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Sphenomorphus meyeri (DORIA, 1875)

IUCN Red List - Sphenomorphus meyeri - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymLygosoma (Hinulia) meyeri DORIA 1875: 332
Scincus erythrolaimus MÜLLER (fide JACOBS & SHEA 2022)
Hinulia papuensis MACLEAY 1877: 62
Sphenomorphus meyeri — KRAUS 2004 (online)
Sphenomorphus meyeri — SHEA 2012 
DistributionIndonesia (Irian Jaya), Papua New Guinea, Aru Islands, Raja Ampat Islands

Type locality: Wokan, Aru Islands.  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH, Aru Islands, presented G. Doria; MSNG 27877 (4 specimens), Wokan, Aru Islands, collected O. Beccari, 1873; NMW (= NHMW) 16650: 1-3, Wokan, Aru Islands, presented G. Doria 25.i.1876; RMNH. RENA 4253; ZMB 7937 (2 specimens), Wokan, Aru Islands, collected O. Beccari, presented G. Doria, 9739, Aru Islands, presented G. Doria; 12 syntypes unlocated.
Holotype: AM R31847. Type locality Katow, [Binaturi River, Papua New Guinea] [papuensis] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: This species can be distinguished from all other Sphenomorphus on the basis of the following combination of characters: size large (maximum SVL = 126 mm); prefrontals in contact or separated by an azygous scale; body scales smooth; midbody scales 40–57 (mean = 47.6, sd = 2.71, n = 198); paravertebral scales (A) 76–115 (mean = 94.2, sd = 6.83, n = 191); subdigital lamellae below the fourth toe (A) 14–22 (mean = 17.9, sd = 1.38, n = 187), divided into a larger preaxial series (from which the counts are derived) and a smaller postaxial series; frontal contacting first three (when a total of six) or four (when a total of seven) supraoculars; colour pattern consists of relatively thin, sinuous dark brown crossbars against a light brown background and some indication of a white stripe along the upper lip [SHEA 2012]. 
CommentSynonymy: mostly after SHEA 2012.

Distribution: see map in SHEA 2012: 24.

Similar species: this species has been confused with S. melanopogon. 
  • Doria, G. 1875. Enumerazione dei rettili raccolti dal Dott. O. Beccari in Amboina alle Isole Aru ed alle Isole Kei durante gli anni 1872-73. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. Genova 6: 325-357 [1874] - get paper here
  • Gemel, R.; G. Gassner & S. Schweiger 2019. Katalog der Typen der Herpetologischen Sammlung des Naturhistorischen Museums Wien – 2018. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 121: 33–248
  • Jacobs, H. J. and G. M. Shea 2022. Eight weeks in Lobo Bay.The Natuurkundige Commissie on New Guinea in 1828. I. Scincus and Centroplites (Scincidae). Bibliotheca Herpetologica 16(6):48–81 - get paper here
  • SHEA, GLENN M. 2012. On the identity of the type species of Sphenomorphus (Squamata: Scincidae): Lygosoma melanopogon Duméril and Bibron 1839, with a note on a new scalation character of the pes in Sphenomorphus. Zootaxa 3490: 1–29 - get paper here
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