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Tiliqua occipitalis (PETERS, 1863)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Egerniinae (Tiliquini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Western Bluetongue, Western Blue-Tongued Lizard 
SynonymCyclodus occipitalis PETERS 1863: 231
Cyclodus fasciatus LÜTKEN 1863: 292
Tiliqua occipitalis — STERNFELD 1925: 242
Tiliqua occipitalis — SMITH 1937: 233
Tiliqua occipitalis — GLAUERT 1960: 69
Tiliqua occipitalis — COGGER 1983: 190
Tiliqua occipitalis — COGGER 2000: 579
Tiliqua occipitalis — WILSON & SWAN 2010 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia)

Type locality: “Buchsfelde bei Adelaide in Südaustralien” [= Loos, near gawler, South Australia].  
TypesHolotype: ZMB 4709
Holotype: UZM R47563, from Australia [Cyclodus fasciatus]. 
DiagnosisDescription: “This larger member of the genus, which may attain a length of 18 in., is the most strongly marked species owing to the sharp contrast between the pale brown body colour and the bone brown crossbands on the body and tail. There are 38 to 42 rows of scales round the middle of the body, all smooth and shining. Behind the parietals there are 3 or 4 series of enlarged scales, some of them much longer than wide, to which the lizard probably owes its specific name. The scales on the nape by contrast are much reduced in size and mark edly wider than long. In due course these are succeeded by larger transverse scales slightly obliquely placed and increasing in size somewhat towards and on the tail. The limbs are short, not meeting when adpressed; the fore limb is as long as the head and about 3 times in the distance between the axilla and the groin. The tail is short, tapering and pointed, much shorter than the head and body, with four dark cross bands and a dark tip. A dark stripe along the side of the head, from the eye to over the ear, is very pronounced on all specimens examined.” (Glauert 1960) 
CommentSynonymy after COGGER 1983. 
  • Bush, B. 1981. Reptiles of the Kalgoorlie-Esperance Region. B. Bush, Perth, 46 pp - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Couper, P., Covacevich, J., Amey, A. & Baker, A. 2006. The genera of skinks (Family Scincidae) of Australia and its island territories: diversity, distribution and identification. in: Merrick, J.R., Archer, M., Hickey, G.M. & Lee, M.S.Y. (eds.). Evolution and Zoogeography of Australasian Vertebrates. Australian Scientific Publishing, Sydney, pp. 367-384
  • Dittmer, D. E., Chapman, T. L. & Bidwell, J. R. 2020. In the shadow of an iconic inselberg: Uluru’s shadow influences climates and reptile assemblage structure at its base. J. Arid Environ. 181, 104179 (2020) - get paper here
  • Escoriza Boj, D. 2005. Australia. Reptiles and Amphibians, Part 2: Desert and tropical savanna. Reptilia (GB) (41): 52-57 - get paper here
  • Fyfe G 1984. Some notes on sympatry between Tiliqua occipitalis and Tiliqua multifasciata in the Ayers Rock region and their associations with aboriginal people of the area. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 15 (1) 1983: 18-19
  • Glauert, L. 1960. Herpetological miscellanea. XII. The family Scincidae in Western Australia. Pt. 1. The genera Tiliqua, Trachysaurus and Egernia. Western Australian Naturalist 7 (3): 67-77 - get paper here
  • Greenbaum, E. 2000. Herpetofaunal observations in disparate habitats in south Sustralia, New South Wales, and queensland, Australia. Herpetological Bulletin (72): 6-16 - get paper here
  • Lucas, A. H. S. & Frost, C. 1894. The lizards indigenous to Victoria. Proc. R. Soc. Vict. (ns) 6: 24-92 - get paper here
  • Lütken, C. 1863. Nogle nye krybdyr og padder. Videnskabelige Meddelelser f ra den Naturhistoriske Forening i Kjöbenhavn (20—22): 292—311
  • Maryan, B., Browne-Cooper, R. and Bush, B. 2002. Herpetofauna Survey of the Maralla Road Bushland. Western Australian Naturalist 23: 197-205 - get paper here
  • Mitchell, F. J. 1950. The scincid genera Egernia and Tiliqua (Lacertilia). Rec. South Austral. Mus. 9: 275-308 - get paper here
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1863. Eine Übersicht der von Hrn. Richard Schomburgk an das zoologische Museum eingesandten Amphibien, aus Buchsfelde bei Adelaide in Südaustralien. Monatsber. königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin. 1863 (April): 228-236 - get paper here
  • Pianka, E. R. 1972. Zoogeography and speciation of Australian desert lizards: an ecological perspective. Copeia 1972 (1): 127-144 - get paper here
  • Shea G M; Peterson M 1981. Observations on sympatry of the social lizards Tiliqua multifasciata Sternfeld and T. occipitals [occipitalis] (Peters). Australian Journal of Herpetology 1 (1) 1981: 27-28
  • Smith, M.A. 1937. A review of the genus Lygosoma (Scincidae: Reptilia) and its allies. Records of the Indian Museum 39 (3): 213-234
  • Sternfeld, R. 1925. Beiträge zur Herpetologie Inner-Australiens. Abhandlungen Herausgegeben von der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft, 38: 221—251
  • Storr, G. M., Smith, L. A. & Johnstone, R. E. 1981. Lizards of Western Australia. I. Skinks. Perth: University of Western Australia Press and Western Australian Museum, 200 pp.
  • Storr, G. M.; L. A. Smith, and R. E. Johnstone 1999. Lizards of Western Australia. I. Skinks. Revised Edition. Western Australian Museum
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 pp.
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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