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Capitellum metallicum (BOCOURT, 1879)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Mabuyinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Lesser Martinique Skink 
SynonymMabuya metallica BOCOURT 1879: 400
Mabuya agilis — BOULENGER 1887: 190 (part)
Mabuya mabouia — BARBOUR, 1930: 105 (part)
Mabuya mabouia — BARBOUR, 1935: 129 (part)
Mabuya mabouya mabouya — DUNN, 1936: 544 (part)
Mabuya mabouia — BARBOUR, 1937: 147 (part)
Mabuya mabouya mabouya — PETERS & DONOSO-BARROS, 1970: 200 (part)
Mabuya mabouya mabouya — SCHWARTZ & Thomas, 1975: 141 (part)
Mabuya mabouya mabouya — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON, 1988: 150 (part)
Mabuya mabouya mabouya — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON, 1991: 457 (part)
Mabuya bistriata — POWELL et al., 1996: 82 (part)
Mabuya bistriata — MALHOTRA & THORPE, 1999: 34 (part)
Mabuya sloanii — MAYER & LAZELL, 2000: 883 (part)
Mabuya mabouya — BREUIL, 2002: 267 (part)
Mabuya mabouya — HENDERSON & POWELL, 2009: 292 (part)
Capitellum metallicum — HEDGES & CONN 2012: 64 

Type locality: Martinique  
TypesLectotype: MNHN-RA 5424, designated by HEDGES & CONN 2012, adult female. Only known from the type specimen 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus). Species in this genus are characterized by (1) frontoparietals, two, (2) supraciliaries, 5–6, (3) supraoculars, four, (4) prefrontal contact, absent, (5) parietal contact, present (except in C. parvicruzae sp. nov.), (6) rows of nuchals, one, (7) dorsals + ventrals, 125–128, (8) total digital lamellae, 167–190, (9) a dark middorsal stripe, absent, (10) dark dorsolateral stripes, absent, (11) a dark lateral stripe, present, and (12) dark ventral striping, absent. Maximum body sizes among species in this genus range from 68–78 mm SVL (Table 2). They are small- headed (head length 15–16% SVL; head length in mabuyines is typically 17–21% SVL). This genus differs from others in having a combination of small hands, small feet, short heads, and lacking dark dorsolateral stripes. It differs from Alinea, Copeoglossum, Mabuya, Notomabuya, Panopa, Psychosaura, and Varzea in having fewer total digital lamellae (< 191). It differs from Manciola in having more total lamellae (> 166), fewer dorsals + ventrals (125–128 versus 136–141), and five or six (versus four) supraciliaries. From Exila, Notomabuya, and Panopa, it differs in having two frontoparietals (versus one fused frontoparietal in those other genera). In having four supraoculars, Capitellum is separated from two genera with three supraoculars: Aspronema (rarely four) and Mabuya (rarely two or four). The presence of a single nuchal row separates this genus from Exila, Panopa, and Spondylurus. The presence of contact between the parietals (except in C. parvicruzae sp. nov.) separates this genus from Copeoglossum. It differs from Alinea by having fewer finger-IV + toe-IV lamellae (24– 26 versus 28–36), having dark lateral stripes (present as a trace in only one species of Alinea, A. berengerae), and lacking ventral striping. It is distinguished from Manciola, Maracaiba, and Marisora by its 5–6 supraciliaries (versus four in nearly all Marisora). It shares with Brasiliscincus small hands and feet but differs in lacking dark dorsolateral stripes (present in most Brasiliscincus), having dark (versus pale) palms and soles, and having more dorsals + ventrals (125–128 versus 113–124). From Orosaura, it is distinguished by lacking a dark dorsolateral stripe. Eyelid window size (length 2.21–2.42% SVL) is also relatively large for the genus, where most other species fall within the range 1.5–2.0% SVL. However, we did not score that character in all individuals and species [HEDGES & CONN 2012].

