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Cryptoblepharus australis (STERNFELD, 1918)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Inland snake-eyed skink 
SynonymAblepharus boutoni australis STERNFELD 1918: 424
Ablepharus boutonii – WAITE 1929: 166
Ablepharus boutonii metallicus STERNFELD 1918
Ablepharus boutonii metallicus – MERTENS 1931: 120
Ablepharus boutonii metallicus — LOVERIDGE 1934: 375-376
Ablepharus boutonii metallicus — WORRELL 1963: 35
Ablepharus boutonii metallicus — MERTENS 1964: 106
Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus – STORR 1976: 56
Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus – STORR et al. 1981: 24
Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus – GOW 1981
Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus – COGGER et al. 1983: 142
Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus – WILSON & KNOWLES 1988: 120
Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus – COVACEVICH & COUPER in INGRAM & RAVEN 1991: 357
Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus – EHMANN 1992: 182
Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus – STORR et al. 1999: 24
Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus – COGGER 2000: 406
Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus – WILSON & SWAN 2003: 148
Cryptoblepharus australis – WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985: 27
Cryptoblepharus hawkeswoodi WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985: 27
Cryptoblepharus carnabyi – HORNER 1991: 16
Cryptoblepharus carnabyi – HENLE 1996: 15, 17
Cryptoblepharus australis — HORNER 2007: 57 
DistributionAustralia (arid inland Australia, extending north to vicinity of Barkly Highway in the Northern Territory and Queensland, east to the central plains of Queensland and New South Wales, and south to Eyre Peninsula in South Australia (Fig. 41). In Western Australia, known from Murchison and Great Victoria Desert bioregions, and probably also occurs in most bioregions adjoining southern Northern Territory and South Australia)

Type locality: “West-Central-Australien”, [= Hermannsburg, central Australia, fide MERTENS 1931]  
TypesLectotype: SMF 15683; M. v. Leonhardi, 1907, Designation by Mertens (1967). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A large (45–50 mm SVL), short-legged, shallow-headed, arboreal Cryptoblepharus, distinguished from Australian congeners by combination of usually having: six supraciliary scales; 24 mid-body scale rows; mean values of hindlimb length 41.1% of snout-vent length, head depth 42.3% of head length; smooth subdigital lamellae; immaculate, acute plantar scales; greyish, longitudinally aligned body pattern and arboreal habits. 
CommentSynonymy: Mertens (1931) treated C. australis as a synonym of A. b. metallicus, using the two A. b. australis types as the basis of his A. b. metallicus description. Later, Mertens (1964) questioned the status of C. metallicus, stating that SMF 15683-84 displayed no C. metallicus features and should be considered faded examples of C. plagiocephalus, a designation followed by most subsequent authors. Mertens (1967) designated SMF 15683 as the lectotype of A. b. australis.

Sympatry. C. buchananii, C. ochrus, C. pannosus, C. pulcher and C. zoticus. 
EtymologyPresumably named after the Latin australis (southern), although in this case Sternfeld is likely alluding to the southern continent Australia rather than a southern distribution within that continent. (G. Shea, pers. comm., 9 Feb 2024) 
  • Cogger H.G., Cameron EE & Cogger HM 1983. Zoological Catalogue of Australia, Volume 1: AMPHIBIA AND REPTILIA. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Ehmann, Harold 1992. Encyclopedia of Australian Animals: Reptiles. Angus & Robertson, Pymble, NSW, 495 pp.
  • Gow, G. 1981. Checklist of reptiles and amphibians of the southern sector of the NT. Northern Territory Naturalist 1(4): (3 unnumbered pages)
  • Henle, Klaus 1996. Herpetological observations in Sturt National Park, northwestern New South Wales, with a comment on Ctenotus uber and C. astarte. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 26 (1): 12-25
  • Horner, P. 1991. Skinks of the Northern Territory. Northern Territory Mus., Darwin, Handbook Ser. no. 2 174 pp.
  • Ingram, G.J., & Raven, R.J., eds 1991. An atlas of Queensland's frogs, reptiles, birds and mammals. Board of Trustees, Queensland Mus., Brisbane 391 pp.
  • Loveridge, A. 1934. Australian reptiles in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 77: 243-383 - get paper here
  • Mertens, R. 1964. Weitere Mitteilingen uber die Rassen von Ablepharus boutonii. III. Zoologischer Anzeiger 173: 100–110
  • Mertens,R. 1931. Ablepharus boutonii (DESJARDIN) und seine geographische Variation. Zool. Jahrb. Syst. 61: 63-210
  • Nordberg, E. J., Murray, P., Alford, R. and Schwarzkopf, L. 2017. Abundance, diet and prey selection of arboreal lizards in a grazed tropical woodland. Austral Ecology. doi:10.1111/aec.12570 - get paper here
  • Nordberg, Eric J. and Lin Schwarzkopf 2015. Arboreal Cover Boards: Using Artificial Bark to Sample Cryptic Arboreal Lizards. Herpetologica Dec 2015, Vol. 71, No. 4: 268-273. - get paper here
  • Sternfeld, R. 1918. Zur Tiergeographie Papuasiens und der pazifischen Inselwelt. Abh. senckenb. naturf. Ges. (Frankfurt) 36: 375-436 [missing from BHL in 2023]
  • Storr, G. M. 1976. The genus Cryptoblepharus (Lacertilia: Scincidae) in Western Australia. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 4: 53-63 - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M., Smith, L. A. & Johnstone, R. E. 1981. Lizards of Western Australia. I. Skinks. Perth: University of Western Australia Press and Western Australian Museum, 200 pp.
  • Storr, G. M.; L. A. Smith, and R. E. Johnstone 1999. Lizards of Western Australia. I. Skinks. Revised Edition. Western Australian Museum
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 pp.
  • Waite, E. R. 1929. The Reptiles and Amphibians of South Australia. Adelaide: Harrison Weir, 270 pp.
  • Wells, R. W. and Wellington, C. R. 1985. A classification of the Amphibia and Reptilia of Australia. Australian Journal of Herpetology, Supplementary Series (1): 1-61 [sometimes cited as 1983] - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
  • Wilson, Stephen K. & Knowles, David G. 1988. Australia's Reptiles: A Photographic Reference to the Terrestrial Reptiles of Australia. Cornstalk Publishing, Pymble, NSW, 447 pp.
  • Wilson,S. & Swan, G. 2003. A complete guide to the Reptiles of Australia. Princeton University Press, 480 pp. [review in Sauria 26 (3): 32]
  • Worrell, E. 1963. Reptiles of Australia. Angus & Robertson (Sydney), xv + 207 pp
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