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Sphenomorphus solomonis (BOULENGER, 1887)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymLygosoma solomonis BOULENGER 1887: 334, 510
Lygosoma (Homolepida) brevipes BOETTGER 1895 (fide GREER & PARKER 1974)
Lygosoma schoedei VOGT 1912
Lygosoma moszkowskii VOGT 1912: 357
Lygosoma (Homolepida) eremita WERNER 1913: 20 (?, HALLERMANN, pers. comm.)
Lygosoma schoedei — DE ROOIJ 1915: 225
Lygosoma moszkowskii — DE ROOIJ 1915: 187
Lygosoma (Lygosoma) solomonis — STERNFELD 1918: 419
Sphenomorphus solomonis — BURT & BURT 1932
Lygosoma (Ictiscincus) solomonis — SMITH 1937: 222
Lygosoma (Sphenomorphus) brevipes — BRONGERSMA 1948: 490
Lygosoma (Lygosoma) solomonis brevipes — TANNER 1950
Lygosoma solomonis schodei — DAAN & HILLENIUS 1966: 132
Sphenomorphus moszkowskii — GREER & PARKER 1967
Sphenomorphus solomonis — MYS 1988: 145
Sphenomorphus solomonis — ADLER, AUSTIN & DUDLEY 1995
Sphenomorphus brevipes — SETIADI & HAMIDY 2006
Sphenomorphus moskowskii [sic] — WWW 2008 
DistributionAdmirality Islands, northern Moluccas, Solomon Islands, New Guinea (fide SMITH 1937), Bismarck Archipelago

schoedei: Type locality: Valise [Walis Island, Province East Sepik, Papua New Guinea.

brevipes: Halmahera; Morotai; Type locality: Soa Konorra, Halmaheira, Molukken.  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1948.8.3.35-37 (formerly, Faro I., Solomons, collected C.M. Woodford.
Lectotypus: SMF 15473 [Lygosoma brevipes]
Syntypes: MCZ R-37206, MWNH 3090, CAS 64260 [schoedei]
Holotype: ZMB 22606 [moszkowskii] 
DiagnosisDescription: Snout short, obtuse; lower eyelid scaly; ear-opening oval, a little smaller than the eye-opening, no lobules. Nostril in the nasal; no supranasals; frontonasal more broad than long, in contact with the rostral and with the frontal; praefrontals small and separated; frontal broader than the supraocular region, about as long as frontoparietals and interparietal together, in contact with the two anterior supraoculars; four supra- oculars; seven supraciliaries; frontoparietals a little larger than the interparietal; parietals in contact; four to six pair of nuchals; fourth or fifth labial entering the orbit. Body long, the distance between the tip of the snout and the fore limb is contained one time and three fifths to one time and two thirds in that between axilla and groin; 24 or 26 smooth scales round the middle, the two vertebral series largest; praeanals enlarged. Tail thick, one time and one third the length of head and body. Limbs short, not meeting when adpressed; digits short, fourth toe with 15-17 smooth lamellae below.

Coloration: Brown above, dotted with blackish. Lower parts pale brownish, dotted with brown.

Size: Length of head and body 57 mm.; tail 78 mm (de Rooij 1915: 219).

Description (moszkowskii): Snout obtuse; lower eyelid scaly; ear-opening almost as large as the eye, no lobules. Nostril in the nasal; no supranasals; one anterior loreal; frontonasal as broad as long, in contact with the rostral and with the frontal; latter as long as the frontoparietals; five supraoculars; seven supraciliaries; frontoparietals a little longer than the interparietal; parietals in contact; a pair of small nuchals and a pair of temporals; fifth and sixth upper labials largest, below the eye. Body slender, covered with 28 smooth scales, the two vertebral series largest; praeanals enlarged. Tail one time and a half the length of head and body. Limbs not meeting when adpressed; digits moderate, fourth toe with 18 lamellae below. Blackish-brown above, snout yellowish; lower labials with vertical stripes. Lower parts yellowish. Length of head and body 31 mm.; tail 45 mm (text from DE ROOIJ 1915 but quoted to be after VOGT 1912).

Description: Boulenger 1887: 334 
CommentSynonymy: mostly after GREER & PARKER 1974: 56 who also state that “the type of Lygosoma moszkowski Vogt 1912 is a small New Guinea solomonis with light snout coloration.”

