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Sphenomorphus wollastoni (BOULENGER, 1914)

IUCN Red List - Sphenomorphus wollastoni - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Wollaston's forest skink 
SynonymLygosoma wollastoni BOULENGER 1914: 261
Lygosoma wollastoni — DE ROOIJ 1915: 216
Sphenomorphus wollastoni — ZUG & ALLISON 2006 
DistributionPapua New Guinea

Type locality: New Guinea (Mimika river)  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.8.3.70 (formerly 1913.10.31.174), Mimika River, Dutch New Guinea, collected British Ornithologists Union Expedition. 
DiagnosisDescription: Head small, flat; snout obtusely pointed; lower eyelid scaly; ear-opening oval, a little smaller than the eye-opening, no lobules. Nostril in the nasal; no supranasals; rostral narrow and produced between the nasals; frontonasal a little more broad than long, in contact with the rostral and with the frontal; praefrontals small, separated; frontal broader than the supra-ocular region, a little more long than broad, as large as fronto-parietals and interparietal together, in contact with the first supraciliary, the first supraocular and a small part of the second; four supraoculars; seven or eight supraciliaries; frontoparietals and interparietal subequal; parietals in contact; a pair of slightly enlarged nuchals; fifth and sixth upper labials below the eye. Body long; the distance between the tip of the snout and the fore limb is contained one time and two thirds in that between axilla and groin; 32 smooth scales round the middle, the two vertebral series enlarged; praeanals enlarged. Tail thick, one time and three fourths the length of head and body. Limbs short, widely separated when adpressed; digits short, compressed; 17 lamellae under the fourth toe (de Rooij 1915: 216)

Coloration: Dark brown above; flanks mottled with light; a greyish oblique bar below the eye; last two upper labials whitish. Lower parts yellowish-white (de Rooij 1915: 216).

Size: Length of head and body 90mm.; tail 155 mm (de Rooij 1915: 216) 
CommentAbundance: only known from the type specimen (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyNamed after Sandy Wollaston (1875-1930), British physician, ornithologist and explorer, who led the Wollaston expedition on which this species was discovered. 
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1914. An annotated list of the batrachians and reptiles collected by the British Ornithologists' Union Expedition and the Wollaston Expedition in Dutch New Guinea. Trans. Zool. Soc. London 20 (5): 247-275 - get paper here
  • 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, Allen E.; Shea, Glenn. 2003. Secondary Temporal Scale Overlap Pattern: A Character of Possible Broad Systematics Importance in Sphenomorphine Skinks. Journal of Herpetology 37 (3): 545-549 - 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
  • ZUG,G.R. & A. ALLISON 2006. New Carlia fusca complex lizards (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) from New Guinea, Papua-Indonesia. Zootaxa 1237: 27-44 - get paper here
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