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Tropidophorus murphyi HIKIDA, ORLOV, NABHITABHATA & OTA, 2002

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Murphy’s water skink 
SynonymTropidophorus murphyi HIKIDA, ORLOV, NABHITABHATA & OTA 2002
Tropidophorus murphyi — HONDA et al. 2006
Tropidophorus murphyi — BÖHME 2014: 157 
DistributionN Vietnam

Type locality: Quang Thanh Village, Nguyen Binh District, Cao Bang Province, N Vietnam (22° 37’ 43 N, 105° 54’ 46 E, 700-750 m elevation)  
TypesHolotype: ROM 41227; Paratypes: ZFMK 91828 (ex-ROM 4.229), female, KUZ 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: According to Hikida et al. (2002) and our own data, this species is characterized by a large size, adult males SVL 62.4 – 85.1 mm (n = 3), TaL: 101 mm (holotype, tail tip lost) (Hikida et al. 2002); adult females SVL 79.3 – 95.6 mm (n = 2), TaL 106.5 – 110.4 (n = 2); body strongly depressed; upper head scales smooth; frontonasal undivided; prefrontals in contact; parietals not in contact posteriorly; loreals 2, anterior one usually divided; supraciliaries 5 – 8, supraciliar y row completed along the entire length of lateral edge of supraoculars; supralabials 6; infralabials 5 – 6, f irst one longest; postmental undivided; midbody scales in 30 – 32 rows; paravertebral scales 55 – 67; ventrals in 55 – 56 transverse rows (in the two paratypes); 2 enlarged precloacals; 12 – 13 scale rows at position of tenth subcaudal; 20 – 25 subdigital lamellae on fourth toe [from Truong et al. 2010]. 
CommentAbundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). This is one of the species called 'lost' and 'rediscovered' by Lindken et al. 2024. 
EtymologyNamed after Robert W. Murphy of the Royal Ontario Museum. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Bobrov V.V., Semenov D.V. 2008. Lizards of Vietnam [in Russian]. Moscow, 236 pp.
  • Böhme, Wolfgang 2014. Herpetology in Bonn. Mertensiella 21. vi + 256 pp. - get paper here
  • Chuaynkern, Y., Nabhitabhata, J., Inthara, C. Kamsook, M. & K. Somsri 2005. A New Species of the Water Skink Tropidophorus (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) from Northeast Thailand. The Thailand Natural History Museum Journal 1(2): 165-176 - get paper here
  • Hikida, T.; Orlov, N.L.; Nabhitabhata, J. & Ota, H. 2002. Three new depressed-bodied water skinks of the genus Tropidophorus (Lacertilia: Scincidae) from Thailand and Vietnam. Current Herpetology 21 (1): 9-23 - 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
  • Lindken T.; Anderson, C. V., Ariano-Sánchez, D., Barki, G., Biggs, C., Bowles, P., Chaitanya, R., Cronin, D. T., Jähnig, S. C., Jeschke, J. M., Kennerley, R. J., Lacher, T. E. Jr., Luedtke, J. A., Liu, C., Long, B., Mallon, D., Martin, G. M., Meiri, 2024. What factors influence the rediscovery of lost tetrapod species? Global Change Biology, 30: 1-18 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Nguyen, S.V., Ho, C.T. and Nguyen, T.Q. 2009. Herpetofauna of Vietnam. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 768 pp.
  • Nguyen, T.Q; Nguyen, T.T.; Schmitz, A.; Orlov, N.L. & Ziegler, T. 2010. A new species of the genus Tropidophorus Duméril & Bibron, 1839 (Squamata: Sauria: Scincidae) from Vietnam. Zootaxa 2439: 53–68 - get paper here
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