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Carlia babarensis (KOPSTEIN, 1926)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymLygosoma fuscum babarensis KOPSTEIN 1926: 88
Lygosoma fuscum barbarense — TIEDEMANN et al. 1994
Carlia babarensis — ZUG 2004 
DistributionIndonesia (Kepulauan Babar, Kepulauan Tanimbar)

Type locality: “Tepa, Babar-Inseln” and “Samlakki, Tenimber-Inseln”; restricted to Tepa [7° 52’ S, 129° 31’ E], Babar Kepulauan by ZUG 2004.  
TypesLectotype: RMNH 5518, designated by Zug (2004) 
DiagnosisDescription. A moderately small Carlia ranging in adult size from 41 to 52 mm SVL (females 41.1–47.4; males 45.5–51.5) with HeadL 21–25%, TrunkL 41–51%, and HndlL 44–55% of SVL, and 77–144% PalpbD of EarD. Tanimbar population sexually dimorphic in SVL, HeadL, PalpbD, EarD, HndlL, and HeadL/SVL, PalpbD/EarD, and TrunkL/HndlL. Head and nuchal scales smooth; interparietal always present; 4 (rarely 5) Supoc, 6–9 Supcil, 8–11 Eyeld, 7 (rarely 6 or 8) Suplab, 5th (rarely 4th) BlwEye, and 6 (rarely 5 or 7) Inflab on each side. Ear opening oblong vertical to oblique with 2–5 AuricN, usually pointed, on anterior and dorsal margin. Trunk scales smooth to weakly tricarinate dorsally and laterally: 46–50 Dorsal, 30–33 Midbody. Subdigital lamellae undivided, smooth: 18–23 3FingL, 29–32 4ToeL.
Juvenile dorsum brown mottled with black flecks on neck and white and black flecks on trunk, dorsolateral white stripe from ear to anteriormost trunk, and brown lateral band from eye to ear, black to anteriormost trunk and brown to inguen; venter ivory. Adults monomorphic, retaining bold juvenile pattern, accentuating labials and ventrolateral neck to axilla with black and white mottling, posterior half of trunk orangish venter cream to ivory (Zug 2004: 61)

Comparison to related species. Carlia babarensis populations differ from all fusca complex members except C. leucotaenia and C. tutela, by small size with adult females averaging 44 to 45 mm SVL; females and males are on the average equal-sized. C. babarensis populations share: an average of 32 Midbody with all other fusca complex species except C. luctuosa; an average of 20 to 21 3FingL with all except C. beccarii; and an average of 29 to 30 4ToeL with all except C. beccarii, C. longipes, and C. luctuosa. Unlike juvenile C. ailanpalai, C. beccarii, C. leucotaenia, C. mysi, C. pulla and C. tutela, juvenile C. babarensis have a short dorsolateral light stripe from eye to axilla, occasionally to anterior trunk. Juvenile C. babarensis lack a midlateral light stripe or series of light spots, a feature shared with C. ailanpalai, C. beccarii, and some populations of C. fusca, C. longipes and C. mysi. Adult C. babarensis females commonly retain a faded dorsolateral stripe on head and neck and lack a midlateral stripe, sharing this adult female coloration with some populations of C. eothen, C. fusca, C. leucotaenia, C. longipes, C. mysi, and C. tutela. Adult C. babarensis have light chins, throats, and venters, differing from the dark underside of C. aenigma, C. luctuosa, and some populations of C. aramia and C. eothen (Zug 2004: 61).
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Dolman, Gaynor & Andrew F. Hugall 2008. Combined mitochondrial and nuclear data enhance resolution of a rapid radiation of Australian rainbow skinks (Scincidae: Carlia). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 49 (3): 782-794 - get paper here
  • Gemel, R.; G. Gassner & S. Schweiger 2019. Katalog der Typen der Herpetologischen Sammlung des Naturhistorischen Museums Wien – 2018. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 121: 33–248
  • Kopstein,P.F. 1926. Reptilien von den Molukken und den benachbarten Inseln. Zoologische Mededelingen 1: 71-112 - get paper here
  • Tiedemann,F.; Häupl,M. & Grillitsch,H. 1994. Katalog der Typen der herpetologischen Sammlung nach dem Stand vom 1. Jänner 1994. Teil II: Reptilia. Kat. wiss. Samml. Naturhist. Mus. Wien 10 (Vertebrata 4): 1-110
  • Zug,G. R. 2004. Systematics of the Carlia “fusca” lizards (Squamata: Scincidae) of New Guinea and Nearby Islands. Bishop Mus. Bull. Zool. 5: 1-83
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