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Anomalopus leuckartii (WEINLAND, 1862)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Two-clawed Worm-skink 
SynonymBrachymeles leuckartii WEINLAND 1862: 140 (nomen oblitum)
Anomalopus leuckartii WEINLAND 1862 (?)
Anomalopus lentiginosus DE VIS 1888: 823
Lygosoma bancrofti LONGMAN 1916
Lygosoma verreauxii biunguiculata OUDEMANS 1894
Lygosoma verreauxii biungulata — ZIETZ 1920: 219 (in error)
Lygosoma bankrofti — ZIETZ 1920: 219 (in error)
Lygosoma verreauxii biunguiculata — DAAN & HILLENIUS 1966: 134
Lygosoma leuckhartii WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985
Anomalopus lentiginosus — COGGER 1983
Anomalopus leuckartii — GREER & COGGER 1985: 19
Anomalopus bellamii
Anomalopus leuckartii — COGGER 2000: 384
Anomalopus leuckartii — WILSON & SWAN 2010 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, Queensland)

Type locality: Australia
Type locality: Brisbane, Qld. [lentiginosus]  
TypesLectotype: MTD (= MTKD) 10205, (formerly MTKD RVa316, formerly in LM as #19 in 1869/70, formerly in MG), New Holland, presented to LM by Leuckart, designated by Mecke et al 2016; from Australia; the neotype designation of AM R 44677 by Greer & Cogger (1985) is invalid (Mecke et al. 2016).
Syntypes: QM, not found fide Covacevich (1971) [lentiginosus]
Syntypes: ZMA.RENA 11398-9, from Burnett River, Qld. [L. verreauxii biunguiculata]
Holotype: QM J2560, from Gyranda, Dawson River (as Upper Dawson River), Qld. [bancrofti] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: The only species of Anomalopus with the digital formula 2-1, the front leg bearing 2 very short clawed toes and the rear leg represented by a clawless nubbin (clawed on the right side in AM R 47480). Differs from the only other lygosomine with the 2/1 digital formula (Larutia miodactylus) in having a complete series of large, subocular scales and more paravertebral scales (108-128 vs 96-103) (GREER & COGGER 1985: 19).

Description. Like A. verreauxii, A. leuckartii is very similar to A. mackayi and may be described in terms of its differences with this species (also see Table 1).
Rostral appreciably larger and projecting more dorsally, hence frontonasal shorter and relatively broader; supraoculars 2-4, the first 2 or only the first in contact with frontal; transversely enlarged nuchals 0-4; nasal appreciably larger, nostril situated well forward of centre; anterior loreal appreciably larger than posterior loreal; supraciliaries 6-7 (mode = 6); fourth supralabial invariably situated below centre of eye; infralabials 6; mental much larger, extending more posteriorly, hence postmental shorter and relatively broader; paravertebral scales more numerous 108-128; snout-vent length slightly greater, 39-137 mm; fore and rear legs relatively shorter (0.03-0.04 and 0.01 or less, respectively); forelimb didactyl, inner digit shorter than outer; rear limb styliform, clawless.
Presacral vertebrae 51-55; postsacral vertebrae 50-54; complete inscriptional chevrons 10-14; sternal! mesosternal ribs 212-2/1.
Manus comprises radiale, ulnare and pisiform; distal carpels 2-4, metacarpals 2-4 and phalanges Pes comprises astragalus and calcaneum (GREER & COGGER 1985: 19).

Colour. In preservative, A. leuckartii is light-brown to grey-brown dorsally and off-white to pale 'dirty' brown ventrally (Fig.6). A light nuchal collar occurs commonly in Queensland populations (see below); these specimens can be distinguished from similarly patterned A. verreauxii by the 2 digits on the front foot, instead of 3, and the relatively shorter hindlimb. In life, the venter of the body may be uniform light-yellow (pers. obs. A.E.G.) (GREER & COGGER 1985: 19).

Variation. There is only one specimen that has other than 2 toes on the front foot: AM R 26109 with a single clawed digit on each front foot. The specimen is one of nine from Crows Nest, Qld, and the other eight have 2 clawed toes on each front foot. There is also a single specimen with a claw on each styliform rear limb: AM R 47480 from the Warrumbungle Mountains, N.S.W.
A light nuchal collar - similar to that in A. verreauxii - occurs in many populations north of the granite belt in Queensland. The type of Lygosoma leuckartii and one of the types of Lygosoma verreauxii biunguiculata are specimens from such populations. The nuchal area is uniformly coloured in all southern populations (Fig.6). The species range is greatly constricted at the approximate demarcation point between these two groups (Fig.8) (GREER & COGGER 1985: 19). 
CommentSynonymy after COGGER 1983 and Shea & Sadlier 1999.

