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Tribolonotus parkeri RITTMEYER & AUSTIN, 2017

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Egerniinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymTribolonotus parkeri RITTMEYER & AUSTIN 2017 
DistributionPapua New Guinea: Solomon Archipelago (Buka Island)

Type locality: Nova Area, Southeast of bridge at Ramunfun River, Buka Island, North Solomons Province, Papua New Guinea, 5.3893°S, 154.6518°E, WGS84, 7 m elevation.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: LSUM 93510 (field number CCA 2734), collected by Christopher C. Austin, 30 November 2005. Paratypes. AMS R18811, collected by Fred Parker, Buka Island, North Solomons Province, Papua New Guinea, 5.4110°S, 154.6794°E, WGS84; LSUM 93500–3, collected by Christopher C. Austin, Nova Area, near Chi Chi Hav Village, Buka Island, North Solomons Province, Papua New Guinea, 5.3908°S, 154.6409°E, WGS84, 149 m elevation, 29 November 2005; LSUM 93504–9, 93511–3, same collection details as holotype; MCZ 67706–67710 collected by Fred Parker, Buka Island, North Solomons Province, Papua New Guinea, 5.4110°S, 154.6794°E, WGS84, 28 January 1962; MCZ 67711–6, same data except collected 31 January 1962; MCZ 73850– 4, same data except collected 8 March 1963; MCZ 73855–61, same data except collected 9 March 1962; MCZ 92491 collected by Fred Parker, Kubu, Buka Island, North Solomons Province, Papua New Guinea, 5.4110°S, 154.6794°E, WGS84, 25 May 1966. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A small (maximum SVL 48.5 mm) scincid lizard of the genus Tribolonotus diagnosable from congeneric species by the following combination of characters: 1) two longitudinal rows of 20–23 enlarged vertebral scales, separated from parietal plates by granular scales and commencing at the posterior of the nape; 2) 42–47 ventral scale rows from the mental to the vent; 3) a longitudinally elongate first supralabial scale, separating the nasal and second supralabial scales; 4) two primary temporal scales; 5) 10–13 finger III lamellae and 20–23 toe IV lamellae; and 6) moderately short limbs (ForeL/SVL = 0.253–0.322, mean = 0.281; HindL/SVL = 0.409–0.482, mean = 0.445). Dorsolateral and lateral scales mostly granular, but with several longitudinal rows of spinose scales, approximately one for every enlarged vertebral scale. Tail relatively long, up to approximately 190% of SVL when complete. Head rugose, with up to five strong keels per scale; triangular from dorsal aspect and distinct from neck, slightly larger in males than in females (male HW/SVL = 0.173–0.214, female HW/SVL = 0.165–0.193; male HL/ SVL = 0.259–0.302, female HL/SVL = 0.241–0.287; Table 2, Fig. 2). Two primary temporal scales; five supralabial scales, the first narrow and elongate, with no contact between the nasal and second supralabial scale, and five or six infralabial scales. Plantar pores, up to slightly less than the diameter of the toes, variably present in males (absent in approximately half of males examined), absent in females. When present, arranged in parallel rows of up to nine pores at the base of toe IV, frequently with a small gap after the distal two or three pores, and up to three at the base of toe III. Palmar pores rarely present in males, absent in females. When present, only one to two pores present at the base of finger IV. A pair of abdominal glands present just anterior to insertion of the hind limbs in both sexes. Dorsal coloration brown with extensive pale, yellowish-tan markings dorsally and laterally, typically triangular in shape and connecting to form vague paravertebral lines. Ventral coloration pale tan.

