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Tytthoscincus monticolus GRISMER, WOOD JR, AHMAD, BAIZUL-HAFSYAM, AFIQ-SHUHAIMI, RIZAL & QUAH, 2018

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Sungai Bubu Forest Skink
Malay: Mengkarung Hutan Sungai Bubu 
SynonymTytthoscincus monticolus GRISMER, WOOD JR, AHMAD, BAIZUL-HAFSYAM, AFIQ-SHUHAIMI, RIZAL4& QUAH 2018 
DistributionPeninsular Malaysia (Terengganu)

Type locality: hilly area near Sungai Bubu, Sekayu, Hulu Terengganu, Terengganu State, Peninsular Malaysia (4.9710° N, 102.9531° E; 174 m in elevation  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: LSUHC 13858, Adult male, collected by M. Afiq-Shuhaimi and Baizul-Hafsyam B. S. on 5 August 2017. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis Tytthoscincus monticolus sp. nov. can be differentiated from all other species of Tytthoscincus in the upland clade by having the combination of 8`1, superciliaries; a deeply set, unpigmented tympanum; enlarged pectoral scales; 31 midbody scale rows; 69 paravertebral scales; 68 ventral scales; keeled, subdigital lamellae; seven subdigital lamellae on the third finger; 12 subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe; EO/HL = 0.16; HL/SVL = 0.17; AXG/SVL = 0.55; FL/SVL = 0.22; HDL/SVL = 0.33; and a maximum SVL of 36.6 mm (Tables 5,6). All characters are scored across all other Tytthoscincus and species of Sphenomorphus suspected of being Tytthoscincus in Grismer et al. (2016a:237) and Karin et al. (2016:416).

Comparisons. Tytthoscincus monticolus sp. nov. is most closely related to T. perhentianensis (Fig. 4) and differs from it by an uncorrected pairwise sequence divergence of 3.5%. It is differentiated from T. perhentianensis morphologically by having one vs. two loreal scales; 69 vs. 65 or 66 paravertebral scales; 68 vs. 61 or 62 ventral scales; seven vs. six subdigital lamellae on the third finger; and 12 vs. 10 subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe. It differs further by having a larger ear opening (0.16 vs 0.13–0.14 EO/HL); a shorter head (0.17 vs. 0.22–0.23 HL/ SVL); longer hind limbs (0.33 vs. 0.29–0.30 HDL/SVL); and a larger maximum SVL (36.2 mm vs. 30.0 mm: Table 6). It differs from T. keciktuek (see description below) with which it is likely syntopic by an uncorrected pairwise sequence divergence of 9.8% and having one vs. two loreals; 68 vs 60 ventral scale rows; a larger ear opening (0.16 vs 0.12 EO/HL); a shorter head (0.17 vs. 0.21 HL/SVL); shorter forelimbs (0.22 vs. 0.25 FL/SVL); shorter hind limbs (0.33 vs. 0.37 HDL/SVL); and a dorsal pattern bearing white speckling vs. being nearly unicolor (Table 5; Fig. 6). Differences between T. monticolus sp. nov. and all other species of the upland clade are presented in Table 6 in Grismer et al. 2018. 
CommentHabitat: leaf-litter in hilly areas along riparian systems in lowland dipterocarp forest 
EtymologyThe specific epithet monticolus, comes from the Latin monti meaning mountain and colus meaning dweller of or within and refers to this species inhabiting hilly areas. 
References
  • GRISMER, L. LEE; & EVAN S. H. QUAH 2019. An updated and annotated checklist of the lizards of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, and their adjacent archipelagos. Zootaxa 4545 (2): 230–248 - get paper here
  • GRISMER, L. LEE; MOHD ABDUL MUIN, PERRY L. WOOD, JR., SHAHRUL ANUAR, & CHARLES W. LINKEM 2016. The transfer of two clades of Malaysian Sphenomorphus Fitzinger (Squamata: Scincidae) into the genus Tytthoscincus Linkem, Diesmos, & Brown and the description of a new Malaysian swamp-dwelling species Zootaxa 4092 (2): 231–242 - get paper here
  • GRISMER, L. LEE; PERRY L. JR. WOOD, AMIRRUDIN B. AHMAD, B. S. BAIZUL-HAFSYAM, M. AFIQ-SHUHAIMI, SYED A. RIZAL, EVAN S. H. QUAH 2018. Two new Tytthoscincus Linkem, Diesmos, & Brown (Squamata; Scincidae) from Peninsular Malaysia and another case of microsyntopy between ecologically specialized, unrelated, leaf-litter species. Zootaxa 4425 (1): 087–107 - get paper here
  • KARIN, BENJAMIN R.; INDRANEIL DAS, AARON M. BAUER 2016. Two new species of diminutive leaf-litter skinks (Squamata: Scincidae: Tytthoscincus) from Gunung Penrissen, Sarawak, Malaysia (northern Borneo). Zootaxa 4093 (3): 407–423
 
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