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Tropidophorus micropus LIDTH DE JEUDE, 1905

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymTropidophorus micropus LIDTH DE JEUDE 1905
Tropidophorus micropus — BARBOUR 1912: 189
Tropidophorus micropus — DE ROOIJ 1915: 277
Norbea micropus — MITTLEMAN 1952
Tropidophorus microlepis — WELCH, COOKE &WRIGHT 1990: 112
Tropidophorus micropus — MANTHEY & GROSSMANN 1997: 283
Tropidophorus micropus — HONDA et al. 2006 
DistributionIndonesia (Borneo: Kalimantan), Malaysia (Sarawak)

Localities in Borneo: SARAWAK: Rajang basin near Kapit, Sarawak, East Malaysia (ZRC uncat., THH 9806); SABAH: Ranau, Mt. Kinabalu (SSM 0531-32; 0536); Kampung Ponohuan, Kiulu, Tuaran (UKMS [at present UMS] Re. 436); Kampung Malangang Lama, Kiulu, Tuaran (UKMS [at present UMS] Re. 424-425); KALIMANTAN: Long Bloe (De Rooij, 1915: 278; Lidth de Jeude, 1905).

Type locality: "Long Bloe Upper Mahakkam River" (unlocated, in Kalimantan, Indonesia; Borneo).  
TypesHolotype: RMNH 4452 
DiagnosisRelatively small, SVL 35.2 and 38.2 mm, TaL 43.1 and 46.8 mm; snout acute, not projected beyond lower jaws; nostril laterally oriented, oval, situated closer to snout-tip than to orbit; head wide, much wider than long; head shape slightly flattened; upper head shields striated; frontonasal trapezoidal, wider than long; prefrontals large, in broad contact; frontal elongated, trapezoidal, wider anteriorly; frontoparietals joined; interparietal single, smaller than frontonasal; four supraoculars, the fourth supraocular contacting orbit; 7 supraciliaries, row not completed along the entire length of lateral edge of supraoculars; two pairs of parietal scales; large posterior parietal, contact posterior to interparietal; small anterior parietal, contact with frontoparietal and supraoculars IV; posterior parietal largest head shields, as large as four supraoculars; no enlarge nuchal scale; nostrils on nasal located closer to anterior loreal; postnasal absent; supranasals absent; loreals two, trapezoidal; anterior loreal lower than posterior; two presuboculars, separating supralabial III from orbit; six supralabials (supralabial IV contacting orbit); four infralabials; mental smaller than rostral; rostral broad, projecting onto snout; posterior border of rostral straight; postmental undivided; chinshields in three pairs, first and second pair in broad contact, and third pair separated by three scales; auricular opening scaleless, ovoid and smaller than orbit of eye, its location indicated by a shallow depression; eyes relatively small; pupil discernable in preserved specimen; moveable eyelids; upper palpebrals 12; lower palpebrals 15; tongue short; undivided anteriorly, tip obtuse, not pointed; teeth relatively small and somewhat sharp.
Body slender, BW 5.6 and 5.9 mm; head distinct from neck and body; 45–46 longitudinal scale rows from parietal to above level of anterior margin of hind limb; dorsal and lateral scales on body and tail distinctly keeled; 45 longitudinal scale rows from the posterior end of parietals to posterior margin of thigh; ventrals 47, counted from first postgular to last scale before preanals; median rows enlarged, as wide as adjacent scales; transverse scale rows at midbody 26; subcaudals 69; median ventral scales enlarged relative to the scales on flanks; preanal enlarged, single; tail laterally compressed, relatively long, longer than snout-vent length; tail tip acute; tail base wider than rest of tail; tail gradually tapering to a point; median row of subcaudals enlarged.
Limbs well developed and short, pentadactyle, digits short and clawed; lamellae smooth, enlarged; adpressed limbs touching; lamellae under finger I-4; II-8; III-8; IV-5; and V-3; lamellae under toes I-2; II-8; III-12; IV-13; and V-7 (Pui & Das 2019).

Comparisons: midbody scale variation (berdmorei, 32–40; davaoensis, 34–40; grayi, 24–28; hainanus, 30–34; hangnam, 28–31; laotus, 30–36; microlepis, 28–32; misaminus, 28–34; partelloi, 28–32; Das, unpubl.). Nonetheless, the Sarawak specimens of micropus show the following combination of characters unique to the species, including keeled dorsal scales, and supraoculars numbering four. To these, we add the distinctive coloration, especially the pattern on pelvic and caudal regions (Pui & Das 2019).

See also detailed original description in LIDTH DE JEUDE 1905: 201. 
CommentKnown from only 5 specimens. Records of the species by Stuebing et al. (1999) and Das (2004) are based on misidentified specimens. 
EtymologyNamed for the short legs of the species. Fairly common in Sarawak. 
  • Barbour, Thomas 1912. A Contribution to the Zoögeography of the East Indian Islands. Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy 44 (1): 1-203 - get paper here
  • Das , I. 2004. Lizards of Borneo. Natural History Publications, Kota Kinabalu, Borneo
  • de Rooij, N. de 1915. The Reptiles of the Indo-Australian Archipelago. I. Lacertilia, Chelonia, Emydosauria. Leiden (E. J. Brill), xiv + 384 pp. - get paper here
  • Honda, Masanao; Ota, Hidetoshi; Murphy, Robert W.; and Hikida, Tsutomu. 2006. Phylogeny and biogeography of water skinks of the genus Tropidophorus (Reptilia: Scincidae) a molecular approach. Zoologica Scripta 35 (1):85-95 - get paper here
  • Lidth DE JEUDE, T.W. VAN 1905. Zoological results of the Dutch Scientific Expedition to Central-Borneo. The reptiles. Notes from the Leyden Museum 25 (4): 187-202. - get paper here
  • Manthey, U. & Grossmann, W. 1997. Amphibien & Reptilien Südostasiens. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 512 pp. - get paper here
  • PUI, Yong Min & DAS, Indraneil 2017. Rediscovery and Redescription of Tropidophorus micropus van Lidth de Jeude, 1905 (Squamata: Sauria: Scincidae) from Sarawak, East Malaysia (Borneo). Asian Herpetological Research 8 (2): 147-150; DOI:10.16373/j.cnki.ahr.160015 - get paper here
  • PUI, Yong Min and Indraneil DAS 2019. Rediscovery and Redescription of Tropidophorus micropus van Lidth de Jeude, 1905 (Squamata: Sauria: Scincidae) from Sarawak, East Malaysia (Borneo). Asian Herpetological Research 10 (4): 147-150 - get paper here
  • Stuebing R. B., Iskandar D. T., Sabky S. 1999. Herpetofauna. In: The 1997 Borneo Biodiversity Expedition to the Trans-boundary Biodiversity Conservation Area of Betung-Kerihun National Park (West Kalimantan, Indonesia) and Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary (Sarawak, Malaysia). pp: 112–116; 234–24 International Tropical Timber Organization, Yokohama
  • Wong, A., Makbul, N. S., & Yambun, P. 2021. Diversity of Herpetofauna in Kadamaian, Kota Belud, Sabah, Malaysia. Journal of Tropical Biology & Conservation (JTBC), 18, 31-42 - get paper here
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