Limb morphology: 2 digits, 0 toes (Reduced limbs, Singhal et al. 2018, Skinner 2010) 
EtymologyNamed after Professor Dr. Karl Georg Friedrich Rudolf Leuckart (1822-1898), German morphologist, parasitologist, and zoologist, mostly in Leipzig. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Couper, P., Covacevich, J., Amey, A. & Baker, A. 2006. The genera of skinks (Family Scincidae) of Australia and its island territories: diversity, distribution and identification. in: Merrick, J.R., Archer, M., Hickey, G.M. & Lee, M.S.Y. (eds.). Evolution and Zoogeography of Australasian Vertebrates. Australian Scientific Publishing, Sydney, pp. 367-384
  • Covacevich, J. 1971. Amphibian and reptile type specimens in the Queensland Museum. [type catalogue] Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 16: 49-68 - get paper here
  • Daan, S. & Hillenius,D. 1966. Catalogue of the type specimens of amphibians and reptiles in the Zoological Museum, Amsterdam. Beaufortia 13: 117-144
  • De Vis, C. W. 1888. A contribution to the herpetology of Queensland. Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales (2) 2: 811-826 [1887] - get paper here
  • Escoriza Boj, D. 2005. Australia. Reptiles and Amphibians, Part 1: Rainforest. Reptilia (GB) (40): 70-75 - get paper here
  • Greer A E; Cogger H G 1985. Systematics of the reduce-limbed and limbless skinks currently assigned to the genus Anomalopus (Lacertilia: Scincidae). Rec. Austral. Mus. 37(1) 1985: 11-54 - get paper here
  • Hutchinson, M. N., Couper, P., Amey, A., & Wilmer, J. W. 2021. Diversity and Systematics of Limbless Skinks (Anomalopus) from Eastern Australia and the Skeletal Changes that Accompany the Substrate Swimming Body Form. Journal of Herpetology 55 (4): 361-384 - get paper here
  • Kay, G.M.; D. Michael; M. Crane; S. Okada; C. MacGregor; D. Florance; D. Trengove; L. McBurney; D. Blair; D.B. Lindenmayer. 2013. A list of reptiles and amphibians from Box Gum Grassy Woodlands in south-eastern Australia. Check List 9 (3):476-481 - get paper here
  • Longman, H. A. 1916. Snakes and lizards from Queensland and the Northern Territory. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 5: 46-51 - get paper here
  • Mecke, Sven; Felix Mader, Max Kieckbusch, Hinrich Kaiser, Wolfgang Böhme & Raffael Ernst 2016. Tracking a syntype of the Australian skink Anomalopus leuckartii (Weinland,1862): ‘lost’ treasures in the Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden highlight the importance of reassessing and safe­ guarding natural history collections. Vertebrate Zoology 66 (2):169–177
  • Oudemans, J. Th. 1894. Eidechsen und Schildkröten. In Semon, R. Zoologische Forschungsreisen in Australien und dem Malayischen Archipel. Denkschriften der Medicinisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft zu Jena, 8:127—146 - get paper here
  • Singhal, Sonal; Huateng Huang, Maggie R. Grundler, María R. Marchán-Rivadeneira, Iris Holmes, Pascal O. Title, Stephen C. Donnellan, and Daniel L. Rabosky 2018. Does Population Structure Predict the Rate of Speciation? A Comparative Test across Australia’s Most Diverse Vertebrate Radiation. The American Naturalist - get paper here
  • Skinner, Adam; Mark N. Hutchinson, Michael S.Y. Lee 2013. Phylogeny and Divergence Times of Australian Sphenomorphus Group Skinks (Scincidae, Squamata). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 69 (3): 906–918 - get paper here
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 pp.
  • Weinland, D. F 1863. Beschreibung und Abbildung von drei neuen Sauriern. (Embryopus Habichii und Amphisbaena innocens von Haiti, und Brachymeles Leuckarti von Neuholland.). Abh. senckenb. naturf. Ges. (Frankfurt) 4: 131-143 [1862] - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
  • Zietz, F. R. 1920. Catalogue of Australian lizards. Rec. South Austral. Mus. 1: 181-228 - get paper here
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