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Trachylepis thomensis CERÍACO, MARQUES & BAUER, 2016

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Mabuyinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymTrachylepis thomensis CERÍACO, MARQUES & BAUER 2016
Euprepes notabilis — GREEF 1885: 48 [non Euprepes notabilis PETERS 1879]
Euprepes notabilis — VIEIRA 1887: 237 [non Euprepes notabilis PETERS 1879]
Euprepes notabilis — BOCAGE 1886: 68 [non Euprepes notabilis PETERS 1879]
Euprepes notabilis — BOCAGE 1889: 34 [non Euprepes notabilis PETERS 1879]
Mabuia maculilabris — BEDRIAGA 1892: 817
Mabuia maculilabris — BEDRIAGA 1893: 438
Mabuia maculilabris — BOCAGE 1905: 92
Mabuia maculilabris — BOULENGER 1906: 205
Mabuia maculilabris — HENRIQUES 1917: 143
Lygodactylus [sic!] maculilabris — HENRIQUES 1917: 81
Mabuya maculilabris — MANAÇAS 1958: 184
Mabuya maculilabris — MANAÇAS 1973: 223
Mabuya maculilabris — SCHÄTTI & LOUMONG 1992: 29
Mabuya maculilabris — HOFER 2002: 82
Mabuya maculilabris — JESUS et al. 2005: 469
Mabuya maculilabris — ROCHA et al. 2010: 375
Trachylepis cf. maculilabris-São Tomé — CERÍACO 2015: 512 
DistributionSão Tomé Island

Type locality: vicinity of Água-Izé (N: 0.12750, E: 6.64067; WGS-84), São Tomé Island, Republic of São Tomé & Príncipe  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: MB = MUHNAC 03-000712, adult male collected by Ruben Soares, Teresa Pité and Artur Serrano on 18 June 1984 (Fig. 4).
Paratypes. All specimens from the Island of São Tomé, Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe. Twelve specimens: MUHNAC/MB03-000715 adult male collected in São Tomé city (N: 0.34058, E: 6.73753; WGS-84) by Ruben Soares, Teresa Pité and Artur Serrano on June 1984; MUHNAC/MB03-000716 (a–d) unsexed adults collected in Morro Peixe (N: 0.40536, E: 6.63876; WGS-84) by Ruben Soares, Teresa Pité and Artur Serrano on 17 June 1984; CAS 218819–21 adult females collected in mouth of Água Anambo (N: 0.32572, E: 6.50839; WGS-84) by R.C. Drewes, R.E. Stoelting and J.V. Vindum on 3 April 2001; CAS 219287-88 adult male and female collected in Praia Lagarto (N: 0.32970, E: 6.72904; WGS-84) by R.E. Stoelting and D.J. Long on 1 May 2001; MHNG 2461.81 and MHNG 2461.82, adults male and female collected in the surroundings of São Tomé city (N: 0.34058, E: 6.73753; WGS-84) by J. Haft and J. Fahr on July 1989.
Syntypes: ZMB 9204, ZMB 8485 [Euprepes notabilis] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. The new species is readily distinguished from all other Trachylepis by the following combination of characters: (1) medium and robust body size, up to at least 98.2 mm SVL; (2) colour pattern olive-brown dorsally, with black-and-white speckles, venter yellowish, thin stripe comprising approximately 7–8 white speckles from the back of the eye to the top of the tympanum, no distinct longitudinal or transverse dorsal bands; (3) MSR 31–35, SAD 54–60, SAV 58-64; (4) KDS 5 or 6; (5) scales on palm of hands and soles of feet smooth; (6) Supranasals always in contact, forming a suture, or at least in contact at a single point; and (7) yellow color on the scales around the outside of the tympanum.

