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Sphenomorphus tetradactylus (DAREVSKY & ORLOV, 2005)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymLeptoseps tetradactylus DAREVSKY & ORLOV 2005
Leptoseps tetradactylus — NGUYEN et al. 2009
Sphenomorphus tetradactylus — NGUYEN et al. 2011 
DistributionVietnam (Quang Binh Province)

Type locality: Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh Province, Vietnam (17°23' N, 108°18' E, elevation 300 m)  
TypesHolotype: ZISP 23259 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A slender Leptoseps species distinguished from two known congeners and related limb-reduced Asian lygosomines by the following combination of characters: parietal eye spot absent; supranasals ab- sent; prefrontals weakly marked; loreal single; frontal somewhat larger than interparietal; nuchals present; four supraoculars; lower eyelid scaly; ear opening secretive; dorsal scale smooth in 20 longitudinal rows at midbody; four fingers and five toes. 
CommentAbundance: probably rare; Known only from the holotype (fide DAREVSKY & ORLOV 2005). This is one of the species called “lost” and “rediscovered” by Lindken et al. 2024.

Sympatry: the following species of skinks occur in the same limestone massif: Eumeces elegans Boulenger, 1887; Eumeces quadrilineatus (Blyth, 1853); Lygosoma quadrupes (Linnaeus, 1766); Eutropis longicaudata (Hallowell, 1856); Eutropis multifasciata (Kuhl, 1820); Scincela cf. rupicolum (Smith, 1916); Scincela reevesii (Gray, 1838); Scincella sp.; Sphenomorphus indicus (Gray, 1853); Sphenomorphus sp.; Tropidophorus cf. baviensis Bourret, 1937; and Tropidophorus cocincinensis Duméril et Bibron, 1839. 
EtymologyThe species name tetradactylus call attention to the presence only of four finger on the front legs. 
  • Bobrov V.V., Semenov D.V. 2008. Lizards of Vietnam [in Russian]. Moscow, 236 pp.
  • Darevsky, I.S. & Orlov, N.L. 2005. New species of limb-reduced lygosomine skink genus Leptoseps GREER, 1997 (Sauria, Scincidae) from Vietnam. Russ. J. Herpetol. 12 (1): 65-68 - get paper here
  • Lindken T.; Anderson, C. V., Ariano-Sánchez, D., Barki, G., Biggs, C., Bowles, P., Chaitanya, R., Cronin, D. T., Jähnig, S. C., Jeschke, J. M., Kennerley, R. J., Lacher, T. E. Jr., Luedtke, J. A., Liu, C., Long, B., Mallon, D., Martin, G. M., Meiri, 2024. What factors influence the rediscovery of lost tetrapod species? Global Change Biology, 30: 1-18 - get paper here
  • 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.
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