Types: The type of Lygosoma (Homolepida) eremita WERNER 1913 has been lost, hence it is impossible to determine its identity with certainty. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. Lygosoma moszkowskii was named after Dr. Moszkowski. 
  • Adler,G.H.; Austin,C.C. & Dudley,R. 1995. Dispersal and speciation of skinks among archipelagos in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Evolutionary Ecology 9: 529-541 - get paper here
  • Boettger, O. 1895. Liste der Amphibien und Batrachier des Insel Halmaheira nach den Sammlungen Prof. Dr. W. Kükenthal's. Zool. Anz. 18: 116-121, 129-138 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1887. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) III. Lacertidae, Gerrhosauridae, Scincidae, Anelytropsidae, Dibamidae, Chamaeleontidae. London: 575 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1887. Second contribution to the herpetology of the Solomon islands. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1887: 333-340 - get paper here
  • Brongersma, L.D. 1948. Lizards from the island of Morotai (Moluccas). Proc. Koninkl. Ned. Akad. Wet. Ser. C. 51: 486-495
  • Burt, Charles E.; Burt, May Danheim 1932. Herpetological results of the Whitney South Sea Expedition. VI. Pacific island amphibians and reptiles in the collection of the American Museum of Natural History. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 63 (5): 461-597 - get paper here
  • Daan, S. & Hillenius,D. 1966. Catalogue of the type specimens of amphibians and reptiles in the Zoological Museum, Amsterdam. Beaufortia 13: 117-144
  • de Rooij, N. de 1915. The Reptiles of the Indo-Australian Archipelago. I. Lacertilia, Chelonia, Emydosauria. Leiden (E. J. Brill), xiv + 384 pp. - get paper here
  • Greer A E 1982. A new species of Geomyersia (Scincidae) from the Admirality Islands, with a summary of the genus. Journal of Herpetology 16 (1): 61-66 - get paper here
  • Greer, A. E. & F. Parker 1974. The fasciatus group of Sphenomorphus (Lacertilia: Scincidae): notes on eight previously described species and description of three new species. Papua New Guin. Sci. Soc. Proc. [1973] 25: 31-61.
  • Hediger, H. 1934. Beitrag zur Herpetologie und Zoogeographie Neu-Britanniens und einiger umliegender Gebiete. Zool. Jahrb. (Syst.) 65: 441-582
  • Loveridge, A. 1948. New Guinean reptiles and amphibians in the Museum of Comparative Zoology and United States National Museum. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 101 (2): 305-430. - get paper here
  • McCoy, M. 2006. Reptiles of the Solomon Islands. Pensoft Series Faunistica 57, 212 pp.
  • McCoy, M. 2015. A Field Guide to the Reptiles of the Solomon Islands. Michael McCoy, Kuranda - get paper here
  • Mys, Benoit 1988. The zoogeography of the scincid lizards from North Papua New Guinea (Reptilia: Scincidae). I. The distribution of the species. Bull. Inst. Roy. Sci. Nat. Belgique (Biologie) 58: 127-183
  • Schmidt, KP 1932. Reptiles and Amphibians from the Solomon Islands. Field Mus. Nat. Hist. Zool. Ser. - 18 (9): 175-190 - get paper here
  • Setiadi, M. I. & A. Hamidy, 2006. Jenis-Jenis Herpetofauna di Pulau Halmahera. Kerjasama antara Pusat Studi Biodiversitas dan Konservasi Universitas Indonesia dan Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense, Puslit Biologi Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia. - get paper here
  • Smith, M.A. 1937. A review of the genus Lygosoma (Scincidae: Reptilia) and its allies. Records of the Indian Museum 39 (3): 213-234
  • Sternfeld, R. 1918. Zur Tiergeographie Papuasiens und der pazifischen Inselwelt. Abh. senckenb. naturf. Ges. (Frankfurt) 36: 375-436 [missing from BHL in 2023]
  • Tanner, V.W. 1950. Pacific islands herpetology. No. III, Moroai Island. Great Basin Naturalist 10: 1-30 - get paper here
  • Vogt, T. 1912. Reptilien und Amphibien aus Holländisch-Neu-Guinea. Sitz. Ber. Ges. natf. Freunde 1912: 355-359
  • Werner, F. 1913. Neue oder seltene Reptilien und Frösche des Naturhistorischen Museums in Hamburg. Reptilien der Ostafrika-Expedition der Hamburger Geographischen Gesellschaft 1911/12. Leiter: Dr. E. Obst. Reptilien und Amphibien von Formosa. Jb. Hamb. wiss. Anst., 30 [1912], 2. Beiheft: 1-39, 40-45, 45-51 - get paper here
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