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Carlia beccarii (PETERS & DORIA, 1878)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymHeteropus Beccarii PETERS & DORIA 1878: 361
Lygosoma (Leiolopisma) becarrii [sic] — SMITH 1937: 225
Carlia beccarii — ZUG 2004: 59 
DistributionKepulauan Kai

Type locality: Insul. Kei, Tual.  
TypesHolotype: MSNG 28070 
DiagnosisDescription. A large Carlia ranging in adult size from 60 to 80 mm SVL (females 60.4–67.5; males 65.1–79.7) with HeadL 21–24%, TrunkL 39–49%, and HndlL 50–59% of SVL, and 76–133% PalpbD of EarD. Strongly sexually dimorphic in SVL, HeadL, PalpbD, EarD, TrunkL, HndlL, HeadL/SVL, and HndlL/SVL. Head and nuchal scales smooth; interparietal always present; 4 Supoc, 7–9 Supcil, 8–15 Eyeld, 7 Suplab, 5th BlwEye, and 6 (rarely 7) Inflab on each side. Ear opening oblong vertical to oblique with 3–6 AuricN, usually bluntly pointed, on anterior and dorsal margin. Trunk scales smooth to weakly tricarinate dorsally and laterally: 51–58 Dorsal, 36–41 Midbody. Subdigital lamellae undivided, smooth: 20–28 3FingL, 30–34 4ToeL.
Juvenile dorsum brown uniform or with black flecks on trunk, brown lateral band from eye to behind ear mottled with cream flecks, thereafter band black to inguen and bordered above and below with white flecks; venter ivory. Adults monomorphic (Fig. 22), retaining bold juvenile pattern and accentuating labials and ventrolateral neck with alternating black and white bars; venter ivory (Zug 2004: 59)

Comparison to related species. Carlia beccarii populations differ from those of the smaller bodied C. aenigma, C. ailanpalai, C. aramia, C. babarensis, C. diguliensis, C. eothen, C. fusca, C. leucotaenia, C. longipes, C. mysi, C. pulla, and C. tutela by adult females averaging 56 to 66 mm SVL; males are distinctly larger than females as occurs elsewhere only in C. luctuosa. Carlia beccarii populations have more Midbody (38) than all other fusca complex species except C. luctuosa, and average more 3FingL (24) than any other complex member; and an average of 32 4ToeL with only C. longipes, and C. luctuosa. Unlike juveniles in all other fusca complex members except C. ailanpalai and some C. fusca and C. mysi, juvenile C. beccarii lack dorsolateral and midlateral light stripes. Adult C. beccarii females and males have a unique lateral coloration consisting of a broad dark band from head to inguen, intensely dark from ear through anterior trunk and this is brightly flecked with white above and below. Adult C. beccarii 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: 59) 
EtymologyNamed after the botanist Odoardo Beccari (1843-1920) from Genova who also collected the type series of this species. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • 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
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig and G. Doria. 1878. Catalogo dei retilli e dei batraci raccolti da O. Beccari, L. M. D'Alberts e A. A. Bruijn. nella sotto-regione Austro-Malese. Annali del Museo Civico de Storia Naturale di Genova. ser. 1, 13: 323-450 - 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
  • 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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