Diagnosis (species). Capitellum metallicum is characterized by (1) maximum SVL in males, not available; (2) maximum SVL in females, 74.0 mm (only known specimen); (3) snout width, 2.41% SVL; (4) head length, 15.5% SVL; (5) head width, 11.5% SVL; (6) ear length, 1.53% SVL; (7) toe-IV length, 10.6% SVL; (8) prefrontals, two; (9) supraoculars, four; (10) supraciliaries, five; (11) frontoparietals, 2; (12) supralabial below the eye, five; (13) nuchal rows, one; (14) dorsals, 62; (15) ventrals, 66; (16) dorsals + ventrals, 128; (17) midbody scale rows, 30; (18) finger-IV lamellae, 10; (19) toe-IV lamellae, 14; (20) finger-IV + toe-IV lamellae, 24; (21) supranasal contact, N; (22) prefrontal contact, N; (23) supraocular-1/frontal contact, N; (24) parietal contact, Y; (25) pale middorsal stripe, N; (26) dark dorsolateral stripe, N; (27) dark lateral stripe, Y; (28) pale lateral stripe, Y; and (29) palms and soles, dark (Tables 3–5). Within the Genus Capitellum, C. metallicum differs from C. mariagalantae sp. nov. by having a lower number of supralabial scales (supralabial 5 below the eye versus supralabial 6 or 7 below the eye in C. mariagalantae sp. nov.), a longer toe (toe-IV 10.6% SVL versus 9.5% SVL in C. mariagalantae sp. nov.), and a narrower head (head width 11.5% SVL versus 12.3% SVL in C. mariagalantae sp. nov.). In pattern, C. metallicum is a less boldly patterned species than either C. mariagalantae sp. nov. or C. parvicruzae sp. nov. (Fig. 19). It has pale and dark lateral, and dark ventrolateral, stripes on the anterior 1/3 of the body whereas those other two species have those stripes that extend the full length of the body and onto the tail. In scalation, C. metallicum differs from C. parvicruzae sp. nov. in having five supraciliaries (versus six), parietal contact (versus no contact), absence of supranasal contact (versus contact), and 167 (versus 190) total digital lamellae.
Capitellum metallicum also differs from species in other genera inhabiting nearby islands in the Lesser Antilles (see Tables 3–5). In form it differs from most in being small-headed and gracile, with a tubular-shaped (versus dorsoventrally flattened) body. From the species on the same island, Mabuya mabouya, C. metallicum differs by having five supraciliaries (not 3–4); four supraoculars (not three); fewer finger-IV (10 versus 13–16), toe-IV (14 versus 17–19), and combined (24 versus 30–34) lamellae; a shorter head (head length 15.5% SVL versus 16.2– 19.2% in M. mabouya); a narrower head (head width 11.5% SVL versus 12.1–14.9% SVL in M. mabouya); and no supraocular-1/frontal contact (present in M. mabouya). 
CommentType species: Mabuya metallica Bocourt, 1879:400 is the type species of the genus Capitellum HEDGES & CONN 2012.

Conservation: Each species of the genus Capitellum is represented by a single adult specimen collected 135–190 years ago. They occur on islands where the mongoose was introduced in the late 19th century, likely explaining their subsequent disappearance. Based on IUCN Redlist criteria (IUCN 2011), Capitellum metallicum may be considered “Critically Endangered” and possibly extinct (CR A2ace).

Abundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyEtymology (genus). The generic name (Capitellum) is a neuter singular noun (Latin) meaning "small head," in reference to the relatively small heads of the three included species.

Etymology (species). The species name is a feminine adjective referring to the coppery, metallic color of the preserved specimens described by Bocourt (1879). 
  • Barbour, T. 1935. A second list of Antillean reptiles and amphibians. Zoologica 19 (3): 77-141 - get paper here
  • Barbour, Thomas 1930. A list of Antillean Reptiles and Amphibians. Zoologica 11 (4): 61-116 - get paper here
  • Bocourt, M. F. 1879. Etudes sur les reptiles, p. i-xiv, 1-1012. In Recherches Zoologiques pour servir a l'Histoire de Ia Faune de l'Amérique Centrale et du Mexique. Mission Scientifique au Mexique et dans l'Amérique Centrale, Recherches zoologiques. Part 2, sect. 1; In A Imprimerie Impériale, Paris [3, Pt. 6], pp. 360–440. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1887. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) III. Lacertidae, Gerrhosauridae, Scincidae, Anelytropsidae, Dibamidae, Chamaeleontidae. London: 575 pp. - get paper here
  • Hedges, S.B. & Conn, C.E. 2012. A new skink fauna from Caribbean islands (Squamata, Mabuyidae, Mabuyinae). Zootaxa 3288: 1–244
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - get paper here
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