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Copeoglossum aurae HEDGES & CONN, 2012

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Mabuyinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Greater Windward Skink 
SynonymCopeoglossum aurae HEDGES & CONN 2012: 72
Mabuia agilis — BOULENGER, 1887:191 (part)
Mabuia aenea — GARMAN, 1887:53 (part)
Mabuya aenea — BARBOUR, 1914:322 (part)
Mabuya aenea — BARBOUR, 1930:105 (part)
Mabuya mabouia — BARBOUR, 1935:129 (part)
Mabuya mabouya mabouya — DUNN, 1936:544 (part)
Mabuya mabouia — BARBOUR, 1937:147 (part)
Mabuya aenea — UNDERWOOD, 1963:83 (part)
Mabuya mabouya mabouya — PETERS & DONOSO-BARROS, 1970:200 (part)
Mabuya mabouya mabouya — SCHWARTZ & THOMAS, 1975:141 (part)
Mabuya mabouya mabouya — MACLEAN et al., 1977:40–41 (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 — MURPHY, 1997:150 (part)
Mabuya sloanii — MAYER & LAZELL, 2000:883 (part)
Mabuya mabouya — MIRALLES, 2005:49 (part?)
Mabuya nigropunctata — MIRALLES et al., 2005:833 (part)
Mabuya nigropunctata — MIRALLES et al., 2009:609 (part)
Mabuya mabouya — HENDERSON & POWELL, 2009:292 (part) 
DistributionGrenada, St. Vincent, the Grenadines (Bequia, Carriacou, Mustique, Petit Martinique, and Union Islands), Trinidad (including Huevos Island), and Tobago

Type locality: Kingston, St. George Province, St. Vincent  
TypesHolotype: MCZ R-185624, an adult male, collected in Kingston, St. George Province, St. Vincent, in April 1886 by W.B. Richardson. Paratypes (n = 32). Grenada. BMNH, G. Murray, "Island of Grenada," 1886; MCZ R-79744, James Lazell, Tempe, 22 June 1964. Grenadines. KU 242047–48, Albert Schwartz, Park, Bequia Island, 18 March 1961; KU 242051, Albert Schwartz, Grand Bay, Mustique Island, 15 December 1961; MCZ R-79097 and R-79099, C. MacIntosh, Carriacou, 1963; MCZ R-79100, George Gorman, Bequia Island, 30 April 1964; USNM 79131, Paul Bartsch, Petit Martinique, 1929. St. Vincent. BMNH–17, F. D. Goodman, no specific locality, 1890; CAS 39439, Blake Expedition, Kingston, 18 February 1879; MCZ R-6040, Samuel W. Garmin, Kingston, 18 February 1879; MCZ R-6041, R-185623, R-185625–26, W. B. Richardson, Kingston, April 1886. Trinidad. AMNH 101327, George Campbell, Chaguaramas, February 1943; CAS 39483, C. S. Cazabon, no specific locality, 1879; CAS 231775, R. Lawson et al. Manzanilla Beach, 18 July 2004; CM 6565, M. Graham Netting, Manzanilla Beach, 22 September 1927; KU 242013, Albert Schwartz, Nariva, 4 May 1963; MCZ R-6039, Samuel Garmin (no additional information available); MCZ R-8994, R. Thaxter, Port of Spain, April 1913; MCZ R-79818, James D. Lazell, Aripe Savannah, 14 July 1964; UMMZ 79919 and 239606, no specific locality, collector, or date; MCZ R-100481, H. Boos, Huevos Island, 3 May 1966. Tobago. KU 242009–11, Albert Schwartz, 4 miles N Mt. St. George, 12 May 1963; MCZ R-185622, Garth L. Underwood, Scarborough, 5 September 1956. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Copeoglossum aurae sp. nov. is characterized by (1) maximum SVL in males, 98.5 mm; (2) maximum SVL in females, 109 mm; (3) snout width, 2.64–3.63% SVL; (4) head length, 16.3–20.7% SVL; (5) head width, 12.5–16.1% SVL; (6) ear length, 1.02–2.19% SVL; (7) toe-IV length, 10.1–12.7% SVL; (8) prefrontals, two; (9) supraoculars, three (3%), four (97%); (10) supraciliaries, four (3%), five (66%), six (31%); (11) frontoparietals, two; (12) supralabial below the eye, six (91%), seven (9%); (13) nuchal rows, one; (14) dorsals, 50–59; (15) ventrals, 54–65; (16) dorsals + ventrals, 106–117; (17) midbody scale rows, 28–32; (18) finger-IV lamellae, 12–14; (19) toe-IV lamellae, 15–18; (20) finger-IV + toe-IV lamellae, 29–32; (21) supranasal contact, N; (22) prefrontal contact, N; (23) supraocular-1/frontal contact, Y (16%), N (84%); (24) parietal contact, Y (3%), N (97%); (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 (Table 2).
