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Typhlacontias punctatissimus BOCAGE, 1873

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesTyphlacontias punctatissimus punctatissimus BOCAGE 1873
Typhlacontias punctatissimus bogerti LAURENT 1964
Typhlacontias punctatissimus brainei HAACKE 1997 
Common NamesE: Speckled Western Burrowing Skink, Dotted Blind Dart Skink
bogerti: Bogert’s Western Burrowing Skink 
SynonymTyphlacontias punctatissimus BOCAGE 1873: 213
Typhlacontias punctatissimus — GREER 1970
Typhlacontias punctatissimus punctatissimus — HAACKE 1997
Typhlacontias punctatissimus — WHITING et al. 2003
Typhlacontias punctatissimus punctatissimus — MARQUES et al. 2018

Typhlacontias punctatissimus bogerti LAURENT 1964
Typhlacontias bogerti LAURENT 1964
Typhlacontias punctatissimus bogerti — HAACKE 1997
Typhlacontias punctatissimus bogerti — MARQUES et al. 2018
Typhlacontias punctatissimus bogerti — LOBÓN-ROVIRA et al. 2022

Typhlacontias punctatissimus brainei HAACKE 1997
Typhlacontias punctatissimus brainei — BÖHME 2014: 157 
DistributionS Angola, NW Namibia (from NW Koakoveld), SW Angola

bogerti: SW Angola; Type locality: “35 km S of Moçamedes (= Namibé)”, Angola.

brainei: Namibia; Type locality: Khumib River 25 km from the coast, Skeleton Coast Park, Opuwo District, Namibia, 18°44'S 12°36'E (1812Da), elevation up to 600 m.

Type locality: Rio Curoca mouth, Moçamedes district, Angola  
TypesSyntypes: MB (Museu Bocage) (2 specimens) catalogue numbers unknown (collector J.A. d’Anchieta), destroyed by fire 18 March 1978 (Museo de Bocage, Lisbon)
Types: MD (Dundo Museum, Angola [bogerti]
Holotype: DNMNH (= TM) 68443, collected by W. D. Haacke, 11. 4. 1989; Paratypes in ZFMK, DNMNH (= TM) and NMNW (formerly SMWN) [brainei] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Skull characters: Palatine bones only slightly longer than wide, separated medially; palatal rami of pterygoids expanded laterally, but not meeting medially, and emarginated posteriorly (gracilis) or not (brevipes and ngamiensis); pterygoid teeth absent (Fig. 6 in GREER 1970). Postorbital and jugal bones lacking; supratcmporal arch weak and fenestra obliterated by the apposition of the bones in the supratemporal arch with the parietal; fixe to six maxillary teeth. External characters: Interparietal large, touching supraoculars; three median, transversely enlarged head scales between the rostral and interparietal instead of a pair of supranasals and two median, transversely enlarged head scales; no external ear opening; limbless except for T. brevipes, which has a rudimentary hind leg [from GREER 1970]. A more recent diagnosis is provided by HAACKE 1997: 140.

Diagnosis (punctatissimus): The most slender of those species characterised by the enlarged second lower labial and the laterally strongly notched rostral, s. a. T. brevipes and T. johnsonii. Large frontal, nearly semicircular with straight posterior edge. In this subspecies usually only the third upper labial enters eye. Rudimentary hindlimbs may occur [HAACKE 1997: 147]

Diagnosis (bogerti): A slender form with enlarged second lower labial scale and general characteristics described for the typical form but second and third upper labial in touch with eye [HAACKE 1997: 150]

Diagnosis (brainei): In general appearance and characteristics similar to the typical form but upper labials 2 and 3 appear to have fused, resulting in five, instead of six upper labials and the large second upper labial is in contact with the eye. Preocular absent or minute and partly covered by loreal. Eye usually in touch with the least number of scales of all taxa, namely second upper labial, loreal, anterior supraocular and two postoculars [HAACKE 1997: 151] 
CommentType species: Typhlacontias punctatissimus BOCAGE 1873 is the type species of the genus Typhlacontias BOCAGE 1873.

Skull morphology: for a comparison of African burrowing skinks see Stepanova & Bauer 2021. 
EtymologyReferring to its speckled colour pattern.
bogerti: Named in honour of renowned American herpetologist Dr Charles M. Bogert.
brainei: Named after Mr Steve Braine, former ranger of the Skeleton Coast Park, Namibia, for his contribution towards the knowledge of the fauna of that area during his term of office there. 
  • Bocage, J.V.B. 1873. Melanges erpetologiques. II. Sur quelques reptiles et batraciens nouveaux, rares ou peu connus d‘Afrique occidentale. Jorn. Sci. Math. Phys. Nat. Lisboa 4: 209-227 - get paper here
  • Böhme, Wolfgang 2014. Herpetology in Bonn. Mertensiella 21. vi + 256 pp. - get paper here
  • Greer, Allen E. 1970. The systematics and evolution of the Subsaharan Africa, Seychelles, and Mauritius Scincine Scincid lizards. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 140 (1): 1-24 - get paper here
  • Haacke W D. 1997. Systematics and biogeography of the southern African scincine genus Typhlacontias (Reptilia: Scincidae). Bonner Zoologische Beiträge 47 (1-2): 139- 163. - get paper here
  • Herrmann, H.-W.; W.R. Branch 2013. Fifty years of herpetological research in the Namib Desert and Namibia with an updated and annotated species checklist. Journal of Arid Environments 93: 94–115 - get paper here
  • Laurent, R.F. 1964. Reptiles et batraciens de l'Angola (troisième contribution). Companhia de Di amantes de Angola (Diamang), Serviços Culturais, Museu do Dundo (Angola), No. 67, 165 pp.
  • Lobón-Rovira J, Vaz Pinto P, S. Becker F, Tolley KA, Measey J, Bennet B, Boon B, de Sá S, Conradie W 2022. An updated herpetofaunal species inventory of Iona National Park in southwestern Angola. Check List 18(2): 289-321 - get paper here
  • Marques, Mariana P.; Luis M. P. Ceríaco , David C. Blackburn , and Aaron M. Bauer 2018. Diversity and Distribution of the Amphibians and Terrestrial Reptiles of Angola -- Atlas of Historical and Bibliographic Records (1840–2017). Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (Ser. 4) 65: 1-501 (Supplement II)
  • Myers, C.W. & R.G. Zweifel 1993. Biographical Sketch and Bibliography of Charles Mitchill Bogert, 1908-1992 Herpetologica 49 (1): 133-146. - get paper here
  • SANTOS, B. S. .,MARQUES, M. P. ., BAUER, A. M. ., & CERÍACO, L. M. P. . 2021. Herpetological results of Francisco Newton’s Zoological Expedition to Angola (1903–1906): a taxonomic revision and new records of a forgotten collection. Zootaxa 5028 (1): 1–80 - get paper here
  • Stepanova, N., Bauer, A.M. 2021. Phylogenetic history influences convergence for a specialized ecology: comparative skull morphology of African burrowing skinks (Squamata; Scincidae). BMC Ecol Evo 21, 86 - get paper here
  • Whiting, A.S.; Aaron M. Bauer and Jack W. Sites, Jr. 2003. Phylogenetic relationships and limb loss in sub-Saharan African scincine lizards (Squamata: Scincidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 29 (3): 582-598 - get paper here
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