Comparison with other Gulf of Guinea island species. Table 2 in Ceriaco et al. 2016 summarises the most important distinguishing characteristics between T. thomensis sp. nov. and all other Gulf of Guinea oceanic island Trachylepis. Comparisons between the newly-described species from São Tomé and Príncipe are given under the Príncipe species description. Comparing T. thomensis with T. maculilabris from West Africa, the new species has a greater SVL, greater head length, shorter tail, and higher numbers of lamellae under the fourth toe and fourth finger (Table 2), and its colouration pattern is also considerably different, as it has black and white speckles on the dorsum, whereas T. maculilabris has only dark flecks. Trachylepis maculilabris has a very distinct white stripe starting on the labials and extending to the forelimb insertion that is completely absent in T. thomensis. In T. maculilabris the anterior four supralabials are usually brown, bearing one white spot, which is not common in T. thomensis, whose supralabials are usually greyish-white. Comparing T. thomensis with the recently-described T. adamastor, several characteristics differ considerably: T. thomensis has a smaller SVL, higher number of SAD, lower number of SAV, higher number of LUFT, the presence of two pretemporals (versus one in T. adamastor), and its colouration differs considerably from T. adamastor: dark-brown with subtle white speckles dorsum and greyish venter. Comparing T. thomensis with the Annobon Island endemic T. ozorii, the new species has a lower number of supraciliaries, higher numbers of keels on the dorsal scales, lower numbers of scales around the midbody, lower numbers of paravertebral scales, and supranasals are always in contact in T. thomensis, but separated in T. ozorii (Table 2). Colour patterns are also distinct in both species: T. thomensis has a brownish back with some dark and white speckles, and a yellowish venter; while T. ozorii has a brownish-bluish colouration on the dorsum, and is covered with small black speckles and a bluish-white venter. T. thomensis and T. affinis can be easily distinguished from one another by several morphological characters, but primarily by the presence versus absence of dorsolateral stripes, size, and acuminate snout. Trachylepis thomensis has a greater SVL, less bulky head, higher numbers of scales around the midbody, higher numbers of scales on the vent and on the dorsum, and more keels on the dorsal scales (Table 2). Colouration is bold and contrasting, whereas T. thomensis lacks distinctive longitudinal stripes on the lateral sides of the body as in T. affinis (Ceriaco et al. 2016). 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet 'thomensis' refers to the Island of São Tomé and is applied here as a substantive in apposition. We propose the English name of "São Tomé Skink" and the Portuguese name "Lagartixa de São Tomé". 
References
  • Bedriaga, J. 1893. Note sur les Amphibiens et Reptiles recueillis par M. Adolphe Moller aux îles de la Guinée. O Instituto, 40: 299–303; 432–440
  • Bedriaga, J. von. 1892. Notes sur les amphibiens et reptiles recueillis par M. Adolphe F. Moller aux Iles de la Guinée. O. Instituto; Revista Cientifica e Litteraria, Coimbra, 39: 498–507; 642–648; 736–742; 814–820; 901–907 (reprint pagination: 1-48).
  • Bocage, J. V. Barboza du. 1886. Reptis e amphibios de S. Thomé. Jornal de Sciencias Mathematicas, Physicas e Naturaes, Lisboa, 11:65-70.
  • Bocage, J.V.B. 1889. Breves considerações sobre a fauna de S. Thomé. Jornal das Sciencias Mathematicas, Physicas e Naturaes. Segunda Série, 1 (1), 33–36
  • Bocage, J.V.B. du 1905. Contribution à la faune des quatre îles du Golfe de Guinée, IV- Île de St. Thomé. Jorn. Acad. Sci. Lisboa, VII (2): 65-96
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1906. Report on the reptiles collected by the late L. Fea in West Africa. Ann. Mus. civ. Stor. Nat. Genova (3) 2: 196-216 - get paper here
  • Ceriaco, Luis M. P. 2015. Lost in the middle of the sea, found in the back of the shelf: A new giant species of Trachylepis (Squamata: Scincidae) from Tinhosa Grande islet, Gulf of Guinea. Zootaxa 3973 (3): 511–527
  • CERÍACO, LUIS M. P.; MARIANA P. MARQUES, AARON M. BAUER 2016. A review of the genus Trachylepis (Sauria: Scincidae) from the Gulf of Guinea, with descriptions of two new species in the Trachylepis maculilabris (Gray, 1845) species complex. Zootaxa 4109 (3): 284–314
  • Greef, R. 1885. Die Fauna der Guinea-Inseln S. Thomé und Rolas. Sitzungsberichte der Gesellschaft zur Beförderung der Gesammten Naturwissenschaften zu Marburg, (2) :41—79 [1884]
  • Henriques, J. 1917. A ilha de S. Tomé sob o ponto de vista histórico-natural e agrícola. Boletim da Sociedade Broteriana 27: 1–197
  • Hofer, D. 2002. The São Tomé and Principé Handbook. D. Hofer Verlag, Bern, 152 pp.
  • Jesus, José; Brehm, António; Harris, D. James 2005. Relationships of scincid lizards (Mabuya spp.) from the islands of the Gulf of Guinea based on mtDNA sequence data. Amphibia-Reptilia 26 (4): 467-473 - get paper here
  • Manacas, S. 1958. Anfíbios e Répteis das ilhas de São Tomé e do Príncipe e do Ilhéo das Rolas. Conferencia Intern. dos Africanistas Ocidentais, Comunicacoes Zool. e Biol. Animal, 6. Sess., 4: 179-192.
  • Manaças, S. 1973. Alguns dos anfíbios e répteis da província de S. Tomé e Príncipe. In: Livro de Homenagem ao Prof. Fernando Frade. Junta Investigação do Ultramar, Lisboa, pp. 219–230
  • Pollo, César J. 2017. Guide of Amphibians and Reptiles of São Tomé and Príncipe Smashwords / César J. Pollo, 156 pp. - get paper here
  • Rocha, Sara; Carretero, Miguel A.; Harris, D. James 2010. Genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationships of Mabuya spp. (Squamata: Scincidae) from western Indian Ocean islands. Amphibia-Reptilia 31: 375-385 - get paper here
  • Schatti, B., & Loumont, C. 1992. [A contribution to the herpetofauna of Sao Tome (Gulf of Guinea) (Amphibia & Reptilia)]. Zool. Abhandl. Staatl. Mus. für Tierkunde, Dresden, 47: 23-36
  • Vieira, L. 1886. Noticia ácerca dos productos zoologicos trazidos da ilha de S. Thomé para o Muzeu Zoologico da Universidade de Coimbra pelo Sr. Adolpho F. Moller, em 1885. O Instituto, 34: 235–241
 
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