Comparisons. Tribolonotus parkeri sp. nov. is differentiated from T. blanchardi, T. gracilis and T. novaeguineae by the presence of two longitudinal rows of enlarged vertebral scales (versus one in T. blanchardi, and four in T. gracilis and T. novaeguineae). Tribolonotus gracilis and T. novaeguineae also exhibit a much larger maximum SVL than T. parkeri sp. nov., while T. blanchardi exhibits a somewhat smaller maximum SVL (maximum SVL = 48.5 mm in T. parkeri sp. nov., versus 103 mm in T. gracilis, 103 mm in T. novaeguineae, and 40 mm in T. blanchardi). Tribolonotus parkeri sp. nov. is further distinguished from T. annectens in having two primary temporal scales (versus three in T. annectens), and in having more spinose scales in longitudinal rows paralleling the vertebral scales (approximately one scale for every enlarged mid-dorsal scale in T. parkeri sp. nov. versus approximately one scale for every two vertebral scales in T. annectens). In T. parkeri sp. nov., the enlarged vertebral scale rows extend anteriorly to the posterior of the nape (granular scales separate the enlarged vertebral scales from the parietal plates) versus extending to the parietal plates in T. brongersmai Cogger 1972 and T. schmidtii Burt 1930, and are fewer in number (20–23 scales per longitudinal row in T. parkeri sp. nov. versus 29–32 in T. brongersmai and 29– 35 in T. schmidtii). Tribolonotus parkeri sp. nov. also typically has more subdigital lamellae (20–23 toe IV lamellae in T. parkeri sp. nov. versus 16–20 in T. schmidtii). Tribolonotus ponceleti Kinghorn 1937 is much larger than T. parkeri sp. nov. (maximum SVL=144 mm in T. ponceleti versus 48.5 mm in T. parkeri sp. nov.); the two are further distinguished by the separation of the nasal and second supralabial scales by the longitudinally elongate first supralabial scale in T. parkeri sp. nov. versus contact between the nasal scale and second supralabial scale in T. ponceleti.
Tribolonotus parkeri sp. nov. is most similar to T. choiseulensis sp. nov. and T. pseudoponceleti Greer & Parker 1968. However, it can be diagnosed from T. pseudoponceleti based on its smaller number of ventral scale rows (42–47, mean = 44.875, mode = 45 in T. parkeri sp. nov. versus 45–53, mean = 49.008, mode = 50 in T. pseudoponceleti; Table 3, Fig. 7), smaller number of subdigital lamellae (F3L = 10–13, mean = 11.844, mode = 12 in T. parkeri sp. nov. versus 13–16, mean = 14.027, mode = 14 in T. pseudoponceleti; T4L = 20–23, mean = 21.844, mode = 22 in T. parkeri sp. nov. versus 21–27, mean = 23.885, mode = 24 in T. pseudoponceleti; Table 3, Fig. 7), and shorter legs (ForeL/SVL = 0.253–0.322, mean = 0.281 in T. parkeri sp. nov. versus 0.276–0.374, mean = 0.330 in T. pseudoponceleti; HindL/SVL = 0.409–0.482, mean = 0.445 in T. parkeri sp. nov. versus 0.438–0.578, mean = 0.495 in T. pseudoponceleti; Table 2, Fig. 2). Tribolonotus parkeri sp. nov. is also much smaller than T. pseudoponceleti (maximum SVL = 48.5 mm in T. parkeri sp. nov., 76 mm in T. pseudoponceleti), and has more extensive light dorsal markings, which frequently connect to form paravertebral lines in T. parkeri sp. nov., but are typically restricted to non-connected, paravertebral spots in T. pseudoponceleti. Tribolonotus parkeri sp. nov. is distinguished from T. choiseulensis sp. nov. by its shorter limbs (ForeL/SVL = 0.253–0.322, mean = 0.281 in T. parkeri sp. nov. versus 0.294–0.332, mean=0.319 in T. choiseulensis sp. nov.; HindL/SVL=0.409–0.482, mean = 0.445 in T. parkeri sp. nov. versus 0.498–0.521, mean = 0.510 in T. choiseulensis sp. nov.; Table 2, Fig. 2), and by color pattern: T. parkeri sp. nov. has more extensive light dorsal markings of pale triangles, often merging to form paravertebral lines lateral to the enlarged vertebral scales whereas T. choiseulensis sp. nov. has a dorsal pattern of faint, indistinct yellowish tan markings in the form of paired, separated paravertebral spots. 
CommentAbundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyNamed after Fred Parker in recognition of his substantial contributions to herpetology in Papua New Guinea, and his collections of much of the type series of the species. 
References
  • 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
  • RITTMEYER, ERIC N.; CHRISTOPHER C. AUSTIN 2017. Two new species of Crocodile Skinks (Squamata: Scincidae: Tribolonotus) from the Solomon Archipelago Zootaxa 4268 (1): 071-087 - get paper here
 
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