Within the Genus Copeoglossum, C. aurae sp. nov. differs from C. arajara (Rebouças-Spieker 1981) in having more finger-IV + toe-IV lamellae (29–32 versus 26 in C. arajara), more supraciliaries (5–6 in 97%, four in 3% of C. aurae sp. nov. versus four, or rarely three or five, in C. arajara), and dark palms and soles (pale in C. arajara). Copeoglossum aurae sp. nov. differs from C. nigropunctatum in having a narrower frontonasal scale (frontonasal width/length 0.97–1.28 versus 1.30–2.03 in C. nigropunctatum; Fig. 26), a shorter supraocular-2 scale (supraocular-2/supraocular-1 length ratio 0.38–0.69 in C. aurae sp. nov. versus 0.68–1.23 in C. nigropunctatum; Fig. 27), and supranasals not in contact (in contact in 94% of C. nigropunctatum). It differs from C. margaritae sp. nov. in having a lower number of ventral scales (54–65 versus 66), a shorter supraocular-2 scale (supraocular-2/ supraocular-1 length ratio 0.38–0.69 in C. aurae sp. nov. versus 0.75–0.88 in C. margaritae sp. nov.) (Fig. 27), a smaller body size (109 versus 120 mm maximum SVL), and a longer toe-IV (length 10.1–12.7% SVL versus 9.06%), although the relatively shorter toe-IV in C. margaritae sp. nov. may be related to its large size. Copeoglossum aurae sp. nov. also lacks spotting on the chin (present in C. margaritae sp. nov.). Copeoglossum aurae sp. nov. differs from C. redondae sp. nov. in having no contact between the first paired chin shields and infralabials (broad contact in C. redondae sp. nov.), a smaller ear (ear length 1.02–2.19% SVL versus 2.42% SVL in C. redondae sp. nov.), and a longer toe-IV (10.1–12.7% SVL versus 9.43% in C. redondae sp. nov.). Preserved C. aurae sp. nov. appear to be paler in coloration than C. nigropunctatum and C. margaritae sp. nov., noted also by Ugueto and Rivas (2010), but that was a character difficult to quantify or classify, especially given the effects of preservation and age on coloration.
Copeoglossum aurae sp. nov. also differs in many ways from a sympatric species, Marisora aurulae sp. nov., described below, in a different genus. One scale character that may be used to separate them readily is parietal contact (not in contact, or rarely just touching, in C. aurae sp. nov.; in contact in M. aurulae sp. nov.). Another involves chin scales in contact with infralabials between postmental and first sublabial. There are none in C. aurae sp. nov. and 2–4 in M. aurulae sp. nov. (Fig. 3). In coloration, C. aurae sp. nov. nearly always has a distinctly spotted dorsum and dark lateral stripes that extend to the hindlimbs and onto the tail (Fig. 24A). Marisora aurulae sp. nov. usually has a more faded pattern, with smaller dorsal spots and dark lateral stripes that fade posteriorly into ground color.
CommentSympatry: Copeoglossum aurae is broadly sympatric with Marisora aurulae. 
EtymologyThe species name (aurae) is a feminine genitive singular noun, from the Latin noun aura (wind), alluding to its distribution on the Windward Islands (the southern Lesser Antilles, sometimes including Trinidad and Tobago). The term "windward" is in reference to early travel across the Atlantic in sailing ships, which encountered these islands first because of wind direction. The Leeward Islands were those encountered subsequent to the Windward Islands. There has been some confusion over the centuries as to which islands should be called windward and leeward, but those in the southern Lesser Antilles (Saint Vincent, Grenadines, Grenada) have always been called windward (Hedges 2011). The first part of the common name (Greater Windward Skink) refers to the larger body size of this species compared with M. aurulae sp. nov. (Lesser Windward Skink). 
  • Auguste, Renoir J. 2019. Herpetofaunal checklist for six pilot protected areas in Trinidad and Tobago. Herpetology Notes 12: 577-585 - get paper here
  • Harrison, Billie; Richard A. Sajdak, Robert W. Henderson, and Robert Powell 2019. Additional evidence of arboreality of the Greater Windward Skink, Copeoglossum aurae (Reptilia: Squamata: Mabuyidae), on Carriacou (Grenada Grenadines). IRCF 26 (1): 47–48 - get paper here
  • Hedges, S.B. & Conn, C.E. 2012. A new skink fauna from Caribbean islands (Squamata, Mabuyidae, Mabuyinae). Zootaxa 3288: 1–244
  • Rivas, G. A., Lasso-Alcalá, O. M., Rodríguez-Olarte, D., De Freitas, M., Murphy, J. C., Pizzigalli, C., ... & Jowers, M. J. 2021. Biogeographical patterns of amphibians and reptiles in the northernmost coastal montane complex of South America. Plos one, 16(3): e0246829 - get paper here
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