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Spondylurus magnacruzae HEDGES & CONN, 2012

IUCN Red List - Spondylurus magnacruzae - Critically Endangered, CR

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Mabuyinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesGreater Saint Croix Skink 
SynonymSpondylurus magnacruzae HEDGES & CONN 2012: 170
Mabouia aenea — GÜNTHER, 1859:212 (part)
Mabuia sloanii — BOULENGER, 1887:193 (part)
Mabuya sloanii — BARBOUR, 1914:355 (part)
Mabuya sloanii — SCHMIDT, 1928:121 (part)
Mabuya sloanii — BARBOUR, 1930:105 (part)
Mabuya mabouia — BARBOUR, 1935:129 (part)
Mabuya mabouya sloanii — DUNN, 1936:544 (part)
Mabuya mabouia — BARBOUR, 1937:147 (part)
Mabuya sp. — GRANT, 1937:512 (part).
Mabuya mabouya sloanei — SCHWARTZ & THOMAS, 1975:141 (part)
Mabuya mabouya sloanei — MACLEAN et al., 1977:35 (part)
Mabuya mabouya sloanei — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON, 1988:151 (part)
Mabuya mabouya sloanei — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON, 1991:457 (part)
Mabuya bistriata — POWELL et al., 1996:82 (part).
Mabuya sloanii — MAYER & LAZELL, 2000:883 (part)
Mabuya sloanii — HENDERSON & POWELL, 2009:293 (part) 
DistributionSt. Croix, Green Cay

Type locality: St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: ZMUC-R 100, from St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, collected by "Mr. Hartmann" and accessioned 30 January 1883. An old, apparently original, label attached to the specimen with handwriting that has almost completely faded says: "Eumeces agilis, St. Croix, (Mai?) 1882, 30/1.83.v.8." This suggests that the collection date was in 1882.
Paratypes (n = 9). St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. BMNH 59.3.14.18–21, collected before 14 March 1859 (no specific locality or collector available); KU 242174, Richard Thomas (personal communication), Green Cay, 6 August 1964; ZMUC-R 98, “Mr. Eggers,” no specific locality, accessioned 7 October 1875. See Remarks. No specific locality. ANSP 9401, metal tag (plastic tag indicates "9410"), "West Indies," no date, collected by Dr. H. C. Chapman (probably prior to 1862 based on accession number); BMNH (no number or date, but probably mid–19th century), "St. Croix?" (no additional collection information available); ZMUC-R 95, "West Indies," accessioned 30 March 1845 (no collector information available). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Spondylurus magnacruzae sp. nov. is characterized by (1) maximum SVL in males, 92.9 mm; (2) maximum SVL in females, 107 mm; (3) snout width, 2.29–2.97% SVL; (4) head length, 15.9–18.0% SVL; (5) head width, 11.3–14.3% SVL; (6) ear length, 1.49–1.72% SVL; (7) toe-IV length, 7.01–10.4% SVL; (8) prefrontals, two; (9) supraoculars, four; (10) supraciliaries, four; (11) frontoparietals, two; (12) supralabial below the eye, five (11%), six (89%); (13) nuchal rows, one (44%), two (56%); (14) dorsals, 60–65; (15) ventrals, 59–70; (16) dorsals + ventrals, 119–134; (17) midbody scale rows, 34; (18) finger-IV lamellae, 12–14; (19) toe-IV lamellae, 16–18; (20) finger-IV + toe-IV lamellae, 28–31; (21) supranasal contact, Y (22%), N (78%); (22) prefrontal contact, N; (23) supraocular-1/frontal contact, N; (24) parietal contact, Y; (25) pale middorsal stripe, Y; (26) dark dorsolateral stripe, Y; (27) dark lateral stripe, Y; (28) pale lateral stripe, Y; and (29) palms and soles, pale (Tables 3–5).
Within the Genus Spondylurus, S. magnacruzae sp. nov. is distinguished from S. anegadae sp. nov., S. culebrae sp. nov., S. haitiae sp. nov., S. macleani, S. martinae sp. nov., S. monae sp. nov., S. monitae sp. nov., S. semitaeniatus, and S. sloanii by having a lower dark dorsolateral stripe width/middorsal stripe width ratio (0.276– 0.375 versus 0.500–3.79 in those other species). It differs from S. anegadae sp. nov., S. caicosae sp. nov., S. fulgidus, S. haitiae sp. nov., S. lineolatus, S. nitidus, and S. turksae sp. nov. by having a higher number of midbody scale rows (34 versus 26–33 in those other species). It is separated from S. anegadae sp. nov., S. caicosae sp. nov., S. macleani, S. powelli sp. nov., and S. semitaeniatus by having a pale lateral stripe continuous to the hindlimbs. From S. fulgidus, it differs by having a lower number of supraciliaries (four versus five in S. fulgidus). It differs from S. lineolatus by having a larger head (head length 15.9–18.0% SVL versus 12.9–14.4% in S. lineolatus) and four dark stripes instead of ten.
In terms of slightly overlapping (frequency) traits, it is separated from S. monae sp. nov. by having a higher number of midbody scale rows (34 versus 28–33 in 91% of specimens belonging to S. monae sp. nov.). From S. monitae sp. nov., it differs by having a higher number of supralabials (supralabial 6 below the eye in 89% of specimens of S. magnacruzae sp. nov. versus supralabial 5 below the eye in all S. monitae sp. nov.). It is distinguished from S. powelli sp. nov. by having a lower dark dorsolateral stripe width/middorsal stripe width ratio (0.276–0.375 versus 0.389–0.762 in 87% of specimens belonging to S. powelli sp. nov.).
Spondylurus magnacruzae sp. nov. most closely resembles S. spilonotus, which occurs (or occurred) on St. Thomas and St. John. Both species reach 107 mm SVL in the relatively small samples available, making them the largest species in the Genus Spondylurus. They also have a similar general pattern consisting of narrow dark dorsolateral stripes in the anterior portion of the body. However, S. magnacruzae sp. nov. has fewer dorsal body spots (3–37 versus 52–99), a longer supraciliary-1 scale (supraciliary-1/supraciliary-2 length ratio 0.52–0.69 versus 0.35–0.50; Fig. 69A), and a smaller ear (ear length 1.49–1.72% SVL versus 1.76–2.05%; Fig. 69B). Also the stripe pattern of S. magnacruzae sp. nov. appears distinctly bolder and with straighter edges to the stripes, compared with that of S. spilonotus, features not obviously related to age of the specimens or differences in preservation [HEDGES & CONN 2012].
 
CommentConservation status: endangered (Adkins-Giese et al. 2014). Probably extinct on St. Croix (N. Angeli, pers. comm. / WWW). 
EtymologyThe Latin species name (magnacruzae) is a feminine genitive singular noun referring to the larger size of this species (magna, large) compared with the other species on St. Croix, Capitellum parvicruzae sp. nov., and to its distribution. The island was named "Santa Cruz" by Christopher Columbus in 1493 and later renamed Saint Croix by the French. 
References
  • Adkins-Giese, C.L., Curry, T., Platenberg, R. 2014. PETITION TO LIST NINE SPECIES OF CARIBBEAN SKINKS AS ENDANGERED UNDER THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT. CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY, 61 pp. - get paper here
  • Hedges SB, Meier AJ. 2013. Spondylurus magnacruzae (Greater Saint Croix Skink). Conservation. Caribbean Herpetology 46: 1 - get paper here
  • Hedges, S.B. & Conn, C.E. 2012. A new skink fauna from Caribbean islands (Squamata, Mabuyidae, Mabuyinae). Zootaxa 3288: 1–244 - get paper here
 
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