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Spondylurus monitae HEDGES & CONN, 2012

IUCN Red List - Spondylurus monitae - Critically Endangered, CR

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Mabuyinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common NamesMonito Skink 
SynonymSpondylurus monitae HEDGES & CONN 2012: 182
Mabuya mabouya sloanii — ROLLE et al., 1964:322 (part)
Mabuya mabouya sloanei — SCHWARTZ & THOMAS, 1975:141 (part)
Mabuya mabouya sloanei — MACLEAN et al., 1977:27 (part)
Mabuya mabouya sloanei — HEATWOLE et al., 1981:34 (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 — HENDERSON & POWELL, 2009:293 (part) 
DistributionPuerto Rico (Isla Monito)

Type locality: Isla Monito, Puerto Rico  
TypesHolotype: USNM 576301, an adult female, collected on Isla Monito, Puerto Rico, United States, 12–13 February 1993, by Manuel Leal and Richard Thomas. Field tag USNMFS 192877. Paratypes (n = 6). Isla Monito, Puerto Rico. RT 11377–79, 11427, Manuel Leal and Richard Thomas, 3–4 April 1993; RT 11391, Miguel Garcia, Manuel Leal, and Richard Thomas, 13–14 April 1993; and RT 11430, Richard Thomas, November 1993. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Spondylurus monitae sp. nov. is characterized by (1) maximum SVL in males, 90.3 mm; (2) maximum SVL in females, 94.5 mm; (3) snout width, 2.42–3.16% SVL; (4) head length, 16.2–17.8% SVL; (5) head width, 11.5–13.8% SVL; (6) ear length, 1.35–1.59% SVL; (7) toe-IV length, 8.34–10.7% SVL; (8) prefrontals, two; (9) supraoculars, three (43%), four (57%); (10) supraciliaries, three (29%), four (43%), five (29%); (11) frontoparietals, two; (12) supralabial below the eye, five; (13) nuchal rows, two; (14) dorsals, 62–64; (15) ventrals, 64–69; (16) dorsals + ventrals, 126–132; (17) midbody scale rows, 32–34; (18) finger-IV lamellae, 12–15; (19) toe-IV lamellae, 16–17; (20) finger-IV + toe-IV lamellae, 29–32; (21) supranasal contact, N; (22) prefrontal contact, N; (23) supraocular-1/frontal contact, Y (86%), N (14%); (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. monitae sp. nov. is separated from all other species by having concave (versus parallel) dark dorsolateral stripes on the parietal scales, forming a constriction on the top of the head (Fig. 73A). It differs from S. caicosae sp. nov., S. fulgidus, S. haitiae sp. nov., S. magnacruzae sp. nov., S. martinae sp. nov., S. nitidus, S. powelli sp. nov., S. spilonotus, and S. turksae sp. nov. by having a higher dark dorsolateral stripe width/middorsal stripe width ratio (0.874–1.27 versus 0.115–0.805 in those other species). It differs from S. anegadae sp. nov. and S. semitaeniatus by having a lower dark dorsolateral stripe width/middorsal stripe width ratio (0.874–1.27 versus 1.35–3.79 in those other species). It differs from S. lineolatus and S. turksae sp. nov. by having more midbody scale rows (32–34 versus 26–30). From S. anegadae sp. nov., it differs by lacking supranasal contact (versus contact in S. anegadae sp. nov.). It differs from S. lineolatus by having a longer head (head length 16.2–17.8% SVL versus 12.9–14.4% in S. lineolatus). It is distinguished from S. macleani by having lateral dark and pale stripes. From S. monae sp. nov., it differs by having a higher rostral scale (Fig. 61). Spondylurus monitae sp. nov. further differs from S. monae sp. nov. in being larger: four of the six adult specimens are larger (88.5–94.5 mm SVL) than all of the 35 specimens of S. monae sp. nov. examined (87.0 mm SVL, maximum).
Spondylurus monitae sp. nov. also differs from other species in slightly overlapping characters. From S. culebrae sp. nov., S. magnacruzae sp. nov., S. monae sp. nov., and S. spilonotus, it is distinguished by having fewer supralabials (supralabial five below the eye versus supralabial six or seven below the eye in 84–91% of specimens belonging to those other species). From S. nitidus, it differs by having a higher frequency of supraocular-1/frontal contact (contact in 86% of specimens versus no contact in 93% of specimens belonging to S. nitidus). It is separated from S. semitaeniatus and S. sloanii by lacking supranasal contact (versus contact in 95– 96% of specimens belonging to those other species) [HEDGES & CONN 2012]. 
CommentSynonymy: Pinto-Sánchez et al. 2015 synonymized culebrae, macleani, and monitae with Spondylurus sloani.

Abundance: only known from (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyThe species name (monitae) is a feminine genitive singular noun referring to the distribution of the species on the island of Monito (it is feminine despite the masculine diminutive Spanish island name). 
  • Hedges, S.B. & Conn, C.E. 2012. A new skink fauna from Caribbean islands (Squamata, Mabuyidae, Mabuyinae). Zootaxa 3288: 1–244 - 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
  • Pinto-Sánchez, Nelsy Rocío; Martha L. Calderón-Espinosa, Aurelien Miralles, Andrew J. Crawford, Martha Patricia Ramírez-Pinilla 2015. Molecular phylogenetics and biogeography of the Neotropical skink genus Mabuya Fitzinger (Squamata: Scincidae) with emphasis on Colombian populations. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2015.07.016 - get paper here
  • Zegarra, J P; Figuerola, C E & Monsegur-Rivera, O A; 2019. Spondylurus monitae (Monito Skink) Habitat use/behavior Herpetological Review 50 (2): 378-379
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