefrontals in contact with each other; parietals in contact posteriorly; loreals 2; supraoculars 4, followed by 2 postsupraoculars, anterior one divided; primary temporal single; secondary temporals 2, upper very large and overlapped by lower one; lower eyelid scaly; supralabials 7, the fifth and sixth below the eye, separated from the eye by one row of small scales; external ear openings superficial, without lobules; mental wider than long; infralabials 6; postmental undivided; midbody scales in 34 rows; dorsal scales between lateral stripes in 1⁄2 + 6 + 1⁄2 rows, smooth; paravertebral scales 71; ventrals in 75 transverse rows, smooth; precloacals 2, enlarged; medial subcaudals widened; limbs short, pentadactyl; fingers and toes meeting when adpressed; subdigital lamellae smooth, numbering 13 under fourth finger and 20 under fourth toe. (from Pham et al. 2015)

Coloration in alcohol. Dorsum and tail base yellowish brown with a vertebral row of large black spots; numerous indistinct white spots on the labials; lateral zone with a distinct dark stripe from behind the eye to tail base, with white spots; neck and throat white, with black dots; venter and underside anterior part of tail white, posterior part of tail yellowish brown (see Fig. 6). (from Pham et al. 2015) 
EtymologyThe species name cryptotis call attention to the absence of the external ear opening (from Greek “cryptos-” secretive, and “otis” ear). 
  • BARABANOV, ANDREI & KONSTANTIN MILTO 2017. An annotated type catalogue of the anguid, dibamid, scincid and varanid lizards in the Department of Herpetology, Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia (Reptilia: Sauria: Anguidae, Dibamidae, Scincidae and Varanida Zootaxa 4244 (1): 065–078 - get paper here
  • Bobrov V.V., Semenov D.V. 2008. Lizards of Vietnam [in Russian]. Moscow, 236 pp.
  • Darevsky, I. S., N. L. Orlov & H Cuc, T. 2004. Two new lygosomine skinks of the genus Sphenomorphus Fitzinger, 1843 (Sauria, Scincidae) from northern Vietnam. Russ. J. Herpetol. 11 (2): 111-120 - get paper here
  • Hecht, Vera L.; Cuong T. Pham, Tao T. Nguyen, Truong Q. Nguyen, Michael Bonkowski & Thomas Ziegler 2013. First report on the herpetofauna of Tay Yen Tu Nature Reserve, northeastern Vietnam. Biodiversity Journal 4 (4): 507–552
  • Nguyen, S.V., Ho, C.T. and Nguyen, T.Q. 2009. Herpetofauna of Vietnam. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 768 pp.
  • Nguyen, Truong Quang; Andreas Schmitz, Tao Thien Nguyen, Nikolai L. Orlov, Wolfgang Böhme, and Thomas Ziegler 2011. Review of the Genus Sphenomorphus Fitzinger, 1843 (Squamata: Sauria: Scincidae) in Vietnam, with Description of a New Species from Northern Vietnam and Southern China and the First Record of Sphenomorphus mimicus Taylor, 1962 from Vietnam. Journal of Herpetology 45 (2): 145-154.
  • Nguyen, Truong Quang; Anh Van Pham, Hoang Van Tu, Tan Van Nguyen, Thomas Ziegler 2018. New records and an updated list of lizards from Son La Province, Vietnam. Herpetology Notes 11: 209-216 - get paper here
  • Pham A, Le D, Nguyen S, Ziegler T, Nguyen T 2015. New provincial records of skinks (Squamata: Scincidae) from northwestern Vietnam. Biodiversity Data Journal 3: e4284; doi: 10.3897/BDJ.3.e4284 - get paper here
  • Qi, Shuo; Zhi-Tong Lyu, Wei-Liang Xie, Shao-Ping Wan, Wei Zhang, Jun Liu, Yun-Ming Mo, Ying-Yong Wang 2022. First National Record of Sphenomorphus cryptotis Darevsky, Orlov et Ho, 2004 (Sauria, Scincidae) from China. Russian Journal of Herpetology 28 (2): 110-116
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