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Anomalopus verreauxii DUMÉRIL, 1851

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Three-clawed Worm-skink, Verreaux's Skink 
SynonymAnomalopus verreauxii A. DUMÉRIL in DUMÉRIL & DUMÉRIL 1851: 185
Siaphus simplex COPE 1864: 229
Anomalopus Godeffroyi PETERS 1867: 24
Chelomeles pseudopus GÜNTHER 1873: 145
Lygosoma verreauxi — SMITH 1937: 221
Anomalopus verreauxi — COGGER 1983
Anomalopus verreauxi — GREER & COGGER 1985: 16
Anomalopus verreauxi — COGGER 2000: 386
Anomalopus verreauxi — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Anomalopus verreauxii — RABOSKY et al. 2014 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, Queensland)

Type locality: Australia [S. simplex]  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesHolotype: MNHN-RA 3047, from Tasmania (in error) (Anomalopus verreauxii)
Syntypes: ZMB 5296-7, from East Australia [Anomalopus Godeffroyi]
Holotype: BMNH 1946.8.3.59, from unknown locality [Chelomeles pseudopus] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus). Anomalopus differs from all other members of the Sphenomorphus group in the following combination of derived character states: prefrontals separated; last 2 supraoculars partially separated by a superciliary (usually the sixth); supralabials 6, fourth (or suture between fourth and fifth) below centre of eye; external ear opening absent; front and rear limb ≤ 0.07 x and ≥ 0.09 x SVL, respectively.
Premaxillary teeth ≤ 7; ectopterygoid process present; postorbital absent; quadratal conch absent.
Manus lacks distal carpals 1 and 5, metacarpal 1, and has phalanges reduced to 0.2.3.2.0; pes lacks metatarsal 1 and has phalanges reduced to 0.2.2.0.0; presacral vertebrae ≥ 47; sternal ribs ≤ 2; medial ends of ischia separated (Greer & Cogger 1985: 13).

Diagnosis: This is the only species of Anomalopus, and indeed lygosomine, with the digital formula 3-1, the front leg bearing three very short, clawed toes and the rear leg represented by a clawless nubbin (Greer & Cogger 1985: 16).

Description. Anomalopus verreauxii is very similar to A. mackayi in most regards, and hence may be most usefully described in comparison to this species (also see Table 1).
Rostral slightly larger and projecting more dorsally, hence frontonasal shorter and broader; supraoculars generally 4, but occasionally reduced to 3, first two always in contact with frontal; transversely enlarged nuchals 0-2.
Nasal slightly larger, nostril situated slightly forward of centre; infralabials 5; mental slightly larger and extending more posteriorly, hence shorter and broader overall; paravertebral scales more numerous, 110-129; snout-vent length appreciably greater, 44-185 mm; front and rear legs relatively shorter (0.03-0.06 and 0.01-0.03 x SVL, respectively); rear leg styliform, clawless.
Presacral vertebrae 53-57; postsacral vertebrae 57-62; complete inscriptional chevrons 12-14; sternal/mesosternal ribs 3/2-2/2.
Manus comprises radiale, intermedium (sometimes absent), ulnare and pisiform; centrale; distal carpals 2-5; metacarpals 2-5, and phalanges 0.1.2.2.0 (basal 2 phalanges may fuse in digits 3-4 in older specimens).
Pes comprises astragalus and calcaneum, distal carpals 3-4 and metatarsals 3-4 (Greer & Cogger 1985: 16). 
CommentSynonymy partly after COGGER 1983.

Type species: Anomalopus verreauxii DUMÉRIL & DUMÉRIL 1851: 185 is the type species of the genus Anomalopus DUMÉRIL & DUMÉRIL 1851.

Phylogenetics: see Singhal et al. 2017 and 2018 for a phylogeny of Australian sphenomorphine skinks, including the genus Anomalopus. However, A. verreauxi was not included in their tree. For a phylogeny of the genera Anomalopus, Praeteropus, and Sepsiscus see Hutchinson et al. 2021.

Limb morphology: 3 digits, 1 toes (Reduced limbs, Singhal et al. 2018, Cogger 2014) 
EtymologyNamed after Jean Baptiste Edouard Verreaux (1810-1868) and Jules Pierre Verreaux (1807-1873), naturalists, collectors, and dealers.  
References
  • 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.
  • Cope, E.D. 1864. On the characters of the higher groups of Reptilia - Squamata - and especially y of the Diploglossa. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 1864: 224-231 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Dale, D. F. 1973. Forty Queensland Lizards. Brisbane: Queensland Museum, 64 pp.
  • Duméril, A.M.C. & A. H. A. Duméril 1851. Catalogue méthodique de la collection des reptiles du Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle de Paris. Gide et Baudry/Roret, Paris, 224 pp.
  • 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
  • Günther, A. 1873. Notes on and descriptions of some lizards with rudimentary limbs, in the British Museum. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (4) 12: 145-148 - 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
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1867. Herpetologische Notizen. Monatsber. königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin. 1867 (Januar): 13-37 - get paper here
  • Rabosky, Daniel L.; Stephen C. Donnellan, Michael Grundler, and Irby J. Lovette 2014. Analysis and Visualization of Complex Macroevolutionary Dynamics: An Example from Australian Scincid Lizards. Syst Biol 2014 63: 610-627 - 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
  • Smith, M.A. 1937. A review of the genus Lygosoma (Scincidae: Reptilia) and its allies. Records of the Indian Museum 39 (3): 213-234
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 pp.
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
 
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