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Ateuchosaurus chinensis GRAY, 1845

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae (Ateuchosauridae), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Chinese short-limbed skink, Chinese Ateuchosaurus
Chinese: 光蜥 
SynonymAteuchosaurus chinensis GRAY 1845: 107
Lygosaurus sowerbyi STEJNEGER 1924
Lygosaurus salsburyi SCHMIDT 1925: 2
Mabuia albomaculata VOGT 1927
Ateuchosaurus chinensis — SMITH 1937: 231
Ateuchosaurus chinensis — LAZELL et al. 1999
Ateuchosaurus chinensis — NGUYEN et al. 2009 
DistributionChina (Fujian west to Guizhou, south to Guangdong and Hainan); Vietnam (Mao Son, Lang Son Province).

Type locality: China

Type locality: “Nodoa, Hainan, China” [Lygosaurus salsburyi]  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.8.15.69 (formerly xv.89a), collected J. Reeves.
Holotype: USNM 65375 [sowerbyi]
Holotype: AMNH 30198 [Lygosaurus salsburyi] 
DiagnosisDescription: Rostral wider than high, visible from above; supranasals absent; frontonasal wider than long, in contact with nasal, rostral, anterior loreal, prefrontal and frontal; prefrontals small, separated by frontal, touching both loreals laterally; frontal larger, frontal anteriorly truncated, constricted in the middle, approximately three times longer than wide, twice longer than frontoparietal and interparietal together, twice longer than its distance to tip of snout; frontoparietals separated from each other, as long as interparietal; a small transparent spot present on interparietal; parietals small, in contact posteriorly; nuchals absent; nostril in a single nasal, with rostral, first supralabial, anterior loreal, and frontonasal; loreals 2; preocular 1; supraoculars 4, following by a small postsupraocular; supraciliaries 8; lower eyelid scaly; supralabials 6, fourth longest and right below the eye; ear opening small, oval, tympanum deeply sunk; mental wider than long, rounded anteriorly, in contact with first infralabial and postmental; infralabials 7; postmental undivided; chin shields in 2 pairs; ventral scales in 30 rows at midbody, slightly smaller than ventrals; paravertebral scales 50–52; ventrals in 52–58 transverse rows, smooth; precloacals six or seven, not enlarged; subdigital lamellae smooth, nine on fourth finger and 15–18 on fourth toe; tail thick at base, tapering to a fine point; subcaudals not enlarged, smooth (Pham et al. 2018).

Colouration in life. Dorsal head, body and base of tail brownish, each scale with a darker spot in the centre; neck blackish with white spots laterally; flanks mottled with some black and white spots; ventral surface cream (Pham et al. 2018). 
CommentPlate 29D in ZHAO & ADLER 1993.

Type species: Ateuchosaurus chinensis GRAY 1845 is the type species of the genus Ateuchosaurus GRAY 1845. For diagnostic features see MITTLEMAN 1952: 8.

Hedges (2014) erected the family Ateuchosauridae for the genus Ateuchosaurus which becomes the type genus of the family.

Distribution: see map in Makino et al. 2020 (Fig 1). 
EtymologyNamed after its distribution in China. 
  • Bobrov V.V., Semenov D.V. 2008. Lizards of Vietnam [in Russian]. Moscow, 236 pp.
  • Gawor, A., C. T. Pham, T. Q. Nguyen, T. T. Nguyen, A. Schmitz & T. Ziegler 2016. The herpetofauna of the Bai Tu Long National Park, northeastern Vietnam. Salamandra 52 (1): 23-41 - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1845. Catalogue of the specimens of lizards in the collection of the British Museum. Trustees of die British Museum/Edward Newman, London: xxvii + 289 pp. - get paper here
  • Hecht, Vera L.; Cuong T. Pham, Tao T. Nguyen, Truong Q. Nguyen, Michael Bonkowski & Thomas Ziegler 2013. First report on the herpetofauna of Tay Yen Tu Nature Reserve, northeastern Vietnam. Biodiversity Journal 4 (4): 507–552
  • Lazell,J.; Kolby, J.; Lin, Y. M.; Zhuang, D. H. & Lu, W. 1999. Reptiles and amphibians from Nan Ao Island, China. Postilla 217: 1-18 - get paper here
  • Makino, T., Okamoto, T., Kurita, K., Nakano, T., & Hikida, T. 2020. Origin and intraspecific diversification of the scincid lizard Ateuchosaurus pellopleurus with implications for historical island biogeography of the Central Ryukyus of Japan. Zoologischer Anzeiger 288: 1-10 - get paper here
  • Nguyen, S.V., Ho, C.T. and Nguyen, T.Q. 2009. Herpetofauna of Vietnam. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 768 pp.
  • Nguyen, Truong Quang; Anh Van Pham, Hoang Van Tu, Tan Van Nguyen, Thomas Ziegler 2018. New records and an updated list of lizards from Son La Province, Vietnam. Herpetology Notes 11: 209-216 - get paper here
  • Nguyen, Truong Quang; Tran Thanh Tung, Hoang van Ngoc, Wolfgang Böhme, and Thomas Ziegler 2008. Rediscovery and redescription of Ateuchosaurus chinensis Gray, 1845 (Squamata: Sauria: Scincidae) from northeastern Vietnam. Herpetology Notes 1: 17-21
  • Ota, Hidetoshi;Lin, Jun-Tsong;Bogadek, Anthony;Lau, Michael W. 1997. Karyotype of the lygosomine genus Ateuchosaurus from East Asia. Journal of Herpetology 31 (4): 604-607 - get paper here
  • Pope, CLIFFORD H. 1935. The Reptiles of China. Turtes, Crocodilians, Snakes, Lizards. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., New York, Nat. Hist. Central Asia, 10: lii, 1-604 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, KARL P. 1925. New reptiles and a new salamander from China. American Museum Novitates (157): 1-5. - get paper here
  • Smith, M.A. 1935. The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Reptiles and Amphibia, Vol. II. Sauria. Taylor and Francis, London, 440 pp.
  • Smith, M.A. 1937. A review of the genus Lygosoma (Scincidae: Reptilia) and its allies. Records of the Indian Museum 39 (3): 213-234
  • Stejneger, LEONHARD H. 1924. Herpetological novelties from China. Occas. Pap. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist., 5: 119-121 - get paper here
  • Vogt.T. 1927. Beiträge zur Reptilien- und Amphibienfauna Südchinas. Zool. Anz. 69 (11-12): 281-288.
  • Wang, Kai; Jinlong Ren, Hongman Chen, Zhitong Lyu, Xianguang Guo Ke Jiang, Jinmin Chen, Jiatang Li, Peng Guo, Yingyong Wang, Jing Che 2020. The updated checklists of amphibians and reptiles of China. Biodiversity Science 28 (2): 189-218 - get paper here
  • Zhao,E. & Adler,K. 1993. Herpetology of China. SSAR, Oxford/Ohio, 1-522
  • Zhong, J. J., Wu, Q. Q., Wang, Y. M., Guo, K., Ding, G. H., & Luo, S. T. 2021. The first complete mitochondrial DNA of the Chinese short-limbed skink (Ateuchosaurus chinensis Gray, 1845) determined by next-generation sequencing. Mitochondrial DNA Part B, 6(3): 995-996 - get paper here
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