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Tribolonotus pseudoponceleti GREER & PARKER, 1968

IUCN Red List - Tribolonotus pseudoponceleti - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Egerniinae (Tiliquini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: False Poncelet's Helmet Skink 
SynonymTribolonotus pseudoponceleti GREER & PARKER 1968
Tribolonotus pseudoponceleti — ADLER, AUSTIN & DUDLEY 1995 
DistributionSolomon Islands (Bougainville and Buka)

Type locality: at Kunua, Bougainville  
TypesHolotype: MCZ 72914 (also given as 1291A) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: T. pseudoponceleti differs from blanchardi of the Solomons in having two rows of enlarged vertebral scales instead of a single row as in blanchardi. Schmidti of the Solomons also has two rows of enlarged vertebral scales, but whereas these scales extend anteriorly to the single large parietal scale in schmidti, they only extend to a point just anterior to the level of the insertion of the forelegs in pseudoponceleti. Size is the easiest way to distinguish ponceleti from pseudoponceleti. The three specimens of ponceleti known in collections range from 116-125 mm in snout-vent length, whereas the largest of 611 pseudoponceleti examined is only 73 mm in snout-vent length.
Gracilis and novaeguineae of New Guinea can be immediately distinguished from pseudoponceleti by means of the greatly enlarged spines on the two vertebral and paravertebral scale rows, and the head casque which, posteriorly, is raised above the level of the nape.
Pseudoponceleti differs from annectens of New Britain (known from the holotype and more recently from a second specimen in the Zoologisk Museum, Copenhagen i) in several scale characters which are summarized here from Zweifel (1966; see Fig. 1 in Greer & Parker 1968). "In both species there is a prominent row of enlarged scales paralleling the much larger vertebrals, but where at midbody in pseudoponceleti there is one of these smaller scales for each vertebral, annectens has only one for every two vertebrals. There are two primary temporal scales in pseudoponceleti and three in annectens." The first infralabial in pseudoponceleti is long and thin and extends posteriorly almost to exclude the second infralabial from the edge of the lip, or in a very few cases (1 specimen in 46 examined by Zweifel, 1966) the first labial does just exclude the entire second infralabial from the edge of the lip. In annectens the first infralabial extends posteriorly to exclude the second (in the type) or the second and third (in the Copenhagen specimen) infralabials trom the edge of the lip (Greer & Parker 1968). 
  • Adler,G.H.; Austin,C.C. & Dudley,R. 1995. Dispersal and speciation of skinks among archipelagos in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Evolutionary Ecology 9: 529-541 - get paper here
  • Austin, Christopher C.; Eric N. Rittmeyer, Stephen J. Richards, George R. Zug 2010. Phylogeny, historical biogeography and body size evolution in Pacific Island Crocodile skinks Tribolonotus (Squamata; Scincidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 57 (1): 227-236 - get paper here
  • Greer,A.E. & Parker,F. 1968. A new species of Tribolonotus (Lacertilia: Scincidae) from Bougainville and Buka, Solomon Islands, with comments of the biology of the genus. Breviora (291): 1-23 - get paper here
  • McCoy, M. 2006. Reptiles of the Solomon Islands. Pensoft Series Faunistica 57, 212 pp.
  • McCoy, M. 2015. A Field Guide to the Reptiles of the Solomon Islands. Michael McCoy, Kuranda - get paper here
  • Zweifel, Richard G. 1966. A New Lizard of the Genus Tribolonotus (Scincidae) from New Britain. American Museum Novitates 2264: 1-12. - get paper here
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