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Spondylurus nitidus (GARMAN, 1887)

IUCN Red List - Spondylurus nitidus - Endangered, EN

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Mabuyinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesPuerto Rican Skink 
SynonymMabuia nitida GARMAN 1887: 51
Mabuya fulgida — COPE, 1868:311 (part)
Euprepes (Mabuia) spilonotus — PETERS, 1876:708 (part)
Mabuia sloanii — BOULENGER, 1887:193 (part)
Mabuya sloanii — STEJNEGER, 1904:608 (part)
Mabuya sloanii — BARBOUR, 1914:320 (part)
Mabuya sloanii — SCHMIDT, 1928:121 (part)
Mabuya sloanii — SCHMIDT, 1928:121 (part)
Mabuya sloanii — BARBOUR, 1930:105 (part)
Mabuya sloanii — GRANT, 1931:217 (part)
Mabuya sloanii — GRANT, 1932a:162 (part)
Mabuya sloanii — GRANT, 1932b:39 (part)
Mabuya mabouia — BARBOUR, 1935:129 (part)
Mabuya mabouya sloanii — DUNN, 1936:544 (part)
Mabuya mabouia — BARBOUR, 1937:147 (part)
Mabuya mabouya sloanei — SCHWARTZ & THOMAS, 1975:141 (part)
Mabuya mabouya sloanei — MACLEAN et al., 1977:27 (part)
Mabuya mabouya sloani — RIVERO, 1978:71 (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 mabouya sloani — RIVERO, 1998:394 (part)
Mabuya sloanii — MAYER & LAZELL, 2000:883 (part)
Mabuya sloanii — HENDERSON & POWELL, 2009:293 (part)
Spondylurus nitidus — HEDGES & CONN 2012: 186 
DistributionPuerto Rico (incl. Cayo Luis Peña, Cayo Norte, Culebra, Desecheo, Icacos, and Vieques)

Type locality: San Juan, Puerto Rico  
Reproduction 
TypesLectotype: MCZ R-6050, San Juan, Puerto Rico, April 1879, Samuel Garman.
Note that the syntype of Mabuya sloanii from Hispaniola has been removed from type series of Mabuia nitida; see HEDGES & CONN 2012. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Spondylurus nitidus is characterized by (1) maximum SVL in males, 87.1 mm; (2) maximum SVL in females, 95.5; (3) snout width, 2.38–3.57% SVL; (4) head length, 16.6–20.7% SVL; (5) head width, 12.5–14.6% SVL; (6) ear length, 1.32–2.36%; (7) toe-IV length, 9.45–12.7% SVL; (8) prefrontals, two; (9) supraoculars, three (7%), four (93%); (10) supraciliaries, four (93%), five (7%); (11) frontoparietals, two; (12) supralabial below the eye, five (27%), six (73%); (13) nuchal rows, one (7%), two (80%), three (13%); (14) dorsals, 55–63; (15) ventrals, 60–66; (16) dorsals + ventrals, 117–129; (17) midbody scale rows, 28–33; (18) finger-IV lamellae, 12–15; (19) toe- IV lamellae, 14–19; (20) finger-IV + toe-IV lamellae, 26–33; (21) supranasal contact, Y (53%), N (47%); (22) prefrontal contact, N; (23) supraocular-1/frontal contact, Y (7%), N (93%); (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. nitidus differs from S. anegadae sp. nov., S. culebrae sp. nov., S. haitiae 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 (0.292–0.619 versus 0.64–3.79 in those other species). It is distinguished from S. haitiae sp. nov., S. lineolatus, and S. martinae sp. nov. by having a wider head (head width 12.5–14.6% SVL versus 9.58–12.3% SVL in those other species). From S. haitiae sp. nov., S. lineolatus, and S. turksae sp. nov., it is distinguished by having a longer head (head length 16.6–20.7% SVL versus 12.9–16.5% SVL in those other species). From S. lineolatus and S. turksae sp. nov., it is distinguished by having a longer toe-IV (toe-IV length 9.45–12.7% SVL versus 7.23–9.16% SVL in those other species). It differs from S. magnacruzae sp. nov. and S. spilonotus by having a lower number of midbody scale rows (28–33 versus 34 in those other species). From S. caicosae sp. nov., it is distinguished by having dark lateral stripes continuous to the hindlimbs (versus dark lateral stripes that are discontinuous or absent at the hindlimbs in S. caicosae sp. nov.). It is separated from S. haitiae sp. nov. by having a larger ear (ear length 1.32–2.36% SVL versus 1.19% in S. haitiae sp. nov.). It differs from S. macleani by having a darker middorsal stripe (versus middorsal stripe similar in color to pale dorsolateral stripes in S. macleani). It is distinguished from S. martinae sp. nov. by having a lower number of ventrals (60–66 versus 68–71 in S. martinae sp. nov.). It is separated from S. monitae sp. nov. by having parallel dark dorsolateral stripes on the parietal scales, versus concave stripes that form a constriction on the top of the head in S. monitae sp. nov. (Fig. 73).
Spondylurus nitidus also differs from other species in slightly overlapping characters. It differs from S. monae sp. nov. by having a longer toe (toe-IV length 10.1–12.7% SVL versus 8.09–10.0% SVL in 86% of specimens of S. monae sp. nov.). From S. caicosae sp. nov., it differs by having a higher number of finger-IV lamellae (13–15 in 80% of specimens versus 9–12 in 89% of specimens belonging to S. caicosae sp. nov.). From S. fulgidus, it is separated by having a lower number of supraciliaries (four in 93% of specimens versus five in S. fulgidus) and by having a higher number of dorsals (57–63 in 80% of S. nitidus versus 52–56 in 88% of S. fulgidus). It is distinguished from S. monitae sp. nov. by having a lower frequency of supraocular-1/frontal contact (no contact in 93% of specimens versus contact in 86% of specimens belonging to S. monitae sp. nov.). It differs from S. powelli sp. nov. by having a lower number of dorsals (55–61 in 93% of specimens versus 62–65 in 87% of specimens belonging to S. powelli sp. nov.) and by having a higher number of finger-IV + toe-IV lamellae (29–33 in 80% of specimens versus 25–28 in 81% of specimens belonging to S. powelli sp. nov.). Additionally, S. nitidus is a larger species than S. anegadae sp. nov., S. caicosae sp. nov., S. fulgidus, S. haitiae sp. nov., S. lineolatus, S. macleani, S. martinae sp. nov., S. monae sp. nov., S. monitae sp. nov., S. powelli sp. nov., S. semitaeniatus, S. sloanii, and S. turksae sp. nov. (maximum adult SVL 95.5 mm versus 63.7–94.5 in those other species). In coloration, individuals from Puerto Rico (= S. nitidus) have been described as being "considerably darker" than those from Mona (= S. monae sp. nov.) (Rivero 1998) [HEDGES & CONN 2012].
 
CommentConservation status: endangered (Adkins-Giese et al. 2014). 
EtymologyNot provided in the original description. However, the species name (nitidus), a Latin feminine singular adjective meaning "shining" or "polished," apparently refers to the coloration, described by Garman (1887) as "bronzed." 
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
  • Garman, S. 1887. On West Indian Reptiles. Scincidae. Bull. Essex Inst. 19: 51-53
  • Hedges, S.B. & Conn, C.E. 2012. A new skink fauna from Caribbean islands (Squamata, Mabuyidae, Mabuyinae). Zootaxa 3288: 1–244 - get paper here
  • Sanchez AJ. 2013. Spondylurus nitidus (Puerto Rican Skink). Conservation. Caribbean Herpetology 40: 1 - get paper here
 
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