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Ctenotus helenae STORR, 1969

IUCN Red List - Ctenotus helenae - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Clay-soil Ctenotus 
SynonymCtenotus helenae STORR 1969: 100
Lygosoma lesueurii concolor GLAUERT 1952
Ctenotus helenae — COGGER 1983: 147
Minervascincus helenae — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985: 35
Ctenotus helenae — COGGER 2000: 427
Ctenotus helenae — COUPER et al. 2006
Ctenotus helenae — WILSON & SWAN 2010 
DistributionAustralia (Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia)

Type locality: 24 mi ENE of Laverton, in 28° 31’ S, 122° 45’ E, W. A.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.8.15.45
Holotype: WAM R24239 [saxatilis]
Holotype: WAM R25680 [severus]
Holotype: WAM R30004 [helenae]
Holotype: WAM R33780 [fallens]
Holotype: NMV D13944 [brachyonyx] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Rabosky et al. 2014, Storr 1969: 100, Storr 1975: 225 
CommentSynonymy: Rabosky et al. (2014) found no genetic pattern that differentiated inornatus from helenae, saxatilis, serverus, fallens, or brachyonyx and thus synonymized them with inornatus. Lygosoma lesueurii concolor is a junior primary homonym of C. helenae, non Lygosoma (Rhodona) bips concolor WERNER 1910.

Habitat: Triodia sandplains and flat rocky areas (Shea et al., 1988).

Behavior: The species is active during the day and terrestrial (Shea et al. 1988).

NCBI tax IDs: saxatilis = 480777 (Reptile Database ID = 12842), severus = 480783 (12848), helenae = 480746 (12802), fallens = 480739 (12794), brachyonyx = no NCBI (12778). Note that NCBI tax IDs are not preserved once species get synonymized. If any of them get revalidated they will get new NCBI IDs.

Limb morphology: 5 digits, 5 toes (Singhal et al. 2018, Cogger 2014) 
EtymologyNamed after Helen Louise Pianka, wife of Eric Pianka, both of whom collected the type. 
  • Barr, J; Somaweera, R & Bateman, P W 2018. Ctenotus fallens (West Coast Ctenotus) Anomalous death through use of modelling clay for research. Herpetological Review 49 (2): 327-328 - get paper here
  • 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.
  • Couper, P., Covacevich, J., Amey, A. & Baker, A. 2006. The genera of skinks (Family Scincidae) of Australia and its island territories: diversity, distribution and identification. in: Merrick, J.R., Archer, M., Hickey, G.M. & Lee, M.S.Y. (eds.). Evolution and Zoogeography of Australasian Vertebrates. Australian Scientific Publishing, Sydney, pp. 367-384
  • D'Amore, Domenic Corvasce; David Meadows, Simon Clulow, Jeremiah Sean Doody, David Rhind, Colin McHenry 2018. Increasing dietary breadth through allometry: bite forces in sympatric Australian skinks. Herpetology Notes 11: 179-187 - get paper here
  • Even,Eddy 2005. Reptielen zoeken in Australië. Lacerta 63 (2): 48-65 - get paper here
  • Glauert, L. 1952. Herpetological miscellanea. l. Notes of some forms of Diplodactylus. Some new western Australian lizards. Western Australian Naturalist 3: 166—168 [1951] - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1845. Catalogue of the specimens of lizards in the collection of the British Museum. Trustees of die British Museum/Edward Newman, London: xxvii + 289 pp. - get paper here
  • Hallermann, J. 2020. An annotated list of reptiles and amphibians from the 1905 Hamburg expedition to southwest Australia deposited in the Zoological Museum Hamburg. Evolutionary Systematics 4: 61 - get paper here
  • Harp, Cyrus A. , Stephen E. Goodyear and Eric R. Pianka. 2010. Ctenotus helenae: Hermaphroditism. Herpetological Review 41 (3): 353-354 - get paper here
  • Pianka, E. R. 1969. Sympatry of desert lizards (Ctenotus) in Western Australia. Ecology 50: 1012-1030 - get paper here
  • Pianka, E. R. 1972. Zoogeography and speciation of Australian desert lizards: an ecological perspective. Copeia 1972 (1): 127-144 - get paper here
  • Punzo, Fred & Sonia Madragon 2002. Spatial learning in Australian skinks of the genus Ctenotus (Scincidae). Amphibia-Reptilia 23 (2): 233-238 - get paper here
  • Rabosky DL, Hutchinson MN, Donnellan SC, Talaba AL, Lovette IJ 2014. Phylogenetic disassembly of species boundaries in a widespread group of Australian skinks (Scincidae: Ctenotus). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 77: 71-82; doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2014.03.026 - get paper here
  • Rankin P R; Gillam M W 1979. A new lizard in the genus Ctenotus (Lacertilia: Scincidae) from the Northern Territory with notes on its biology. Rec. Austral. Mus. 32 (15): 501-511 - get paper here
  • Sadlier, Ross 1987. The scincid lizard Ctenotus brachyonyx Storr in N.S.W. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 17 (1-2): 22-24
  • Singhal, Sonal; Huateng Huang, Maggie R. Grundler, María R. Marchán-Rivadeneira, Iris Holmes, Pascal O. Title, Stephen C. Donnellan, and Daniel L. Rabosky 2018. Does Population Structure Predict the Rate of Speciation? A Comparative Test across Australia’s Most Diverse Vertebrate Radiation. The American Naturalist - get paper here
  • Storr G M 1969. The genus Ctenotus (Lacertilia: Scincidae) in the Eastern Division of Western Australia. J. Royal Soc. Western Australia 51: 97-109 - get paper here
  • Storr G M 1970. The genus Ctenotus (Lacertilia: Scincidae) in the Northern Territory. J. Royal Soc. Western Australia 52: 97-108 [1969] - get paper here
  • Storr G M 1978. Notes on the Ctenotus (Lacertilia, Scincidae) of Queensland. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 6 (3): 319-332 - get paper here
  • Storr G M 1978. Ctenotus rubicundus, a new scincid lizard from Western Australia. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 6 (3): 333-335 - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M. 1971. The genus Ctenotus (Lacertilia: Scincidae) in South Australia. Rec. South Austral. Mus. 16 (6): 1-15 - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M. 1974. The genus Ctenotus (Lacertilia: Scincidae) in the South-west and Eucla Divisions of Western Australia. J R. Soc. West. Aust. 56: 86-93 [1973]
  • Storr, G. M. 1975. The genus Ctenotus (Lacertilia: Scincidae) in the Kimberley and North-west Divisions of Western Australia. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 3: 209-243 - 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.
  • Virens, Josef; Robert A Davis, Tim S Doherty 2017. Two records of amelanism in the Australian skink Ctenotus fallens (Storr, 1974). Herpetology Notes 10: 453-455 - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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